Homeschooling is becoming more popular, especially since the Covid pandemic. Students who study from home have more freedom and comfort in their learning environment. There are multiple ways of teaching a homeschooled child, but since everything is done at home and not by a school institution, you may wonder how homeschoolers graduate.
Homeschoolers graduate upon completing their schooling and are awarded a diploma that they obtain through a public school, umbrella school, correspondence school, virtual school, or by the homeschooler’s facilitator. Most often, the graduate certificate gets awarded by the parents.
Homeschooling your child can seem complex and daunting, so we have more information on what needs to get done to obtain graduation, how children can graduate, and the various tips on homeschooling.
How Homeschoolers Graduate
Everybody wants the best for their child’s schooling career, which is why many opt for homeschooling in the first place. To ensure successful graduation, we’ll look at what is needed and the options available for obtaining a diploma.
What You Need For A Homeschooler To Graduate
To ensure you homeschool correctly, especially for college and work preparation, parents must keep a record of their child’s transcript. Transcripts are evidence of a child’s schooling career, and tertiary education institutions require one.
Transcripts trace the homeschooler’s personal information, what material got covered, the activities they have completed, their credits, their GPA, and their graduation date. Maintaining and creating transcripts can be intimidating, but these official academic records are easy to knuckle down. Plenty of paid and free resources are available to manage and generate homeschool transcripts. Transcripts are best to be kept from 8th grade and onwards.
A high school homeschool transcript could benefit from course descriptions but is dependent on if the institution your child applies to requires it. There are endless transcript formats, but if the homeschooler has taken longer to complete subjects in specific years, it may be best to formulate the transcript by courses and not by grade level. Non-dated formats focus more on the accomplishment than the time taken to complete them.
There is no standardized high school test for homeschoolers, so their homeschool diploma is supplemented best by a Scholastic Assessment Test and American College Testing. The homeschooler’s parents or homeschool facilitator decides their curriculum, how credits are assigned, how many credits get attributed to each subject, and the dates for completion. Still, these are all confined by state laws and possibly according to tertiary education requirements.
Many states mandate an attendance record for homeschoolers, while others hardly have any requirements. If a pupil doesn’t meet their attendance requirements, it can prevent a student from graduating. Many states also mandate that homeschoolers get external testing or have outside supervision, such as a state-certified tutor, which is also essential for graduation.
How To Obtain A Homeschool Graduation Diploma
There are a few ways to obtain a homeschooler’s high school diploma upon graduation. Certifications get more commonly provided by the homeschooled child’s parents or facilitator, but if a homeschool institution schools the child, they can also award one.
Graduation Awarded By Parents
Parents often homeschool their children, so it is up to the parents what they require for graduation, and it is also their responsibility to issue a graduate diploma. The parents need to produce their certificates because their homeschool is a self-governing educational institution.
The diploma needs to look official, and the parent can either design one themselves or find a template online. A parent-awarded graduation certificate is just as valid as one obtained through a public school. It will depend on the actual education, not the diploma, for the student to be deemed a successful applicant to tertiary institutions.
The homeschool graduate diploma needs to state the name of the high school, the student’s name, the state in which it got issued, the date of issue, the language in which the student learned, and a signature from the education provider.
It might be best to name the homeschool, sometimes required by law in some states when putting the name on the graduate diploma. If you’re at a loss to find one, you can try using your surname followed by ‘academy’ or ‘school’ at the end.
Graduation Awarded By A Public School
Sometimes parents like to have an external certificate issued by a public school to validate their education further. Most often, external schools won’t give one, but depending on the state, the parent can try organizing it.
In Pennsylvania, an external homeschool association must provide a diploma by law. A public school homeschoolers certificate can get issued in many states, but some cannot offer one. Hence, the educational facilitator needs to research what they can do to get external diplomas.
If you can obtain a diploma from a public school, they might have educational requirements before the student can get one, so if this is the plan, try to find that out in advance to ensure that the student can receive one.
Graduation Awarded By A Third-Party School
Some homeschoolers get taught by third-party educational institutions like umbrella schools, correspondence schools, charter schools, and virtual schools through which they can graduate. These institutions have educational systems, so students must abide by their circumstances to graduate and receive their high school certification.
Parents can still create their curriculum in homeschool umbrella schools but submit results to the umbrella institution, and the institution will award the graduation. Umbrella schools also keep track of attendance. This type of school significantly assists with the challenge of homeschool record keeping. Umbrella schools also alleviate the need to submit an attendance record to their schooling district, which can save the parents some stress.
Charter schools are rigid with their educational program and assessment systems and function as public schools funded by the American government. A student will only obtain a graduation certificate if they complete their education like they would in an in-person public school. These schools still allow for the comfort of learning from home but don’t allow freedom in the curriculum.
Correspondence high schools are a homeschooling option whereby, like charter schools, they have a set curriculum, as do online schools. Students receive their high school diplomas upon completing their studies through correspondence or online school.
Students don’t necessarily need to complete their high school career entirely through correspondence or online schools; they can also decide to do specific courses and obtain their high school diploma via their parents or umbrella school.
Gearing a homeschooled student towards graduation is challenging, but there are ways to make their educational journey smoother, and we’re here to let you know what can make it a bit easier for you.
Transcripts are vital to your child’s graduation and what colleges and universities require to accept a student as one of their pupils, so maintaining and updating the transcript each semester is the best practice.
The homeschooled child can learn to keep their schooling record for transcript purposes, doubling as teaching them how to be independent and organized. The homeschooler should log their completed lessons, activities, projects, and curriculum along with the assigned marks, making it easier for the homeschool facilitator to update the transcript.
To help your child learn to keep tabs on their schooling, the parent can issue them a diary to keep a record of what they complete weekly, or they can set up a digital planner. The child’s homeschooling facilitator should check the logs to ensure they are up to date and help the child if they struggle. It will be best for the homeschooler to self-record from 9th grade as it is age appropriate.
How To Decide On A Homeschool Highschool Curriculum
Homeschool allows for the greatest freedom in what a child can learn. The liberty lets the parent or facilitator focus on what fascinates the child most, allowing them to shine bright because the children appreciate what they study.
The essential high school subjects are still necessary, such as English, Math, Science, and an additional language, as it reflects well on tertiary institutions and future employment prospects. The state sometimes mandates subjects like English and Mathematics, so research on these particulars is vital! Although these subjects may be absolute, there are ways to customize the experience, for example, choosing the reading list based on books the student enjoys or aligning their Math subject to a specific niche that piques their interest.
A child’s education should open doors for opportunity, not prevent them from it, so to ensure they get the best education possible, the homeschool facilitator should research college and university requirements if the student plans on going there so the curriculum can align with their goals. Homeschool diplomas are still valid for these institutions but may have conditions.
The homeschool facilitator or parent doesn’t have to do everything independently, and external education methods can significantly help. Suppose a student is interested in specific subjects. In that case, they can enroll in a short course provided by an educational institution. Hence, part of their education comes from an external source that may further validate their educational experience and align with their career choice to impress future employers.
Once the parent knows what they’d like to teach, the best course of action is to set up the curriculum for the entire year ahead so that nothing gets missed regarding content that needs to be covered. Planning helps students complete tasks and tests in a timely fashion to achieve credits that make up their GPA.
Socialization For Homeschoolers
Socialization is a part of growing up and teaches a child how they fit into society. Interpersonal growth also comes into play in homeschooling, although it’s not something that gets introduced through teaching.
The suggestion is that homeschoolers should at least get a bit of social interaction with their peers, so they can make friends and learn to build relationships. Socializing teaches children psychological skills they cannot acquire if they are always alone.
If a parent does some research, they can find homeschool support groups in their area that organize events and get-togethers for the homeschool community. Facebook is an excellent tool for finding these groups. The other option is to sign the student up for extramural activities like sports or hobby clubs like chess.
External Validation For Homeschool Graduation
Although homeschool graduation certificates are valid and acceptable to tertiary education institutions, some external validation can come in handy. Umbrella, correspondence, and virtual schools help to verify a homeschooler’s education because they are a third party that monitors the pupil’s educational journey.
Some states require an external government moderator or an issued diploma from a public school for a child to complete their schooling career. If these options are not mandated, the homeschooler can pursue a GED, HiSET, or TASC – a high school credential showing a graduate’s proficiency level.
Other options to show a homeschooler’s aptitude are SAT, ACT, or PSAT. SATs show that the student is well educated and geared towards tertiary education, allowing them to stand out more than if they just had a homeschoolers diploma. ACT scores also show how well prepared a homeschooler is and is a test sometimes required by colleges and universities. ACTs often get preferred over SATs.
PSAT is a Preliminary SAT that allows students to prepare for SATs and validate if they are worthy of a National Merit Scholarship. You can use the PSAT as a tool to gear a homeschooler for their SAT and help them gain access to scholarships.
Hosting A Homeschool Graduation
Once a homeschooler finishes their high school journey, celebrating their hard work would be a great idea. You can have their diploma printed and award it to them during the ceremony to make the event special. You can also contact your local homeschooling community to see if there are other homeschool graduates to join in on the festivity.
Homeschoolers graduate when they complete their schooling and get awarded a diploma, whether that may be from their parents, a public institution, or a third-party education organization. A transcript is vital for a child to graduate and enter tertiary education.
Homeschoolers can breeze through their high school career by helping maintain their transcript, learning a curriculum they enjoy, socializing with peers, and doing external testing to validate their high school career further. We hope that you may have the best homeschooling journey ahead!