This is a blog post written by my friend, Angela Jacobsen. My kids are all still young so I wanted to give a perspective about homeschooling older children as well.
One topic that many people are confused about when it comes to homeschooling their children is making sure that the child/student has enough credit when it comes time to graduate and go to college. Furthermore, exactly how does a homeschooled student have a graduation? Does it look like a traditional graduation? What about prom? Prom has been one of the most important moments in a high school student’s life for many years. Do they have to miss out?
I was just as confused as everyone else when I first started homeschooling. My oldest was nearing his senior year and we wanted to be sure that he wouldn’t be losing any credit by homeschooling and would be prepared for college. Through friends sharing their knowledge about their own experiences with homeschooling, I was able to get most of the information on the topics of my concern, quite easily. There are numerous sites online regarding the subject of homeschooling. Hundreds of moms share their experiences with homeschooling their children in order to make it easier on new moms who are starting on this adventure. They are usually quite candid about their failures, as well as their successes. On many of the sites, there are resources listed to help parents considering homeschooling connect with organizations that advocate for homeschooling.
As far as graduation, most communities have a network of homeschooled students who have already spent time together at social events and extra-curricular activities. Most of the students in the community have attended a homeschool co-op which brings lots of homeschoolers together. These co-ops and other organizations usually already have a graduation ceremony model in place that allows graduating homeschooled students to walk across the stage and get their diplomas with their peers. In addition, most homeschooled students who are entering college, walk in, with at least, twice the number of college credits as publicly schooled students do. They actually excel in their studies due to more concentrated attention from their parent teacher.
When it comes to prom, most co-ops and communities hold a senior prom that students can attend. My son also got to attend prom at a couple of the local schools because he was asked to go by students that attended there. Although, I do understand the concern of potential homeschooling parents about these important milestones in their children’s lives, I assure you that my children haven’t lost any opportunities because of the homeschooled transition. In fact, they seem happier and more content than they ever did while in public school.
No matter the late nights stumbling into bed after an exhausting day of giving this homeschooling my all, I wouldn’t trade the journey for anything! My son will be walking into college with confidence and greater social skills than if he had stayed in public school. I have seen him thrive since making the transition, and I can’t wait to see him march across that stage with his fellow homeschooled friends to get his diploma!