How can a homeschooled graduate get an accredited high school diploma?

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Piano Hero

Puritan Board Sophomore
Howdy all!

I miss posting stuff on here; I've just been so busy with school. :um:

Speaking of school, I was wondering if any of you homeschooling parents might be able to help me out with something. I recently graduated high school, and participated in a ceremony at my church where my parents gave me a diploma that they created--that is, it isn't certified by the state or anything. This wouldn't bother me so much, however, I recently took a class to become an EMT, and in order to get the certification, I must either have an "official" diploma or a GED.

I would just take my GED, but I have actually been done with my high school work for about a year, and I have forgotten a little of it. I purchased a study guide for the GED, and although I've been studying like crazy, I'm not sure exactly how soon I'll be able to take the GED. My main concern is that getting the GED would take too long, and while patience is a good thing, I really want to take the national EMT certification test while the material is fresh in my mind.

So, my main question is: have any of you homeschooling parents been able to get an "official" high school diploma for your children, or just had them take the GED or some other certification? What do you think is the easiest (and preferably, least expensive) thing to do?

I imagine the procedure may vary by state-I live in Washington-but I just cannot find the right info on this.


Thanks!
 

rbcbob

Puritan Board Graduate
My sons showed a combination of home records and records from a Consortium which held classes two days per week. My oldest son was accepted into the Marines and his younger brother was accepted into university.
 

Southern Presbyterian

Puritan Board Doctor
We printed up a diploma and my wife and I signed it. Ta Dah! Official High School Diploma. At least that's how it works in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Both my son and daughter were accepted at their respective colleges with that in hand. My daughter's school actively seeks homeschoolers.
 

Kim G

Puritan Board Junior
It definitely depends on the state. My brothers and I were homeschooled in Florida, and my mom had us enrolled in a school that would give us an official transcript if she submitted our grades to them. In addition, we took state testing every year and always scored at the top, so the state couldn't complain that we weren't being taught.

Can you talk to someone at the state level about your education? I'm sure this isn't the first time a homeschooled person wanted to get EMT certification. You just might have to press hard for an exception and ask what they will accept from you.
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
Yes, we just made up our diplomas as well, but since Vaughan Home School is perfectly legal in California, it's a valid diploma. My sixth kid just got her GED as well, as with her and DIL that's 7, and none have had trouble getting into college, nursing school etc....at least here it's not a problem at all. In fact, people seem to look favorably on it.

And PS I wouldn't worry too much about the GED. You may indeed fail a section or two, but it's no big deal. You just take that section again. I'd probably get the GED if I were you.

And PPS You're going to do fine in life. You've a huge advantage over other kids.
 

Bill The Baptist

Puritan Board Graduate
It all depends on the college. Some schools will look at a homeschool diploma like it is fake, while others will appreciate it more than a regular diploma. I would also second the recommendation that you take the GED test. That way you will have no problems. I took the GED test many years ago and as I recall it was ridiculously easy.
 

Jack K

Puritan Board Professor
It varies widely by state. In some states, a homeschool parent can comply with certain state requirements, and document the teaching and student work as it is done, and then the student earns a state-certified diploma. Such requirements are generally Christian-friendly and it's the best way to go, but some parents don't take the trouble to do the documentation as they teach. The other option is a GED. It's considered less desirable, but should be obtained if you don't have another sort of official diploma.

The good news is that colleges are looking far more favorably on homeschooled applicants these days. Most colleges do want to see some official diploma, and you need to take SAT or ACT exams, but they've learned that homeschooled students often become some of the best and most disciplined college students.

---------- Post added at 06:29 AM ---------- Previous post was at 06:25 AM ----------

Another thought... from an employer standpoint. Many GED tests are very easy. I understand that in your specific case the certification you're after requires a diploma. But if I were an employer, I might be more impressed with a good score on the SAT than with a GED. There are ways other than a GED to prove to a potential employer that you're well-educated.
 
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but3leftsdo

Puritan Board Freshman
We printed up a diploma and my wife and I signed it. Ta Dah! Official High School Diploma. At least that's how it works in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Both my son and daughter were accepted at their respective colleges with that in hand. My daughter's school actively seeks homeschoolers.
Ditto, from another Virginia home-schooler. My two nephews got theirs the same way. One graduated from BJU (yuck) last year, the other one will finish at Old Dominion next year. I suspect we'll do the same for our 9 yr old when he graduates (in a couple years).
 

CIT

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
If you are concerned about the GED, most community colleges offer a one week intensive study course for the GED. I know quite a few people who took that course and were able to pass the GED just fine.
 

LawrenceU

Puritan Board Doctor
I have never known anyone to have a problem with a diploma from a homeschool when it came to entrance into an institution of higher education, regardless of the state in which they live. I have known people to run into difficulties with a GED.
 

JoyFullMom

Puritan Board Junior
Actually, there are kids having troubles all over the country when it comes to applying to police, fire and emergency rescue type jobs. It *does* seem to be an issue by state. I think the latest stories I've heard have come out of TN and it seems that the legislature ruled in favor of homeschoolers, I could be wrong. It has not applied to me so forgive me for being so vague on the details.

Breanna, is your family a member of HSLDA? Even if you are not, you may be able to find some information from them on past situations. You are not the first homeschooler to deal with this. You could also check with Homeschool Legal Advantage. HLA may actually be more willing to work with you if you were not previously a member.

I saw what was happening in regards to *official diplomas* and homeschoolers a few years back, so I joined an umbrella school (that is not even recognized by my state) for the mere purpose of having their diploma for my daughter. I will do the same for the rest of my children. It is true that, while homeschooling may be legal and less regulated in many states, after graduation that has no bearing upon what can be required for employment or higher education.

May the Lord direct your steps.

---------- Post added at 08:44 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:40 AM ----------

Oh, I wanted to add that as far as entrance into college is concerned, I think most parent issued diplomas are honored as long as the transcript and test scores (such as ACT) are consistent. The *official* diploma issue can come into play with grants and scholarships etc.

My own state has no requirements for homeschoolers, and yet in order to qualify for grants and scholarships from the state, you MUST have complied with state public school requirements for education. My dd was going to be rejected for a half credit in computer literacy...which she quickly took care of her senior year. It was ridiculous.
 

LawrenceU

Puritan Board Doctor
Actually, there are kids having troubles all over the country when it comes to applying to police, fire and emergency rescue type jobs. It *does* seem to be an issue by state.
I should have been more clear in my earlier comment. I have not heard of this being a large scale issue when an adequate transcript is available. Almost every occasion I have known of or read about was when a family was very lax in their schooling, more of an 'un-schooler' or had a bone to pick with keeping records. Thus, they did not and could not generate a transcript.
 

fishingpipe

Puritan Board Freshman
I would strongly encourage you to press the acceptance of your home school diploma given by your parents before considering a GED. This is my opinion as a homeschool parent. Taking the GED invalidates the work you have completed to meet the requirements given by the state. If the state of Washington says you can complete your educational requirements at home through home education then agencies certified to operate under state and local guidelines need to accept that criteria, as well.

As one person mentioned above you may be able to get some assistance from the Home School Legal Defense Association, though they typically give help to members more readily.

Here is a link to one such case involving a homeschool grad doing exactly what you're doing, but in the state of Virginia. As you can see, it was handled pretty easily:

HSLDA | Homeschool Grad Hired as EMT after Brief Struggle

I hope it works out well for you!
 

Piano Hero

Puritan Board Sophomore
Thanks everyone for your help! I am the first graduate in my family (and my homeschooled friends have not pursued anything like this before)
It seems that, based on your responses, taking the GED would be the best option; I will go ahead and pursue that

Thanks again! it means a lot!
 

nasa30

Puritan Board Sophomore
Thanks everyone for your help! I am the first graduate in my family (and my homeschooled friends have not pursued anything like this before)
It seems that, based on your responses, taking the GED would be the best option; I will go ahead and pursue that

Thanks again! it means a lot!
I would like to encourage you to hold out and NOT take the GED. This would be a win for you and ALL homeschoolers. If we keep caving in and using the system we are avoiding, we are really taking a step backward. I know that it would be easier to just take the GED but, speaking as someone that is involved in fighting for homeschool rights politically, it does hurt our HS rights every time we cave to the system.

HSLDA article referenced above
Homeschool Grad Hired as EMT after Brief Struggle

After graduating from high school via homeschooling, John Seton (name changed to protect family’s privacy) attended community college two years and was hired as an emergency medical technician (EMT) in Fairfax County, Va. He subsequently applied for a job as an EMT at Kennywood amusement park near Pittsburgh, Pa.
Although John explained that he graduated from high school via homeschooling, the hiring agency told him he could not get the job because he lacked a high school diploma or GED. The family called Home School Legal Defense Association for help.
HSLDA attorney Scott Woodruff placed several calls. He did not reach the person he intended, but he left messages expressing his concerns about the hiring agency’s treatment of John.
Before Woodruff could speak to the person he intended, the agency reversed course and told John they would hire him. Woodruff’s phone messages were enough.
High school diplomas signed by parents have helped homeschool grads get almost every imaginable type of job and be accepted at the most prestigious universities in the land.
 

pianoman

Puritan Board Freshman
I was homeschooled and just took the GED. It was not that bad at the time I took it in 2008. I did not study one bit and made 99% on math and science. The rest i just didn't care and passed no problem.
 
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Piano Hero

Puritan Board Sophomore
I would like to encourage you to hold out and NOT take the GED. This would be a win for you and ALL homeschoolers. If we keep caving in and using the system we are avoiding, we are really taking a step backward. I know that it would be easier to just take the GED but, speaking as someone that is involved in fighting for homeschool rights politically, it does hurt our HS rights every time we cave to the system.

I understand what you're saying (and, being a strong advocate of homeschooling, do want to be able to stand for our rights). However, if there was not a legal way to get into this job other than to have first taken the GED, frankly I would go for it. It's the potential for a very stable job, and in this economy, why should I turn down such a job? But I do understand, and appreciate the article mentioning the student who had a very similar story to my own.


And, as it turns out, I finally got a hold of someone from the national EMT certification center, and they informed me that I wasn't required to provide a GED or diploma. Apparently, neither is required; it was actually a requirement for the EMT course I took, and they accepted the diploma my parents gave me. So, that's a win for homeschoolers! If that hadn't been the case, though, I may have looked in to HSLDA, and I may still, if that becomes an issue when I am actually applying for a job. For now, thankfully, it appears I don't have to worry about it. But once I pass the EMT exam (providing I will) and have that out of the way, I believe I will get in touch with HSLDA.


Thanks again, everyone!
 

JoyFullMom

Puritan Board Junior
I would like to encourage you to hold out and NOT take the GED. This would be a win for you and ALL homeschoolers. If we keep caving in and using the system we are avoiding, we are really taking a step backward. I know that it would be easier to just take the GED but, speaking as someone that is involved in fighting for homeschool rights politically, it does hurt our HS rights every time we cave to the system.

HSLDA article referenced above
I just want to say that I COMPLETELY understand this line of thinking, but this is what I faced with my dd and our decision to comply with the state's requirement for eligibility for money for school. Some people were very irritated that I did not fight that. Well, frankly, my dd's ability to attend the college of her choice was riding on that financial aid. We complied, she got it and she just finished her first year. I just cannot imagine having my dd miss out only to be the hero of the local homeschool community over a half a credit.

I am not being snarky. I just want to point out that it is easier to *say* that than to *do* it when *your child* is the one who will have to sacrifice. :)
 

nasa30

Puritan Board Sophomore
I would like to encourage you to hold out and NOT take the GED. This would be a win for you and ALL homeschoolers. If we keep caving in and using the system we are avoiding, we are really taking a step backward. I know that it would be easier to just take the GED but, speaking as someone that is involved in fighting for homeschool rights politically, it does hurt our HS rights every time we cave to the system.

HSLDA article referenced above
I just want to say that I COMPLETELY understand this line of thinking, but this is what I faced with my dd and our decision to comply with the state's requirement for eligibility for money for school. Some people were very irritated that I did not fight that. Well, frankly, my dd's ability to attend the college of her choice was riding on that financial aid. We complied, she got it and she just finished her first year. I just cannot imagine having my dd miss out only to be the hero of the local homeschool community over a half a credit.

I am not being snarky. I just want to point out that it is easier to *say* that than to *do* it when *your child* is the one who will have to sacrifice. :)
I undertand what you are saying. It is tough to walk the walk. My oldest graduated homeschool last year so I am in the "do" club and not just the "say" club.
 

JoyFullMom

Puritan Board Junior
Oh, okay. I view it differently. I *do* believe in my freedom to home educate *my way*, but I believe that when dealing with grant and scholarship monies, the benefactor has the right to put forth requirements. We are free to choose whether to meet those requirements or find another way. While I believe that requiring such a benign half credit was ridiculous, (ESPECIALLY since she already had more than the necessary credits with a 4.0 and a 32 on her ACT) it is their prerogative because I *do* have the option and ability to provide that course for my child. I suspect you don't agree, which is fine by me. :) I (we) have no regrets.
 

nasa30

Puritan Board Sophomore
Oh, okay. I view it differently. I *do* believe in my freedom to home educate *my way*, but I believe that when dealing with grant and scholarship monies, the benefactor has the right to put forth requirements. We are free to choose whether to meet those requirements or find another way. While I believe that requiring such a benign half credit was ridiculous, (ESPECIALLY since she already had more than the necessary credits with a 4.0 and a 32 on her ACT) it is their prerogative because I *do* have the option and ability to provide that course for my child. I suspect you don't agree, which is fine by me. :) I (we) have no regrets.
That is great for you and you are correct, I *do* disagree.
 

JoyFullMom

Puritan Board Junior
Judson, if I may ask, did your oldest have to make a sacrifice for you to "walk the walk"? Again, no *snark* intended. I'm just wondering if you feel you had to pay a price for what you advocate yet. I sincerely hope not. :)

We know families who have made some hard decisions. Some feel they did the right thing, others don't.
 

nasa30

Puritan Board Sophomore
Judson, if I may ask, did your oldest have to make a sacrifice for you to "walk the walk"?
Not a You but rather a WE.


Do I have all the answers, No and I have never claimed that I do. Yes, she did/is for us to "walk the walk". She is in agreement with this "battle" and a more vocal force that I am. I am not trying to bind anyone's conscience and my post that started this was stated as just that.
I would like to encourage you to hold out
It was not a demand with a moral case or anything like that.

****My view here**** We have lost such liberty in this country because of the choices that Christians have made or not made as the case may be. If you look at our history,you see that someone has to draw a line in the sand and pay the price for that line somewhere along the line. Yes, we are paying and will continue to pay so we can stand up for what we understand is right. The right choice is seldom the easy one*****
 

LawrenceU

Puritan Board Doctor
****My view here**** We have lost such liberty in this country because of the choices that Christians have made or not made as the case may be. If you look at our history,you see that someone has to draw a line in the sand and pay the price for that line somewhere along the line. Yes, we are paying and will continue to pay so we can stand up for what we understand is right. The right choice is seldom the easy one*****
As usual, I am in full agreement with Judson. A basic tenet of leadership is 'Choose the harder right.' That is something that has almost disappeared from the face of the church.

Christians have knelt before the unjust powers of this nation and its institutions far too many times. I know many homeschooled folks who have chosen not to apply for certain grants and take more time in college by working their way through than to bow once again to so called experts.
 

JoyFullMom

Puritan Board Junior
Judson, I did not feel you were trying to bind my conscience at all. :) It is not bound to any other than Christ...not even the homeschooling community.

I was just interested in your story, that is all. And yes, we all have varying and different viewpoints on this.

ETA...my use of *you* was plural, meaning *your family* :)
 
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TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
would like to encourage you to hold out and NOT take the GED. This would be a win for you and ALL homeschoolers
Dudes, she's a young girl. It's our generation that messed stuff up. She'll have enough trouble without fixing all our mistakes. She should take the path that will allow her to get the best and easiest employment. You don't have to be R2K to see that. Which I'm not.
 

EKSB SDG

Puritan Board Freshman
It varies so widely by state. We homeschool in Pennsylvania. You may want to poke around on Homeschool: HSLDA-Home School Legal Defense Association or else check with some people in your state home school organizations. I know someone in Pennsylvania that had a very difficult time getting into nursing school because, even though they had a college diploma, they did NOT have a high school diploma. They had to go through all sorts of nonsense to get the documentation that they needed to satisfy the state's requirement for being a high school graduate.
 

Reed

Puritan Board Freshman
HSLDA would be interested in this -

Home School Legal Defense Fund would be interested in this case - if the State of Washington can reject home school transcripts and diplomas.
 
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