Homeschooling is an increasingly popular choice among parents, but it may seem unusual to some people who do not know much about the process.
After all, if you are home-schooling your children, they won’t be attending public or private school like most students do, so you may wonder how they can earn a diploma or GED when they are studying at home instead of at school like other students might be doing.
In this article, we will examine the answer to that question and look at the pros and cons of homeschooling as well so that you can make the best decision for your family.
What Does A Homeschool Diploma Look Like?
Homeschoolers can do most of their work without assistance, so it’s possible to complete their education without getting a diploma.
As with traditional schooling, they will take final exams or assessment tests before graduating.
A Homeschool Diploma looks like that of a standard high school graduate. Depending on the state, some homeschoolers may need to pass an end-of-course exam or standardized test to receive their diploma.
A degree from a home study program is similar in appearance and content to any other degree from an accredited college or university.
It often takes the form of either a bachelor’s degree (BA) or a master’s degree (MA). The majority of colleges and universities grant degrees regardless of where the courses were taken.
A diploma from a home study program will include information about when it was awarded and by whom. It will also list whether or not you were able to meet any special requirements, like completing extra courses.
Sometimes, these homeschool diplomas feature additional information, such as an official state seal or the signatures of officials.
A diploma or degree that has been earned through homeschooling won’t look any different from the one you’d get in traditional high school.
There is no official designation that identifies it as homeschool-issued, nor should you expect your name to be spelled differently than on other documents.
How to Verify a Homeschool Diploma
There are several ways to verify a homeschool diploma. One way is to get a copy of the diploma from the school or to email them.
A second option is to call local universities and request information about whether they accept homeschool diplomas, and then use that as verification.
Finally, various sites will official transcripts, which can be used as verification.
You can also verify your homeschool diploma by contacting an organization known as NCHEA, or The National Coalition of Home Education.
They work directly with most states and have contact information for homeschool associations within each state. You can use that information to verify whether or not you have received your diploma.
How Do Homeschoolers Get A Diploma In Texas?
In Texas, homeschoolers who have completed the 9th grade can take the General Education Development (GED) test. Though not required for adulthood, the test is necessary if you would like to get into college or go on to higher education.
Homeschooling families often choose to enroll their children in independent study programs at private schools that do not require high school attendance.
These courses are generally only available to homeschoolers with special needs and who meet other qualifications.
For those whose family’s religious beliefs prohibit them from going to public school, this may be an option for them as well.
Another option for homeschoolers is to take classes at their local community college. To apply, students must first have their parents fill out an educational plan with their high school guidance counselor in Texas.
This requirement can be waived if you are over 18 years old and have received your GED, or you are at least 16 years old and taking courses as part of dual enrollment or early graduation options.
You must meet certain grade and GPA requirements to receive credit. To get credit for high school, you will need to have an average of at least 3.0 in your core classes and have completed two years each of math, English language arts, science, social studies, and foreign language.
Some colleges may be more lenient than others when it comes to homeschooler credit evaluations; however, many still require proof of high school completion through a diploma or official transcripts.
Do Colleges Accept Homeschool Diplomas?
Every college will ask for the student’s transcript. Colleges are not required to accept homeschool transcripts, but many do.
Check out your prospective school’s website for information on what types of documents they may or may not require. Contact them directly if you’re unsure and they should be able to answer any questions you have about how homeschoolers can enroll at their institution.
For those who graduate from high school with a homeschool diploma, it is up to each state board of education whether or not they recognize it as equivalent to a regular high school diploma.
Some states don’t see a need to distinguish between these two diplomas, while others only consider the certificate earned through homeschooling an acceptable substitute for graduation.
If you plan on going to college after graduating from high school with a certificate, make sure that you find out which type of diploma (diploma through homeschooling vs. regular high school) your state considers appropriate for post-secondary studies.
Texas Homeschool Graduation Requirements
In Texas, homeschooling students are required to take and pass the TCAP exam or its equivalent before graduating.
Students with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) in special education are exempt from this requirement. As of 2016, there were over 683,000 homeschooled students enrolled in public schools across America.
However, it is unclear how many of these were also enrolled in other schools such as private or charter schools.
A report by the National Center for Education Statistics states that, while most states do not require their homeschooled students to complete any formal coursework to graduate high school, they must meet requirements for assessments that measure student proficiency on state-mandated content standards.
There are no national regulations for graduation requirements for homeschoolers but all graduates must have a diploma that shows their accomplishments.