If you’re a little intimidated by the thought of writing course descriptions for your home-school classes, take heart—you’re not alone! Many parents are nervous about this job, but truthfully, it’s not really a big deal. A course description is no harder than a fifth grade writing assignment, and you can do that!
One paragraph is generally all you need to write for each course description. If you want to, you can include a list of the resources you used in the class as well. The descriptive paragraph just needs to say something like “in this class, the student will study American history from the Civil War up to World War 2.” You can include the curriculum you used in the same paragraph or under a separate heading of “Resources.” You can also include a description of how you determined grades. Perhaps your grades were based on 25% tests, 25% writing, 25% discussion and 25% daily work. However you determined your grades, include that in your description somewhere. Although the transcript is just one page and includes every course your child has taken, course descriptions can be longer, even up to a page long for each class, so don’t worry about it being too long. At the same time, yours don’t have to be that long! Just whatever works for your particular situation.
If some of your courses were completed outside your home, say at a home-school co-op or some other place, usually those courses come with a written course description. If you like it, feel free to use that description instead of having to write your own! You should feel free to edit it to reflect your child’s experience, as well. This method of cutting and pasting from other descriptions can save you a lot of time. In the same way, if you used a particular curriculum that already has a description written about it, you could use that as your course description too. You can find those in home-school catalogs and on home-school websites. I don’t think there’s any need to reinvent the wheel when someone else has already written a description of a program you used, so save yourself the time and use what the publisher says about their product.