curriculum, hampton roads, home education, homeschool testing, homeschool transition, homeschooler, homeschooling, new homeschooler, SAT

Creating a Fabulous Homeschool Transcript!

Due to the regular requests I get from moms asking for help creating custom homeschool transcripts, I have really discovered how much I love creating these documents! I’ve looked at all types of homeschool transcript templates from Portfolio to stark simple excel documents, but I would have to say there are certain things that make a plain transcript sing.

  1. Consistent Font. Really if the font is  all over the place the transcript just looks messy. Pick one and use it for the entire document. You can vary the size, but please stay consistent on the Font type.
  2. Necessary Information Included. I can’t tell you how many transcripts I’ve seen that had everything the student had done since kindergarten, but was missing the students date of birth, gender, address, or worst, the school name!!! Remember a transcript is a functional document! It must include certain things like your students entire legal name, address, the name of your school, the parents name, the student’s date of birth, anticipated graduation date or date of graduation(whichever applies for you!), names, grades, and credits awarded for all courses completed in high school.
  3. No signature. An official transcript must be signed by the primary teacher, principal, or headmaster.
  4. Customization. Nothing makes a transcript transcend  basic, than customizing it to suit your student. If your student is an artist or extremely independent learner a Portfolio-type transcript might be best.  If your student has taken several standardized tests and has several dual enrollment credits a subject style transcript might best show off thier accomplishments. Really you have to look at what your student has accomplished and decide how best to showcase their strengths.
  5. Test Scores. They’re going to ask anyway so just include them. Don’t forget to add those SAT, ACT, PSAT, AP, CLEP, and etc scores to your transcript.
  6. Emphasize the Positive. This is not the time to be humble. Really play up your kids passions! He actually took 6 classes in Duck Pond Building….. show how passionate he is about the environment and how he applied several scientific concepts in his designs.
  7. Format. Consistent formatting throughout the document really makes a simple document become impressive. Pay attention to your formatting! Everything should be centered the same way throughout the document. IF you bold the header for year, you must bold the header for all the years.

Honestly, creating a fabulous homeschool transcript means paying particular attention to detail, emphasizing the positive, and presenting your student’s accomplishments in an organized easy to read manner!

I hope this helps anyone who has been struggling with creating a homeschool transcript! If you need more help, I’m happy to coach you! Please contact me with your questions!

education, hampton roads, home education, homeschooler, homeschooling, new homeschooler, SAT, virginia

Wow! It Has Been A While!

I did not mean for such a long time to pass before I updated my blog! Where to begin??  After all of my moaning and complaining about SAT Prep, my dd did just fine.  She will be attending a wonderful college in Boston in the fall! God is good! We both prayed and fasted for God’s providence in her college search. In fact, I am writing a senior devotional to help other families pray through that senior year!

I have 2 not so little ones left at home to homeschool next year. DS will be in  1st grade and dd will be rising to the 7th grade. I am already planning her high school curriculum along with her middle school work. Its just easier to have a long term view on things. Next year, will be so different in our household. We will miss older sis desperately, but we have peace knowing that God has spoken in her life.

Where are you in your journey? I’d love to know!

Blessings Always!!!

curriculum, education, hampton roads, home education, homeschool testing, homeschool transition, homeschooler, homeschooling, new homeschooler, SAT

Embrace SAT Prep for your Homeschooler

I have an 11th grade homeschooler, and I really did not think of SAT prep until about a year before I knew she would need to take the test. However, if I could turn back time, I would have started much sooner. Does that surprise you?
None of us like to think that we are teaching to a test, however, I can’t imagine that you would have done that during their school years anyway so why not be prepared for a test that you know is coming. Taking the SAT will help your homeschooler obtain merit aide and scholarships so why not be prepared?

If I had a magic wand I would go back to her freshman year in high school and that is when I would have started SAT Prep. She would have had it every year until her junior year.
Now, when I say SAT Prep, I don’t mean a formal class, but I do mean taking practice tests. Reading books that focus on vocabulary; taking practice Math and Science exams for the ACT. Timing her essay writing, just to let her know creativity has a time limit.

Yep, if I had a magic wand, that’s what I would do.
Fortunately, I also have a 6th grader, or unfortunately if you talk to the 6th grader!LOL
Nonetheless, her high school years will be very different. Very different.
Ah, hindsight!

curriculum, education, hampton roads, home education, homeschooler, homeschooling, new homeschooler

Just Discovered: Upcoming Homeschool Events!

Connecting Nutrition, Behavior, and Learning
Given by Jane Hersey
Jane Hersey:
* Began using the Feingold diet in 1975
* Became a volunteer in 1976
* Feingold Association Director since 1985
* Editor of Pure Facts
* Author of:
o Why Can’t My Child Behave?
o Healthier Foods for Busy People
o What are all those funny things in food? … and should I eat them?

The workshop will be given at:
Williamsburg Christian Church
200 John Tyler, Williamsburg, VA.
Tuesday, March 23rd, from 12-2pm.
RSVP: catrynajackson (at) hotmail (dot)com

To learn more about Feingold visit their website:

27th Annual HEAV Homeschool Convention & Educational Fair
Home Education: For Their Future
June 10-12, 2010
Greater Richmond Convention Center
Richmond, Virginia

Well-Trained Mind Events
Jessie Wise
June 10-12
Home Educators Association of Virginia
Richmond, Virginia

Susan Wise Bauer
June 24-26
Society for Classical Learning
Williamsburg, Virginia

Classical Conversations
Williamsburg VA 3-day Parent Practicum
From Monday, May 24 2010 – 9:00am
To Wednesday, May 26 2010 – 4:00pm
Great Wolf Lodge, 549 E. Rochambeau Dr, Williamsburg, VA.

curriculum, education, hampton roads, home education

Homeschooling, Laziness, Boredom, and Acheivement

I’ve recently discovered something about homeschooling. My child can at once appear lazy and bored, yet be fully engaged in the learning process.

Now, I know what you’re thinking; “that kid’s got her fooled”. Say what you will, but think about what I’m saying. Kids don’t always “look” engaged when in reality… they are. Case in point, my daughter was listening to music and making a “click click” noise repetatively on the computer. I looked at her and thought, uggh, why isn’t she doing something productive. Almost as if she had read my mind she takes off her headphones and jumps up and down enthusiastically… apparently she finally achieved first grade status as a Japanese student. You mean that “click click” blob I was looking at was learning Japanese??

Hmmm… you mean learning can take place not at a desk with a workbook? Perhaps, it can take place where and when you least expect it and horrors, without my help?!

I’ve had to get used to this type of thing, but its a nice thing to get used to… Kids learn in their own ways, and when you give them time and space to explore… you never know what will happen!

home education, homeschool transition, homeschooling, new homeschooler, virginia

Getting Organized…

Well, at this point in the year, I really begin thinking about how I will organize my upcoming homeschool year. I ordered Managers of Their Homes, and I am devouring Teri’s great advice on scheduling for the homeschool family. I also had the good fortune to stumble upon Sue Patrick’s Workbox system and now I’m really trying to figure out how I can combine Teri’s schedule and Sue’s workbox to make something perfect for me.
What I like about Teri’s scheduling is that I can see just how much I have to get done in a glance, and my kids are not constantly asking me what comes next; they can see for themselves and work independently. I love that she schedules in time for the kids to play with each other and personal time for herself (what’s that?). I don’t like the finality of the Maxwell schedule however. Maybe I won’t FEEL like Math at 9am on Tuesday? Maybe, just once, I’d rather do English with my 10yr old at 9am on Tuesday. Then what?
Which brings me to what I like about the Workbox system. I love the “neat-i-ness” of it. The neat clear boxes on the “neat” rolling cart, your child just goes from box to box during the day until they have completed all 12 boxes. Yes, 12 boxes! Each child must have 12 clear boxes on a rolling cart containing the day’s lessons and activities, including boxes that allow for games and enrichment activities that always seem to slip through the cracks during normal school days. I love that the kids “check-in” to school each day via “neat” little paper pockets and laminated “school cards”. Nice. What I don’t like is that with 3 children that means I’d have to have 3 rolling carts with a total of 36 of those little boxes! Please… I barely have room for the kids in my school room.
So now, here’s what I’m thinking will work best for me, perhaps a book shelf with 4 clear containers for each child.
container 1 (daily work for home – English, math, music, etc), container 2 (Co-op Work- work that must be completed for our weekly coop- science, rhetoric, spanish,etc), container 3 (CBS – work that must be completed for weekly bible study), and container 4 (Enrichment Activities and Games). Next, I will have a schedule that allots time for School+a box number only but doesn’t assign a particular subject at a particular time – when a child sees “School” and a box number on their schedule they will know to go to their assigned box/container and pull out their assignments for the day and do them in the order that pleases them.
Okay, I’ll post pictures when I get this all set-up. What do you all think? Genius or disaster?

curriculum, education, hampton roads, home education, homeschool testing, homeschool transition, homeschooler, homeschooling

Homeschool with a Theme!

The longer I homeschool, the more awesome people I meet and the better the ideas get.

I was talking to my good friend, Ang, a longtime homeschool veteren, and she was telling me that some years she chooses all of her curriculum based on a theme. This year’s theme was to improve “thinking skills” so she ordered most of her curriculum from Critical Thinking Press. I thought this was the most awesome idea ever!

Not only are all of her children learning the same basic principles together, but she kept the cost of homeschooling down by focusing on one major area she wanted her entire family to focus on. All supplemental materials and family activities have been based on this theme; how this must have made shopping so much easier. How mentally freeing it must have been; to pass up things that tend to just add to the curriculum clutter, because she could shop with her theme in mind!

Now, if only I could narrow down all of my ideas down to just one theme…..