Jul 122013

What are your Homeschool High School options?

Homeschool High SchoolYou have choices!

Your Homeschool High School Options Include:

  • You can Homeschool High School through one of the accredited homeschool programs,
  • Have your child to earn a high school diploma through an unaccredited homeschool program,
  • You can Homeschool High School, then create your own transcript and a portfolio, or
  • Have your child take the G.E.D. to prove he has reached the necessary level of educational competence.

To Accredit or Not?

If you choose the first homeschool high school option, you will find homeschoolers who don’t feel an accredited diploma is ‘necessary’, and it is not ‘necessary’. However having an accredited diploma can help your child if your child can be successful with accommodations.

For a child with a specific learning disability, an accredited diploma can add credibility to their high school studies. However, there will likely be hoops you have to jump through to get necessary accommodations. Here’s a key point: IF you are going to use a virtual or correspondence high school program anyway, using an accredited program won’t make a huge difference. Either way, accredited or not, if you enroll your child in an outside program, you’re no longer “in charge” of your child’s education.

In deciding between a virtual school or a correspondence school, consider your child’s individual learning needs. Some of the virtual schools are more favorable towards students who struggle than others. In particular, look for programs that permit a child to work at his own pace. You might want to inquire about timed tests as well because some exams given on the computer might be timed. IF you choose a correspondence school, your child can complete the exams with an open book in his own time. This can be a necessary accommodation for some students, easily provided at home through the correspondence school.

If you want choose to use one of the accredited homeschool programs, there are accredited ‘oversight’ or virtual high school programs, hybrid homeschool programs, umbrella programs, and virtual academies. I have collected resources regarding these types of opportunities. I have a link to the resources at the bottom of this page. However, be SURE to CHECK the accreditation of the program you choose to make sure they are still accredited.

Transcripts When You Homeschool High School

If you’re using an accredited program as you homeschool high school, then they will probably provide your child’s transcript. You won’t have to worry about creating one.

If you homeschool high school independently, you will need to create a transcript for your child. I recommend Lee Binz’s Total Transcript Solution to help with everything you need to know about creating a great transcript for your child. Lee is a well-known, successful, veteran homeschooling mom who has homeschooled high school.

Unaccredited Homeschool High School Programs

There are a lot of moms who don’t want to have to figure out every course requirement. They have trouble picking curricula and feel overwhelmed at trying to homeschool high school themselves. They may also want more freedom and flexibility than an accredited program provides.

In such cases, there are comprehensive programs provided by companies that are not accredited and are complete packages. Sonlight Curriculum, Classical Conversations, The Master’s Academy Artios program, Veritas, etc. (NOTE: these programs are not accredited at the time I’m writing this–You should check to see if that has changed!! Similarly accredited homeschool high school programs can LOSE their accreditation, so ALWAYS check the actual status of a program before you use it.)

Another great option for your homeschool high school program is FREE Online High School courseware. There are an increasing number of free comprehensive education providers online. There are also open courseware initiatives through colleges and universities. Depending upon your child’s abilities, you can pick courses at different levels in different subjects.

These types of programs offer more flexibility than most accredited homeschool high school programs. Some of the complete curriculum programs aren’t as flexible as a do-it-yourself program can be.

Grow Your Own Homeschool High School Program

If you want to create your child’s own homeschool program, you can simply select curriculum that meets his needs for each course. You should consider the entrance requirements for college(s) your child is interested in too. If you use the do-it-yourself route, you will need to create a transcript for your child.

A transcript is simply a professional looking report which includes your child’s name, address, phone number, birth date, date of graduation, a list of classes completed, and grades. You don’t have to tediously assess and track grades throughout high school. You can simply provide grades as your best estimate, or personal opinion, of the level of work completed by your child. Do try to be objective in assigning grades. Again, I recommend Lee Binz’s Total Transcript Solution.

A portfolio, in addition to a transcript, can be used to help you share your child’s activities, work experiences, volunteer efforts, and achievements. Simple portfolios can be just as effective. They might be more effective than complex portfolios with an overabundance of information. Put as much as you want into your child’s portfolio, but don’t feel like you have to put everything your child ever did in there.

Let Your Child Get A G.E.D.

The “General Education Diploma” G.E.D., is a good, quick means of closing out your child’s high school career if your child can pass the tests. If your child is 16 or older, and not attending high school, he may take the G.E.D. When your child has completed his high school studies, you can indicate that all necessary work has been completed on the G.E.D. form. When your child takes the G.E.D. and passes, he will have fulfilled the requirement of having a high school diploma or the G.E.D. for college entrance purposes.

The Bottom Line for Homeschool High School

The biggest key in preparing your child for college is to insure he has the necessary foundation for completing college-level course work. For if your child gets into college, but isn’t capable of completing the work, then going to college will be a waste of time and money. It would be better to spend an extra year or two in study to insure success in college.

Additionally, you may have to deal with other learning issues. When children hit their teens, particularly children who have struggled with learning for years, they may become more reluctant to engage in school work. Your child may not even be interested in college by time he reaches high school. If your child is becoming an increasingly reluctant learner, you may want to consider a program to help him see better results with less effort.

After considering the options for your child’s high school years, you will need to seek out specific programs to help you teach your child effectively. The following pages contain listings of many programs for meeting your child’s high school homeschool needs at home.

Homeschool High School Program Options

Accredited Oversight & Distance Education Programs:
Oversight programs allow you to homeschool your child while submitting evidence of work completion to a company who will ‘certify’ your child’s progress. When your child has finished the entire course of study, the company will issue an accredited diploma. They will handle transcripts for your child’s college applications.

Virtual High Schools are increasing in number. Almost every state has a virtual high school of some sort these days. Some of the schools only offer select courses for advanced placement, restrict eligibility, or have other limitations. Many states are forming Virtual High Schools which are able to grant full diplomas. There are also a great number of independent virtual high schools.

Some virtual high schools operate like a traditional high school, using textbooks, deadlines for assignments, exams, etc. Others allow students to begin a course at any time, work at their own speed, and provide interactive online tools for learning.

You will want to carefully pick your child’s program to make sure it is a good fit for your child’s unique needs.

I have listed many schools with limited programs because I believe schools will expand their offerings. I also think the number of programs offering complete degree programs will increase. Plus, listing every school I can find provides you with the highest number of choices.

As I learn of a new school, I add its information. I am linking to new sites on an ongoing basis. The lists are never going to be “complete” because there are always new options! So check out the choices listed on the linked pages below, but look beyond them if you don’t find what you need.

After your student is moving along with high school, you may want to start looking at An Ultimate Guide to Scholarships because many scholarships are solely for high school juniors or seniors, and you won’t want to miss out on those opportunities.


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