The Homeschool Diploma
Per Dictionary.com, a diploma is a certificate by which a person or organization certifies that the person named on the diploma has successfully completed a program of study. A high school diploma certifies that a student has successfully completed a program of secondary education. A homeschool diploma certifies that your student has successfully completed your high school program.
As a homeschool parent, you can bestow a high school homeschool diploma on your child when s/he graduates from your homeschool program.
Homeschool Diploma Specifics
To do this, you can purchase a blank diploma from an office supply store or off the internet. Per HSLDA (the Home School Legal Defense Association) when creating a diploma, you should include the following:
1. Statement that it is a high school diploma
2. The name of the student
3. Wording that the student finished the program of secondary education that was required of him
4. Signature of a person verifying the student finished the program. In the case of a homeschooled student, the parent is usually the person that signs the diploma
5. Date diploma signed or issued
HSLDA suggests the following wording on the diploma:
This certifies that John Smith has completed the course of study prescribed for graduation by his parents, Joseph and Mary Smith (or by Smith Home School)
In testimony whereof, this diploma is conferred, and we have subscribed our names on the third day of the month of June, in the year ___.
FYI – Additional Homeschool Diploma Questions and Answers
Will the local public school issue a diploma for my student?
No. You have chosen to homeschool so this is not an option.
Is a homeschool diploma accredited?
No, it is not. If you want your child to have an accredited diploma, he will have to attend an online accredited school. An online accredited school is accredited by one or more accrediting organizations. A quick online search for “accredited online high school diplomas homeschoolers” will bring up many options, both secular and faith-based. Just a note though – many homeschoolers don’t consider online schools homeschooling – as the school still has control over the academics, grading, etc.
Choosing to homeschool vs. choosing an online accredited school is a family choice that requires family discussion.
Does a diploma have to come from an accredited institution?
No, it does not. The military and many colleges accept homeschool diplomas. With all the good press homeschooling has received of late, I don’t believe this is as big of an issue as it once was.
Since a homeschool diploma isn’t accredited, should we skip the diploma and have our child take the GED instead?
Absolutely not (BTW, I asked this question too, way back when. And I received the same answer). While many colleges and employers equate a diploma and a GED similarly, many do not. Some equate a GED as less than a diploma – the assumption being the student couldn’t hack the academics of high school. You don’t want your child to have this stigma. If your student successfully completes your high school program, he deserves a homeschool diploma.
Do you have additional Homeschool Diploma questions? We’re happy to answer them!