From the HSLDA E-lert Service:


11/10/2005 4:36:49 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru High School Newsletter -- November 2005

HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru High School Newsletter -- November 2005

Dear Friends,

Welcome to another edition of HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru High School
newsletter. We trust your year has started off well, and you are
comfortably settled into your school routine. After all, it's already
November and you're probably thinking about Thanksgiving, with the
family recounting the Lord's goodness, turkey and all of the
trimmings, tasty pumpkin pies, and... transcripts, right? Well, maybe
not. But colleges, trade schools, employers, the military, and others
will likely request a high school transcript from your student in the
near future. When they do, you'll want to be prepared!

Here are some general guidelines to follow when creating a transcript.

A transcript is simply a concise and accurate record of your child's
academic courses taken during the high school years. The easiest way
to create one is to begin compiling the information when your child is
in 9th grade and add to it each year thereafter. But if your child is
already a senior, no need to despair! Just take some time to gather
the information that's needed, and you'll know that the transcript is
complete, ready, and waiting to be sent out whenever it is requested.

Transcripts are usually one page long and include the following

> Child's name, address, phone, birth date, and social security number
> Parents' names
> Current school year
> Child's grade level
> Courses taken, credit awarded and final grade for each course
> Grading scale *
> Grade point average (GPA) for each school year
> Cumulative GPA
> Date of graduation

*(Note: If your child is taking courses from a variety of sources,
such as parent-taught classes, online classes, and community college,
then it may not be possible to provide a uniform grading scale.)

The transcript should be signed and dated by the parent as the person
who supervised and evaluated the homeschool high school program.

Extracurricular activities, job employment, awards, and honors can be
described on an additional sheet, but be sure to keep this brief.

Keep in mind that the transcript is your child's introduction to an
educational institution or prospective employer. The transcript should
be typed, polished, and professional looking. Make sure the
information is shown in a clear and straightforward manner. Each
transcript should be an original and signed individually--this is no
time for quick, blurred copies from a copier. Use good-quality paper
and have someone else look over the transcript to correct spelling
errors and check GPA calculations.

Sound confusing? Don't panic. We've put together a sample transcript
that includes GPA calculations.

Sample Transcript with GPA Calculations [PDF File]

You'll find more helpful guidelines at the following links:

HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru High School website

Senior High: A Home-Designed Form+u+la by Barbara Edtl Shelton

Homeschooling High School-Planning Ahead for College Admission
by Jeanne Gowan Dennis; forward by Michael Farris

Now that you have an idea of the content of a transcript, let's
discuss how to evaluate credits and calculate GPAs.

There are several ways to evaluate credits. If your child completes a
high school-level text by a reputable publisher in an academic course
(math, science, English, foreign language, or history), consider the
material covered to be one credit. Covering the material in a textbook
does not necessarily mean doing every problem, answering every
question, or reading the book from cover to cover, but you should
diligently cover the material presented. Some authors calculate
teaching 75% of a textbook to equal one credit, but the bottom line
is, don't shortchange your child. As an example, you may not spend as
much time nor go into as much detail on the Vietnam War as you do on
World War II, but you would still want to be certain that your child
has an understanding of the main points regarding the Vietnam War. Let
integrity be your guide.

(California residents may want to see the California supplement in the
following book that explains credits in their state: The High School
Handbook-Junior and Senior High School at Home by Mary Schofield, .)

For courses that do not use a standard high school-level
textbook-perhaps you are putting together your own unit study, or you
are using an integrated curriculum-log the hours that your child
spends completing the course work. One credit is approximately 120-180
hours of work. Don't become legalistic in keeping track of each
minute, but generally, when evaluating credit for an academic course,
a good rule of thumb is 50 minutes a day, 5 days a week for 36 weeks,
for a one-credit course.

Logging hours is also a good method of determining credit for elective
courses such as art, music, sewing, carpentry, web page design, etc.
For a half-credit elective, log approximately 75 hours; for a
quarter-credit elective, log approximately 38 hours.

Since a transcript includes final grades for each course, you will
need to determine how you will evaluate your child's work. Be as
objective as you can--don't simply give your child an A for every
course unless he does superior work consistently. College admissions
officers will look at the correlation between transcript grades and
scores on college admission exams; therefore, be careful of grade
inflation. Grades serve as important feedback for your child. Since
grading can be a somewhat intimidating topic for homeschoolers, we've
come up with some tips and guidelines that we hope will be of service
to you.

Grading Guidelines for High School Credit

Once you have listed your child's courses, credits, and grades on the
transcript, you are ready to compute his grade point average, or GPA.
If you can do basic math (and we know you can!), then calculating a
GPA is simple. Each letter grade is first translated into points. In
the most basic system, an A is worth 4 points, a B is 3 points, a C is
2 points, a D is 1 point, and an F is 0 points. Take the final letter
grade for each course and convert it into points. Then multiply this
number by the credit for that course. Once this is done for each
course, add up the total number of quality points and divide by the
total number of credits to arrive at the GPA.

Sample Transcript with GPA Calculations [PDF File]

For further information regarding transcripts, credits, grades, and
more, see the following article. Even if your child is not planning to
attend college, you will find the details it contains invaluable for
planning out a high school program and preparing a transcript:

Preparing for College

Next month's newsletter will explain the documentation and
recordkeeping that are necessary as you homeschool during the high
school years.

As always, we consider it a joy and a blessing to come alongside each
of you as you homeschool through high school. We pray for you as you
teach your children. Walk in grace, and give thanks for those precious

Joy to you,
Becky and Diane
HSLDA High School Coordinators

What's new on the Homeschooling Thru High School website?

Resources for Resumes and Interviewing Tips

-> Are you "organizationally challenged"?

Finding the time to organize your home, your schedule, and your
silverware drawer is difficult enough. We have something that will
take the pressure off as you organize your homeschool.
Home School Minder will help with your schedule, lesson plans,
grades, transcripts, and much more . . . everything except those
missing socks. Free to families who join HSLDA for two years.

More reasons to join HSLDA...

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