Formats for transcripts abound, but the basic information that is required remains the same, no matter what the design. A transcript must include the student's identification: name, sex, birth date, and social security number. It should also list a current address and other contact information. It is also professional to provide school identification; the name, address, and phone number for your school should be provided somewhere on the document. The transcript must provide a general history of all subjects that your student studied, their grades earned, and your student's GPA. Providing that information may seem difficult, but it's really very simple. "Physical Education can be logged as anything from biking to basketball," writes homeschooling author Valerie Bendt. "I list cooking, sewing, or cleaning under 'Home Ec'. If the child has done a special picture or project, I log it under Art or Projects. Remember, education does not end with school work." Extracurricular activities like speech, debate, teaching music, etc., should also be included in your student's transcript. So should volunteer hours and other community service. In reality, just about everything your student has done for the past four years should count for something…even caring for a pet or helping with the family car.

Wrapping It All Up: Advice from Current College Students

Adam Carman found applying to college fairly simple, since New York law requires that homeschoolers keep detailed attendance records, grades, and transcripts. "I know a lot of homeschoolers who think they need to take every test that was ever invented," Carman told TOS, "but test scores alone won't put the admissions office in your favor. I think that being able to write a decent essay is very important. The personal essay section of your application shows not only that you have an opinion, but that you can express yourself and get a point across."

Rachel P., a sophomore at Patrick Henry College (PHC) in Virginia, believes that adjusting to college life is a stretch regardless of your educational background. "College isn't boring, dull, or easy," she says. "I do more work here than I've ever done in my life. But surviving it is not impossible…at least, I don't think it is!" What's the key factor to making it through college? According to Rachel, it's having "Extreme self-discipline."

And if your student is concerned about adjusting to the structure and rules of college life, take the advice of this homeschool grad ¾ "It's just a matter of how much you're willing to bend and what your home atmosphere was like growing up. Some colleges have rules that aren't very different from ones you had when you were growing up. Others will have rules that seem like they came from way out in left field. It's all a matter of perspective and background, but if you go into it all looking to learn, I'm sure you'll have a great time and be well educated by the experience."

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Copyright, 2004. The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. Claire is a staff writer for TOS Magazine and has been a published writer since her teens. You can reach her at Claire@TOSMag.com. www.TheHomeschoolMagazine.com