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Suggestions for keeping track of highschool academics?


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I'm just using MS Excel to record everything throughout the year.  At the end of the year, I just create like a big "report card" that contains all of their courses, credit hours, books read or curricula used, labs, activities, field trips, volunteer work, PE hours, etc.   :glare:   It ends up being about 6 or 7 pages.  It's not the best system in the world, but it's free and I haven't found anything better yet, either.

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I'm just using MS Excel to record everything throughout the year.  At the end of the year, I just create like a big "report card" that contains all of their courses, credit hours, books read or curricula used, labs, activities, field trips, volunteer work, PE hours, etc.   :glare:   It ends up being about 6 or 7 pages.  It's not the best system in the world, but it's free and I haven't found anything better yet, either.

 

Free sounds way cheaper than $20 a month!

 

Thanks!

 

Alley

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Are you just looking for a way of record-keeping?

 

The cheapest route (and not that hard to do) is to DIY. Make your own, or use free templates. Printing out a log-sheet for tracking hours, and then at the end of each quarter write down your booklist/materials for each class (you might even be able to write that down on the same page for the hours logged -- do one page per class), and keep a binder or file folder. That only takes a few pieces of paper and 10 minutes a week to log hours, and 30 minutes at the end of the quarter to update booklists.

 

Make your transcript in a spread-sheet program, page-layout program, or even a word-processing program, and at the end of each semester, just update with credits/grades. At the end of the year, take a few hours and create a word-processing document for your Course Descriptions, and write up a paragraph on each course (course provider (if outsourced), overview of the course focus, major skills/goals covered, and major books/materials used). Check. Done.

 

FREE printable record-keeping forms:

• I Am Homeschooling: free parent planner printables

• Thought Co.: free printable homeschool forms

• Family Schoolhouse: free record-keeping printable forms

• Free Homeschool Deals: list of free homeschool planners (from 2013; don't know how many of the links are still active, but there are a lot of links)

 

For a FEE record-keeping forms/templates:

• Donna Young: High School Forms (basic yearly subscription = $25; "young minds" yearly subscription = $40)

 

I believe all of these books also have printable record-keeping templates:

• Senior High: A Home-Designed Form+U+La, by Barbara Shelton

• High School 101: Blueprint for Success (Vicki Bently) -- download or print from Lulu

• The High School Handbook: For Junior High, Too (Mary Scholfield)

• Setting the Records Straight, by Lee Binz

• Transcripts Made Easy, by Janice Campbell

 

Free transcript templates:

• How to Homeschool Today: transcript creator

• Serving Day: homeschool transcript template

• Pros and Cons of Homeschooling: homeschool high school transcript

 

Free tutorial on building your own transcript template:

• HS4CC Academy: build a homeschool transcript in MS Word step-by-step course

 

Or, if you need/want a software that both tracks hours and creates a transcript for you:

• Transcript Boot Camp DVD & Transcript Pro

• Homeschool Tracker

• EduTracker

 

Online record-keeping services:

• FREE: Home School Incorporated (does NOT store your records; for creating/printing only)

• NOT free: Homeschool Skedtrack

• NOT free: My Homeschool Transcripts

• NOT free: My Home School Grades

 

Miscellaneous website resources to help in record-keeping/transcripts:

• GPA Calculator

• Weighted GPA Calculator

• Transcript & Record Keeping info: Lee Binz, The Home Scholar

• NCAA: required record keeping for homeschoolers

Edited by Lori D.
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I am in the throes of college application season right now (x2) for the first time. I am going to do things so differently for my dd to avoid what I'm going through now.  This is what I _wish_ I had done. I'd have saved so much time and angst.

 

1) Go to hs2coll yahoo group's files.  Download Dori's "Transcript Final" transcript template.

 

2) At the beginning of the year, fill in all the student's classes, including any 8th grade/pre-high school classes that I think I _might_ _possibly_,  _at some point_  want to include with the student's high school classes.

 

3 At the beginning of every.single.year, create an "Xth Grade Course Description" document.  Write my own course description for any home-based courses and/or copy and paste any outsourced course descriptions to this document.

 

4) At the end of the year, make any necessary changes to the courses listed on the transcript, assign credits, and fill in the grades.

 

Do this every.single.year.

 

5) The "Xth Grade Course Description" document would include, for each class: 

a) course name

b) course description

c) source (ie, home-based, Wilson Hill Academy, Pennsylvania Homeschoolers,...)

d) instructor

e) prerequisites (bec. why not?)

f) list of texts/materials used

 

 

6) During the year, keep at least two or three completed assignments from each course. For outsourced classes, be sure to download & save samples by July 1, when it seems most online courses purge student's work. (I'm going to also keep a physical binder, for each year, with these docs and samples bec it is much more motivating to me to have something physically in front of me. Soft copies are out of sight, out of mind.)

 

 

I would NOT waste time looking for some fancy, pretty, online do-it-all planner/transcript creator/ANYthing to do this for you. There isn't anything perfect. I would not waste money buying some organizer thing that I will only have to waste time tweaking.

 

Do not get bogged down in looking through hundreds of options for doing this or that grand thing. You need to gather the basic information (courses, grades, description, texts used) and the samples to support it. Just start. You will not know what "perfect" is for you until you start with something and see something that you'd really like to add or do differently.

 

 

 

 

Edited by yvonne
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For assignments/tests/lab reports/papers and anything else I graded, I simply kept a one-page sheet behind a tab divider for each subject in my "teacher binder." Sometimes it was a listing of assignments or a grade sheet that a curriculum provider had on their website (free to print out), and sometimes it was literally the TOC from the curriculum, photocopied--and I wrote next to each lesson what the grade was. 

 

At the end of the year, I compiled all of the information into a "rough" document for my own purposes (grading basis, listing of materials used, a rough description--something that could be made into course descriptions easily if going for scholarships but otherwise so you can remember for the next child what you like to do!), and then I put the computed grades into a transcript form (I downloaded one from Lee Binz). I did purchase one of her products, but there's lots of free stuff out there too. Definitely many ways to do it for less than $20 a month X 12 months X 4!!

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3 At the beginning of every.single.year, create an "Xth Grade Course Description" document. Write my own course description for any home-based courses and/or copy and paste any outsourced course descriptions to this document.

 

4) At the end of the year, make any necessary changes to the courses listed on the transcript, assign credits, and fill in the grades.

 

Do this every.single.year.

I agree with this post. Dd#1 is starting her junior year and I tried to do two years of course descriptions this summer. What a headache! I started her junior year class descriptions, but I think I'll have an easier time after they are done. (Or maybe trying to write three years worth at once was too much.)

 

Dd#2 is starting her freshman year and while I have a tentative transcript started, I haven't started her course descriptions yet. Next summer, I will get it started and polish up dd#2's. Sooooo much easier to do each year than all at once later!!!!

 

Also, have a place to scribble down extra curriculars and volunteer activities throughout the year. It is easy to forget them once time has passed. I keep this handy vs stored away because if I have to pull out a folder or binder, I'll put it off and forget or lose the info (like if I write it on a Post It note).

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