Our Family

Our Family

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Homeschoooling High School: Does it Need to Be Accredited?

Homeschooling High School tends to make people nervous.  Parents who feel capable teaching their children in the younger years start to worry about what will happen when their children are old enough to go to High School.  Fears about teaching upper level classes, how to track credits and grades, how to prepare for standardized testing, diplomas, and getting into college are all issues parents with upcoming high schoolers deal with.

There is this worry that if the curriculum that you are using with your child isn't accredited, that means it doesn't "count."  I actually have had two recent phone calls and an email asking me about this.  I had a lady tell me she had completely messed her daughter up because she had been using a curriculum for the first half of 9th grade and since it wasn't accredited it wouldn't count and she would have to start over.  This is NOT true.

You are just as much in control of your child's high school homeschool curriculum as you were in elementary and middle school.  You do not need to go through an online accredited school for your child's credits to "count."  Some people choose to use an online accredited school but that is a choice, not a requirement.

When my oldest was getting ready to start high school, I took a look at the basic requirements for our state's local public schools.  I wanted to make sure she at least meant the same credit requirements that the local students were required.  We took those courses and then others that she was interested in or that I felt were going to beneficial to prepare her for college and life.  I counted credits based on the number of hours spent on the course and/or the course recommendations for what credits to award.  I wrote a post about choosing classes and counting credits here. 

We had a transcript made by the Arkansas Education Alliance that had a sign and a seal on it and showed all of her credit hours and classes she had taken.  Her test scores and GPA were also listed on the transcript.  All of the colleges she looked at accepted this diploma with no questions.

In the state of Arkansas, for homeschoolers to get a driver's permit you have to have your Notice of Intent form signed and notarized.  Some parents were given the information that they needed an accredited transcript to do this.  That is not true.  Now that the NOI is online you have to log in to your account, print out the form, and have it notarized.  You must take that paper with you to take the written permit test and again to get your license after you pass the road test.

I did a more detailed post about homeschooling high school the senior year that talks about ACT's, the FAFSA, and applying to colleges here.  My knowledge is based on our experience.  I am NOT an expert.  The HSLDA  is a great resource for all of your legal homeschooling questions and if you are in Arkansas the Education Alliance is a fantastic resource.

Happy Homeschooling!

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