Family History, Homeschool Diplomas, EarthCaching, Free 200+ Page Homeschool Planner, and More
From the Editor
Welcome to the midsummer issue of TheHomeSchoolMom newsletter! June has become the month that I follow my passion for family history and hit the road for a research roadtrip. This year, I traveled 2500 miles round trip to New Orleans and back with 5 genealogy stops, a family wedding, a tour of Senoia (of TWD fame), and several family visits along the way. I had fabulous success and unearthed resources from 165 years ago that not only furthered my research but gave me a personal connection to my French immigrant ancestor. If you are interested in genealogy, check out my genealogy website for resources and tips. If you are interested in passing a love of family history on to your kids, check out the Family History for Kids link in the Educational Resources below.
Have a wonderful summer, and enjoy the newsletter.
Mary Ann Kelley
Recent Blog Posts
Do homeschoolers get a diploma?
Half of my family is pro-homeschooling and half is anti homeschooling. How do I convince my family that homeschooling would be a better and more positive solution than public school?
S.H. in Colorado
You have a couple of overt questions and a couple of implied ones. Let’s see what we can tease apart here, because these are common concerns for prospective homeschoolers.
What you are talking about when you mention the diploma, I think, is whether homeschooling will open or close doors for your children. It sounds like your family – and maybe you – have concerns about whether having a homeschool diploma and not having a diploma from an accredited school could close doors. No one wants to make a decision that will reduce kids’ opportunities.
The short answer to your first direct question is: Yes, homeschoolers get a diploma – one issued by their parents.
The short answer to your implied question is: No, in most cases, homeschoolers do not get a diploma from an accredited institution.
The short answer to another implied question is: No, it mostly doesn’t affect homeschoolers negatively not to get a diploma from an accredited institution. In most cases, they go right on with their educational plans with no disadvantage from this.
But let’s take a look at the more involved answer.
First, you need to understand that homeschooling is administered state-by-state, and each state has its own laws governing homeschooling. One of the initial steps you should take is to find a state-wide homeschooling group that is located in your state and consult their website for information about the state laws where you live. My experience is that national groups and local or state school authorities themselves do not have the best information about homeschooling, unless they are providing links directly to those state-wide homeschooling groups. National groups are unable to keep up with changes in fifty states’ laws and often don’t understand the nuances as practiced in each state. School authorities are the experts on school, not homeschooling, and they may unintentionally mix up expectations for school children with those of homeschooling. Therefore, your best authority on homeschool law is your statewide homeschool organization, with a strong local homeschool organization or longtime local homeschooling parent being excellent alternatives. Ask the right people to get the applicable answers.
That said, in general, homeschoolers get a diploma when their parents give them one. They do not typically receive a diploma from their school divisions or the state where they live. While school authorities often make a big deal out of whether teens will have or won’t have a diploma from their school, most of the time, this is not an issue for homeschoolers.
Job & College Applications
When young adult homeschooled graduates are asked on a job application, “Are you a high school graduate?” they mark Yes. They graduated from homeschooling when they completed their work and their parents (often with their child’s input) decided they were graduated. This often means having completed work similar to that of their peers who attended school, but not always.
When they are asked, “Do you have a diploma?” they mark Yes. Their parents gave them a diploma.
When they are asked, “Name of high school,” they either write “homeschooled” or the name of their homeschool, since it is a legal requirement in some states to name your homeschool, and since other families have a tradition of naming their homeschool.
Now, the trick is, if a prospective employer or institution of higher education wants to see evidence that a graduate was really homeschooled and well-educated rather than a “dropout,” then the graduate needs to be able to do two things – (1) provide written evidence, typically through a transcript and other evidence, and (2) talk the talk of authentic homeschooling.
High school graduates who intend to pursue higher education need more than a diploma, and that’s the case whether they are homeschool graduates or…
A popular speaker at homeschooling conferences, business groups, and parents’ groups, Jeanne Potts Faulconer has homeschooled her three sons in North Carolina, Mississippi, and Virginia. She is a former college faculty member, editor and book reviewer for Home Education Magazine, long-time editor for VaHomeschoolers Voice, and recent news correspondent for WCVE, an NPR-member station. Jeanne teaches writing and literature for her youngest son’s homeschool co-op, and she is a student of how learning works – at home, in the music room, in small groups, in the college classroom, on the soccer field, and in the car to and from practice. Holding her Master of Arts degree in Communication, Jeanne conducts portfolio evaluations for Virginia homeschoolers for evidence of progress. To read more of Jeanne’s writing, inquire about a homeschool evaluation, or ask her to speak to your group, see her blog, At Each Turn.