By request: How to record on transcript courses done in middle school.
How to Record on Transcript Courses Done in Middle School
Every middle schooler is different. While there is NO rush to start high school courses during middle school (see our post “high school can wait“), some middle schoolers should take some higher grade-level courses. Some reasons include:
- They are academically ready and need the challenge of high school course
- Or they have a particular interest or gifting that should not be wasted
- Their siblings or co-op are doing a high school-level course in an subject that makes sense for them to join in
- There is a rare opportunity to take a special high school course, and that opportunity will not happen again anytime soon
So if your middle schooler is working on high school level courses how should you handle their transcript?
First, before you think about the high school transcript, here are a couple of tips for preparing to record that credit:
In high school (as in much of life), if it is not recorded, it did not happen. So keep:
- course description and/or syllabus
- evidence of the work done for that course (how credit was earned)
Hold onto these for the time that you start the high school transcript.
Make sure your tween is actually doing high school credit-level work
Often, this is easy to determine. For instance:
- If they are using a high-school level textbook for a high-school level course such as:
- Algebra I
- Biology (be sure to include labs)
- World Language (high school first-year)
- There is a course description and syllabus for a co-op course that they are following and completing
On the other hand, sometimes middle schoolers who are taking a high school course in co-ops have the opportunity to scale-back the amount of work that they do to be more age-appropriate. (This is totally appropriate, by the way, so do not stress about adapting courses to your middle schoolers’ needs. That is why we are homeschooling: to do what is best for our kid. However, middle-school level work on a high school course does not really earn a high school transcript credit.)
With that out of the way, let’s talk about transcripts!
How to handle to those courses that your middle schooler completes
There are so many ways to handle this, so there is not ONE right way. You can do what makes the most sense to you and shows best what your middle schooler has accomplished. Note: If you have a supervisory organization (such as an umbrella school), they have their own guidelines.
Here are some ways to record these courses on the transcript.
List these courses in a separate section of the transcript
If you are using a purchased transcript form, you will need to modify the format to do this. That is totally fine. You would simply add a section to the transcript titled:
High School Courses Completed in Middle School
Then simple record only the clearly high-school level courses completed during middle school, being sure to include grade and amount of credit earned.
Another option is to include these courses in the ninth grade section
Make sure to include a notation to explain this course beside the course title, such as: “Completed in 8th grade”. For instance:
Algebra 1 (completed in 8th grade)
This is the way our 7Sisters’ umbrella school has handled many of our students’ transcripts.
Some families prefer to leave those courses off of the transcript
The homeschooler will not need those particular courses for graduation if they will be going on to complete high-level courses that will be weightier on the transcript. (Just remember to meet the state’s graduation requirements for numbers of credits for each subject.) For instance:
Instead of recording for Math:
- Algebra I completed in eighth grade, Geometry completed in ninth grade, Algebra II in tenth grade, Precalculus in eleventh grade and Calculus in twelfth grade (which shows five Math credits- this is fine but not necessary)
- You could simply record: Geometry completed in ninth grade, Algebra II in tenth grade, Precalculus in eleventh grade and Calculus in twelfth grade
This is how our 7Sisters’ umbrella school has often handled the transcripts for high-powered academic students, especially if they are aiming for a competitive college or a military academy.
Of course, you know there’s not ONE right way to homeschool. Therefore, if one of these methods do not work for your family, you are free to create your own style! The joy of homeschooling is figuring what is best for your family.