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What Not to Put on Your High School Transcript

ORGANIZED UNDER: Learning to Reason // Quick Start

When preparing your high schooler’s transcripts for college admission, there are a few things you simply must include (English, math, and history spring to mind), and several more that you can safely leave off (no matter how proud your little sprout is of them).

Here are a few to edit right out:

• A lovingly arranged scrapbook of your family outings.
• Scrabble high scores: no matter Little Gerry’s expertise, this does not count as math. Or spelling.
• Mowing the lawn (this is not PE).
• A list of every book read in the past four years. Impressive yes, but not a good idea. How many forests do you want to annihilate with that much paper?
• 20 credits in one semester. Umm, no one is smellin’ what you’re steppin’ in there.
• You can’t give credits for diapering the baby, sorry.
Basic chores (see above).
• Alphabetizing your bookshelf.
• Carrying groceries from the car every Monday is not PE, nor is it social studies.
• “Life Experience.” That’s a negative, Ghostrider.
• Dismal scores on algebra, but high scores on geometry and trig. Things that make you go, whaaa?
• Cleaning out the fridge is not a biology or chemistry credit, no matter how old and expired that sour cream was.
• Klingon is not a foreign language, nor is Elvish. Sigh.
• Air guitar.
Family dinners should not be counted as debate class. Well, then again, that’s debatable. HA!
• Introducing the entire series of Doctor Who to friends can’t count as community service.
• Being an expert on the BBC’s Sherlock does not count as a leadership position!
• Neither does being proficient at Minecraft. Even if Junior has his own hotline. Well, okay, maybe then . . .
• Unloading the dishwasher is not home economics. Wait. Is there such a subject as home ec anymore, anyway?
• One spin around the room doing your best ballroom dancing impression at a homeschool prom does not a credit earn.
• The Twilight graphic novel is not American literature.

(Also, don’t hand write your transcript, even if Little Sally’s cursive is impressive. Short, simple, and professional are what colleges are looking for.)

P.S. No glitter or gel pens, you crafty moms. Seriously, you cannot be trusted around office supplies, can you?

Melyssa Williams writes when she isn't reading, or dancing, or distractedly homeschooling. She is a ballet teacher by day, and a YA author by night. A second generation homeschooler, Melyssa has fond memories of sitting in trees reading books, and in keeping with the tradition, sticks her kids in trees with books frequently. She is the author of the Lost trilogy, a collection of short stories, and is currently working on her first steampunk novel: a retelling of the Nutcracker titled The Clockmaker's Apprentice. Learn more about Melyssa and her books by visiting her website. She loves connecting with her readers.

  • Nicole Jobson

    I love your list! Very cute.

    Please note that many of the highly selective colleges want comprehensive book lists from students, especially homeschoolers. And many students excel in geometry and trig but have difficulty in algebra.

    Great piece of writing.

    June 8, 2015 at 10:35 am Reply
    • Mama Rachel

      Okay, so I also have high schoolers that did well in geometry and struggled a LOT with algebra. It’s a common occurrence.

      Cute list, though I laughed a bunch, though I do have Home Ec down for my kids, considering they cook all the meals around our house, and learned how to sew. Life skills are important!

      Great list! 😀

      September 16, 2015 at 12:31 am Reply
      • Anne Campbell

        Yes, they are! Thanks for sharing, Mama Rachel!

        September 16, 2015 at 10:34 pm Reply
  • Mya Nameo

    We had a unit study on Star Trek, how the props worked, what went on in Gene Roddenberry’s mind, what was happening in the 60s when it was written, comparisons to STNG. And Klingon is a recognized language with syntax and its own dictionary.

    September 15, 2015 at 9:43 pm Reply
  • Emma

    I spent the past few years learning Elvish (as well as other, human-spoken language)…… and it actually is a good introduction to foreign pronunciation. I was the only one in my choir able to correctly pronounce all of our German a Capella piece. 🙂

    July 6, 2016 at 8:44 am Reply

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