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WindSong
02-01-2013, 12:36 PM
We are at the point where we are thinking about ds going back to public school next year for 8th grade.
The thinking is that it would be easier for him to adjust to ps while in 8th grade rather than having his first year back be ninth grade.

Anyway, if he does end up going back to either ps or the state virtual charter school, he will earn a lovely diploma saying he met all of his requirements.
If he continues to homeschool through high school, he does not receive an official diploma from an accredited high school. This worries me. Should I be worried that he would never have a "real" diploma? Would I be depriving him of something important that would effect negatively on his admission to college or his ability to seek employment? I honestly can't think of a time when I needed to show my high school diploma as proof of learning.

A homemade diploma from our homeschool just doesn't seem like the same thing. Can you all help me think out the ramifications of not having a high school diploma? I mean, I know thousands of other homeschoolers have chosen this path with great success. I guess I'm just wanting to know the pros and cons.

dbmamaz
02-01-2013, 03:07 PM
lots of kids graduate with a homeschool diploma and go on to college. colleges dont even need the diploma they only want records - you have to make a transcript of the classes your child has done in your homeschool. there are a few things where you would need a GED for proof, but not many. If your child has a specific area they might be interested in for a career, you can look in to what they would need for that path. many colleges now even have sections on their websites to tell homeschoolers what they look for. Sometimes, too, you can dual enroll to have some 'real' grades, or just go to community college first and transfer in to a four-year college.

one of my favorite sessions i went to at a homeschool conference was a panel of homeschool graduates talking about their lives in college and beyond. it did not hold them back at all. the only issue i've heard of is military. and i think there was someone on this board who's child was set on one specific music college which absolutely required a high school diploma from a school. not all colleges are equally homeschool friendly.

Pawz4me
02-01-2013, 03:20 PM
In North Carolina home schools are considered private schools and as such can issue their own diplomas. Although of course home schools aren't accredited. In seven years of homeschooling I've heard of very, very few kids who've had a problem because of not having a diploma from an accredited school. As Cara said, colleges want a transcript, not a copy of a high school diploma.

inmom
02-01-2013, 03:29 PM
From what I've heard and read, colleges don't ask for a diploma. They look at SAT/ACT scores first (a few don't), then transcripts, followed by essays, letters of recommendation, etc.

Think of it this way--have YOU ever been asked by anyone to see your diploma? No one has ever asked to see my high school, Bachelor's, or Master's diploma.

That being said, we'll still "award" our kids diplomas, more as a keepsake than anything else. My daughter refers to herself as a homeschool valedictorian anyway.....

Accidental Homeschooler
02-01-2013, 04:20 PM
Most schools use the common application.

https://www.commonapp.org/CommonApp/DownloadForms.aspx

If you read down it you will see a form for home schooled applicants. All the schools I have looked at so far use the common application. My dd is in ninth grade and will not have a high school diploma. I am using the common application hs form as a guide for our record keeping. It is actually fairly simple.

Teri
02-01-2013, 11:33 PM
Texas considers Homeschoolers as private schools also and the diploma that we issue is valid.
I have no concerns about it.

I will say that, yes, I have been asked for copies of my diplomas....both high school and college for jobs though. But, I am still not concerned about issuing my own.

rueyn
02-02-2013, 07:29 AM
From what I've read, it's the transcript, not the diploma. They want to know you GRADUATED (i.e. earned a diploma), but what that piece of paper actually looks like, I don't think matters (how's that for early-morning grammar :P ).

Jeni
02-02-2013, 08:55 AM
From what I've heard and read, colleges don't ask for a diploma. They look at SAT/ACT scores first (a few don't), then transcripts, followed by essays, letters of recommendation, etc.

Think of it this way--have YOU ever been asked by anyone to see your diploma? No one has ever asked to see my high school, Bachelor's, or Master's diploma.

That being said, we'll still "award" our kids diplomas, more as a keepsake than anything else. My daughter refers to herself as a homeschool valedictorian anyway.....

I've been asked many times. I needed it to apply to college (online), to get jobs, and to register our homeschool in NC they wanted to see both our high school and any college degrees we had. If that's all you have, sometimes that's what they need to see. That being said, I honestly don't think it ever would have mattered if it wasn't accredited, they just wanted to see that I had it - policy more then anything, except maybe the college.

laundrycrisis
02-02-2013, 09:05 AM
Another option to consider is to earn an accredited diploma from an accredited private distance program. You can find them listed here:

http://www.advanc-ed.org/oasis2/u/par/search

For the search, use institution type=school, public/non-public=private, and school type=distance education.

The most affordable one I have seen, that is also well known and has a pretty good reputation, is American School of Correspondence.

Accredited High School Diploma and Distance Education with American School (http://www.americanschoolofcorr.com/)

Riceball_Mommy
02-02-2013, 09:30 AM
Some states have umbrella schools that for a fee offer some oversight and then will issue a diploma for the student.

laundrycrisis
02-02-2013, 12:32 PM
Some states have umbrella schools that for a fee offer some oversight and then will issue a diploma for the student.

This is true, but most of these are not actually accredited - the umbrella school diploma doesn't mean anything more than a homeschool-issued diploma does. It meets some legal requirements for homeschooling in that state, but it's not a regionally accredited diploma. When people begin with one of these and then move to another state, they often find out none of those "credits" can be transferred to a similar program in a different state, or to any accredited distance program. For anything to be transferable, the classes must be from a regionally accredited distance school.

Riceball_Mommy
02-02-2013, 12:35 PM
This is true, but most of these are not actually accredited - the umbrella school diploma doesn't mean anything more than a homeschool-issued diploma does. It meets some legal requirements for homeschooling in that state, but it's not a regionally accredited diploma. When people begin with one of these and then move to another state, they often find out none of those "credits" can be transferred to a similar program in a different state, or to any accredited distance program. For anything to be transferable, the classes must be from a regionally accredited distance school.

I didn't know that, it's good that you pointed it out. The umbrella seems kinda pointless, and a bit of a rip off then.

rueyn
02-02-2013, 12:42 PM
I didn't know that, it's good that you pointed it out. The umbrella seems kinda pointless, and a bit of a rip off then.

The umbrella school is perfect for us, because it keeps us from dealing with the LEA.

laundrycrisis
02-02-2013, 12:44 PM
In some states, the laws are such that being associated with an umbrella school makes it much easier to meet the legal requirements for homeschooling - that's why they are so popular in some states. But I'm not aware of any state that requires regional accreditation for homeschool graduation, so that's not something the state-specific umbrella schools take on. It's not a requirement they have to meet.

Also, on some homeschool information clearinghouse type websites, I see the word "accredited" being misused. Many state-specific private umbrella schools are registered or somehow recognized by their state, and people will say those are "accredited" by that state. But they aren't actually accredited by one of the regional accreditation agencies that US colleges and universities care about.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regional_accreditation

The North Central, Northwest, and Southern agencies are part of AdvancED. I have no idea if there is something similar for the Middle States, New England and Western.

Also, in many states, there are public charter schools. These are government-run schools, not private umbrella organizations. A diploma from one of these is actually a public high school diploma, and I would expect most of them to be regionally accredited.

I found a search page for Middle States:
http://www.msa-cess.org/RelId/606553/ISvars/default/Search_Our_Schools.htm

I found a New England Association directory:
http://cis.neasc.org/cis_directory_of_schools

Here is the list for the Western Association:
http://www.acswasc.org/directory_search.cfm

I have no idea if these other three have a special category for distance learning schools or not.

WindSong
02-02-2013, 02:47 PM
lots of kids graduate with a homeschool diploma and go on to college. colleges dont even need the diploma they only want records - you have to make a transcript of the classes your child has done in your homeschool. there are a few things where you would need a GED for proof, but not many. If your child has a specific area they might be interested in for a career, you can look in to what they would need for that path. many colleges now even have sections on their websites to tell homeschoolers what they look for. Sometimes, too, you can dual enroll to have some 'real' grades, or just go to community college first and transfer in to a four-year college.

one of my favorite sessions i went to at a homeschool conference was a panel of homeschool graduates talking about their lives in college and beyond. it did not hold them back at all. the only issue i've heard of is military. and i think there was someone on this board who's child was set on one specific music college which absolutely required a high school diploma from a school. not all colleges are equally homeschool friendly.
As far as a career goes, I'm certain that he will choose a STEM oriented one. So I want to be sure he has a strong math and science background. I do know that if he attends our state virtual high school, he can earn dual credit which is a huge plus.

I have a friend who homeschools her four kids. They have never been to ps. Her oldest son (now 17) decided a couple of years ago that he wanted to join the military. So he absolutely needed a high school diploma. So he is about to graduate and is valedictorian of his class. He goes to boot camp in June.

WindSong
02-02-2013, 02:53 PM
From what I've heard and read, colleges don't ask for a diploma. They look at SAT/ACT scores first (a few don't), then transcripts, followed by essays, letters of recommendation, etc.

Think of it this way--have YOU ever been asked by anyone to see your diploma? No one has ever asked to see my high school, Bachelor's, or Master's diploma.

That being said, we'll still "award" our kids diplomas, more as a keepsake than anything else. My daughter refers to herself as a homeschool valedictorian anyway.....
I can't recall anyone asking me to submit my diplomas either- just my transcripts, etc. Do you know of a resource, a book or website, I could use to help with record keeping and writing transcripts?

WindSong
02-02-2013, 02:57 PM
Most schools use the common application.

https://www.commonapp.org/CommonApp/DownloadForms.aspx

If you read down it you will see a form for home schooled applicants. All the schools I have looked at so far use the common application. My dd is in ninth grade and will not have a high school diploma. I am using the common application hs form as a guide for our record keeping. It is actually fairly simple.
Thank you for the link, Julie. That will help me guide my record keeping.

WindSong
02-02-2013, 03:05 PM
Another option to consider is to earn an accredited diploma from an accredited private distance program. You can find them listed here:

http://www.advanc-ed.org/oasis2/u/par/search

For the search, use institution type=school, public/non-public=private, and school type=distance education.

The most affordable one I have seen, that is also well known and has a pretty good reputation, is American School of Correspondence.

Accredited High School Diploma and Distance Education with American School (http://www.americanschoolofcorr.com/)
I just checked your link to see if the virtual charter school in our state that my ds may attend for high school was listed. It is an accredited high school that will issue a diploma. But it isn't listed. Does that mean it is only accredited by the state? :confused:

farrarwilliams
02-02-2013, 04:43 PM
In my experience, accreditation does not mean that much. I worked at a private school that was not accredited for most of the time I was there. Graduates who were good students with good scores, grades and activities never had trouble getting into college - students from the school where I taught when to small liberal arts schools, including some pretty prestigious ones and the big state university both. Accreditation was never an issue for them. Students who had less than stellar resumes did have trouble, of course, but, again, accreditation never stopped them from attending community college or going into Americorps afterwards. I have definitely heard some stories of homeschoolers who encounter trouble here and there having to do with a lack of some sort of official diploma. However, I think these stories are relatively rare and are usually resolved after some red tape - times when someone is adversely effected are rare enough that they absolutely don't justify making a decision based on that remote chance.

Riceball_Mommy
02-02-2013, 05:01 PM
The umbrella school is perfect for us, because it keeps us from dealing with the LEA.

I was a little too broad with my statement. I mean for the ones that mostly advertise the diploma as a reason to use them. I completely understand using them to not have to deal with the state because I've heard from people in other parts of Maryland that using an umbrella is almost a must in their county because of reviewers being almost impossible to deal with.

laundrycrisis
02-02-2013, 08:45 PM
I just checked your link to see if the virtual charter school in our state that my ds may attend for high school was listed. It is an accredited high school that will issue a diploma. But it isn't listed. Does that mean it is only accredited by the state? :confused:

I see you are in NH - make sure you check the one that would be for NH.

I think this is just for private:

About Us - New England Association of Schools and Colleges: Commission on Independent Schools (CIS) (http://cis.neasc.org/about_us/)

These are public in NH:

CPSS Directory of Schools - New England Association of Schools and Colleges: Commission on Public Secondary Schools (CPSS) (http://cpss.neasc.org/cpss_directory_of_schools/#New%20Hampshire)

laundrycrisis
02-02-2013, 09:00 PM
In my experience, accreditation does not mean that much. I worked at a private school that was not accredited for most of the time I was there. Graduates who were good students with good scores, grades and activities never had trouble getting into college - students from the school where I taught when to small liberal arts schools, including some pretty prestigious ones and the big state university both. Accreditation was never an issue for them. Students who had less than stellar resumes did have trouble, of course, but, again, accreditation never stopped them from attending community college or going into Americorps afterwards. I have definitely heard some stories of homeschoolers who encounter trouble here and there having to do with a lack of some sort of official diploma. However, I think these stories are relatively rare and are usually resolved after some red tape - times when someone is adversely effected are rare enough that they absolutely don't justify making a decision based on that remote chance.

The most compelling reason I have seen to consider using an accredited distance school if is someone is not sure about homeschooling all the way through high school. In some states or districts, it can be very difficult or impossible to get a student transferred into a public high school half way through without accredited coursework to transfer in. From what I understand about where we are, a student without this would have to take placement tests, and from what I have heard, the content of the tests is head-smacking ridiculous, and a homeschooled student without accredited coursework would probably have to start at 9th grade regardless of their age or work that had been done at home. Whether or not a student is required to take the placement tests is up to the district. Students who transfer in from a private school with a good reputation and good grades are not often required to take the placement tests, but students transferring in from a homeschool, without accredited coursework, end up having to take the tests.

farrarwilliams
02-02-2013, 09:40 PM
The most compelling reason I have seen to consider using an accredited distance school if is someone is not sure about homeschooling all the way through high school. In some states or districts, it can be very difficult or impossible to get a student transferred into a public high school half way through without accredited coursework to transfer in. From what I understand about where we are, a student without this would have to take placement tests, and from what I have heard, the content of the tests is head-smacking ridiculous, and a homeschooled student without accredited coursework would probably have to start at 9th grade regardless of their age or work that had been done at home. Whether or not a student is required to take the placement tests is up to the district. Students who transfer in from a private school with a good reputation and good grades are not often required to take the placement tests, but students transferring in from a homeschool, without accredited coursework, end up having to take the tests.

Yes, depending on the state, that's very true. Up until high school, you can drop in and out of homeschooling, but once you hit ninth grade, you have to pick a path - which is so unfortunate.

WindSong
02-02-2013, 10:06 PM
I see you are in NH - make sure you check the one that would be for NH.

I think this is just for private:

About Us - New England Association of Schools and Colleges: Commission on Independent Schools (CIS) (http://cis.neasc.org/about_us/)

These are public in NH:

CPSS Directory of Schools - New England Association of Schools and Colleges: Commission on Public Secondary Schools (CPSS) (http://cpss.neasc.org/cpss_directory_of_schools/#New%20Hampshire)

Yes, I checked there and it's not listed. I wonder if there is a separate accrediting body for virtual schools? This is what the virtual schools' website says in regard to accreditation:
"The Academy is accredited by the State of New Hampshire and the U.S. Department of
Education. The Academy meets the federal requirements of a graduating, high school."

As long as he is not trying to transfer credits from homeschool courses to ps high school, I shouldn't be too worried, right?

WindSong
02-02-2013, 10:10 PM
Yes, depending on the state, that's very true. Up until high school, you can drop in and out of homeschooling, but once you hit ninth grade, you have to pick a path - which is so unfortunate.
This is exactly where we are now- trying to choose our path. It stinks. I would love to continue homeschooling for a couple more years, so would ds, but we have to choose one or the other beginning with ninth grade.

laundrycrisis
02-02-2013, 10:44 PM
Yes, I checked there and it's not listed. I wonder if there is a separate accrediting body for virtual schools? This is what the virtual schools' website says in regard to accreditation:
"The Academy is accredited by the State of New Hampshire and the U.S. Department of
Education. The Academy meets the federal requirements of a graduating, high school."

As long as he is not trying to transfer credits from homeschool courses to ps high school, I shouldn't be too worried, right?


I would check it out very, very carefully if you want it to be accredited. According to this page:
U.S. Department of Education Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs (http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/)
"The U.S. Department of Education does not accredit educational institutions and/or programs."

There are no federal requirements. So any school that has this statement would be on my suspicion radar for misleading people.

According to the NH Dept of Education page:
School Approval Frequently Asked Questions | Bureau of School Approval and Facility Management | NH Department of Education (http://www.education.nh.gov/program/school_approval/approval_faq.htm#accreditation)
"What is the difference between school approval and accreditation?
School approval is a mandatory process required by RSA 21-N:9. All children residing in the State of New Hampshire between the ages of 6 and 18 are required by RSA 193:1 to attend an approved public school, approved private school, or an approved home school program.Accreditation is a voluntary process in which schools submit to a review by an accrediting organization which compares the schools to standards established by the accrediting organization. Most public and private high schools and a few middle schools in New Hampshire are accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)(www.NEASC.org (http://www.neasc.org/)). Some private schools are accredited by the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) or the American Association of Christian Schools (AACS)."

So the state does not accredit schools. That is done by the NEASC. So again, any school that is claiming to be accredited by the state of NH would be very suspect to me.

The state does maintain a list of approved charter schools:
Approved Charter Schools | Charter Schools | Office of School Standards | Division of Instruction | NH Department of Education (http://www.education.nh.gov/instruction/school_improve/charter/approved.htm)

But that does not mean the school has been regionally accredited by one of the six agencies.

If they cannot tell you which of the six agencies they are accredited by, then they aren't. I would find it very suspicious that they claim to be "accredited" by the state, when that is not possible, and that they meet federal requirements, when there are none.

This is exactly the kind of situation people get hosed by when they think their child is in an accredited program that really isn't. They were tricked into believing it was accredited by misleading and deceptive information. All seems well until the family moves to a new state, attempts public school enrollment, and finds out that nothing will transfer in because it wasn't regionally accredited.

To many colleges, it will not matter whether it was accredited or not, if the transcript looks good. And in some transfer situations, it won't be a big deal. BUT - sometimes it does matter, and sometimes parents just really want the distance school to be accredited. IMO it is very wrong for families to be tricked. When an FAQ page has a question that is specifically about accreditation, and the school supplies a bogus load of crap answer that is intentionally deceptive, to trick parents into thinking the school is accredited, it's very wrong.

If a school is accredited, they should come right out with the name of the regional agency they are accredited by. There should not be any fluff about where their curriculum or courses were developed, which standards their stuff is aligned to, or accreditation of the school they bought their stuff from, because that does not translate to this school being accredited. It either is or it isn't, and the fluff is misleading when the correct answer to the question about accreditation is "no". There is no "kind of" answer. Meeting state requirements for graduation also does not translate to regional accreditation. State requirements are one thing, and regional accreditation is another.

Overhere
02-03-2013, 06:45 AM
If you want to know what's likely to be required for (US) homeschoolers applying to college, take a look at the Homeschool Supplement to the Common application. It's here (https://www.commonapp.org/CommonApp/Docs/DownloadForms/2013/2013HomeSchool_download.pdf). That should ease your mind.

If you are willing to pay a fee and are looking to get an official transcript for homeschool studies, take a look at Clonlara, which runs an accredited homeschool program, and will not interfere in your curriculum choices, though they do provide all sorts of support services if you want them. Here: Discover the Joy of Learning! | Clonlara Homeschool Program and Online Homeschool Alternative (http://www.clonlara.org/home/)

inmom
02-03-2013, 08:26 AM
I can't recall anyone asking me to submit my diplomas either- just my transcripts, etc. Do you know of a resource, a book or website, I could use to help with record keeping and writing transcripts?

Below are a few resources. I also attach resources and course descriptions to the transcript. Samples can usually be found online from either your local high schools or your state department of education. If you'd like, you can PM me and I can share what I've done (so far) with my kiddos.

Homeschool Transcripts Webinar with The HomeScholar (http://www.thehomescholar.com/homeschool-transcripts-webinar.php)

How To Home School Today | Transcript Creator (http://www.howtohomeschooltoday.com/freebies/homeschool_forms/record_keeping_forms/transcript_creator)

High School Credit Template (http://thehappyhousewife.com/homeschool/high-school-credit-planner/)

High School Transcript (http://www.donnayoung.org/forms/planners/hs-transcript.htm)

Homeschool Transcripts by Cindy Downes - Oklahoma Homeschool (http://www.oklahomahomeschool.com/trans1.html)

Free Sample Home School Transcript (http://www.homeschool-curriculum-savings.com/home-school-transcript.html)

WindSong
02-03-2013, 02:46 PM
The state does maintain a list of approved charter schools:
Approved Charter Schools | Charter Schools | Office of School Standards | Division of Instruction | NH Department of Education (http://www.education.nh.gov/instruction/school_improve/charter/approved.htm)

If a school is accredited, they should come right out with the name of the regional agency they are accredited by. There should not be any fluff about where their curriculum or courses were developed, which standards their stuff is aligned to, or accreditation of the school they bought their stuff from, because that does not translate to this school being accredited. It either is or it isn't, and the fluff is misleading when the correct answer to the question about accreditation is "no". There is no "kind of" answer. Meeting state requirements for graduation also does not translate to regional accreditation. State requirements are one thing, and regional accreditation is another.

Well at least the school is listed under approved charter schools. :)

Thank you for all of your help with this. I really appreciate the time you spent to help me out. This is exactly the kind of information I need in order to make a decision about high school.

WindSong
02-03-2013, 02:48 PM
Below are a few resources. I also attach resources and course descriptions to the transcript. Samples can usually be found online from either your local high schools or your state department of education. If you'd like, you can PM me and I can share what I've done (so far) with my kiddos.

Homeschool Transcripts Webinar with The HomeScholar (http://www.thehomescholar.com/homeschool-transcripts-webinar.php)

How To Home School Today | Transcript Creator (http://www.howtohomeschooltoday.com/freebies/homeschool_forms/record_keeping_forms/transcript_creator)

High School Credit Template (http://thehappyhousewife.com/homeschool/high-school-credit-planner/)

High School Transcript (http://www.donnayoung.org/forms/planners/hs-transcript.htm)

Homeschool Transcripts by Cindy Downes - Oklahoma Homeschool (http://www.oklahomahomeschool.com/trans1.html)

Free Sample Home School Transcript (http://www.homeschool-curriculum-savings.com/home-school-transcript.html)
Thank you, Carol. These links are very helpful. :)

WindSong
02-03-2013, 03:34 PM
If you are willing to pay a fee and are looking to get an official transcript for homeschool studies, take a look at Clonlara, which runs an accredited homeschool program, and will not interfere in your curriculum choices, though they do provide all sorts of support services if you want them. Here: Discover the Joy of Learning! | Clonlara Homeschool Program and Online Homeschool Alternative (http://www.clonlara.org/home/)
This looks like an interesting option. The fee is probably less than what I would end up spending on curriculum, supplies, etc. if we continue to homeschool. Plus, it also seems like a nice blend of learning resources. He could pursue his interests, sports, volunteer work, etc. and get credit. Thank you for sharing this link. I plan on looking into it in more detail. They also state outright in several places who their accrediting agency is! :)

laundrycrisis
02-03-2013, 03:51 PM
This looks like an interesting option. The fee is probably less than what I would end up spending on curriculum, supplies, etc. if we continue to homeschool. Plus, it also seems like a nice blend of learning resources. He could pursue his interests, sports, volunteer work, etc. and get credit. Thank you for sharing this link. I plan on looking into it in more detail. They also state outright in several places who their accrediting agency is! :)

Unless things have changed, Clonlara does not provide any curriculum or instructional materials at all. They do record keeping and rubber stamping of the things you choose. They will tell you if what you are doing is not enough, but it's left to you to figure out how to patch it up.

So with Clonlara, you pay for whatever your use, and you pay Clonlara to review and approve it.

Some people like Clonlara because it gives them a way for their child to earn a regionally accredited diploma, while the kid and parents get to choose what materials and approaches they use to meet Clonlara's graduation requirements.

It is really cool that they offer such a flexible way to earn an accredited diploma, but it's not cheap.

BarbaraH
02-05-2013, 12:15 AM
Just to put your mind at ease, the majority of homeschoolers who go to college do so on parent issued, unaccredited transcripts and that includes homeschoolers going to highly selective colleges. Parents do this every day and you can do it too. It is important to think about the big picture. Your transcript will be viewed in a broader context looking at other pieces of verifying information such as test scores (ACT or SAT, and AP and SAT subject tests if your student takes them, letters of recommendations, student extracurriculars, essays, etc. It all fits together form an overall picture of your student's high school experience.

Keep in mind too that colleges have a wide range of what they expect. Most community colleges, and many regional universities, are "open admissions" meaning they take everyone who applies. Of course you want your child to have a good high school education so they are well prepared for college, but there are many ways to go about that.

Some college admissions offices publish guidelines detailing what they expect from homeschoolers. If you'd like to get a fast overview of what these policies can look like here is a collection of college homeschool admissions policies. (http://learni.st/users/43261/boards/8386-homeschool-college-admissions-policies)

Overhere
02-05-2013, 06:16 AM
Unless things have changed, Clonlara does not provide any curriculum or instructional materials at all. They do record keeping and rubber stamping of the things you choose. They will tell you if what you are doing is not enough, but it's left to you to figure out how to patch it up.

So with Clonlara, you pay for whatever your use, and you pay Clonlara to review and approve it.



As far as I know, that's still the case - I put them forward because it sounded like you wanted diploma service and perhaps some college prep advice, which they can easily provide. They do provide access to consultant teachers who help you choose materials and plan your year, so if you are behind, they will give you advice and recommendations as to what to do. They also give discounted access to some online courses and resources, as well as codes for certain standardised tests (it's easier to register for tests in some places as an "independent candidate from another school" rather than an independent homeschooler), but they don't provide most curriculum.

If you are looking for curriculum plus accredited transcript, best to look at something like Laurel Springs (http://www.laurelsprings.com/) or Oak Meadow (http://www.oakmeadow.com/school/courses.php), which do the whole thing, but also require you to use their materials/courses.

WindSong
02-05-2013, 11:44 AM
Some people like Clonlara because it gives them a way for their child to earn a regionally accredited diploma, while the kid and parents get to choose what materials and approaches they use to meet Clonlara's graduation requirements.

It is really cool that they offer such a flexible way to earn an accredited diploma, but it's not cheap.
This is it exactly. The flexibility and the ability for us to choose his curriculum is extremely appealing. Plus, his transcripts would be accredited. But you definitely pay a price.

WindSong
02-05-2013, 11:48 AM
Just to put your mind at ease, the majority of homeschoolers who go to college do so on parent issued, unaccredited transcripts and that includes homeschoolers going to highly selective colleges. Parents do this every day and you can do it too. It is important to think about the big picture. Your transcript will be viewed in a broader context looking at other pieces of verifying information such as test scores (ACT or SAT, and AP and SAT subject tests if your student takes them, letters of recommendations, student extracurriculars, essays, etc. It all fits together form an overall picture of your student's high school experience.

Keep in mind too that colleges have a wide range of what they expect. Most community colleges, and many regional universities, are "open admissions" meaning they take everyone who applies. Of course you want your child to have a good high school education so they are well prepared for college, but there are many ways to go about that.

Some college admissions offices publish guidelines detailing what they expect from homeschoolers. If you'd like to get a fast overview of what these policies can look like here is a collection of college homeschool admissions policies. (http://learni.st/users/43261/boards/8386-homeschool-college-admissions-policies)
Thank you for the reality check. :) I just need to know what I am committing myself and ds to by choosing the homeschool path through highschool. Thanks for the link, too.

WindSong
02-05-2013, 11:52 AM
As far as I know, that's still the case - I put them forward because it sounded like you wanted diploma service and perhaps some college prep advice, which they can easily provide. If you are looking for curriculum plus accredited transcript, best to look at something like Laurel Springs (http://www.laurelsprings.com/) or Oak Meadow (http://www.oakmeadow.com/school/courses.php), which do the whole thing, but also require you to use their materials/courses.
At this point I don't know what I am looking for. I am just exploring all of the options out there so we can make an informed decision about high school. I appreciate your suggestions. There is so much to think about!

laundrycrisis
02-05-2013, 05:59 PM
This is exactly where we are now- trying to choose our path. It stinks. I would love to continue homeschooling for a couple more years, so would ds, but we have to choose one or the other beginning with ninth grade.

I would like to clarify something - I don't believe a regionally accredited diploma is necessary or better for college admission. My own interest in looking into regionally accredited options for homeschooling high school has been as a safety net in case something falls apart and a child needs to go into public school before a home high school diploma can reasonably be issued. I don't like the idea of a kid who would have been a junior being thrown back to the beginning of 9th grade, because of a choice I made, and ridiculous tests that even the school's own students would not be able to pass.

The commitment aspect of homeschooling high school - having to choose one path or the other - really bugs me. I am looking into accredited distance options as a way to choose a middle path, where it really is possible to take it year by year, or even semester by semester, and not live in fear of a kid having to start over at the beginning if the bottom fell out of our homeschooling arrangement. A public high school is more likely to accept credits from a regionally accredited distance school, and not require placement tests, than from a home school, or unaccredited distance or umbrella program.

I have heard of people using a regionally accredited distance program (ie American School or Keystone), or combination of them, and not even being interested in getting the diploma from one of these schools - they use it to cover the core academics each year, but still build their own homeschool transcripts, and add on credits they award for things outside of the accredited distance programs (ie, travel sports participation, a community ceramics class or writing workshop, or a volunteer project, with an end result that can go into a portfolio), and finally issue the student a home school diploma. But along the way, just in case there was a need to transfer into public high school, the student was accumulating credits that a public school would accept.

Disclaimer - our oldest is only in 4th grade, so I really am talking out my elbow about this ! I have no experience with it at all, but I've become a bit obsessed with researching options. What can I say - I'm a triple Virgo ! For my own peace of mind, I need to have a plan, or at least have gathered sufficient information to be able to create a plan I'm happy with on short notice. I'm attempting to backwards-plan the rest of DS1's homeschool course....what do I want him to do for high school, and what does 8th grade need to be to get him to that...what do 7th & 6th need to accomplish - where does he need to be by the end of 5th, which next year, omg ! There are LD issues here so I really think about this stuff a lot. Probably too much to be healthy.

inmom
02-05-2013, 07:37 PM
...I don't like the idea of a kid who would have been a junior being thrown back to the beginning of 9th grade, because of a choice I made, and ridiculous tests that even the school's own students would not be able to pass.

The commitment aspect of homeschooling high school - having to choose one path or the other - really bugs me.

I agree. It was with a huge deep breath that we continued homeschooling through high school when the time came. I find it hugely ironic that it is easier for a homeschooler to get college credit than to get homeschool credit when attempting to enroll in public school. We knew when our kids started high school that there was no changing our mind...at least not in our state and in our area. The public schools here are VERY anti-homeschool.

laundrycrisis
02-05-2013, 07:57 PM
I agree. It was with a huge deep breath that we continued homeschooling through high school when the time came. I find it hugely ironic that it is easier for a homeschooler to get college credit than to get homeschool credit when attempting to enroll in public school. We knew when our kids started high school that there was no changing our mind...at least not in our state and in our area. The public schools here are VERY anti-homeschool.

Yes, this. And I'm not convinced that when a diploma is finally earned, if it matters at all whether or not the school or schools were regionally accredited. The only real benefit I see to regionally accredited coursework is to help make sure a kid doesn't have to do extra time in the event of needing to jump off the homeschooling track before finishing.

Okay, well, I just thought of another. In the case of a teen who is motivated to want to accelerate and finish high school early, and perhaps graduate at 16, when most US teens have another 1.5-2 years left until graduation, it may look less suspicious/more believable if that is done with a regionally accredited diploma. It may also help get a kid like this into community college at an earlier than typical age, and be able to earn full, transferable college credit for the classes, not "dual-enrollment" credit. One of my hopes for our sons is that they can finish high school at least a little early, and start at CC.

BarbaraH
02-06-2013, 07:45 PM
Okay, well, I just thought of another. In the case of a teen who is motivated to want to accelerate and finish high school early, and perhaps graduate at 16, when most US teens have another 1.5-2 years left until graduation, it may look less suspicious/more believable if that is done with a regionally accredited diploma.

I understand your reasoning and it does seem like that's how it would work - but it can actually more difficult to enter early if you are working through an accrediting service. Some of these programs are very, very particular about what they count for credit. They may want to see a lot of documentation or even proof of "contact hours" for each course.

Typically what you really need with a highly accelerated student is more flexibility. If your student learns really fast they may not need the 120 or 140 contact hours to master the subject. They may have already done a lot of the high school work in middle school before you were documenting credits as carefully. On your own transcript you can take care of that, but if you have to ask permission that's trickier. Even something as simple as PE can require a log of hours so that can be tricky if your student decides on a grade skip in high school.

Also accelerated learners may be ready for some more creative or advanced courses than are typically on the high school curriculum. Some agencies can deal with this, but others will just give credit for a very specific list of high school courses. So, if your military history nut wants to do a full year studying World War II you may be told that's not allowed, where if you were making your own transcript you could permit it. I had a younger advanced math student who ran into a situation where he wanted to study calc III and linear algebra and his transcript agency would not give him credit for those advanced college level courses because they were not on their list of approved math courses.