Okay. So if you’ve been following along on this 5 day series of Homeschooling through High School you’ve now reached the point where we will discuss transcripts and portfolios. What?? You’ve missed the series? I’ve already given you some encouragement, walked you through developing your four year plan, and all about credits.
When your student graduates you will want to compile everything academic into a transcript. All colleges require them and so it’s nice to have it look a little professional. I just design mine in Microsoft Word. (I am trying to figure out how to tweak it into a PDF and make it downloadable here so when I return from our field trip later, I’ll hopefully have it available!!)
The transcript must provide some basic information:
- student’s name
- school name
- phone number
- graduation date
- I personally do not add the social security number but most do have it
After all of the personal information, you need to include the academic goodies. I design mine so that the subjects are on the left and then the grade years are in columns to the right. I allow the correct number of lines for how many credits are required for that subject. (For example, English has four lines in which I would write “English I, English II, English III, and English IV”) Here is where your transcript might differ according to your o
wn state’s requirements. You will also need to calculate Grade Point Average (GPA) and have a total number of credits earned. It is a good idea to have a key showing the weight you gave to each letter grade. (A=4, B=3, C=2, D=1, F=0, you can even break it down further with A+, A and A-.) If you student took any major tests such as the ACT, SAT, etc, you would want to list those – list the name of the test, date taken along with the test results. I think it’s nice to have a place for notes in case of any outstanding achievements, awards, dual enrollment information, etc. At the bottom of the table, have a place for you as the administrator to sign and give your name/title and the date the transcript was compiled.
(click to open another page with printable PDF file of transcript)
Portfolios are becoming more important as college admissions become more competitive. Colleges want to get a true sense of the student that is applying to their school and sometimes that is difficult by merely looking at the transcript. A person is much more than just their academic achievements. Colleges want someone who is more “well-rounded”.
Note: Even if your student is not planning on attending a college, portfolios can make great keepsakes.
Some things that you can include in your student’s portfolio:
- honors or awards received
- extra-curricular activities
- volunteering (don’t just list them, include pictures)
- work experience
- letters of recommendations
- best writing samples
- mission trips
- If your student has a special talent, include a video clip.
Be creative and think outside of box. I scan and upload everything to a portfolio folder on my computer. Most colleges have you complete applications online anyway so this way it is easy to upload the portfolio as well. If you mail in an application, you can print out most of the portfolio or simply download it to a flash drive to include with the application (especially if you have included video clips!) Colleges also like to see how computer literate you are so think about compiling a Power Point presentation to show off your student.
It’s much easier to start building your student’s portfolio going into high school than it is playing catch up at the end of their senior year!