Creating a Homeschool Transcript

July 27th, 2020

What is a transcript?

A transcript is just a one-page summary of your student’s academic record, including information about what your student took, when he took it, his grade for each course, and his GPA, both yearly and cumulative. It should include information about completed work as well as courses your student is currently taking.

The transcript should include any high school courses (or higher-level courses) that your student took in a public school, private school, or the local community college. Include courses that a parent taught or oversaw as well as courses that were outsourced to other teachers.

Many parents also list significant information that goes beyond the classroom, such as extracurricular activities, athletics, awards, honors, volunteer activities, and internships.

Be sure to create a section for your student’s standardized test scores.

Why do you need a transcript?

A high school transcript is necessary when your student seeks admission into a new school or a college, is looking for a job, or is joining the military. Even car insurance companies sometimes offer discounts when they see your student’s grades on a transcript! A transcript can be required years down the road for a variety of reasons, and you, the homeschool administrator, need to be ready to produce one.

If your student is transferring from one school into another, obtain a transcript from the last school the student attended. The transcript will be used to decide which courses your student should take at the new school in order to complete high school. The courses from your student’s old school will appear in the new transcript as transfer credits.

It's no different when your student transfers into Kepler’s diploma track. The transcript you create for your student will be used to determine what courses are transferrable and what courses your student needs to take. Any credits that have been transferred will appear on your student’s Kepler transcript.

You won’t usually need a transcript for the junior high years, but if your 9th grader is seeking admission to Kepler’s honors track, Kepler recommends that you create a transcript for your student’s junior high years. Please talk with our parent/student advisor for more information!

How should I create a transcript?

  1. You can use a free transcript template, which are easy to download and set up. Kepler has one you can download in PDF and Word.
  2. You can use a transcript service.
  3. You can purchase transcript software.
  4. You can enroll your child in a program like Kepler, which includes a transcript as part of its services for students who are enrolled at least two years in our program.

Planning for graduation

It is absolutely imperative that you research your state or national requirements for graduation in order to plan your student’s high school career. Kepler’s diploma track satisfies typical requirements for most locations; however, it is very important that you know the graduation requirements for your specific state or country. Keep checking on these requirements periodically since laws may change from time to time. It’s important also to be aware that each state or country may have different ways of calculating credits. The transcript is the finished document which certifies to government entities that your student received an adequate education.

We encourage you to discuss your local requirements with your Kepler advisor so that we can best accommodate your specific needs.

A stitch in time saves nine

It may seem like common sense, but the biggest and most important thing to do is to keep accurate records DURING high school. Don’t wait until your student is applying for college to start trying to remember what he was working on in the ninth grade!

As soon as a course is completed, add all the information to the transcript. Keep adding the student’s courses and grades for each year he completes. Be diligent and consistent all through your student’s high school.

Remember that as a homeschooler, you can’t always tie things up in neat yearly bundles. That’s OK. If your student didn’t finish a course within the allotted year, let him finish the course the next year and put it on the transcript then. If your student finished in less than four years, this will also be reflected on the transcript.

What information goes on a homeschool transcript?

Contact information: This is the name, address, and phone number of your student and also of your homeschool. These should be listed separately so that it’s clear who the student is and who the administrator (the parent) is.

Academic information: Organize the transcript in chronological order, and group it by semester/trimester/quarter (whatever your school uses), with the most recent classes on the bottom.

Within each year, list the subjects (English, math, science, history, foreign language, etc.) first. Then list the electives. For each course, you’ll need the course title, final grade, and credits given.

Course names should convey the course content. Don’t use a book title like Precalculus: Mathematics in a Nutshell if the course can just be called Precalculus.

You may include courses that were dropped, retaken, or audited.

Normally, the high school transcript only includes high school information. However, if your student took high school level material during 7 th or 8 th grade, be sure to include a section on the transcript for it!

Don’t include all the junior high material, just the high school level courses your student took while in junior high.

Include a section for standardized test scores.

If your student had disciplinary issues, significant absences, suspensions, or other struggles during school, information about this should be mentioned. You can attach a letter explaining how the student worked to improve since then.

Academic summary: For each year, include the GPA. This will show if your student’s GPA was significantly higher or lower at certain times. You may want to attach a note to his transcript to explain a period of illness or any other circumstances that caused his to struggle at any point in his high school career. It’s likely that the requestor will be more understanding if they know that your student really tried to improve afterwards.

At the end of the transcript, include the cumulative GPA.

Certification: Kepler will accept a transcript that has been emailed or mailed from the parent. Please sign and date the transcript before sending it to the Kepler registrar or parent/student advisor.

Whenever your student needs to submit a transcript, you should provide an original of the document, signed and dated in ink by the person who supervised the homeschool education of the student (that would be you, the parent). This date will change anytime you receive a new request and have to print off a new one.

If you are generating your student’s transcript after graduation, include the date of the student’s graduation (month, day, year of completion of 12 th grade courses). The graduation date is not always the same as the date you award the diploma or the date of the graduation ceremony.

If the transcript requestor requires additional proof of your identity, you may need to get the transcript and/or diploma notarized. In that case, don’t sign it until you are in the presence of a notary public (for example, at a bank). This will be proof that you are the person signing the transcript.

What is an “official transcript”?

Sometimes you’ll be asked for an official transcript. In that case, sign and date the transcript, place it in an envelope, seal it, and sign your name across the sealed flap of the envelope.

If your transcript will be submitted via email, you may be asked to provide an electronic signature. You need to create a PDF version of the transcript for this so it cannot be changed by anyone receiving the transcript.

Watermark paper is not necessary usually, but people do often see it as more official and professional-looking, providing the assurance that the document is original and unaltered.