[This is one in a 3-part series. To view the next post, click HERE.]
I’ll cut right to the chase. The takeaway from this article is to start high school transcripts early. And by early, I mean at the end of 8th grade or the beginning of 9th. Some of you planning-types may want to do it even earlier.
And whatever you do, don’t start one in the middle of a school year. Not when everything is in full swing. Use vacation time or summer break. Or, if you don’t get those, then give yourself a planning day to create a blank transcript. Better yet, take a couple of days to begin focusing on all of the other record-keeping strategies you’ll want to put in place for high school at the same time, too.
Here’s why you must begin your child’s transcript early:
By starting in 9th, the blank transcript is set up and ready to go. It’s typed up. It’s saved to a computer. You like it. You trust it. It contains a place for every little thing you know needs to be there. It’s printed out, and a blank copy is pinned to a bulletin board. It’s ready when you are.
It takes time to get a transcript just right. Spacing takes time. Grading formulas must be thought out. Advanced design elements take time to figure out, especially if this is the first time you’ve ever done a transcript.
With a blank framework already in place, you’ll never need to do that step again. Ever. It becomes a fill-in-the-blank kind of thing forever more. You can drop things in any time you get a minute. Updates are quick. Entries are a breeze. Changes take no time at all.
Finally, it avoids you reaching the finish line unprepared. I call that, “transcript horror”, which is basically your worst nightmare — the one in which you’ve been asked to recreate the last 4 years of homeschool entirely from memory. Oh, and part of the nightmare is that your student’s entire future depends on your ability to perform this task in, say, a couple of hours or less. Perfectly. Otherwise, he won’t get in to college, get a job, earn scholarship money or have a good life.
Early transcript prep is one the greatest returns on the high school investment. A great transcript goes a long, long way for your student. I have seen lots of transcripts over the years, so you’ll have to trust me on this one. Your student deserves better than a last-minute, hastily thrown together sheet of paper that barely meets minimum standards.
Do you have a student grades 7th, 8th or 9th grade right now? Can you guess what time it is?
Unless you already have a transcript hanging from the wall, the time to create one is now. Get working.
P.S. I have extra transcript help in my e-book, Ten Steps to the Finish Line. Find it in my book store.
Dr. Marie-Claire Moreau is a college professor who traded in her tenure to become a homeschool mom 20+ years ago. A homeschooling pioneer and the founder of many groups and organizations, she works to advance home education, and is an outspoken supporter of education reform coast to coast. Her book, Suddenly Homeschooling: A Quick Start Guide to Legally Homeschool in Two Weeks, is industry-acclaimed as it illustrates how homeschooling can rescue children and families from the public school system, and how anyone can begin homeschooling within a limited time-frame, with no teaching background whatsoever. A writer, a homeschool leader, and a women’s life coach, Marie-Claire mentors in a variety of areas that impact health, education and lifestyle. A conference speaker, she has appeared at FPEA/Tampa, H.E.R.I., HECOA, Start Homeschooling Summit, Luminous Mind, Vintage Homeschool Moms, iHomeschool Network, and other events. Her articles have appeared in and on Holistic Parenting, CONNECT, Homefires, Homemaking Cottage, Kiwi, Circle of Moms, and hundreds of sites and blogs nationwide. Marie-Claire can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.