Thursday, April 11, 2019

Transcripts Made Easy (A Homeschool Crew Review)

While my kids are still elementary aged and have a number of years before we start worrying about high school leveled courses, I was super glad to be given the opportunity to review the digital copy of Transcripts Made Easy: The Homeschooler's Guide to High-School Paperwork written by Janice Campbell and published by Everyday Education.

My oldest daughter went to public schools in the state of California.   Unfortunately, her high school only provided enough courses to meet the requirements for a high school diploma and attend a 2 year college but did not provide enough for her for admissions into a 4 year college.  She lacked a 2nd year of foreign language and a third year of math, yet 2nd year Spanish was only offered to 12 students per year as a zero hour class and Algebra 2 was not offered at all.    Sadly, her high school failed her.

Luckily, I can avoid these types of issues when the time comes with Ashleigh and Garrett.  By planning ahead of time, I can guarantee that they each complete the courses they will need for university level acceptance. However, I honestly would not have the first idea how to organize the information in the form of a transcript to provide to potential universities.

That's why Transcripts Made Easy is such a wonderful resource.

In it's 4th edition, the digital version of Transcripts Made Easy is a 138 page PDF format that walks you through the hows and whys of preparing a transcript for your homeschooled high school student.  This resource is very straight forward and lacks the fluff and filler that you often find used to pad the length of other books.  Instead, Janice Campbell gets straight to business in taking you step by step how to organize your student's high school paperwork and translate that to a polished transcript that can be submitted to any college or university.

Included in the table of contents:

Part 1
Meet the Transcript
What is a transcript?
Who needs a transcript?
Who will see the transcript?
What are the parts of the transcript?
Overview of the Transcript Process
Where to Start in This Book
Part 2
Plan with the End in Mind
What to Study in High School
Sample High School Requirements
Skills and Habits to Cultivate in High School
Scheduling Courses
Sample Four-Year Schedule for College-Bound Students
Standardized Tests to Consider
Seven Strategies for a Successful First Year at College
College Alternatives
Six Things Your Teen Can Do While Homeschooling High School
High School Q&A
Teaching Teens
Part 3
Keep Simple Records
High School Binder
Student Work Samples to Keep
How to Use Class Profile Sheets
How to Use Subject Worksheets
Naming Classes
Special-Needs Records and Transcripts with Judith Munday
Special Needs Resource Recommendations from Kathy Kuhl
Part 4
Grades, Credit, and the GPA
Grading Realistically and Ethically
Use Simple Credibility Clinchers
How To Grade Written Work
Writing Evaluation Rubric
Grading for Unschoolers and the Chronically Relaxed
Non-Grading Philosophy
Retrospective Grading
Define a Grading Scale
Assign Quality Points
How to Grant Credit
Granting Credit for Honors Classes
Granting Credit for AP, Dual Credit, or College-Equivalent Classes
Calculate a Grade Point Average
Part 5
Create the Transcript
How to Issue an Official Transcript
Transcript Formats and Examples
Horizontal Transcript Format
Vertical Transcript Formats
Sample: Vertical Transcript Organized by Subject
Sample: Vertical Transcript Organized by Semester
Sample: Vertical Format with Lines
Check-Off Transcript Format
Sample: Check-Off Transcript
High School Diploma Format
How to Create a High School Diploma
Text for Diploma
Part 6
References, Resources, and Reproducibles 
Resources for Planning and Learning
Reproducible Forms
About Janice Campbell

Janice Campbell and her husband Donald are the parents of four sons whom they educated at home
from preschool through early college using methods combining Charlotte Mason, classical education, and the Thomas Jefferson method.  Janice is the author of the Excellence in Literature curriculum  and other homeschool resources.  In addition to writing for various homeschool resources, she had also been a speaker at multiple home school conferences since the 1990's. 

My Thoughts

As mentioned, my kids are still in elementary grades.  However, it is never too early to start thinking and planning for the final end game for their home based education.  While at this point Garrett hasn't expressed any interest in attending college after high school (hopefully that will change), Ashleigh has stated she does want to continue her education and pursue a career in the sciences  (at this point she has stated she wants to study Veterinary Medicine but that could of course change). 

Sample form from Transcripts Made Easy
Transcripts Made Easy gives me the stepping stones needed to make sure that I provide the educational courses that Ashleigh would eventually need in order to get acceptance into the best possible school for the career field she would like.   For example, if Ashleigh's interest remains in Veterinary Medicine, she would most likely wish to attend Texas A&M.  Texas A&M without a doubt has one of the best Veterinary Medicine programs in the country - a fact that the Longhorn in my hates to admit - haha.    Incoming Freshman wishing to be admitted to Texas A&M must have the following courses:   4 years of English, 4 years of Mathematics - three of which must be Algebra 1, Algebra II and Geometry, 4 years of Science  - two of which must be Biology 1, Chemistry 1 or Physics 1, and 2 years of the same foreign language.

Knowing these requirements, I can now sit down with the forms that are provided in Transcripts Made Easy and begin planning out what courses we will have to take in order to meet these requirements.    Then, the book helps walk me through to know now much weight I can credit each course that Ashleigh will eventually take. Does psychology count as a half credit or a whole credit?  What does an acceptable grading scale look like and how should I grade my student's work? What about CLEP tests, the GED or the ACT and SAT - should my student take any of these? And what about those duel credit classes - how do I determine those situations?  Transcripts Made Easy helps the parent navigate all of these types of questions and then translate them ultimately onto paper to best display their student's learning to prospective higher learning establishments.

Overall, I am very grateful to have such a wonderful resource that is straight to the point to walk me thru something that will be one of the most important pieces of paper in my children's education and it will be very valuable in the future.

#hsreviews #highschooltranscripts #homeschoolhighschool #homeschooltranscripts

For more information about Transcripts Made Easy: The Homeschooler's Guide to High-School Paperwork from Everyday Education and author Janice Campbell, please visit their website.  You can also find more information on the following social media platforms:

Be sure to click the banner below to read more reviews from other Crew Members who reviewed Transcripts Made Easy.
Transcripts Made Easy: The Homeschooler's Guide to High-School Paperwork {Everyday Education Reviews}

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