Homeschool parents who have rising high schoolers often have questions about recordkeeping and other high school requirements. Here are some of our tips!
Setting Graduation Requirements
Home schools, like private schools, are not a state agency and therefore do not receive a diploma, transcript, or certificate from the state of North Carolina. Your school will issue those documents for your student(s) and also determine the coursework required to graduate from your school.
As the administrator of your school, you set the requirements for your school including grading, course hours, required courses, graduation requirements, etc.
One of the first questions parents have is, "What courses should my student take in high school?" Our advice is to consider your child's goals. Does your child want to attend a trade school? community college? university? enlist in the military? If your student has a specific goal, look at the entrance requirements for that specific organization. Use those admission requirements to determine and build the student's coursework and high school objectives.
In a traditional school setting, credit hours are determined by hours of instruction. For a homeschool, you, as the school administrator, decide what coursework is required to form a credit hour. Home schools sometimes use hours worked but often decide that completing the full curricula/course equals a credit hour.
Also, check your curriculum! Oftentimes the publisher of high school curriculum will include their recommendation on what course credit the curriculum fulfills. Check the introduction to the curriculum and/or the their website.
A transcript will be needed for your student to apply to college, There are online services that provide recordkeeping including grades, calculating GPA, and transcripts. Many parents create their own transcript in a spreadsheet (Excel, Numbers, Google Sheets) by looking at transcript templates online. You can find free templates on the NCHE and HSLDA sites (links below in additional resources).
In addition to creating and keeping a transcript, it is advisable to keep a log of courses your student completed. A simple log of the course, course description, and curricula may be useful later, especially when applying for college admission. Admissions offices may ask for course information in order to determine if or how a course meets its admission requirements.
Some homeschool parents advise keeping a reading log of books your student read while in high school.