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How to Graduate as a Homeschool Student

January 20, 2011

When a student is preparing to enter high school, a lot of thought goes in to the next few years. “Should I get my diploma?”, “Should I go aligned or traditional?” and “What college should I choose?” are a few of the questions students and parents will have. There are many different options to consider when graduation is just around the corner.

Choosing a Post Secondary Institute or Specific Course:

If your student has an idea of what they want to achieve after high school, it can help narrow down your schooling plan. Most universities will have a page on their website stating their requirements for each course. Some various requirements are diplomas, transcripts, volunteer hours, work experience, entrance exams, portfolios or interviews. If your student already knows his desired course, his schooling can be customized around those specific requirements.

Diploma Exams:

If you and your student both agree that the diploma route is the best way, there are various ways to obtain it. Certain school boards will offer fully aligned correspondence courses which stems from the public school system and prepares the student for the diploma exam. If you choose not to go fully aligned, students can also challenge the exams. To do this, students marks will be composed of half of a course mark and half of their exam mark. Certain school boards are able to give you a course mark based on work you submit to them. You will need to register with a school board that has the ability to give an official course mark.

Picking Your School Board:

Each school board has a different plan for high school students. It is important to pick one that will specifically meet your student’s needs. Some school boards will provide correspondence courses and teachers to help you prepare for your diploma exams. Other school boards will help you create your own course for the diploma exam and provide you with a course mark throughout your high school years. There are also school boards who will help you through high school without a diploma to equip you with other resources for years ahead.

Not Attending Post Secondary Education:

There are some students who will choose not to attend Post Secondary, in which case a diploma may not be the correct decision. Some students may already have a plan in mind that does not require an academic mark. Young entrepreneurs, artists, musicians and athletes may prefer to focus on their talents and marketing themselves as individuals during their high school years.

Graduating as a high school homeschooler can take many different forms. Many different factors come into play such as learning styles, school boards, parent involvement and the student’s future goals. With some deft planning and keeping a future goal in mind, homeschooling your high school-er can be fun, successful and fulfilling.

Resources we recommend:

“Get a Jump Start on College” – A practical guide for teens including credit plans, choosing a college and various routes through high school and college

“The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling” – A new guide that gives helpful ideas, discusses learning styles, a guide to navigate high school and suggested curriculum plans

“The Well-Guided High Schooler 2010-2014” – A planner to keep your student on-track with your decided curriculum plan

“Homeschooling High School” – A curriculum design book to help students prepare for college entry

“Homeschooling the Teen Years” – A guide to homeschooling your student through junior high and high school

Click here for more specific information on graduating in Alberta.

Remember, you can always ask advice from your facilitator.

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