It’s only the most important homeschool document you’ll ever create! No pressure.
If you’re starting from scratch and haven’t written a transcript before, you can get the whole soup-to-nuts version in Chapter 7 of Homeschooling for College Credit (2nd edition).
Families who have a lot of college credit often worry about how to record credit earned through dual enrollment, CLEP, or ACE. Our families also want to be sure they are assigning the proper letter grades, calculating their GPA accurately, and not missing any key essentials.
If you’re really starting from scratch, my advice is to read the full chapter, do a template on your computer, and just dive in. You can make revisions later, but getting something down on paper (so you don’t have to trust your memory) is a really good first step.
If you just need some quick advice to get going, this page will cover the FAQ’s and a few really amazing resources.
- Length? 1 page
- Titles? Keep them simple
- Fonts and colors? Resist the urge.
- + and – grades? Only if you like doing extra math.
- To weigh or not to weigh? Un-weighted grades are being asked for time and time again. When in doubt, do it both ways.
- 1 college course (3 credits) = 1 high school credit
- The word “CLEP” shouldn’t appear on a high school transcript (because YOU can’t award college credit) instead, call it what it is: “U.S. History I” and if you want to dress it up, add the word “Honors” to the title.
Transcript Examples You Can See
HSLDA has a nice section of samples, videos, and tutorials that can walk you through a lot of the basics. HSLDA Transcript Help page
My favorite GPA calculator is Back2College SUPER easy to use, I’ve used it for at least 5 years. Totally free, but it is really just a calculator. They use a standard 4.0 grading scale, so if you’re planning to use a different weighted grade scale, this isn’t the best site.
Alternative GPA calculator if you use weighted grades GPA Calculator
Free Transcript Template
My favorite ready-made free transcript template is by How To Homeschool You can create a pdf document that can then be printed or saved on your computer. Uses a standard 4.0 grading scale.
Transcript Services For Hire
If you want to use an online template that looks really official, HSLDA offers a transcript service. Note that they won’t write your transcript for you, rather you enter your data in their system and they store it for 12 months. While I have not personally used it, I know many who have and were very satisfied with the product. HSLDA Transcript Service
Build a Transcript Yourself
My recommendation for those of you doing this more than once is to just build your own. For those of you with strong computer skills, you can set up an Excel Spreadsheet that calculates your GPA for you (cool!).
For those of you with intermediate computer skills, you can build a document in Word or Open Office, and fill in your own courses. You won’t be able to automatically calculate the GPA, but you can use the free GPA calculator link above to work that out. This is the method I use for my kids, and after you to the first one, you’ll have no trouble building others.
If you’re totally starting from scratch, I offer an online short-course that literally takes you from a blank sheet of paper to a finished transcript in under an hour. It is written for the beginner and can be rewatched as many times as you need.
After the course, you can send me your transcript through the “dropbox” and it will be sent directly to my email. I’ll take a look and see if everything looks good. This is optional, but it’s included in the price.