Here are some tips for developing strong transcripts for homeschoolers with special needs.
Strong Transcripts for Homeschoolers with Special Needs
How does a homeschooler with learning weaknesses develop a strong transcript?
Not all homeschoolers are powerful academicians, but each one has a place in God’s kingdom. Their transcripts should be able to reflect the richness of their experiences and giftings, while being honest about academics. Here are a few tips for developing a great transcript for your high schooler:
1. Concentrate on strengths- find an area or two and level up or show as specialty course
By teen years, you and your homeschooler know strengths and interest areas. Lean into them for a leveling-up experience or a special course. Why not have a full credit in Civil War Studies or Auto Mechanics?
2. Compensate in weak areas
High school is the time to remediate where there are weak areas in your teen’s academics. Dedicate some time to writing skills (our curriculum is good for teens learning differences because it is presented in short, daily chunks- geared for success). Switch out math curriculum (try Pearson’s Pacemaker series). Build inferential reading skills (Edcon Bring the Classics to Life workbooks are great at this- btw-ignore the alleged grade levels). Learn basic literature-reading skills (our lit study guides are short, success-oriented- and interesting). Face the fact that you can’t do high powered courses in science (try Westfield Studios– but be sure to follow the syllabus).
3. Have LOTS of sparkle on the transcript: community involvement, appropriate competitions, service opportunities
This is where your teen can shine. Plow into those talents and strengths. Volunteer at church- nursery, sound system, worship team/choir. Get involved in local homeschool organizations or in the case of spectrum teens- look into local autism/Aspergers support groups. Play a sport. Join a music group.
Look into competitions. There are lots of online opportunities- looks at Scholastic, local college sometimes sponsor science fairs, Poetry Outloud, Lego Robotics Leagues, National History Day, etc. Your teen doesn’t need to win- just have the experience for his transcript.
Volunteer at local food banks, libraries, missions organizations.
Show these on the transcript, not as credits, but as extracurriculars.
4. Try some apprenticeships
Discuss good work ethic skills: promptness, politeness, industriousness. Then let him/her try his skills with a time-limited apprenticeship. Look at local farms, florists shops, libraries, offices. Record these on the transcript under Career Exploration.
5. Teach strong interviewing skills
Practice some interview skills: dress business casual or business, sit straight, hands on knees, look toward/at interviewer, answer in complete sentences, have some questions to ask the interviewer.
6. If needed, update diagnostic testing if he/she will need compensations at college level
As mentioned above, not all homeschoolers need to go to college, but if your teen feels led to go- it might be time to get some diagnostic testing. Look at a local educational psychologist or psychological testing service. The test results will include a list of needed compensations, if applicable.
You know this, anyway. Does your teen know how to turn to God for help and guidance?
What are some suggestions you would make for homeschoolers with special needs?