How to Create an Honors Literature Credit for Homeschool Transcript

Here is how to create an Honors Literature Credit for homeschool transcript.

How to Create an Honors Literature Credit for Homeschool Transcript

How to Create an Honors Literature Credit for Homeschool Transcript

Many colleges are looking for higher-powered credits on the homeschool transcript. One way to help your homeschool high schooler build a college-attractive transcript is to level-up on courses in their interest or skill areas.

American Literature High School

Literature is often one of these areas that homeschool teens will level up. While there’s not one right way to increase the power of Literature credits, here is one that many of our advisees have done. There are several reasons why leveling-up with this method is a good choice:

Serious College Prep:

An honors-level Literature course requires lots of reading of real books. Reading lots of real books increases focus, thinking and vocabulary. Analyzing some books in detail increases critical thinking skills needed to be a successful college student. Our local teens who have done honors level high school courses transition easily to college-level work.

Allows students to continue the depth and breadth of high school education:

Another way to level-up is to take dual credit courses at a local or online college. This is fine (there’s not one right way to homeschool). However, these are survey courses and do not allow deep exploration of a topic. Creating an honors course at home allows exploration that teens can’t get with freshman level college courses.

Britiish Literature

Here are general guidelines for Honors-level Literature. Remember, these need to be accompanied by writing to create the full Language Arts credit. (A more detailed list of how-to’s at Average, College Prep, Advanced and Honors levels is included in each 7SistersFull-Year Literature Guide.)

Note: Classics may be defined as any book that is a *standard setter* or *highly recognized or influential* in any genre.

9th grade

  • Reading:
    • 22 books (7 should be classics, at least 10 should have literature study guides, 7 can be books of the Bible)
  • Writing:
    • 6 short – at least 3 creative
    • 6 essays
    • 8-page paper (7 pages + references) or 2 5-page papers; must cite sources

10th grade

  • Reading:
    • 22 books (7 should be classics, at least 10 should have literature study guides, 7 can be books of the Bible)
  • Writing:
    • 7 short – at least 3 creative
    • 7 essays
    • 8-page paper (7 pages + references) or 4-page and 5-page; must cite sources

11th grade

  • Reading:
    • 11th grade: 25 books (7 should be classics, at least 10 should have literature study guides, 7 can be books of the Bible)
  • Writing:
    • 8 short – at least 4 creative
    • 8 essays
    • 2 8-page papers (7 pages + references) or 1 8-page and a 4-page & 5-page paper

12th grade

  • Reading:
    • 30 books (7 should be classics, at least 10 should have literature study guides, 7 can be books of the Bible)
  • Writing:
    • 8 short – 3 creative and 3 response papers
    • 8 essays
    • 2 10-page papers (9 pages + references) or 1 10-page and a 6-page & 5-page paper; must cite sources

World Literature

That sounds like a LOT! How do teens do this?

It isn’t that difficult. Most of our teens:

  • Keep an audio book going in the car
  • Intersperse longer or more difficult books with lighter, pleasure reading books (which still count toward total required)
  • Average one book a week, including summer reading
  • Count books of the Bible (which many teens read in their devotional time, anyway)
  • Only include Literature Guides for in-depth study on approximately 9 books/year
  • Engage in NO busywork!

7Sisters’Full-Year Literature Guides are designed to facilitate this powerful, no-busywork, college-attractive Honors Literature credit. Our own homeschool high schoolers and the hundreds of local teens who have followed these guidelines have been well-prepared for college (many come back and thank us)!

Homeschool high school transcripts are important!

But do not worry. We are looking out for you!

Your 7Sisters have put together everything you need for homeschool high school transcript, including Files:

  • 1: A transcript template in easy-to-use editable pdf format
  • 2: A high school checklist, to help you and your teens keep the course requirements organized
  • 3: A detailed, 75-page guide with details on how to create a meaningful high school transcript


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How to Create an Honors Literature Credit for Homeschool Transcript

Vicki Tillman

Blogger, curriculum developer at, counselor, life and career coach, SYMBIS guide, speaker, prayer person. 20+year veteran homeschool mom.

16 Replies to “How to Create an Honors Literature Credit for Homeschool Transcript”

  1. My student will be reading several other literature resources throughout the year that will pertain to other core or elective studies. Can I count those books towards an honors credit in ELA?

  2. If we started with this and finished a lot of the reading and guides, but have decided not to pursue honors, what should we still include and what would be considered honors only? Thanks.

    • Good question, Lauren,

      It is one honors English/Language Arts credit. On our teens’ transcripts we would title our ELA courses “British Literature” or “American Literature”, etc- with the understanding that composition is part of the course, since it is a high school transcript ELA course. You could also simply call it Honors ELA.

  3. Hi Vicki! These requirements are different from those listed in two of your prior articles ( and How should I reconcile the two, seeing as the numbers, especially for reading, are significantly different? I understand that they are guidelines, but I’d love to hear your thoughts. Thank you so much!

  4. What we were using for English/Lit for 1st semester 9th grade is really not working for our family (Stobaugh). Frantically, I’m on the search for a replacement. I am finding English 9 curriculum, but struggling with literature. Do they not need a literature course that teaches style and approaches and techniques? That is why I wasn’t impressed with Notgrass Literature credit, because it seemed to only be “read the book, answer the content questions and get a credit”.

    Just wondering what you recommend as I am struggling here and my head is spinning!

    Thank you!

    • Jenny,
      That is an excellent question!
      There’s not one right way to approach high school Literature credits. That’s why there are so many different styles of curriculum out there. It can be hard to wade through so many different Literature *educational philosophies*. The different approaches in the texts from Stobaugh and Notgrass are perfect for the types of learners that they are designed for. However, you may have different needs and goals with your teens. That’s wonderful! God made each teen unique.
      So, let me offer a thought. If you want in in-depth look at style/approach/and technique with each book read, that’s great. However, you’ll probably need a text that focuses on short stories and book excerpts. This is the educational philosophy you see often in standard textbooks (for example, Bob Jones University Press and ABeka).
      If you’d like to have your teen focus on whole books with a combination of 1 or 2 themes/styles/approaches examined per book (along with vocab and both inferential and comprehension questions) AND doesn’t kill-the-book with busywork AND is levelable to different goals and abilities, that’s where 7SistersHomeschool’s literature guides are perfect. (We’re kind of biased, but we love our stuff and our teens have loved it also. In fact, our guides are vetted by teens.)

  5. When you say 5 page or 7 page paper, is that typed or hand-written, single or double spaced? My first child is entering high school, so this is a learning curve for me. Thank you!

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