Many parents who have homeschooled throughout the school years wonder about how to give their child a homeschool diploma.
Reaching a Milestone
One of the most exciting times in any parent's life, or the life of a student, is high school graduation. It tells the world that the student has completed a part of their life and is ready to move on. A high school diploma is a sign of a successful education whether that is in a conventional or homeschool setting.
There tends to be some confusion amongst parents that have home schooled through high school about what a homeschool diploma actually is. They are unsure how to ensure that their child gets one that will fulfill their needs as they apply to colleges and various companies. The process of giving your child a diploma in most states is really quite simple.
What is a Diploma?
A diploma, whether it comes from a homeschool, private school, or public school, is only a piece of paper that states that the child has successfully completed the courses required by the particular school. It verifies graduation and that is all that it does. Like a class ring, a diploma is a symbol.
Most colleges could care less whether a student has a diploma at all. They are more interested in transcripts, the student's scholastic record from ninth to twelfth grades. The diploma is generally put in a scrapbook, or framed but should be thought of as a decoration rather than something necessary.
This means that anyone can write their own homeschool diploma. As a homeschooling family you are considered, in most states, to be a private school. As such you have the right to create a diploma in any way you wish. There are numerous printable diplomas, templates, and documents on the Internet as well as in your local office supply store that can be used. You can then have it stamped by a notary to give it the official look of a public school diploma.
What About Accreditation?
Few places still require diplomas from an accredited school. Even the military, which used to be very strict about this, has eased up. Before graduation, double check with any organization that your child wants to be involved with. If they want accreditation, then you can turn your child's transcripts in to some programs to have a diploma issued from their accredited school. Others require you use their curriculum for at least the senior year. Always check with the school to find out the details.
Sources for Printable Homeschool Diplomas
There are a number of local sources for a diploma. Almost anywhere that carries paper for printing machines will carry documents for diplomas and other papers.
- Office Depot
- Office Max
Make It Individual
Whether you choose to download a template or print the homeschool diploma on a pre-printed paper, be sure to make it unique and individual. Use your school name, decorative fonts, and ink colors to make the diploma something to be proud of. Once you have printed the diploma you can have it notarized to give it a completed look. Place it in a manila envelope, or frame it, and have a special time of celebration to mark your child reaching a milestone. Many homeschool support groups hold proms as well as homeschool graduations to celebrate in a similar way to conventional schools.
Whatever you decide to do about a homeschool diploma, don't wait until the last minute. Look into your options by the end of the sophomore year to come up with the best plan for your child.