By Lee Binz
Some people think that a grade is a grade, but there is a difference between the grade on your tests and the grade on a transcript. Many homeschool parents think that if they are using a curriculum that has tests, and they give their child those tests, that all they have to do is calculate the average of all of those tests.
This isn’t how it works. One of the things that you have to remember is that when children are in a school environment they are evaluated in a lot of different ways besides tests. They are graded on attendance, turning in of their homework, quizzes, and whether they showed up for class. They’re offered extra credit on things. In fact, it’s not uncommon for them to have the possibility of a 120% on their grades. So if you’re evaluating your children based solely on tests, you are actually putting them at a disadvantage.
You want to make sure that if you use tests for something, you’re also balancing that with other ways, non-tests ways, that you have evaluated your children. You combine those together and that’s the grade you put on your transcript.
There are also differences between transcripts and course descriptions. Colleges are going to absolutely need a transcript. They really need to know the names of the classes, what it was you taught, the credit value so they know how much of it you taught, and the grade so that they know how well your child has learned. That is the information that is on the transcript. It is usually one-page long and it’s just that, a one page overview. A little snapshot of your child which is completely different than course descriptions.
Course descriptions are a paragraph long description of what you did in your class. That is where you list things like using WriteShop or supplementing with WordSmith or writing an essay using techniques from the Institute for Excellence in Writing. That is where you put in all those sorts of details.
One little tip, if course descriptions freak you out, I suggest that you write a list. Keep a nice list, and you can go back to it later and make it into a beautiful prose of a course description. But if you just start by keeping the list, you are going to be ahead of the game.
Do you need more information about homeschool transcripts and grades? Lee Binz offers the Total Transcript Solution. It will show you how to create an AMAZING homeschool transcript that will impress the colleges! Lee also offers an award winning homeschool website that will help you with your homeschool high school needs.
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