Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Transcripts, Graduation, and a Diploma

Homeschooling High School, graduation, transcripts

Here we are at the end of December, and the final installment of this Homeschooling High School Blog Hop. This month's topic? Graduation. While we are not quite there yet in our own journey, we will be soon. I just want to share a little of what I've seen and have learned from our friends who have graduated in recent years.


Mom and Dad, these are not as complicated as everyone would lead you to believe. A simple transcript for your student will go further than trying to come up with a WOW factor. This is an area where less is more.

There are two basic options to create your student's transcripts: 1- by year, or 2- by subject. Either version should work just fine for submission to colleges, trade schools, etc. Even if your student is planing to go straight into the workforce, you still need to create their transcript now in case they need it later. If you're creating a transcript by year, simply list each course they took, and their grade. You will want to make sure you understand how YOUR state assigns credits (per semester or per year) and add that as well.

The other common choice is arranging their transcript by subject. Many families are choosing to do this if their student took either more or less than the traditional four years to finish High School. I prefer this format because of the ease of seeing if the student completed the necessary state requirements for each subject. Once again, you'll need to add you student's credits based upon how your state assigns them. Our state is different than many surrounding states in that it assigns a credit per semester, whereas other states assign half a credit per semester of completed work.

Homeschool transcripts


Around here there are three usual options for Graduation, although you can adjust it to however fits your graduate's wishes. 

The big graduation ceremony:
This is where several families, maybe a whole county's worth of Seniors go together and have what we would call a traditional graduation ceremony. This includes the cap and gown, the graduates' march, walking across the stage... the works. 
You may also have the option of joining a state-wide graduation ceremony. Word of caution ~ If you're going to do one of these, you will need to set aside time and money throughout your student's senior year to attend all the planning events and meet the payment deadlines. Some statewide ceremonies cost upwards of $200 or more and have very specific deadlines to meet.

The small graduation ceremony:
This is where your graduate is in the spotlight. You may choose to have this with another family (like your daughter's best friend who is also graduating.) These are typically held in a church or home, and include the parents and the students sharing from their hearts. Often at the end the attendees are encouraged to come forward and pray for the graduate.

Skip the ceremony, have the party:
More and more families we know are skipping the ceremony part and having a sole focus on a graduation open house for their student. The parents give the student their diploma, tell them they're happy they've completed High School, and then everyone enjoys the open house without the stress of preparing for a ceremony. While a traditional graduation open house used to last 2-3 hours, many home educating families are choosing to set aside a whole day, or at least a whole afternoon and evening for fun and fellowship.

Whichever option you choose for graduation, remember to keep the food for the open house simple. Simple people! When your foods are sandwiches, finger foods, or a taco bar, anyone can help replenish the food table, and you will actually get to spend some time talking with the guests!


Just in case you haven't thought about it yet, yes, your homeschool  graduate will need a diploma. Many jobs want to see the actual diploma, not a transcript, to hire your graduate. There are a few good companies that you can find online that produce lovely diplomas for you to purchase to give to your graduate. Something to think about here: have you ever named your homeschool? If not, and you'd like to put something other than: John Smith graduating class of 2016 Smith Homeschool, then NOW is the time to be thinking about it. You might want a catchy name, or one with Biblical meaning. Whatever you choose for a name, double check how long it will take to receive the diploma once you order it. You are not the only family ordering this month, and it is much better to have it arrive early, than not arrive until after the open house.

We hope you've enjoyed this Homeschool High School Blog Hop. To read more posts on Homeschooling with High School aged students, subscribe to our blog, or follow us on Pinterest, Google +, or Facebook!

Click the graphic below to find all our friends' posts on Graduation!
Homeschool High School 2015 Blog Hop
Read more on High School Graduation:

My friend Kym is hosting High School Lesson Book- All your High School Posts @  Homeschool Coffee Break. Stop on by to see what others are doing in their High School Homeschools each month during 2016.

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