Can a Homeschooler Get a Diploma
What we are always afraid of when we start to get in the high school grades of homeschooling, is whether or not I need an accredited homeschool diploma. We always want to do what is best for our children, and definitely not do anything to harm their chances of getting into college. No one wants to reduce their children’s opportunities for anything really. But to answer the question, yes, homeschoolers get a diploma, usually issued by their parents. As to an accredited diploma, probably not from an accredited institution.
In most cases, this does not affect their chances of continuing on with their education or college of their choice. There are also institutions called “umbrella” schools, which will provide an accredited diploma. What is an “umbrella” school you ask? Well; An umbrella school is basically a third party organization which keeps records for you and may issue transcripts or diplomas. In some states, such as Florida and Tennessee, enrolling your homeschooler in an umbrella school is a legal option. Some schools, such as Abeka and Calvert provide all your teaching materials, but some don’t Sometimes there is an actual school that also enrolls homeschoolers; but in most cases they don’t. Mostly people appreciate having that third party to be able to have the self assurance they are on the right track and can get that accredited diploma.
But let’s take a look at the more involved answer.
First and foremost, you need to really understand the homeschool laws in your state. These laws are different in each state and you need to be completely aware of what is going on. Especially if you decide to remove your child from the pubic school setting, there are definite rules and regulations to follow. The state school authorities do not have the best information about homeschooling – and some can be put off that you are even going to remove your child from school in the first place. National groups, for the most part, are unable to keep up with changes in all fifty states, let alone if laws are being changed in each of them. School authorities themselves do not understand the expectations of a homeschooler, they may unintentionally give wrong information. Your best bet is to contact your statewide homeschool organization.
With all that said, homeschoolers get a diploma when their parents give them one. They do not typically receive a diploma from their local department of education or the state where they live. While school authorities often make a big deal out of whether teens will have or won’t have a diploma from their school, most of the time, this is not an issue for homeschoolers.
Job & College Applications
When your high schooler graduates and they are asked on any job application, “Are you a high school graduate?” they can put yes. They graduated when they completed all their work and their parents gave them a diploma. This means they completed work similar to that of their peers who attended school, maybe not exactly the same, but qualified with the courses they took. You have to understand, no parent would purposely want to lie about this situation, it would only deter the plans for their future. Same thing if they’re asked if they have a diploma, yes, they have a diploma.
Typically you should provide written proof through a transcript and other evidence of the work you have done. It is very important to save records and grades, they will want the GPA. If your child wants to attend college, their parent should be preparing, starting around 8th grade, having them take the courses so the will have what they need for higher education. Homeschoolers will have to show they can do college level work, by providing transcripts or by being a dual-enrolled high school student. Some colleges and universities may want test scores and SAT. Most college admission policies allow for homeschoolers and are very welcoming. They are seeing that the quality of the homeschoolers has and continues to improve – they are usually well versed in all subjects needed.
If the importance of getting a diploma has been brought up to you by family members as a reason not to homeschool, now you have the information to prove your point on this issue. Homeschoolers with parent-awarded diplomas are doing great things in the world without doors being closed to them.
What are the graduation requirements for a homeschool high schooler?
Basically check online at other high schools and what they require, and you can customize a program for your child. Your township or county usually has a website with the graduation requirements needed. They will also have the type of credits required and even how many hours equal a credit. So you can be pretty flexible here setting up the courses and direction your child wants to go. Of course college bound students should complete more than basic math and first-year Algebra. A good understanding of chemistry, biology, and physics is necessary. All students should be able to write well so include literature classes, and a foreign language.
We as parents are obviously going to do what is best for our children. We are not going to purposely leave out something that our child will need to either further their education or what is needed in the work force. There is so much out there online (and through other homeschoolers who have been through it) that there is no excuse for not finding what we need. The most important thing is to do the research, and keep your children motivated and on course for whatever path they choose.
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