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.
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.