Several myths abound about homeschooling, and one of the biggest is that if you graduate from homeschool, you do not receive an official diploma. This is completely in error. In every state of the U.S., parents are authorized to administer a diploma to a student who has met that state’s particular graduation requirements. (Note: many states do not HAVE graduation requirements, so in those states parents are authorized to administer a diploma based on their OWN graduation requirements)
Keep in mind that this is different than meeting a college’s entrance requirements. A parent may administer a diploma to a student even though that student still has not completed the courses required for entrance into specific universities. This is true whether or not you are homeschooled. Even public school students may graduate from their high school without the required coursework for entrance into a specific college.
Other Homeschool Diploma Options
Parents who are worried, however, about whether or not a college will accept a diploma administered by themselves DO have other options. They may choose to let their high schooler attend a virtual school, in states that allow them. Virtual schooling in high school is technically not homeschooling, but it does take place in the home. It is actually a form of charter school, usually run by private for-profit companies, who receive public funds from the local government for each student enrolled. When you receive a diploma from a virtual school, you are basically receiving the same diploma you would receive if you had attended a state public school.
Homeschooling high schoolers may also register at one of the many online high schools that offer curriculum for homeschoolers. These are not free, as the virtual charter school option is, but rather range in cost from what small private schools would charge in tuition to what elite prep-schools require. However, many offer the benefit of being “accredited” by an organized accrediting organization, which some parents prefer. These online curriculum providers provide a full offering of courses similar to what private schools would offer, and then offer the option of administering a diploma to the student upon successful completion of that coursework. Some parents choose this option because they believe that a diploma administered by private curriculum provider will be more appealing than one they administered themselves. This is often not necessarily the case, but if parents and students elect to go this route, there are certainly many online high school programs to choose from.
Schools Offering Homeschool Diplomas Online
The following online schools offer diplomas to students who graduate from their programs:
A Beka Academy
Laurel Springs School
Adison High School
Lighthouse Christian Academy
The American Academy
BJU Academy of Home Education
The Cambridge Academy
The MorningStar Academy
Christian Liberty Academy Satellite Schools (CLASS)