Transcripts, Credits, and Graduation - High School Help!
February 28, 2018
Hey Mama,

Are you preparing to homeschool high school? Perhaps you’re already in the midst of transcripts and credits—with graduation looming in front of you. Or maybe you have a very excited and energetic rising ninth grader highly anticipating these high school years and being treated more “grown up” (ha!—whatever that means). 

Either way, you can homeschool through high school. It’s not as scary as it seems—I promise (been there, done that). And God is good—ALL the time—through electives, transcripts, and choosing the right major and college. He’s got this, and He’s got you!

But if you need a little extra confidence boost, read these tips for high school from The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine:

And remember, Mama . . .

Our mantra to Christians—keep your kids “home where they belong.” That doesn't change when your kids reach high school. It may even be more important at that time than any other.
Most crucially, trust in the Lord. Do not be discouraged. Do not fear. Do not be overwhelmed. Trust the One who has it all under control; you can trust His heart. You should walk in confidence. He has called you to this path for His great reasons. There's such purpose here, His master plan, so look to your great God and Savior to carry you. He will. 

Is Jesus Lord of your life? Guess what? He will NEVER forsake you. The Lord does not lie.

He said it, and I believe it. He will never abandon His own.

“And those who know Your name will put their trust in You, for You, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.” - Psalm 9:10 

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” - Joshua 1:9 

Yes, you CAN homeschool through high school! Your kids will remember you for it; this time is so short with them. Influence them for Christ! Embrace this wonderful season, Mama. His hand is on your head through it all. May they rise up and call you blessed. 

Love, gena

Hey Everyone, a couple days ago we sent out a notice that the new SPRING issue is released. But we had a glitch. It's up now - please go look at it and email me, tell me what you think of it!
Michelle Beazer
When my oldest kid was in grade 2 or 3, we started homeschooling because public schools were closed for a few weeks due to a province-wide teachers strike. The Ministry of Education provided lesson materials on their website. It was only a few weeks, but it was a good experience—kind of like a forced experiment ;-) 

After the strike my daughter went back to school, but she was in and out due to social and bullying issues. As our second child neared school age and his medical autism spectrum issues became apparent, I spent many hours in prayer about what to do with him. We decided school would not be the best place for him. It seemed natural to keep the other kids home as well. Like most of you, this homeschooling lifestyle grew out of either necessity or a desire to remain connected and involved in our children's growth and development. 

Fast forward 10 years and two more children. . . 

Our eldest had returned to school in middle school and was doing well in high school. Then we realized high school was looming in the near future for child number 2 and child number 3. At that time, we were involved in a really great co-op group. I had access to everyone else's experiences! 

The route to graduating that my middle 2 chose was a mixture of independent learning, classes outside our family with other groups of kids, and online classes with the Virtual Learning Centre. Record keeping was the key to building their transcripts. I'm not saying there weren't quite a few hiccoughs getting that part figured out! 

Both of my middle kids decided to ease their way into our local high school between the ages of 16 and 17, mostly because there were classes and opportunities available at school that were difficult to replicate at home or in private classes without spending more money than we had! Let’s face it, we were already paying for public school with our taxes :-)

Walking into the guidance office with a list of classes they had done and how well they had done along with all their volunteer work really helped with the transition. The school administration was willing to work with us to let them pick and choose which classes they were interested in, as well as accommodating part-time attendance. 

Both the kids are going on to post-secondary degrees. My son is currently serving a mission and will be going to college when he returns and my daughter will be starting college in the Fall.

Child number 4 is 12 now—so I get to do it all again soon!!

Michelle is a Canadian homeschooling mom to four great kids including two on the autism spectrum, one of whom is the owner of She also has two adorable granddaughters. They have been homeschooling for 20 years. Michelle is the Marketing Assistant, Canadian Division, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine.
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When we teach our children at home, we are set free from so much of the nonsense of institutional schools. We are no longer tied to their schedules! We don’t have to use their curriculum! Our children aren’t bored to tears, standing in lines and listening to announcements! And no report cards! 

Until they hit high school. Then you panic. No! Then, you’ve got to start assigning grades and put together a transcript.

Why is that? Well, think of it this way. Teachers send a report card home to let parents know how a child is doing. But, you are the teacher and the parent. You can have a parent-teacher conference in your head! Why bother with grades?

But when your child is ready to graduate, suddenly your tiny school has to send a message to employers and admissions officers and scholarship committees. Of course, your kids are brilliant, but those other folks don’t get to watch your kids in action. They need a transcript that communicates how well this child performs as a student. 

But here’s the catch—you can’t communicate if you don’t speak the same language. If your thermometer is marked in Fahrenheit, and your Canadian friend’s reads in Celsius, you have to be careful to speak in terms you both understand. “Zero degrees” is cold either way, but they’re not the same on both sides of the border! 

In the same way, use the terms and format everyone else does. A college would rather see “English III” or “Biology I” than the title of your favorite homeschool curriculum. Give them a single page transcript like all the others they receive. If they want more detail, they’ll ask for it! Most colleges do not want course descriptions. Do send along a resume of their extracurricular activities, though.

Don’t be overly strict about grading. Sympathetic college officials tell us that homeschoolers often grade their students more harshly than the public schools do. We don’t want to inflate our kids’ grades –that’s not honest! But it isn’t helpful to deflate our students’ grades, either. Grades should reflect their mastery of the material. If they test poorly, be sure to count homework, discussion, and projects so their grades reflect their knowledge, not their inability to game the tests. 

Don’t worry. We’ve graduated four kids so far who applied to dozens of top colleges between them. No one ever questioned our homemade transcripts, and all of them were offered multiple academic scholarships. You can do this, and yes, the colleges will take you seriously!

Get our FREE College Decision Resource Package for free downloads and useful information about planning, applying, getting in, and getting funded! 

In Christ,
Hal and Melanie
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Stacy Farrell
In the joyful chaos that was my life when my second son was born a mere nineteen months after my first, a dear friend warned me, “The days are long, but the years are short.” 

Now that my sons are eighteen and twenty, I marvel at the truth of her statement.

Where did the time go?

I’m so grateful that my husband suggested we homeschool. Thanks to his leadership, I have a collection of memories of learning side-by-side with my sons. 

We studied many subjects together: world history, philosophy, Constitutional literacy, speech and debate, writing…. 

But my sons are young men now. They’re engaged in independent learning that will further equip them to lead their own families and make a positive impact on His world.


Today, many employers view a college degree the way they once viewed a high school diploma. Some doors simply will not open without one. 

When my sons entered high school, we began searching for ways to obtain that “career key” without incurring a burden of debt. 


We soon discovered that there are efficient AND economical ways to earn college credit. 

  • Many community colleges have dual enrollment programs that allow high school students to do coursework that earns them both high school and college credit. 
  • High school students who score 3 or higher on Advanced Placement (AP) exams may be eligible for advanced placement or college credit. 
  • There are also organizations that specialize in helping high school students earn college credit through online courses or other forms of testing. 


My sons participated in the CollegePlus/Lumerit Scholar Unbound program and earned college credits through CLEP tests, DSST tests, and Excelsior exams

My son, Roger, graduated high school with a full year of college credit. He continued earning credits for another year before enrolling as a junior at Liberty University Online.

My son, Ryan, has already earned more than a year of college credit and is taking online courses through Lumerit. He expects to enroll in Liberty University Online soon.


Some fields of study require a traditional approach to college. (For those, you may be able to save time and money if there is a dual enrollment program offered at your local community college.) 

However, many careers can easily accommodate alternative approaches to college such as those discussed in this article. I highly recommend that you look into them!


If you’d like to hear more about alternative approaches, join me for a free webinar I’m hosting with Woody Robertson on March 27th. ( Register here.)

You can also read about our family’s experience. ( Click here.
Or, stop by Home School Adventure Co.’s booth at the Great Homeschool Conventions, and we can talk about it in person!

With joy (Phil. 1:4),

P.S. - Are you attending any of the Great Homeschool Conventions? I’ll be speaking on philosophy, writing, and time management. I’d love to meet you. 

If you’re on Facebook, stop by to “like” and “follow” our page for inspiration and encouragement!

Stacy Farrell is the author of more than ten books on a variety of topics, including time management, motherhood, manhood, philosophy ( Philosophy Adventure), and writing. This year, she is a featured speaker at the Great Homeschool Conventions. Although she loves to write, speak, and teach, Stacy considers her role as wife to Roger and mother to two precious sons to be her greatest work and privilege. Learn more about her resources at
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Lee Binz, The HomeScholar
Are you wondering if you can homeschool high school? Yes, you can! Homeschooling provides the best preparation for college and for life, and parents can provide a superior education! Here are five fundamentals to help you homeschool high school effectively. 

1. Make an official high school transcript.
Colleges and employers need to see your child’s homeschool transcript. Your job as a homeschooling parent is to take their normal and natural homeschool experience and translate it into words and numbers colleges and employers understand. Don’t change the way you homeschool if it’s working. Instead, translate what you’re already doing into grades and credits so colleges understand and appreciate what your child has accomplished.

2. Give grades for every class.
Your homemade homeschool transcript is valid, and your grades are valid, too. Don’t focus on tests; focus on learning. When you give grades on the transcript, think beyond tests, and consider every way you have evaluated. You have a lot of leeway when evaluating your student’s work. You are competent and capable of evaluating your children and providing them with a superior education through homeschooling.

3. Grant high school credit for work done.
You can measure credits by the book or curriculum. One textbook is one credit. For any subjects you don't use textbooks, measure credits by estimating hours. One credit = 120–180 hours, or approximately one hour a day. One half credit = 60–90 hours, or about half an hour per day. A one-semester class is a half credit. Learn more details on determining grades and credits in my free class A Homeschool Parent's Guide to Grades, Credits, and Transcripts.

4. Hand your teen a diploma upon graduation.
A GED carries a stigma of high school dropout, but a homeschool diploma is proof of graduation. Present a diploma to your teen with some fanfare. When asked, “Do you have a high school diploma?” you want the reply to be an immediate “Yes!” not “I’m not sure; I was homeschooled.” A diploma awarded with pomp and circumstance will help your child answer without hesitation, clarification, or disclaimer. 

5. Get help when you feel unsure.
Reach out when you feel unsure. Find a homeschool mentor to come alongside to help you homeschool high school with joy and confidence. Take a few free classes for parents to answer your own insecurities, or get a personal homeschool coach. You’re not alone, and you need not be afraid.

Lee Binz,  The HomeScholar  is a dynamic speaker and  author   of over 30 books on homeschooling high school. She is an expert on  homeschool transcripts  and getting scholarships. Lee’s mission is to encourage and equip parents to homeschool through high school. You can sign up for her free  monthly homeschool e-newsletter  where you can also get a daily dose of high school help. Check out the  homeschool freebies    on the website. You can also find Lee on Facebook at .

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CONSIDERING  homeschooling know about the enormous  FREE  info-pack which awaits them here: .
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Homeschooling through high school can be the very BEST years of your homeschooling journey. Be encouraged that you are able to guide your kids through the challenging teen years, help them wrestle with important issues, enjoy fascinating discussions with them, and prepare them for adult life. These can be some of the richest, most rewarding days a homeschooling parent can experience, so don’t be intimidated by high school.

The High School Help resources on are here to help you and your student as you chart this new territory and to provide guidance as your child begins to look to the future, whether that includes college or career. A long list of high school courses in all subject areas, including many exciting electives, is available. Academic weighting information is available for most courses. You will find also help for creating transcripts, taking the SAT and ACT, finding scholarships, and so much more. Together we can make the high school years great for you and your students, and what a fantastic achievement it will be.

And don’t miss our Career Center, designed to help prepare your high schoolers to fulfill the unique calling God has given them. 

If you haven’t yet joined, come give us a try. You can try the entire site for 30 days for $5! If you or someone you know would be interested in teaching or writing for us, let us know. You can email me at We look forward to serving you and your family! 

in the latest issue of
The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine.
Contest Corner  
For the month of March
Henry Borenson, Ed.D.

The Hands-On Equations Deluxe Home Set is a mathematics system that teaches students how to do algebraic equations using a simple yet effective method. I teach both of my daughters who are ages 8 and 11. I have learned by observing and engaging with them that they each have their own unique strengths and weaknesses as it relates to mathematics. While one is quick to recognize solutions for word problems, the other has an easier time building her mathematics foundation by learning her facts and tried and true math rules. They each approach math differently.

Hands-On Equations Deluxe Home Set is the first math program which we have been able to use together. Often learners must work at their particular level because of skill requirements. The only requirement for this program is to be proficient in adding and subtracting. Hands-On Equations has three skill levels. All learners should begin at Level 1 to gain understanding of the method. Level 1 consists of seven lessons; therefore, it shouldn’t take a long time to move forward to the next level if the student quickly grasps the concept. Although I am proficient at solving algebraic equations, I found Hands-On Equations enlightening because it caused me to see the solving of algebraic equations differently. Dr. Borenson made it simple; therefore even my 8-year-old daughter who is apprehensive of larger multiplication facts was also able to solve for the unknown. Level 1 teaches the students to see the unknown as the same number throughout the equation. (. . .)

The program includes all three levels instruction guides, a student kit which includes pawns, cubes, and a laminated balance scale, DVD instruction for all three levels, classwork sheets which are reproducible, answer key, and Hands-On Equations Verbal Problems Introductory Workbook.The entire program is completed in 26 lessons which can be completed at the student’s pace. The student kit provides the hands-on aspect to the approach. The pawns and cubes are used to illustrate the equation. (. . .)

Hands-On Equations Deluxe Home Set is a good program to have in your math arsenal particularly for students who need to “see” math. It makes it easier and less threatening, and even I, someone who is proficient and a certified math teacher, enjoy learning this method with my daughters. In my opinion, the DVD instruction is mandatory, especially if you have not attended one of the seminars to understand this method. Dr. Borenson goes through each lesson step by step which helps if you are stuck doing math one way or if you aren’t comfortable teaching math.

YOU can WIN this awesome math set for your homeschool! 

TO ENTER: Click on over to our entry page and follow the instructions! Contest ends at midnight, the last day of the month.
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