Kids who go onto college must have actual grades? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 14 Old 01-09-2011, 09:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was talking to another homeschooler today and she was telling me she registers her children's grades. When i said we don't do this (wouldn't even have a way to do this since we're pretty relaxed - I've never tested or graded or anything) she said that we would definitely want/need to do this for high school since colleges required this, even of homeschoolers.

 

This is new to me. Can someone please talk to me about this? This isn't true, is it? I mean how would an unschooling family assign grades, for example?

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#2 of 14 Old 01-09-2011, 11:23 PM
 
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I went to a community college and I hadn't had an official grade since 8th grade. I took a placement test and that was it. I know bigger schools have stricter requirements but I doubt they all require grades. 


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#3 of 14 Old 01-10-2011, 07:50 AM
 
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Not true.  Every university/college has different entrance requirements for homeschoolers.  Some have no specific policy, so the easiest way in could very well be to have some kind of official grades.  But many have a policy and more and more are implementing them... generally, they look at a portfolio, a body of work, on a case by case basis.  Some require standardized tests like the SAT.  But you don't need "registered grades" in order to do the SAT.  Most universities know that homeschoolers don't have "grades" and gladly look at alternative evaluation methods.

 

I wonder where your friend got this misinformation?


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#4 of 14 Old 01-10-2011, 09:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm glad to hear this, because frankly the whole grading for homeschoolers seems kind of odd to me. If we're their teachers, what would prevent us from giving them all A's? It just wouldn't seem like a good system.

 

I wonder too, why she thinks this, but she definitely does. I asked her if she was part of a charter and she said no, she just registers her grades with someone who keeps grades for many homeschoolers?

 

I too would assume that SAT marks, essays, and/or entrance exams would be appropriate, in addition to looking at all the things they've done in their life in general (extra curricular stuff) - the things they've done to make them who they are. But maybe I'm romanticizing that?!

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#5 of 14 Old 01-10-2011, 09:36 AM
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We're smack-dab in the middle of college applications. :) Clearly YMMV depending in what colleges your child applies to, but some have told us specifically that they wanted to see actual grades and an actual GPA. So, we filled in the grades she'd gotten in her college classes (taken while homeschooling) and gave her all A's for homeschool stuff, and I included a note on her transcript saying that we did not use grades in our homeschool  because our homeschool learning was mastery-based and Rain was able to keep working at a subject until she completely mastered it, but since they were requiring grades I was giving A's because her knowledge at the end of the course reflected an A-level understanding of the topic. I also pointed out that her college grades clearly demonstrated that she was able to succeed within the constraints of a traditional educational system.

 

Things have really changed a lot... colleges are much more used to seeing applications from homeschoolers. The common app has a standard homeschool supplement that some colleges require, and others specifically mention requirements on their websites. All of the applications have had lots of room for adding notes and explanations about how we did things.

 

I have never heard of anyone registering their grades with an outside party while homeschooling... that just sounds bizarre.


 
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#6 of 14 Old 01-10-2011, 09:50 AM
 
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hmmm... I wonder if she is part of some type of charter or virtual school?  I say this because there are a few schools that allow you to pick any curriculum you want and the school is a sort of umbrella school that then turns around and issues grades/transcripts but in reality the parent is doing all the teaching/selection of materials.  I've known a couple of high school hsers that have done that so that they are able to present a "official" high school transcript from a school district (regionally we have one)

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#7 of 14 Old 01-10-2011, 09:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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She specifically said no, she is not part of a charter, just uses this woman to log her grades? I'll have to ask her more about it next time I see her again.

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#8 of 14 Old 01-10-2011, 10:31 AM
 
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There is a homeschool Dad in our Christian HS Group who works for the school board and offers to administer testing for each grade for any parent that wants it.  I was never interested in it, so I don't know much beyond that, I think it was basically like an equivalency testing for each grade and he must have given the parents an official type of grade.  I think some parents did it for peace of mind and some did it so they could have that official piece of paper to have on file- for whatever it was worth.  Perhaps it is something like this? 


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#9 of 14 Old 01-10-2011, 01:30 PM
 
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From my lurking on homeschooling to college lists, it sounds like in most cases grades aren't required.  Sometimes not having a high school gpa can rule out some scholarships.  You may need grades if you are trying to be eligible for a NCAA div. 1 sport.  Otherwise many homeschoolers have gotten in to colleges just fine without traditional transcripts and/or grades.  Some people assign gpa's based solely on outside classes taken during high school, others include stuff done while strictly homeschooling, others just don't do it at all.  

 

I don't know yet what we will do.  I will probably  use her grades from online classes and dual enrollment classes, but I haven't decided about stuff we do at home.  Much of it is an exploration and work toward mastery rather than a set curriculum with tests or papers to grade. I would like to keep her eligible for some scholarships.  I know our local state U, which she may attend, has a great scholarship for high ACT scorers with high gpa's.  You can be eligible as a homeschooler but not without grades.  However, she is very likely to go elsewhere and then it probably won't matter. LOL

 

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#10 of 14 Old 01-10-2011, 05:43 PM
 
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My 19 yo is in her second year at university. I made her a homeschool transcript using WORD. I used the grades she got from community college for those classes, and assigned her a grade for the materials she did at home. All of the schools she applied to wanted an actual transcript with a GPA. But no one had any trouble with my making the transcript myself. I just had to get it notarized before sending it in.


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#11 of 14 Old 01-11-2011, 05:35 AM
 
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Depends on the college--when dd started community college, they didn't request grades at all. Now she's applying to universities and it really does depend on the individual college---some want traditional transcripts with letter grades (we provide the cc transcripts and a homeschool transcript, as others have said, the hs one reflects mastery.) Others want more of a portfolio or resume-style description of what the student has been doing. There's nothing stopping a hsing parent from assigning grades or issuing a diploma where we live. That's usually just one portion of the application process and other information like interviews, essays, SAT scores, portfolios, outside classes, etc. will back up whatever grading is given.

 

We just sent off the LONGEST application ever and this school wanted a detailed description of the subjects studied, materials used, grades earned, etc. They also wanted an explanation from me regarding our "homeschool philosophy" and a description of the "methods of evaluation" that we used during her hsing and a number of other essays from both dd and myself.

 

No other school has wanted as much, and dd has always unschooled--but it's really just a matter of packaging the information in the way the school wants it. 


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#12 of 14 Old 01-11-2011, 06:15 AM
 
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#13 of 14 Old 01-11-2011, 09:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SagMom View Post

We just sent off the LONGEST application ever and this school wanted a detailed description of the subjects studied, materials used, grades earned, etc. They also wanted an explanation from me regarding our "homeschool philosophy" and a description of the "methods of evaluation" that we used during her hsing and a number of other essays from both dd and myself.



Yeah, I think the common app homeschooling supplement asked for that stuff, too... I actually wrote a fairly detailed transcript for Rain, to explain everything. Well, the first two pages were just classes, where taken, and grades, with notes at the bottom giving a link to the cc website, but then I had ten pages of course descriptions with a paragraph or so about each class with a list of texts used, and then at the end we made a list of all the books she could remember reading over the last 4 years - well, all the ones that seemed sort of college-worthy. I've seen reading lists that included the sort of book you might read on a plane to pass the time, but we didn't go there. And yes, essays!

 

In retrospect, I wish we had done a little bit more record-keeping, like saving the syllabi from her college classes and maybe sitting down every six months to list the books she'd been reading... but really, it wasn't too hard to pull it all together...


 
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#14 of 14 Old 01-11-2011, 09:21 PM
 
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I wonder if she's paying the person she registers the grades with. I've never heard of such a thing. Every college is different, and the ones my son applied to - small private liberal arts colleges - required no grades other than wanting to see transcripts from the community college where he'd taken classes. The homeschool high school transcript I sent with his applications was a little over a page long, and it consisted of general comments and observations about the kind of things he'd done during his teen years, including mention of the kind of freedom he'd had to pursue his own interests. The college he decided to go with after getting the acceptances told him that it was his SAT, his record of year long full time residential volunteer service, his application essays, and his letters of recommendation that had influenced them the most - and they said it was one of the best applications they'd had in a long time. The fact that he really knew what he wanted from college by that time - and what it was about each of the colleges he was applying to that would further those goals - was very impressive, since they get so many applications from students who really haven't had enough life experience out in the bigger world to have such insight and goals. I've heard of colleges that want to see high school homeschool grades from parents, but never of one that wanted to see them delivered through some third party! As the teen years come along, if there's reason to believe your child will be applying to state colleges or certain highly competitive ones, that would be the time to start thinking about keeping lists of books read, classes taken, subjects studied, etc. 

 

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