Building a Transcript – Choosing a Format & Assembly

Written by Shannon

Today we continue our “Let’s Build a Transcript” theme. So far, we’ve gathered information using three prompts, and last week had our “Let’s Build a Transcript” live session.

Today let’s first talk about Choosing a Transcript format.

In Transcript Basics – especially the new version from April – I shared the common – and not so common – formats for American high school transcripts. The most common being either By Year or By Subject.

Just choose one to start with. It’s the same information, just organized and formatted differently. You can always change formats later, if you find a different format would fit your teen’s education better.

If you don’t already have a Transcript format template to get started with, I’ve added the two templates I use to the Free Resource Library to get you started.

One is organized in the standard 4-year format, and the other is a by subject format that is often easier and more appropriate for unschoolers and relaxed or eclectic homeschoolers.

You can customize the templates as you need, to fit however you’d like to package up your teen’s high school years. 

You can also use the templates as working documents until you find a format you prefer or until you are ready to use one of the transcript services.  They are there to get you started.

If you are not using grades or are only including grades for outside graded classes, then you can adapt the Grades column to fit your homeschool. The example in Anatomy of a Transcript shows how I did this for my kids.

Assembling the Transcript

Once you’ve chosen your format and template, you can start adding your teen’s specific information. The Transcript is just like any other form, as long as you already have the information, it’s just a matter of filling in the blanks.

I usually start a brand new transcript with the information that doesn’t change, but is critical to get correct:

  • Student Information
  • School Information
  • Name and academic year range in Certification box (note: if you are flexible on how years high school will be, just put in a placeholder, and be sure to update as needed later.)
  • Grading Statement (if you have one)

Next, begin building the academic record, including both conventionally earned credits and credits identified from their interests, passions, and deep dives.

You need:

  • Subject
  • Course Title
  • Date Credit was Completed (use “In progress” if a half credit is not yet complete)
  • Credits earned: either .5 (half credit) or 1.0 (a full credit)
  • Grade (if you are using grades)

If I haven’t determined the course titles for the identified (captured) credits, then I’ll put in a placeholder, and then do that research as needed.

If your teen just finished their first year, it may not look like much. That’s okay!  Over time, their transcript will be full of their body of learning, skills, and experience gained during the high school years or at the high school level.

It’s been very common to end up with so many credit possibilities that you have to whittle it down. As homeschoolers our teens just have so many opportunities and often do such amazing things.

If you have any questions or scenarios that arise that you’d like me to cover, please reach out via email. I’d love to hear from you.

Until Next Time, Happy Learning!

P.S. If credits are new to you or you have questions on how to calculate credits, please be sure to watch either Transcript Basics in the Free Resource Library, or the Understanding Credits video.

Next in the Building a Homeschool Transcript Series:
Planned Credit vs. Captured Credit
Naming Courses

Previously in the Building a Homeschool Transcript Series
Building a Transcript – Pre-Work Prompt 1
Building a Transcript – Pre-Work Prompt 2
Building a Transcript – Pre-Work Prompt 3

Read More Articles:

Planned Credit vs. Captured Credit

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