There are 5 skills to teach that matter more than homeschool transcripts. What are they?
5 Skills to Teach that Matter More than Homeschool Transcripts
We homeschool moms can sometimes feel LOTS of pressure about homeschool transcripts! We must make sure that our homeschool high schoolers have the best academic preparation possible to get into college and earn a great career.
That’s good. As homeschooling parents, we are responsible to do our best to give our teens the education appropriate for them.
However, there are some skills to teach that matter more than homeschool transcripts. These are character-development, life-preparation skills that give them the foundation for wise, healthy adulthood. (Of course, we also must remember that we help train our teens but God is in charge of the outcome…and we are not God. That takes a BIG burden off us!)
Here are 5 skills that matter:
Can your teens find their own ways to serve on a day to day basis:
- Asking at home, church or organizations: What can I do to help?
- Holding doors open for people
- Allowing older people to walk into a room first or move ahead of them in a line
Are they willing to work hard to help others:
- Volunteering regularly at church nursery, sound booth, or clean up/set up, etc
- Volunteering at local charities or nonprofits
- Working as part of a team on missions trips
Our local traditional high schools often require their students to earn 20 hours of volunteer work before graduation. Many of those teens save those hours until senior year and work on one big project. On the other hand, we’ve noticed that our local homeschoolers earn more than 20 service hours each year (some graduate with hundreds of service hours).
Most of us raise our children with exposure to prayer: at church, family devotions, bedtime prayers, etc. Often teens will tell me that by high school they:
- are bored with individual prayer
- don’t know how to pray on their own, except for “crisis prayers”
- have outgrown their “childish prayers” and don’t know what to do next about their prayer life
It may be time to give them more mature instruction in prayer:
- Does your church provide a good “how-to” guide for teens
- Try our interactive prayer guide 1 and 2 to help them get out of the boring box with prayer
- Good readers, deep thinkers may enjoy Dallas Willard’s book on prayer: Hearing God
Over the years, I’ve informally polled the homeschool high schoolers I’ve worked with in co-op and group classes about their personal devotional time. In those groups, I’ve rarely seen even half the teens report that they read the Bible on a daily or even weekly basis. Many times they report that they actually don’t read the Bible at all. They tell me:
- they memorized enough in AWANA as kids
- they get Bible in the sermon each week
- they have youth group at church and talk about religious topics
Then I overhear them having discussions with others about Bible topics and quote social media or their youth group leader, but have not actual knowledge about what the Bible actually says. This is a good age to think about getting them a Bible (or 2) in versions that they haven’t read before to get them thinking and reading in a fresh way.
Our digital-native teens live in a generation that can easily allow social media to do their thinking for them. Not a great idea when they head off to college and career where most of the world does not think in Christ-honoring ways.
While they are still in high school, it is wise to give them foundations in thinking skills. Try:
- Apologetics. 7Sisters’ Apologetics lessons are FREE downloadable, no-prep and interesting. They are a gift from Dr. Gerald Culley, a 7Sisters grandfather and professor emeritus of Classics at University of Delaware.
- Philosophy. Break early-thinking students in on philosophy/thinking skills by using a fun, integrated world history/philosophy/church history curriculum like 7Sisters History and Philosophy of the Western World.
- Give teens ready to dive into thinking skills a real philosophy course! 7Sister’s Philosophy in 4 Questions is accessible, understandable for teens, and fun!
(That’s a more “sophisticated” way to say “Social Skills”.) When teens have basic confidence-boosting skills for when they are in group or social settings or work settings, they can truly be the good-people God calls them to be. Here are the 10 social skills that we’ve taught our kids (and they still use as adults).
Here’s a link to a freebie with Confidence Boosting Skills for Meeting New People.
These are skills that matter, no matter where your teens are headed in life.
5 Skills to Teach that Matter More than Homeschool Transcripts
Here is our transcript checklist: great tweaks for college-attractive transcripts!
Transcript Checklist: Great Tweaks for College-Attractive Transcripts
Got a college-bound teen? Getting a little nervous?
That’s okay. We 7Sisters are here to help. We’ve helped hundreds of local homeschool high schoolers through graduation and have learned a few tricks for creating college-attractive transcripts.
So here is a homeschool transcript checklist. You can use it to tweak for college-attractive transcripts for your teens.
___Make sure identifying information is easy to find (and correct). Don’t miss the most obvious tip! Name needs to be complete and spelled correctly, along with birthdate and school address.
___Include levels of rigor on core courses (Language Arts, Maths, Science, History). Many colleges want to know the difficulty level of core courses. Here is a post to tell you how to do decide the rigor of your homeschool high schoolers’ courses.
___Break down courses by year, go in the same course order each year. Include a section on the transcript for each grade. We record our courses in this order but there is not one correct order of course, but once you set the pattern in 9th grade, follow it each year.
___Make sure you show not only the grade but the academic year for each school year. For instance: 9th Grade 2016-17; 10th Grade 2017-18, etc.
___Don’t leave out elective courses! Give them a good title, these give transcripts the SPARKLE they need. College admissions officers often say they are looking for courses with *Sparkle* or *Pop*!
___Show that your teen has developed an interest by including several (or more) courses on the same topic. Electives are good for this.
___Include a section for awards won, including the year.
___Include a legend or key. Specify how the levels of rigor were decided. Make it brief (keep backup material in a Master Portfolio).
___Identify who is *signing off* or guaranteeing the verity of the transcript. Is mom the principal or is there an advisor who will verify the transcript?
Want some how-to encouragement and tips? Download 7Sisters fun, self-paced course on how to homeschool high school: Homeschool High School: You CAN Do It!
You’ll be glad you did!