Got questions? Is your mind whirring at the thought of what this might entail? Stop wondering and read on…
What are the graduation requirements for a homeschool high schooler?
There are none! Each school has its own ideas about number and type of credits required to graduate, and even how many hours equal a credit. Homeschool high schoolers determine their own graduation requirements, too. Look online to get an idea of what other high schools require, and customize a program for your child.
College-bound students should strive to 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. Include literature classes, and consider a foreign language.
A quick online check shows that high schools consider anywhere from 80 to 120 hours of instruction a “credit”. (To make it easy, I chose 100 hours for my students.) Remember that “hours of instruction” can be reading, doing worksheets, watching a DVD lesson, working on the computer, working at an outside job, doing community service, etc.
Keep a simple log. Since no class time is taken up with going over a syllabus or listening to the instructor explain how grades will be awarded, you might find your homeschooler completes more work than you expect during hours logged.
What is the difference between a diploma, a transcript, and a portfolio?
A diploma is mainly a keepsake, suitable for framing. It simply states that the student graduated, and the date that was accomplished.
A transcript is a list of all courses the student has taken, along with grades received.
A portfolio is a sample of the student’s work in each subject.
Professional appearing diplomas can be ordered online, or you can print your own. You can also create your own transcript via a template. A portfolio is usually a notebook, divided by subject, containing a few samples of the student’s work in each subject, along with standardized test scores, awards, and achievements.
How can I teach my student subjects that I didn’t take myself, or that I didn’t do well?
With today’s selection of traditional textbook alternatives, the parent is off the hook! Choose an online course or classes on DVD. Consider allowing your student to audit a class at a community college, or even take the class for college credit. Most colleges offer online classes, and it isn’t unusual for a student to meet face-to-face with their instructor only once, so you don’t need to feel you are shirking your duties as a home teacher.
Won’t my student need a high school diploma to get a job?
Your student should have a high school diploma. Either a diploma from an online/correspondence school or one that is prepared and signed by you, the student’s teacher. Most employers will accept a high school diploma as proof of graduation. Make sure the diploma you provide has a professional appearance. Don’t ask if a homeschool diploma will be acceptable; just assume that it is.
Won’t my student need a high school diploma to go to college?
Most colleges today are open to accepting homeschooled students; in fact, many actively recruit homeschoolers. A homeschool diploma is not something they will likely put much emphasis on, however. Colleges are usually more interested in your transcript and SAT/ACT test scores. A well-written essay will improve your student’s chances of acceptance, too. Always explore the specific admissions policies of colleges you may be interested in applying to, however.
That’s up to you. On one hand, it can make life easier, as it isn’t as open to questioning as a homeschool diploma. On the other hand, a GED implies that the student dropped out, and that isn’t the case with our hard-working homeschool graduates. If you are uncomfortable with the possibility that your homeschool diploma could be challenged, you might want to consider obtaining a GED and putting it aside. Use it selectively, only if you encounter a situation where a homeschool diploma isn’t accepted and there isn’t enough time to prepare a case in its defense.
A prom is not automatically off-limits to a homeschooler. Most schools offer guest tickets so, if your student is dating someone who is traditionally schooled, they may go to the prom after all! Many homeschool co-ops hold their own proms, and a few states hold statewide proms. Proms are often less important to homeschooled students than we might assume. If it is a matter of importance, consider a prom alternative.
How can I homeschool online for free?
Some states offer a type of schooling from home called “virtual schooling.” Technically, it isn’t homeschooling – – you are still a member of the public school system, but you do most, if not all, of your school work from home on an internet-connected computer. If your state offers virtual schooling via a charter school, then you can complete your studies online for free.