Do Homeschoolers Need High School Diplomas or Transcripts?
Homeschooling through the high school years may seem daunting, but it is completely doable and perhaps far easier than you imagine! Since homeschooling is a legal form of education, yes – your student will need to have a high school transcript documenting their credits earned. In almost all states, homeschooled graduates earn a legal high school diploma according to the homeschooling laws of their state. A homeschool diploma can be used for college admission, scholarships, employment, and military service. Even if your teen does not plan on attending college or a trade school now, you should still prepare these records as plans may change years from now.
Do Homeschoolers Get a Diploma or GED?
Ultimately it depends on the state where you are homeschooling. In most states, homeschooling leads to a legally recognized high school diploma. In a few states, however, sometimes, homeschoolers are not considered high school graduates unless specific high school equivalency conditions are met. Be sure to check your state homeschooling laws to verify your student’s diploma for homeschool will be accepted upon completion of high school coursework.
So How Do Homeschoolers Document Their High School Work?
All completed high school courses are documented on a student’s high school transcript from 9th-12th grade. This is true for all students – whether they attend public or private schools or are homeschooled. In many states, parents serve as the teacher-of-record and will bear the responsibility of assigning grades, issuing high school credits, creating a transcript, and awarding a high school diploma. In states with multiple homeschooling options, other entities, such as an umbrella school, may take care of these tasks.
Regardless of your state’s stance on homeschool diplomas, you will need to document your child’s high school completion through a homeschool transcript. Depending on your state, your child’s progress may or may not need to be reviewed by a certified teacher or some other authority. A high school transcript provides evidence of high school completion. Again, check your state’s homeschooling laws to be aware of any required forms, but in many cases, the creation of the transcript is in the hands of the homeschool parent or guide.
You can likely use any sort of record-keeping system you like along the way, such as a homeschool portfolio It is strongly recommended that you document all high school course work at the end of each school year instead of waiting until your student’s senior year. It will make the process straightforward to complete. If your teen earned high school credits at a traditional school prior to homeschooling, you can notate those credits as ‘transferred from XYZ School.” (*Note: When applying for college admission, you may have to request transcripts from the former high school, which is common practice.)
What Do Credits Mean for Homeschoolers?
Generally, high school completion is based on the number of credits required for a high school diploma in a specific state. This may be a guideline rather than a requirement for homeschooling depending on where you live. You will want to check your state’s homeschooling laws for any graduation requirements. Homeschool athletes seeking to play in college will need to review NCAA homeschool requirements to ensure eligibility.You can also visit your state Board of Education website for reference on public school graduation high school credits as needed.
Basically, you will need to assign homeschool credits for high school based on the courses your child is taking. According to a Guide to Giving High School Credits, by Homeschool.com, one credit is approximately equal to completion of at least 75% of a high school textbook, a one-semester three-credit community college course, a one-year online high school or college course, or a one-year unit study with projects. Timewise, one credit equates to about 120-180 hours of work (or 60-90 hours for one-half credit). As the teacher-of-record, you have the responsibility to assign course credits to ensure that your child satisfies the minimum requirements for a high school diploma.
Time4Learning can be a great partner in automatizing what you would have to record manually with other curricula. While your child works through Time4Learning’s core high school curriculum and optional high school electives, the program automatically tracks the amount of time your child spends on the online lessons by subject, which can help you assign homeschool credits for high school for the courses your child is taking. Remember, too, that Time4Learning’s reports track grades on assignments, quizzes, and tests, so that adding grades to homeschool transcripts is easy!
How Do I Create a Homeschool Transcript?
Knowing how to make a homeschool transcript simply involves using your resources, and they typically include general student information, the parent/guardian’s name, and information about the homeschool.
Then, for each school year and grade level, include the following information:
- For each course:
- Summarize for the school year:
Course description (optional based on state)
Number of credits earned per course
Final course grade
Total number of credits
Grade point average (GPA)
A wonderful feature of homeschool transcripts compared to typical transcripts is that they demonstrate how well-rounded your student is! Here you can include information on:
- Any dual enrollment, honors, or college courses
- Standardized testing scores
- Activities or hobbies
- Volunteer work
Time4Learning members have access to a number of templates including transcripts and high school diplomas in their Parent Account.
Finally, homeschool transcripts can summarize overall attendance per grade, the final cumulative GPA (including, of course, the grading scale you are using), the total number of credits earned, the type of diploma, and the graduation date. Then, as the homeschool teacher-of-record, you sign off on your child’s amazing accomplishments!
Homeschool High School Transcript Template
Creating your student’s homeschool transcript is simple with our free homeschool transcript template available for members in the Parent Account!