Will you issue your own homeschool diplomas as your students graduate from your homeschool?
Is it legal?
These are some questions that you may have.
A diploma is a certificate by a person or organization that certifies completion a course of study. In this case a high school or secondary program of education.
Yes, a homeschool diploma is every bit as legal and valid as any school issued diploma.
Many question whether their diploma will be "accredited" The only way to achieve an accredited diploma is to complete the requirements of an accredited school. And there are accredited homeschool programs available. What many parents don't realize is this .... even many public schools are not accredited. Any student that graduates from that unaccredited public school has an unaccredited diploma.
The next logical question is, what about colleges? Many colleges will accept a homeschool diploma with no problem. If your student is planning on college you should be able to back up your diploma with transcripts and good record keeping. If it is ever questioned you can simply show your records as to what was accomplished in your homeschool program.
The best plan of action is to call any prospective colleges that your student is considering and ask. Many will be more than willing to give you the information they will be looking for.
No. You are the administering agent of your homeschool. You decide what is required of your students for graduation. Using your states graduation requirements is a great place to start figuring out what you will require. But don't settle for what the public schools require. Decide what is important for your child and go from there. If they are college bound, call colleges and see what they are looking for. I'd say that is much more important than what your local high school is teaching.
If your son is interested in military... call a recruiter to see what they are looking for. If they are entrepreneurial minded... set business goals and make your graduation requirements the meeting of those goals.
According to the HSLDA website (Homeschool Legal Defense Association), "While each state has slightly different requirements for graduation for its public high schools, parents are not required to meet the same requirements that are imposed on public school students."
The diploma should state that it is a high school diploma. It should include the name of the student, the date the diploma was issued and the signature of whomever was monitoring the students course of study. In many homeschools the parents are the signers. If the student is in an unbrella school the school may issue the diploma.
This can be very general wording. But it should look official. Don't make it too cutesy. If your student is ever asked to present thier diploma to a college you want to make a good impression.
In our case I included the name of our homeschool. "Four Brothers Life Academy" I was uncertain if I should do this or not but... there you go, I did. My oldest son entered the military and it was accepted with no problems. In fact one official filling out paperwork mistakenly thought it was a traditional private school. I'll do the same for my next graduates.
A high school diploma can be printed up at home. The best part is .... it is free! Be sure and pick up some nice quality paper. I'd suggest using at the maximum 2 color printing. If you'd like you can pick up a nice foil sticker to add to the quality look.
I'd suggest looking around at what is available commercially. A diploma is a formal document. There are online businesses that will provide a diploma on high quality paper with embossing or other fancy paper. It is nice to have one of those nice document folders to present to your student. Especially if you are planning a graduation ceremony.
If you are a member of a homeschool group that is doing a group graduation your group may want to consider ordering diplomas with your group name. It is all up to you!
Here is a sample homeschool diploma. It is very similar and has the same wording that we included on our oldest sons diploma. Use it to get ideas of how you may want to format your own version.
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