Homeschool Grades and Creating a Homeschool Transcript

Admittedly, one of the least exciting aspects of homeschooling is grading your child’s assignments. And while you may be able to fudge things for a bit while your kids are young, homeschoolers with an eye to college need transcripts. You might also live in a state that requires keepings grades as part of a portfolio. Sometimes you can outsource the work to a tutor, online class, or co-op, however all that information needs to be stored somewhere. (Ideally not a random Amazon box tossed in a corner with other miscellaneous paper mixed throughout that the cat sometimes sleeps on…ask me how I know!) I’m going to share a simple homeschool transcript template that you can use as a sort of report card for your child, as well as a the grading spreadsheet I use to organize grades from a variety of places. I’m not the most organized homeschooler, but I helped guide two kids into college so I can’t be that bad right??

Look at the responsible adults they’ve become! Just kidding…homeschool field trip circa 2016.

Paper vs Digital?

First up, you’ll need to decide whether you want to record grades the “old school” way; in a grade book, or in an online or digital grade book. Again, shoot for a dedicated book vs random notes stuck in a box if you’re going the hard copy route. Since we live in a state with no homeschool requirements, I chose to not keep grades in kindergarten through eighth grades, though some of my kids did take online courses during this time where grades were awarded. (And when Edie applied to attend Police Camp, I needed to send in her report card, so I did create one using this template. She was accepted for two years.) When my oldest started high school, we enrolled her in an online high school, and they kept track of the grades for the courses they administered, however there were a couple additional classes I gave her credit for (gym, music, home economics, etc). When it came time to create a homeschool transcript, I created a template that gave me space to record all her grades together, though we always submitted her transcripts from the online school and eventually the community college with my homeschool transcript.

We did not enroll my oldest son or youngest daughter in an online high school, and so I needed to keep tabs on all their grades myself. For some of their work, they submitted assignments to me through a learning management system like Google Classroom (GC). I corrected the work and the grade and class average were saved in GC. At the end of each year, I would update their transcript with the grades from GC. If they had coursework not submitted through GC, I used to keep track of grades in a table in a document that also contained their course of study and weekly schedule.

As my love of spreadsheets has grown, I finally started using a gradebook template that is free in Google Sheets to keep track of all of Edie’s high school grades that aren’t in GC. This has been my favorite method by far. There are paid online homeschool planners that allow you to keep track of lesson plans and grades, but I haven’t used any. For now, I’ve been really happy with using all the free tools through Google.

This short video will show you where to find the free Google grade book template in your Drive.

Figuring out a GPA

I actually didn’t know how to figure a grade point average (GPA) when my oldest started high school. I knew a 4.0 meant your child had A’s in her classes, but I had to learn how many points you got for each grade, and what percentage equaled what type of grade (like a B+ vs a B-). If you’re clueless like I was, here’s the breakdown:

Percentage PointsLetter GradeQuality Points

A GPA is important for college applications and scholarships, but I tried not to stress about it. You can see on my transcript above where there’s a spot to record a class GPA and an overall GPA.

Filling out the transcript

The transcript pictured above is the exact form I used for Addie and Byron and they were both accepted everywhere they applied (Detroit Mercy, Cleveland State University, University of the Incarnate Word, John Paul the Great University, University of Maine, and Kutztown University).

I averaged their grades, figured out their GPAs, filled in the boxes, copied grades from other sources and made notes. It doesn’t need to be fancy. Classes that lasted a whole year equal one credit; half a year equals half a credit. In New Jersey, gym class counts for .75 credit which is why I listed it that way on my transcript. If my child took a college class, I made note of how many college credits it was worth. If you’re really concerned about missing something, reach out to the colleges your child is interested in attending. They’ll let you know if they expect to see something else on the transcript, or if you’ll need to submit any additional information. In Byron’s case, I did need to create course summaries for some of the high school classes I administered for him so they could see the content covered. The summaries consisted of a paragraph explaining the topics covered, methods of evaluation (tests, essays, quizzes, etc), and textbooks. So make sure you keep a course of study for your child that lists this information each year so you can reference it if needed. I’ve used the same Course of Study form from donnayoung.org since I started homeschooling. (In general her site has a TON of forms and wonderful homeschool information, including grading and transcripts.)

An aside; if your child wishes to attend and play a sport at an NCAA school, that is a whole other process (which I learned the hard way). It’s too much to cover in this post, so be sure to check out the NCAA’s website on homeschooling because you’ll want to take extra care once your child begins high school to stay on top of everything the NCAA requires.

I’m trying to stay on top of grading Edie’s assignments this year, but I may or may not still have assignments from last year to correct….okay, I definitely do…but since she’s applying to schools soon, I know I’ll get caught up quickly one way or another! If you have any other questions on recording homeschool grades or creating a homeschool transcript, leave them below!

One Comment

  1. This might be a good thing to do even if your kid isn’t ready for college yet – like going back to public school after homeschooling. I did have a spreadsheet with daily work for the term, but I had to cobble together a syllabus and grades after the fact for son to enter 10th grade – I still don’t know if they gave him any credit for it. (Homeschooling was a big of an impulse, and if I have to do it again I’ll do it more formally.) I don’t know what I’ll do about colleges – maybe he’ll want to be a plumber instead?

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