Want some guidance to help your homeschool high schoolers stand out? Here it is! How to show teens’ interests on homeschool transcripts.
How to Show Teens’ Interests on Homeschool Transcripts
We 7Sisters have graduated all our homeschoolers and have helped hundreds of other local homeschoolers complete their homeschool high school successfully. We have learned a few strategies for success over the years. One of these strategies is highlighting our teens’ interests on the homeschool transcript.
Now, before I get started showing you how to do this, please remember this important fact: There’s not ONE right way to homeschool high school!
That also means that there’s not ONE right way to create a transcript for your homeschool high schoolers! I am going to simply share how we have done this for our own teens (and at our local homeschool umbrella school).
We have found that it is beneficial to record interests on the homeschool transcripts with two types of homeschool high schoolers:
Non-college-bound teens’ transcripts
- It is totally unnecessary for the next step in life to record your teens interests on the homeschool transcript. Sometimes teens need to show a copy of their diplomas and/or transcripts when they start a more career-level job. (Their first jobs at the ice cream stand or Chick-fil-A don’t usually require anything more than working papers.) We have not found that career-level employers are overly curious about our graduates’ high school interests.
- However, we have found that recording our homeschool high schoolers’ interests on the transcript is a benefit over the years in different ways:
- For job interviews or applications, young adults sometimes need to bring their transcripts. When they review the transcript that includes interests, they remember better what mattered and matters to them. It helps them formulate stories about their experiences that they can share at interviews. This enhances their confidence levels.
- For us homeschool moms, looking back at the transcripts is a good thing for us to do occasionally. It helps us to remember all that we invested in our homeschool high schoolers and all the things we helped them develop. This is nice for us, since many have us have experienced the *Did I do enough?* syndrome!
College-bound teens’ transcripts
- College admissions officers have often told us that they are looking for transcripts with *sparkle* or *pop*. One way to do that is to highlight our teens interests! For more ways to make a transcript sparkle, check out this post!
Anyway, in our experience, here’s how to show teens’ interests on homeschool transcripts:
#1: Capture or explore interests in credit form
Many interests that your homeschool high schoolers want to explore can be captured as credits on the transcript. You can:
Use a textbook, if there is a text that covers the topic.
- For instance, when our group-classes’ teens wanted to explore Philosophy as a course, we wanted a textbook that would cover that for us (since many of us were quite novice at the subject). Dr. Micah Tillman created Philosophy in 4 Questions for them. It became one of their favorite classes!
- Also, one of my sons was interested in public speaking. (He was wrestling about going into politics or maybe become a college professor. In the end, Dr. Nathan Tillman teaches college.) Either way, he needed public speaking experience. We developed a rhetoric club for the local homeschoolers then eventually published the curriculum at 7Sisters Speech and Public Speaking.
- Some of our co-op students needed a practical Career Exploration course that would help them decide whether or not they were interested in working as caregivers or preschool teachers. 7Sisters created this fun curriculum for them:
Log hours for a Carnegie credit.
- There are so many interests that homeschool high schoolers want to build. For instance, my teens logged hours to get credits in their various interests including:
- History of Church Music
- Leading Worship (theory and practice)
- Basic coding
- Video production
- In general, we count these are Career Exploration electives. Here’s a great post on Career Exploration electives by our friend, Marcy, at BenAndMe.com.
- For more on Career Exploration, check out this episode on our podcast: The Homeschool Highschool Podcast.
#2: Show as extracurriculars on the homeschool transcript
We always include our homeschool high schoolers’ extracurriculars in a special section of the transcript. Extracurriculars do not generally receive credit, but they look great to college admissions officers, especially if it is an activity that was engaged in over the high school years (not just one-off events). Here’s a post that explains the difference between electives and extracurriculars.
We simply add a section at the bottom of the transcript with the type of extracurricular, organization (if applicable), and years participated. Note: this information is usually asked on college applications, so having it handy on the transcript is helpful.
Our homeschool high schoolers have been involved in things like:
- Competition choirs
- Cinematography clubs
- Student Government (homeschool club edition)
- Homeschool and church youth groups
- Speech and debate teams
- Robotics teams
- Civil Air Patrol
#3 Show as volunteer work
Whenever possible, we have had our homeschool high schoolers do some volunteer work in their interest areas. This is helpful because:
- Service work looks good for employers or college admissions officers because it shows a community spirit and giving attitude.
- Volunteer work often gives an excellent taste of what things are actually like in an interest area. Our homeschool high schoolers have participated in volunteer work such as:
- Church nursery
- Elementary school class aides
- Therapeutic riding camps
- Church video production and technology teams
- Leadership teams at local homeschool umbrella school
- Food banks
- Animal shelters
We include a section at the bottom of the transcript to list this information along with a tally of hours served.
Remember: ALL of life is education! Capture it on the homeschool transcript. You and your teens will be glad you did.