So, how do you do that? Well, the summer is a wonderful time to get yourself organized. I have had two children graduate from high school and have experimented with several transcript templates, have experienced the admissions and scholarship processes and have helped my students prepare for the standardized testing. A well organized mom or dad can keep good records and present professional documents when their child applies to college.
So, where to start? First, if you want to provide your child with a similar course load as the public school system, visit your state educational website to learn of the credits needed for graduation. In addition, consider the 'extra' activities that your child is already doing that could also count as 'class time.' For example, my children have always spent a great deal of time in music lessons, music theory and practice. The hours added up over the year, providing four credits for 'fine arts.' Also, each of my children has participated in some sort of 'club' or recreational sport, some team sports, etc. Again, the hours added up and those have been used as the PE credit (or, in some cases a 1/2 credit). Finally, my children have done Awanas since they were little. The high school requirements of Bible reading, memorization and meeting time again added up to credit for high school. Once you know the total number of class credits your child will need, make a total list and then break down by year. For example, most students should have four years of math, so include one math each year. I would encourage you to go ahead and enter all your information and have the transcript saved on your computer...it will help to just have to enter grades once a year.
Another great resource that will help you stay organized is a free on-line gradebook called 'engrade' (engrade.com). Many co-ops and schools use this source and individual families can also use it to keep track of all assignment grades. At the end of each year, your final grades can be transferred to the transcript. Each year, you should also enter the 'extra curricular' activities, jobs, educational enhancements, honors, etc. that your child has completed or received during the year.
In my searches, I have found several helpful sites for transcripts. Be careful in downloading special software, etc. as they can introduce viruses to your computer. Simple forms that are downloaded and then suited to your needs are the best. Below are those links.
So, take some time this summer to get organized in your record keeping! I have friends who have homeschooled their children and these children are now at schools like Grove City, Harvard, University of Dallas, Duke, Princeton, University of Maryland, Messiah, Geneva, and the list goes on! Some homeschooled kids may decide to take an inexpensive option and go to the community college for a year or two. THIS IS A WONDERFUL OPTION, so don't discount this idea! You will save money and get a jump on the 4-year university requirements. If you are afraid they won't be challenged, then have them apply to the HONORS PROGRAM. This will add some rigorous components to their time at the community college