Today I wanted to talk about transcripts, grades and records. On EP’s high school page I posted a sample transcript from Lee Binz and a transcript template I created based on the sample. I also have posted a sample course record.
For every course on your transcript, you should have a record page with the course description, a list of learning materials used for the course, a description of the criteria used for grading. You should also keep a sample of work from that course, which can just be photographs of your children doing what they do. These records are what make your “A” meaningful. (Lee Binz’s samples are sort of extreme. You can go to her site or watch the recordings to hear her perspective. I posted recordings of her transcript and records webinars.)
As I start working on high school, I will be adding grading guidelines. I will use online quizzes, assignments and rubrics to guide you in giving a grade to your children’s work. You don’t have to use those things. You can come up with your own guidelines, but I am trying to create a credible standard for grading. You can see how I am doing this on the English 8 page.
You don’t need tests though, in order to grade your child. I put my daughter’s art apprenticeship on her transcript. I gave her an A. I then created a record for that “course.” I described the apprenticeship, what she did, what she learned, what hours she put in and gave criteria for her grade. I listed that she had artwork sold and had her artwork chosen to represent our city in an exhibition.
Maybe you have an academic course without tests or set grading criteria. Maybe your child just has a topic he wants to learn more about. Describe what he did to research, a list of reading and research materials used, and an explanation for the grade you chose. Maybe something like, “Demonstrated comprehensive knowledge and thorough understanding of the subject through a twenty-minute speech (or a research paper or written essays).” Save the speech or an essay or report with the record as proof.
What about grading some of the alternative course examples from the other day? Community theater: You can give an A for “A hundred percent participation, diligence in learning the materials and successful participation in the production. You can take pictures, save a program and/or get a note from the director.
What about home economics? You can award an A for “successfully completing daily assigned tasks and for meeting each course objective by improving in sewing, cooking….”
I hope you can see that you’ll be able to homeschool high school using traditional courses as well as allowing your children to learn the things they love.