This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast a Special Replay: What Are Levels in Homeschool High School? This post is running concurrently on the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.
If you have a college-bound teen and want to give them a boost on their transcript, this episode is for you. Sabrina, Vicki and Kym will explain how to help your teens explain to colleges the level of rigor at which they have done their high school courses!
What are levels in homeschool high school?
Many moms tell us: “We didn’t have levels on transcripts when WE were in high school!”
That is so very true. However, levels have come into vogue on high school transcripts (in traditional high schools and in homeschool high schools). That is because colleges want to know:
- The level of rigor at which a teen’s core courses were completed.
- How teens have invested in courses in their areas of strength, giftedness or interest. (These will sparkle more on the transcript if they are academically rigorous and provide opportunities for stretch.)
Therefore, knowing that colleges want to know this information, your teens can show this academic rigor and stretch by recording the level at which they completed their courses.
Here is a brief explanation of levels and some links to help.
Before we start, remember: There’s not ONE right way to homeschool high school…or to handle transcripts. This is simply how we have done it with our homeschoolers (and the homeschoolers we advised for decades in our local umbrella school).
With that in mind, here is an overview of our way to show rigor on the transcript. Firstly, we do not show the levels on all courses, just the core courses and the specialty courses and electives that our teens have strongly invested in.
Presently this is a basic overview of the five different levels
Level 1: Remedial
These are courses for teens with learning issues who cannot do average high school course work. Remedial courses are completed using materials and experiences that are appropriate for the teen. Teens earn credit using Carnegie credit hours and earn a transcript and a high school diploma that should be noted: Developmental Diploma. Still valid and useful.
Level 2: Average
Most high schoolers are average. Do not harbor guilt trips because your teens are average! God gave everyone varying gifts, average academics are just fine.
Average high school textbooks have shorter chapters than the College Prep textbooks, with simpler vocabulary, short problem sets and short reviews. Therefore, homeschool high schoolers can work on courses at average level in areas where this is appropriate. They earn credit for their courses and transcripts show: Level 2 beside the name of the course.
Level 3: College Preparatory
Most high school textbooks are written at College Prep level. There is some rigor but not at stay-up-all-night-working-level for most teens. Record these courses on the transcript as *Level 3*.
Level 4: Advanced
Advanced courses are rigorous. They look attractive to college admissions officers. Level 4 course credit is earn by completing a College Prep course PLUS .5 credit again, combined for ONE credit. This should be rigorous and an academic stretch. Record these with *Level 4* beside the course name on the homeschool transcript. Additionally be sure to include a key or legend on the transcript that briefly explains how the level was earned.
Level 5: Honors, AP, College Courses
These are very rigorous courses. Level 5 courses are College prep course DOUBLED for ONE credit. Students who complete an AP course are doing Level 5 work. College courses are Level 5. Do not just double the textbook, you can mix textbooks and logging Carnegie hours and reading real books. Check out this post with more information on ways to level-up in a meaningful way.
Be sure on the homeschool transcript, you include a key that explains how levels are earned in your high schoolers courses. Here is a sample:
For more help, download 7Sisters Guide for How to Create Homeschool Transcripts. It includes lots of in-depth how-tos and an editable transcript template!
7SistersHomeschool.com’s curriculum is design to be easily level-able and has been vetted for years by homeschool high schoolers. Check out the Literature Study Guides, Writing Guides, Psychology, Financial Literacy, World History, Human Development curricula and get busy leveling for the rigor that is appropriate for your teen.
Join Sabrina, Vicki and Kym for a helpful discussion of levels on the homeschool transcript.
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