Age 12-14 notify me

High School Record-keeping

Alli E
Cypress, TX
I'm planning to use 12-14 as a 9th grade curriculum for 2 of my kids, and I've read several discussions on this forum of others having done the same thing. My question is how you keep records for that, and how to award credits for it? We live in a state that doesn't require any sort of records, so I've never done any record-keeping or tracking (aside from keeping most of their work for the last few years).
Keith H
College Station, TX
Hi Alli,

Thanks for reaching out to our forum for help with high school record keeping. I can provide you with some general guidelines. Hopefully some other families can add their experience as well.

First, I don't see that you will have any problem using the Age 12-14 level for high school language arts and social studies. It is easy to document two semesters of language arts and two semesters of American history. Our curriculum is quite challenging in these areas, and while we didn't align them to the high school standards, they are challenging courses. Science, on the other hand, may not work so well. The Age 12-14 level is designed to introduce students to chemistry and biology, but it only provides one semester in each. You won't be able to document two full semesters of chemistry or two full semesters of biology using the Age 12-14 level. Colleges will expect a chemistry or biology course to cover two semesters, and the Age 12-14 level does not. The course is challenging, but if your goal is to create a transcript that can be used for college admission, the Age 12-14 science may not be the best option for science.

Now on to record keeping...

The following three documents are generally regarding as necessary for college applications:
  1. Transcript -- This is usually a one page document that includes years, courses, credits, and grades. It should also have a cumulative GPA. If it were me, I would also include class rank, but that is just because I enjoy tacky humor. :-) I haven't looked for it, but I am sure there are many spreadsheets available online that you can use as templates. Credit is generally awarded by semester. Each semester course is a half credit, so, for example, two semesters of American history would be one credit.
  2. Course Descriptions -- Each course in your transcript should be listed in the course descriptions document. It should include who taught the course, where it was taken, how many credits were awarded, grades, description, and how the course was evaluated. You should also note any books and materials that were used.
  3. School Profile -- You should also create a document that profiles your homeschool. What type of educational philosophy do you use, what other providers do you use outside your home, how you apply grades, etc.

If you are interested in providing additional validation for the grades your child has received, The College Board offers SAT Subject Tests. These are not as difficult as the AP exams, but they should be helpful in the college admissions process.

You should also plan to spend a good deal of time preparing for the SAT or ACT since homeschoolers will be judged more on their test scores than the scores they receive from your homeschool. This is second-hand information, but I have an acquaintance that works in admissions at Texas A&M University, and he indicated that they just assume every homeschooler is ranked at the 80th percentile for grades and then judge the applicant on that basis along with the SAT or ACT scores.

I hope this at least gets this conversation started. Any input from other families is greatly appreciated.