Things You Should Never Say To Those That Homeschool High School
I am graduating my oldest child from homeschool this year. She is 16 and graduating a year early, working towards dual credit, her GED, and looking ahead to full time college. When I started homeschooling I thought people were skeptical, critical, and uninformed. That just got worse when I started to homeschool high school.
Things You Should Never Say to Those That Homeschool High School
1. Do you get a high school diploma?
The answer for us here in New York is no. No my children will never get a high school diploma if I homeschool them all the way through high school. But seriously? Is that any of your concern?
2. Well then, how do you graduate?
Well, I guess technically they won’t. But again, do you think that probing about their graduation status is where your focus should be? The long and the short is that if we wanted a graduation ceremony there are tons of homeschool groups that organize these types of events. But we are not concerned about the pomp and circumstance. We are more focused on raising well minded, free thinking, independent human beings.
Yes she is graduating this year, just not in the traditional way that you envision. She has a class ring because she wants one, and she will have a graduation party to celebrate the end of her high school education.
3. So do you play school sports?
NOPE! Do we need to? Each state is different when it comes to their homeschool regulations. The New York State Homeschool regulations allow for each district to choose how to handle this. Unfortunately none in our area allow it, and I am not sure it would make a difference to me anyways. Each of our children are involved in competitive sports that they can enjoy all the way through high school.
Plus, that last time I checked not every kid in high school plays sports.
4. But you will never get to go to the prom!
To this, Mom and Dad sigh a secret sigh of relief at avoiding this sometimes worrisome right of passage. Then on the other hand many homeschool groups organize their own proms and my teen went to a local high school prom with her boyfriend who attended that school.
Besides, there are also many kids that go through high school and NEVER attend their prom anyways. I did, and some were awesome and some weren’t. But I can pretty much guarantee that even if my children never experience this they will not be scarred for life!
5. How do you get into college?
Pretty much the same as everyone else, just with a few more hoops to jump through. For my daughter she is happy to get her GED to streamline the process. But many choose not to go this route. You can get into college without an accredited high school diploma.
We choose to spend our time earning dual credit, taking CLEP exams, and working towards a 24 college credit equivalency that will give her the GED.
6. Where do you find friends?
Because the public high school is the only place to find them? Ever been to church? Gone to an amusement park, playground, museum or other local gathering place? Did you ever think about the drama productions, sports programs, art classes, field trip days, co-ops, etc that we attend along with other homeschoolers or as members of our community?
Being homeschooled allows our children the chance to have friends of many ages, stages, and walks of life. They are out in their community learning and interacting with children and adults alike.
7. Don’t you feel like you are missing out on the full high school experience?
This might be best asked and answered by my teen herself. The one who is taking college classes at 16, working part time as a gymnastics coach, competing in high level gymnastics, has attended a prom (if that is your measure of the full high school experience), is learning to drive like every other 16 year old, etc. While she sits and listens to the woes of all her public school friends (yes she has many of those), she is grateful to have the time and space to explore her options through opportunities in the community and the freedom to choose any high school elective she wants, learn at her pace and her way, and will tell you adamantly how she has loved and chosen to be homeschooled through her high school years.
Things NOT to Say to a New Homeschooler | iHomeschool Network
November 23, 2015 @ 6:19 am
[…] Things You Should Never Say to Those That Homeschool High School by Heidi […]
Kristen Horton Gregg
November 25, 2015 @ 10:42 pm
Loved this article. I have heard all the same, plus a few more. In Massachusetts, a homeschooled child can participate in any class or sport at the local schools. My high school daughter chose to take cheer and became cheer captain. She LOVES homeschooling because she can sleep in when she wants and do her school when and where she chooses. I have given her several options and this is the one she wants to do.
November 25, 2015 @ 11:31 pm
I’m super curious about why you can’t print out a Diploma that is made with your “school” logo (aka, Last name High school) and use that? In CO we don’t have any laws about not being able to do that. Is it accredited? No, but seriously – even colleges don’t ask to see the Diploma or if you got one! They want to see a transcript and your SAT/ACT scores!
Super funny article (for us fellow homeschoolers!) And also – #6 and #7 can apply to ALL of us!
November 26, 2015 @ 9:13 am
Kristen, It is awesome that you have been able to take advantage of school sports! Congratulations to your daughter for becoming the cheer captain! We also love the flexibility of homeschooling. My daughter is a competitive gymnast and spends many hours a day at the gym. Homeschooling allows her the time to get enough sleep, get her education, have free time, and compete in the sport she loves.
November 26, 2015 @ 9:18 am
Lynette, I am sure we could just print something, but that wouldn’t make it valid. When colleges ask for a transcript we can certainly provide one but it isn’t viewed the same as coming from an actual brick and mortar or accredited online school. Yes SAT and ACT scores can also come into play as well. My daughter is actually working towards a 24 college credit equivalency that will give her the GED (General Equivalency Diploma). She is taking AP courses online, taking CLEP exams in subjects she has studied at home, and attending our local community college for the rest. This will not only give her what she needs for her GED but also counts towards the degree she will be working towards in college.
November 26, 2015 @ 8:37 pm
I homeschooled two girls through high school in Upstate New York and even thought the school district and state didn’t give them a high school diploma, I did issue them one and we do count them as having graduated. My oldest is in the Navy all they needed was the diploma, SAT scores and letters of approval for our IEPs for the four years of high school (saved all those). My second daughter is in college and working at a company that requires a diploma. We have had to explain to people that homeschooling is legal and therefore they did not need a GED. Actually we were told that the one that joined the Navy would have been denied the job she wanted if we would have done the GED route. Both of them did take their PSAT and SAT, they also took multiple AP tests and CLEP tests but we were rarely asked about those even when we bring them up. We no longer live in New York but I am not planning on doing anything different for my younger two children.
November 27, 2015 @ 7:53 am
Sara, Thank you for sharing your experience! It is always helpful to hear how others have navigated these water before us.
January 9, 2016 @ 9:19 pm
Wow, Thanks for sharing. I thought it was only here in NS Canada that they did not receive a diploma for High school homeschool. I am planning on continuing homeschooling throughout the high-school years and have started this journey already, much to the gasping and horror of friends. (ha!) Mine will not be taking GED, however the Community College has informed me they can take an entrance exam to see if they are behind in any subjects and use that to enter any course they wish. I will be revisiting this route and other options as we get down the road.
Thank you for this!
January 10, 2016 @ 1:27 pm
Yes, as if homeschooling doesn’t get enough comments, homeschooling high school is just that much more out there! LOL! There are many here who choose not to go the GED route and instead just create a high school transcript for entrance into college. It is a personal choice but we have decided that the 24 college credit equivalent is the path our teen will take. She has plans for a two year degree and then we will see from there.
February 17, 2016 @ 4:46 pm
The question I always heard from “doubters” was ‘What about chemistry?’ They usually meant lab equipment and “real” science teaching, whatever that means. My older two kids, now 21 and 19, did home school at home. My youngest, 16, attends “classes” at a local Classical Conversations campus. I run the nursery and we both have what we want – she has lots of friends/acquaintances and I have peace and babies!
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February 1, 2017 @ 8:03 am
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February 1, 2017 @ 8:26 am
[…] Things You Should Never Say to Those Who Homeschool High School […]
September 7, 2017 @ 7:01 pm
I’ve only been asked once if I graduated high school as a college-graduated adult, and she made enough of a production about it (I answered that I attend grad school, which I did at the time and she said “Yes, I see that. Did you graduate HIGH SCHOOL?” This was probably 15 years ago. Not a company that I wanted to work for after that.
January 23, 2018 @ 1:05 pm
I work at Grand Canyon University with Homeschool groups across the nation and Homeschool students are by far some of the best prepared kids we see! Keep up the good work High School Homeschool parents!!
January 24, 2018 @ 2:06 pm
Thank you so much! We do our best to raise fully functioning adults here in our home!
September 20, 2018 @ 3:04 pm
Heidi you are mistaken. As long as you homeschool legally as per your state you can give your child a homeschool diploma and it is a legal document. Check out HSLDA https://hslda.org/content/highschool/diploma.asp or go to your states revised statutes and look up homeschool diploma. There are other sources out there.
October 10, 2018 @ 12:09 pm
Larena, I waited to reply as I wanted to double check my information before I did. NYS (where I homeschool) is one of the most highly regulated states, and different from others. As New Yorkers, unlike in some other states, it is not accurate for our students to claim they have a high school diploma unless it has been issued by an accredited school. New York makes it illegal for anyone in NY to issue a “diploma” unless is is authorized to do so by the Board of Regents (NYS Homeschool Regulationss 100.2(p)).