Homeschool transcripts. As upperclassmen advisor, I get LOTS of questions about the kinds of homeschool transcripts that are college or employer attractive. I tell folks that college admission officers (and sometimes employers) are looking for transcripts that aren’t the “barely-got-the-required-credits-done” style. They are looking for transcripts that have sparkle-appeal (I’ve heard some officers call it “pop”). That is, they need to show that your homeschool high schooler is not your run-of-the-mill applicant.
Here are three sparkle-appeal features in a college-attractive homeschool transcript:
1) Beyond-the-ordinary courses
Here are some for-instances: Instead of humdrum, uninspired “health” credit (a subject your teen already did several times over the years), show Human Development or Anatomy and Physiology.
(Out of my experience as a mental health counselor, I created Human Development from a Christian Worldview for a sparkly and useful health credit for my kids’ homeschool transcript. It slips health, fitness, nutrition, and self-care into a friendly look at how humans grow and change from womb to old age. Written at so that an average high schooler can work on his/her own, it includes additional activities for those who wish to level-up to college prep, advanced, or honors credits.)
Instead of ANOTHER run-of-the-mill World History, show History and Philosophy of the Western World.
(History and Philosophy of the Western World was co-written by my son, Dr. Micah Tillman, who teaches philosophy at Stanford’s Online School. This course builds a powerful history credit for the homeschool transcript because it not only gives a survey of world history but it integrates the philosophers throughout history and their ideas. We are finding that some colleges are LOOKING for philosophy, not as a requirement for admissions, but as a sparkle course over the competition.)
2) Clearly recorded levels for core courses (with a key to explain them)
Each core course (Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies, Science) should record the level of academics performed by the student. For instance, according to our local umbrella school, an honors (level 5) course requires fully double the work of a college prep course (level 3). College prep courses require more work than an average high school level course. Here is our post explaining levels.
7Sisters materials are mostly written to be accessible to any average high schooler, with no-busywork or wordiness. Instead, our texts are lighthearted while they cover the necessary topics for their subject. Each text includes additional activities or readings for students who wish to level-up. This adaptability makes 7 Sisters curriculum great for homeschool families or co-ops- and useful for homeschool transcripts.
Record extracurriculars, service, and competitions on the homeschool transcript in order to show the richness of your teen’s life experiences.
Download Human Development from A Christian Worldview and History and Philosophy of the Western World for some sparkle appeal, record the levels your teen worked on, and show involvement for a more attention-getting