How to Earn Homeschool Transcript Credit in Filmmaking

How to Earn Homeschool Transcript Credit in Filmmaking

Around our area, there is a requirement for high school graduation called Career Pathways. Career Pathways is simply ed-speak for: courses that help your teen explore and prepare for his/her future career.

How to Earn Homeschool Transcript Credit in Filmmaking

My #4 kid was interested in filmmaking, so we developed experiences for his Career Pathways in that area. Here is our classic post on how we did Homeschool Filmmaking credit:

Homeschool high schoolers need to do some faithful Career Exploration. They need to understand that God has a plan for each of them.

A good Career Exploration curriculum should help them understand how to seek His will, gain wisdom from their experiences, respect the gifts God has placed in them, and solidify their values.

When you download the Career Exploration e-text that I wrote for our local homeschoolers and have been using with my own kids and our local homeschoolers for a number of years, you will give your high schooler a good taste of all those important things.

Another important part of Career Exploration is rich experiences. One of our favorite rich experiences was with Filmmaking:

When kid #4 was in high school, the Lord of

How to Earn Homeschool Transcript Credit in Filmmaking
Today Sam has his own production company

the Rings trilogy reigned in the movie theaters.

Being a big Tolkien fan anyway, Ezra was hooked on the movies and soon wanted to be a filmmaker himself. He was quickly joined by a slew of his friends. So, being good homeschool moms, we started a homeschool cinematography club.

Also, being good homeschool moms, we wanted to show the hard work the homeschool high schoolers were going to put into cinematography on their transcripts.

How to do it?

1) Base the credit on a Carnegie Unit (traditionally that is 120 hours of study, but we aimed for 135 hours per credit). You simply log the time your high schooler spends studying filmmaking, attending meetings, and producing short films.

2) Find a happy curriculum to work on together  

How to Earn Homeschool Transcript Credit in Filmmaking
Some of the young filmmakers back in the day

We used Filmmaking for Dummies and Teach Yourself Filmmaking. We discussed the topics in the books together once a month. (Full disclosure: We are Amazon Associates. Purchasing through these links provides a commission to 7Sisters.)

3) Find good cinematography examples

Each month we viewed great movie scene clips (chosen for camera work, dialogue, acting, etc) suggested by the students or moms.

4) Study extra material on dvds

Many movies (The Lord of the Rings was great at this) have terrific extra material that gives a behind the scenes look at how scripts are written, camerawork is done, crews work together.

5) Give out assignments

Each month, we broke the kids into teams, gave them a Bible story to script, film and edit. The kids filmed on their own inexpensive video cameras and edited on their Movie Maker programs. Simple but good for learning.

Brainstorming for their film project

6) Have a yearly film festival

Each spring, the kids had their own film festival and invited the local homeschool support group to come. We had a panel of judges that voted on numerous categories- a number of awards were given. (These awards looked GREAT on their transcripts!)

7) Go to a “real” film festival if you can

Of course, we were not going to subject our kids to some of the local film festivals (not good morals going on there), but several times we all saved up and flew out to the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival.

Filmmaking was my son’s great passion. He ended up with several credits on his homeschool high school transcript. Then he went on to study it at college. His skills have been a great asset in many of his classes at Lancaster Bible College– many of his projects for courses are done in video form.

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How to Earn a Credit in Filmmaking

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How to Earn Homeschool Transcript Credit in Filmmaking



Vicki Tillman

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

9 Replies to “How to Earn Homeschool Transcript Credit in Filmmaking”

  1. I have two daughters who are into making their own videos, and the oldest wants to get a degree in film and business. She recently completed and thoroughly enjoyed a Basic Studio course at our local public access station, where she got hands on training in operating the cameras, lighting, set design, etc. They offer a whole series of film-related classes, all free, and available to the public. In some areas, the public access stations offer classes specifically for high school students. Another resource is 4H’s Filmmaking Studio and Workshop ( where you can watch 11 video workshop modules outlining the basics of filmmaking.

  2. Luke Holzmann (son of the creator’s of Sonlight curriculum) has a free online Film course that I hope to use with my daughter in a few years time –

    In addition, with my oldest daughter, I suggested she compete in National History Day and produce a documentary. She had dabble with movie making but never done anything serious. She ended up placing 2nd at the regional level and 3rd at State – but more importantly discovered a love of film – and a career! Last year she graduated from Biola’s Film Program and has started a production company with 2 friends.

    So, I definitely agree it is a good idea to expose your children to as many experiences as possible as you never know where those will lead.

  3. Casey was right in there with the filming. Even though he doesn’t intend to pursue a career in cinematography, he used it as a volunteer at church.

  4. That’s my son Stephen brainstorming with Ezra a number of years back during their cinematography course. I’ll always be thankful Stephen had this opportunity during his high school years. He found he had a lot of creativity in himself and was able to express that through this course. He took great interest in learning all the different aspects of filmmaking, including acting, directing, and producing. It became one of his passions.

    Thanks, Vicki, for leading the cinematography class and helping Stephen develop his creative gifts!

  5. Jonah and I are logging hours in culinary arts. We are working with a couple of family members who have some gourmet training and some food science training (canning, for instance, where you need to understand the chemistry involved as well as the right-tasting ingredients) to get him some more dedicated instruction than I can competently offer…after all, I’m the mom who gave her kids food poisoning once upon a time!

    Jonah doesn’t think he will be likely to pursue a career in culinary arts, but he wants to explore the possibility, and we may find that his training and experiences in high school make it possible for his part-time employment to be as a cook in a restaurant — something that would pay better than a cashier job while he pursues his college degree in a few years.

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