Homeschooling and Graduation
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  1. #1
    Happy2BeTeaching3 is offline Junior Member
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    Feb 2010
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    Darke County, Ohio
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    Question Homeschooling and Graduation

    Hi, I'm new to the group but NOT new to homeschooling.

    I am a HAPPY homeschooling Mom to 3. Well, 3 for now. I have one graduating this year!!!! This brings all sorts of questions up let me tell you.

    Although my 3 children have ALL been exclusively homeschooled (read - never even seen the inside of a school building) I am STILL learning all the time. My oldest says he's the "practice child". Because of course I've learned the most with him. If I'd have known 12 years ago what I know NOW....... {sigh}

    For our learning we use a little of everything. We've done some schooling with Switched On SchoolHouse, we've spent tons of hours at the library, we've done textbook curriculum, we've done workbooks, timelines, music classes, photography classes, working classes - son co-oped in construction - and all sorts of other things. I used a set curriculum for YEARS - that I wasn't over joyed with but never knew there was anything else out there until one day I joined a homeschool co-op and the mothers were all comparing curricula one day and I got to see a lot of it. I was AMAZED at the other things out there! Then I went to my very first homeschool convention 2 years ago and was even more blown away! If you've never been to one I HIGHLY recommend it! Especially the Midwest Homeschool Convention in Cincinnati! It's AWESOME!

    Anyway - I have some questions about graduation requirements. I have gotten mixed answers on other boards, homeschooling friends (who have not graduated a child as yet), and homeschool co-op members.

    First - my son is already 18. He'll be 19 at graduation. I found out AFTER I had already sent the paperwork in that I didn't even have to notify the school about schooling him since he is passed the compulsorary school age. Obviously I will not have to notify them for the 2010-2011 school year. But do I need to notify of anything about him graduating?

    Next - can I issue him a high school graduation diploma from our own homeschool? We have a school name. How "legitimate" is this? Is there somwhere I can get a "certified" diploma? He has taken all the credits required by the Ohio graduation standards - ie. 4 Language Arts credits, 3 Math credit, 4 Science credits, 4 History credits, Phys. Ed. credit, 1/2 Health credit, 1/2 Gov't credit etc. etc... I found out just recently that homeschoolers are not even held to this standard. Which only means to me that he learned a few things that weren't really NECESSARY in my book.

    Next - graduation party stuff. We're planning on throwing him a surprise gradution party. Any suggestions or ideas to make this special but not over done. He would hate something huge and a big deal!

    OK - I have a ton more questions but I will spread them out over some time! In case it matters - we are located in the Darke County area - north of Dayton, Ohio.

    I should be a vetern with the answers to other peoples questions but I still have my own!

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    mamaneedham is offline Senior Member
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    May 2009
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    Hi there - I'm so glad you posted, because opening this discussion could probably help a lot of other people too! I recently wrote a magazine article about this issue, so you have good timing. I'll do my best to answer your questions!

    No, I don't believe you need to notify the state, or the district superintendent, or anyone else that your son has graduated. Once he is past the age of compulsory attendance, you're done with all of that. It's ironic that they're so interested in your child during those years they're in school, but afterward no one even pats you on the back for making it to the finish line.

    Your only option for issuing him a diploma is to create one yourself, or purchase a professionally printed version, and you can certainly do that if you'd like. The state does not issue diplomas to homeschoolers, even if you can prove you fulfilled all of the requirements and earned the credits that public schooled kids have to earn.

    More important than a diploma for a homeschooled student is a transcript, which is a record the parent creates over the period of high school education. It sounds like you may need to create one after-the-fact, but better late than never. You should create a comprehensive record for your son (and have him help you!) that includes the curriculum or other resources used for each subject, a description of each course of study he engaged in, etc. There are blank templates available free online, just google it. There are also for-profit companies that will assemble a transcript from the raw info you provide them about your child's high school years. Again, look online and you'll find several.

    You didn't mention what your son plans to do after high school graduation. If he's planning to attend college, be aware that each college or university has their own policy and requirements for homeschool transcripts. Many institutions specify what details must be included, and even in what format the transcript must appear to be considered for admission. Call the admissions office, or visit the admissions website, for each school your child is applying to, and ask about specific requirements for homeschool transcripts. (Also, as a side note - schools have varying requirements for homeschoolers regarding standardized test scores and many other admissions criteria as well, so don't be afraid to ask for the whole run-down when you call!)

    If your son intends to enlist in the military, it is a common misconception that a GED is required. IT IS NOT. They do have other requirements though, and a good resource to read more about them is found at HSLDA: Military Enlistment Help. A high school transcript is one of the requirements. A diploma is also required, and both CAN be issued by a parent.

    You also asked about a graduation party....Gee, there are so many possibilities! If you're in a co-op or homeschool support group, perhaps a group-organized event would be appropriate. Have his friends hide and all yell "surprise" when he walks in? Maybe some other members could post their ideas here, and let's see what other homeschoolers have done!

    Please let me know if I've been helpful or if you have more questions! And congratulations to you and your son for making it all the way down this long, hard road! What an inspiration! Happy Graduation!

  3. #3
    Happy2BeTeaching3 is offline Junior Member
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    Feb 2010
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    Darke County, Ohio
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    Hi - I sure hope this discussion will help me along with many others who may be facing the thrill of GRADUATION!!!

    My son hasn't fully decided what he wants to do next. He has a college picked out but has decided to take a year off from school and work full time for one year to save up some money. He has already had extensive training in the construction filed and quite a bit of electrical training. He actually wired my whole kitchen and laundry room when he was 15! (Yes, he had supervision.) He loves electrical work. He loves to work with his hands.

    About the transcript. NO PROBLEM there. I have used HomeSchool Tracker for years and years and it generates a highschool transcript for you. If people are not familiar with it PLEASE check it out. You'll be glad you did! The basic edition is free and extremely helpful but I did choose a few years ago to purchase the PLUS Edition and it was worth every penny. -- Love it!

    My son would hate a "jump out and yell SURPRISE" party. I'm thinking something along the lines of a cook-out with all his friends and family. Something not too "overdone" but enough to make him realize just how awesome it is to graduate highschool! We've been a part of a homeschool co-op for several years but my two teenage boys stopped going a couple of years ago as there was just not many classes offered for their age group. So... we'll probably not be involoved in a graduation "ceremony" type deal with a group.

    Thanks for all your help. I just found this board the other night and have been checking it quite often. I hope others will post ideas about what they did for their graduating senior or how they handled problems with graduation, diplomas, friends & family, etc....
    Last edited by Happy2BeTeaching3; 03-21-2010 at 12:41 PM.

  4. #4
    mamaneedham is offline Senior Member
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    Hi again -
    I thought maybe one approach to planning some kind of party for him would be to think back to what you enjoyed at your own high school graduation. For example, the biggest symbol I could think of for graduation is the cap & gown. Would it be totally corny to buy him a cap & gown? You could play it off as a gag gift but really, if he got to wear it for a nice dinner with your extended family or something low-key like that, it would certainly define the event. Just a goofy thought I had. Hey, don't some of you lurkers out there have some better ideas????

  5. #5
    Happy2BeTeaching3 is offline Junior Member
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    Darke County, Ohio
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    In case this info may help others....
    I have found a few places that offer GRADUATION ANNOUNCEMENTS that you can design yourself. I thought I would share these with the group.
    WALMART.COM this should be the direct link to the Graduation Announcement section. There are several choices and they are inexpensive.
    TINYPRINT
    IMAGINATIVE INVITES

    Also if you're looking to give your child a nice diploma issued by your homeschool here are a few places that make beautiful ones that you can design.
    HOMESCHOOL DIPLOMA they actually have diplomas, covers, medals, honors medallians, cap & gown sets, class rings, tassels
    DIPLOMA STORE

    I found a seller on eBay that sells graduation tassels that are fairly inexpensive and you can pick the colors. I have a frame I want to put my son's graduation picture in and it has a place for a tassel beside it. I'm going to let him pick the colors. This way they will be what HE likes and not what every other person in the school also has!!!!

    Any more ideas out there?????

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