Transcripts and Transformation

Think about it. Education is more than grading. Homeschool high school is more than earning Credits: Transcripts and Transformation.

Transcripts and Transformation

Homeschool High School is More than Earning Credits: Transcripts and Transformation

We 7Sisters are sisters in the Lord but we’ve homeschooled our children together so long that they feel like siblings. (Except the 2 that got married: they feel like spouses…)

Now that our children have all graduated, we can look back and review the priorities that we had in all our co-op classes and individual instructions. When it comes down to it, our homeschool priorities have looked mostly like this:

  • Faith
  • Education
  • Critical thinking
  • Life preparation

Transcripts and Transformation

God has directed each of our kids’ paths in His ways. However, because as parents we were stewards while our children were growing, we worked on molding these values in them. And because all of life is education– we could capture each of the priorities on their homeschool transcripts. (For a complete guide to understanding and creating good homeschool high school transcripts, check out this Authoritative Guide post and download our editable transcript form.)

As you know, there’s not ONE right way to homeschool, but I thought I would share some ways we integrated our priorities into our high school curriculum.

Remember to be creative. We logged hours on just about everything we did. (For even more information, check out our Homeschool Highschool Podcast episode on What to Include on Transcripts.)

How I taught my kids about faith:

As a family working on transcripts and transformation, church was a major part of passing on the faith to our kids, but also our family faith lifestyle.

  • Read the Bible (individually and together)
  • Taught our teens how to do basic hermeneutics
  • Taught our teens to pray. Here are prayer guides with some of the fun prayer activities I did with my teens.
Prayer Journal 1
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As our teens were more involved in homeschool group classes, one of their favorites was Apologetics. Here is our FREE Apologetics curriculum.

Good Answers Ministries Apologetics Presentations
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Through high school, I taught philosophy, critical thinking, and hermeneutics classes in our co-op and umbrella school. They also took logic in co-op with Marilyn. (I can’t figure out that kind of stuff.)

For more on Apologetics check out 3 Reasons Why Your Teen Needs Apologetics. 

How we taught Critical Thinking:

While working on transcripts and transformation, we taught Critical Thinking and Philosophy.

Philosophy and those other courses are not traditional “Core Curriculum” classes. Colleges are not checking to see if they abide on our kids’ transcripts. (However, colleges are usually PLEASED to see the breadth of their curriculum.) Here is the course my teens started with:

History and Philosophy of the Western World
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My youngest had the opportunity to take his Philosophy skills to a higher level, when his brother, Dr. Micah Tillman, created a high-school level Philosophy in 4 Questions text for teens. It is fun, accessible and my son LOVED it (so did his friends in our homeschool group class). You can download Dr. Tillman’s FREE logic game that he created for his students.

Philosophy in 4 Questions.
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For more on critical thinking skills read Critical Thinking Skills for Homeschoolers. 

What these courses did was develop the kind of students/humans that we hoped our kids would become. Out-of-the-box courses became some of the tools for transformation in my kids’ lives.

When each kid graduated, they could spot a logical fallacy in a college class teaching or debate. They could parse through Scripture to test if professors were speaking with wisdom or not. They could question and reflect and find resources to help them grow spiritually, emotionally, intellectually, and socially.

They also learned life preparation in several formats. One of the most powerful was Financial Literacy. Keeping a budget and knowing how to plan and save is an important skill for our teens.

financial literacy
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Download some of these texts for this year’s homeschool high school courses. Your teens will be thankful (and feel inspired).

BTW- Occasionally, homeschooling critics get ridiculous. Ever run into those folks that don’t understand the transformative power of homeschooling high school, both educationally and personally? A Harvard professor spoke out against homeschooling but we debunked her claims in this post. (Just in case you need some facts to debunk your critics.)

Plus you will love our silly and wise advice about handling tough homeschool times (or tough anytime) with this episode on homeschool mindset…not platypus!

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Homeschool High School is More than Earning Credits: Transcripts and Transformation

Vicki Tillman

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

5 Replies to “Transcripts and Transformation”

  1. So true, Marilyn. It is so important to study things that are out of the box. Sometimes kids don’t know what they “want to be” simply because they haven’t been exposed to that subject yet.

  2. One of mine was born wanting to have a trade and a “real” job, so part of his high school meant adding in an apprenticeship (he chose learning to be a barber) for vocational skills as well as book-learning. At first I was uneasy about that choice; he’s a bright guy, and feels called to ministry, and I wasn’t sure what cutting hair had to do with much.

    However, I’ve seen him gain confidence knowing that he can be a “tentmaker missionary” like Paul was, meeting his financial needs in the barber shop while pursuing God’s ministry plans for him, and I’m blown away at the people skills and “friendship evangelism” techniques that are developing there as well.

    Sometimes the vehicle for learning is not what I would choose, and it takes listening to God’s leading to get ’em in the right place and the right time for the right learning to take place.

    • The beautiful thing about homeschooling is that all of life is education. Apprenticeship in barbering was the perfect thing for him- so there it goes on his transcript. Career exploration- hands-on.

  3. The interests of each of my children vary widely. It was always important to me that they had time to explore their passions. Whether that be auto mechanics, sports, equestrian competitions, or ministry, it was important that they had time to pursue their interests. Of course, they were still required to spend time on core academics, but God made each child different and has a plan for each of them. Discovering God’s plan for each child is an important pursuit. They also took courses that gave them an opportunity to discover interests they might otherwise have missed, so they took extracurricular classes such as Introduction to Psychology, Logic, World History and Philosophy, and Human Development. Not only did these classes give them a chance to discover new interests, they helped them when it came time to take some of the general education classes in college. Who knows what they will discover as their stories continue to unfold?

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