The idea of homeschooling your child all the way through high school can seem daunting, but with academic and social activities, online classes, internships, it can be a fun and robust experience for your child. If you have been homeschooling your child in the years leading up to high school, you will likely find that their learning follows a natural progression and that high school is not that big of a shift from the previous years of learning and exploring.
Homeschooling parents of teenagers may have questions about meeting high school graduation requirements. There are minimum requirements that students enrolled in public schools must meet in order to graduate. Because homeschoolers are considered non-public schools by the state, we have the freedom to set graduation requirements we for our students. This affords homeschool educators and learners the opportunity to personalize a student’s education plan according to their particular areas of interest.
Like any other diploma-granting institution, once the requirements have been met in your homeschool, your student may graduate. You may choose to commemorate the event by creating a diploma to give your student and/or creating a special day to celebrate everything your student has accomplished!
We all want our children to have the skills they need to go on to whatever dreams they have for their adult lives. Home educators of college-bound students should be comforted to know that there is a growing evidence that shows homeschoolers are generally very successful in college. In fact, some colleges have even begun to court homeschoolers for the additional focus, drive, maturity, and initiative that many of them bring to the classroom.
Two of the best things you can do to help your high school student prepare for college:
- Keep track of every meaningful learning experience. Most colleges are now well-versed in the world of the homeschool graduate. They have learned not to expect a homeschooler’s education record or application to look like everyone else’s. But, they do want to know what the student has learned, who they are, and what they have accomplished along the way, so don’t be shy about keeping track of anything that you feel has contributed to your student’s growth. A narrative transcript in addition to a more traditional transcript can be beneficial for home educated college applicants.
- Contact prospective colleges to find out what they will want to see from your homeschool applicant. If there is a school or two (or more!) that your student is particularly interested in, do some research. Call their admissions office and ask what they prefer to have from homeschool applicants. Do they want a transcript? Are there specific classes they would like for an applicant to have taken? Will they accept a narrative-style transcript? Many college admissions offices have now had more than a few homeschool applicants come through and have developed some idea of what would be most helpful for them to see.