When is your official transcript for homeschool really official? When do you add grades? How do you present records to colleges?
Update Each Year
When I was making my official transcript for homeschool, I worked at it during the END of each school year. Some of the things we fully intended to do never actually happened. At the end of the year, I would be aware of the classes we would complete, so I would insert them at that time, work on the course descriptions in the spring semester, and then add the final grades and details in June, when we were done. I didn’t choose to use semester grades; I just had the final grade at the end of the class. It just fit my homeschool better – since I didn’t do a lot of real “grading” it seemed to make sense to just have one big grade at the end. Other homeschoolers do it differently. Pay attention to your unique grading style and add in grades accordingly. Try to avoid comparison with other homeschool parents’ grading systems.
Make it Pretty
For packaging, we laid the one-piece transcript on top of the spiral-bound comprehensive record. On top of that I had a cover letter explaining what it contained and the student that it was meant for. I put that into a large manila envelope. Only one college wanted my transcript sealed, so they were the only one that got it sealed. They wanted the transcript in a sealed envelope with the “principal’s signature” on the seal of the envelope. So, I did that for them. It didn’t hurt anything after all. When I got ready to mail that transcript, I had a sudden moment of panic. Had I put Kevin’s transcript in Alex’s application? Opened them both up, and yes, I had mixed them (in my own defense, they were both applying to four schools, so I did actually have 8 applications in front of me at the moment!) I fixed the problem, resealed the envelop, and resigned it. I’m not sure how a sealed envelope helped them, but if it would otherwise be rejected, I was more than happy to oblige their rules.
Follow the Rules and Regulations
Each college will want their applications submitted in their own unique way. I encourage parents to conform to the wishes of the college, as long as they don’t ask you to compromise your values in any way. If they want an official school envelope, then print an envelope on your computer saying “Official Home School” with your home address. If they want it sealed, then seal it. Notarized? Notarize it at the library for free! Whatever they want, that’s how you do it. Of course, that means you have to read the fine print.
Learn more about how to recognize a homeschool friendly college here: Homeschool Friendly vs. Homeschool Fussy
Stop stressing about transcripts! Tune in to this free, pre-recorded workshop to learn how to collect credits from all styles of homeschool education and prepare a professional-looking transcript colleges will love! A Homeschool Parent’s Guide to Grades, Credits, and Transcripts.