Let’s finish up this series of articles on “record keeping” with some further practical information on transcripts and diplomas:

The transcript must contain the following information:

1. Personal information including name, parents’ name, school name (home), date of birth, gender, social security number*, address, phone number, and expected graduation date.

*It is necessary to include the SSN if the student is applying for any kind of financial aid or for a job. If you do not want to publish the SSN on the transcript, just be prepared to supply it when asked by the recipient.

2. Course and credit information including course description or name, grade level, units, letter grade, and points (grade points times units—see grade point averages earlier in the chapter).

3. The cumulative grade point average.

4. A list of extracurricular activities and all awards from high school years.

5. An explanation of any paid or volunteer work experience.

6. A list of hobbies and interests.

7. A note of explanation on how you awarded credits and grades. This is important to show that you actually did have a method, and to highlight any irregular practices you may have used in your system.

The home-school transcript does not need to include class rank--which is of course silly for a class of one. Colleges recognize this and are not interested in that information from home-school students. They may, however, request other standardized test scores (IOWA, Stanford Achievement, etc.) or a portfolio in place of class rank.

We have provided a sample transcript for you at our website www.davidandlaurie.com/transcript.chtml and a blank copy in the appendix of our book that you may reproduce.

High School Diploma

Many parents are concerned that they need to have a diploma that is certified by a public or private school. This is absolutely not true. A high school diploma is simply a certificate indicating the end of a course of study. If we as parents have provided the entire course of study for our children, or even have provided the final time period of such instruction, we are just as qualified to award the completion certificate as anyone else (in spite of what the NEA may think.)

So how does one prepare a diploma for the graduate? Simply go to a local stationery store and order one, or for those of you who know of HSLDA, there is one you can order right from their Web site!

For further information on diplomas, please see our book - The Guidance Manual for the Christian Home School, or our June 2000 articles in the archives entitled “Commencement Time.”

Conclusion

Every prospective employer, college, university, or military organization will have its own specifications for what information they want from the applicant. Even if you have done a good job of record keeping, the form your records are in may not exactly match what is requested. However, it should be easy for you to make changes in how the information is reported to conform to any request. You will not want to have to try to reconstruct four years of study at the end of the senior year - it will be very difficult. Keeping consistent records through the years is not difficult, or even time consuming if you know what information is important and you have a method for keeping it.

For information on the Grand Plan, please see our Guidance Manual and our July 2001 article in the archives entitled “The Grand Plan.” For information on what constitutes a credit and what courses are necessary in the high school years, please see our Guidance Manual and our March 2000 article in the archives entitled “High School: The Basics.”

The Guidance Manual for the Christian Home School: A Parent's Guide to Preparing Home School Students for College or Career To order a copy or see what else David and Laurie are up to, go to their web site at davidandlaurie.com. You can chat with David and Laurie live every Saturday night in HomeSchool Chat!