I have to tell you that it grieves me how much money is charged and how much scary hype there is related to creating a transcript. There are boot-camp sessions, endless numbers of books and speakers who all conspire to scare the pants off of you when it comes to transcripts.
The basic message is that your children will be jobless, friendless and homeless if you don't subscribe to their method [and it always costs money] of doing transcripts.
It isn't true.
A transcript is simply a resume of your child's high school accomplishments. It should include classes taken, grades given and some other basic information. It does not need to be in any particular format. It does not need to be done by a professional service. It does not take a genius. Simply put, it is a resume.
Now I am not saying that you don't have to keep decent records and have a high school plan so that your student has a well rounded education. What I am saying is that the transcript is just a recording of those classes your child has done. If you can keep records, you can make a wonderful transcript. Don't wait till the senior year to start trying to remember what courses your child did as a freshman--that will make you a wreck.
The secret to a good transcript, is to keep records as you go along. Assign grades as you go along and make course descriptions as you go along. It is not hard, it just takes keeping on top of writing down the records.
I once knew a lady whose son did not go to college. He went right to work and at the age of 28 decided to go into the military. They needed a high school transcript. She had never made one up, and he had graduated from their homeschool 10 years earlier. Now that is a reason to panic! She was scrambling to find records, try to remember what he had done and so forth. It was not fun! So, even if you child is not going to college or the military, please--create a transcript so that if they do need it down the road you will have an accurate resume of what they accomplished while they were in your homeschool.
I also recommend the book, Homeschoolers' College Admissions Handbook, by Cafi Cohen. It has a lot of good information that can help with transcripts and a lot more. If you would like a sample of what I created for my children's transcripts, email me firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have other high school blog posts as well and you can find them here.
- Transitioning to College from Literature Based Learning
- Using Dictation with High School Students
- High School Transcripts and Course Descriptons-- Not as scary as you think...
- High School Credits for Sonlight Cores
- Grading High School Work-Contract for Grade