Thursday, December 30, 2010


Want to start a war on any given homeschool board?  Casually mention that you are going to put high school credits earned in middle school on your kid's transcript.  To say home educators have strong feelings in this regard makes the world's zealots appear to be a bunch of wan and tepid mushmouths.

I find the transcript imbroglio entertaining for a lot of reasons.  When folks feel strongly about something that ultimately matters not a whit, they tend to couch their arguments in terms of highest moral imperative.  Accordingly, those including the credits become cheaters blithely trying to game the system rather than a parent trying to accurately reflect a kid's learning.  The opinions offered in strongest terms often come from those with the most glancing experience--how their one kid got into his/her one college, for example.

Most lists I participate in have the transcript topic come up at least annually.  It allows each of us to don our college admissions staff hats and pontificate in ways that parallel primitive folks in the prescientific past explaining the ways of a volcano.  I suspect the same amount of fear and superstition may hold sway as we collectively try to bribe the gods who control so much of our child's future.

Home educators tend to forget a few things as the acorns bounce off our noggins.  Convinced the sky is falling, we fail to remember:

1. Public schools across the nation have differing standards for reflecting high school credit earned in middle school on transcripts.  Don't believe me?  Engage in your own quick google search and see.

2.  We, as the administrators of our own school, can set our own policies in this regard.

3.  We don't even have to have a Board of Ed meeting about it, though if it results in a date night with my husband to call one, I am in favor.

I like Inge Cannon's staunch support of including high school credits on a transcript, regardless of when they were earned.  However, her transcript formatted by subject rather than by year to accommodate these credits seems just plain odd to me.  The last thing we homeschoolers need is more oddity, agreed?  Lee Binz, on her blog, assumes a reasonable middle of the road approach for deciding what gets high school credit.  Additionally, her transcript incorporating early high school credit strikes me as an elegantly forthright approach in presenting our credentials to the college admissions officer.

My oldest is a freshman/sophomore (we can't decide), so the issue of transcripts is becoming to me more than just an easy way to start a board war.  Throw in the fact that he's wildly asynchronous--easily earning an A in college Calc this fall but still loving playing with Legos--and I am wildly odd--I will take three years to teach American History if I please, thank you very much--and you have the makings of one gnarly looking transcript.

What are your thoughts on the matter?


1 comment:

  1. I absolutely love Lee's approach. I've heard Inge Cannon speak once, and while she's got some great ideas and loads of success I think Lee's approach is a bit more modern or maybe streamlined, etc. I also have the added benefit in that I was on a hs list with Lee for years while her sons were growing up and going through all of this. I got to see it "first hand email" so to speak. Because of that I'm following the same early credit format that she used with her boys. We're in the same boat as you I think with our 13 yo. Pair it with my aversion to graduating her early and you have one stumped mama. The experiences of our older two girls just complicates the matter. One decided that she wanted her GED because of leadings from family and one decided against college. No one can accuse our girls of not being an individual!