Questions of the Day – Record-keeping and Grading Scales

Questions the next two days come from Kristen, a mom who’s son is currently in kindergarten, but really likes the idea of getting a head start on college preparation.

I’ve heard that it is good to use a sort of “school” for homeschoolers that the parent pays to keep homeschooling records for validity in transcripts sent to colleges. What options are there?

Record keeping is very important in high school, as most every college or university will require some sort of transcript to review for admission. Since organization is key in this regard, those parents who feel they lack the ability to keep accurate records may opt to use a 3rd party home school curriculum who will keep track of courses taken, grades, etc. There are many excellent home school curriculums out there, and their prices very by product and service. For some, this may seem to defeat the whole purpose of homeschooling, the creative, design-your-own-curriculum or unschooling mentality. If you fall in this category, make sure you keep copious records of activities, tests, grades, etc. As with many things in homeschooling, there is no hard and fast answer. It will greatly be determined by your own teaching style and your son or daughter’s needs.

I’ve heard that these “schools” sometimes use a different grading scale than local public schools (i.e. 93%-100% is an A, 85-92% is a B, etc.) which would appear on a graded transcript that the child in home school who scored a 91%, earning a B, did worse than the public schooled equivalent who earned an A- for his 91%. Is this the case? If so, what can be done about it?

Many private schools have more rigorous grading standards than do public schools, and the same can be true for homeschool curriculum providers. The key here is to make sure the grading scale used is documented, so the the college or university reviewing it can see the quality and make their own determinations. This is another reason why standardized test scores are weighed so heavily in the admissions process, they tend to be more objective than a student’s GPA, which could potentially vary depending upon the school attended or curriculum used.

Anyone else have suggestions for Kristen?


1 Comment

Filed under Question of the Day, Transcripts

One response to “Questions of the Day – Record-keeping and Grading Scales

  1. I made my own transcripts and had them notarized. The college accepted them along with the kids ACT scores and both of my children are now enrolled in college full time. It is so NOT necessary to waste your money on umbrella schools.

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