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Graduation and Issuing the Diploma

Graduation and the High-School Diploma

By Sherri Linsenbach

Congratulations! Your homeschooled child is ready to graduate! Homeschoolers can have lots of fun with graduation, end-of-year celebrations, dances, and proms! You can host your own celebratory party, or join together with other homeschool families or your local homeschool group. End-of-year events may include musical performances, talent shows, or other special activities, along with the awarding of diplomas.

Graduation celebrations, dances, and proms can be as elaborate or casual as you'd like. You might also want to include yearbook signings and class rings in the events.

Rent or share a facility or home; engage local musicians or talented youngsters or friends to supply the music; have the event catered, prepare your own dishes, or have pizzas delivered. Make it a memorable night for all!

Graduation Celebrations

Graduation celebrations can center upon high-school graduation, 8th grade graduation, promotion into the next grade level, or kindergarten graduation.

Your child's high-school graduation will be a special event, which can include the more formal traditions of cap and gown, commencement speeches, traditional commencement music, and the presentation of awards and the high-school diploma.

Caps and Gowns, Awards, and More

For caps and gowns, honor awards, class rings, graduation invitations, keepsakes, diplomas, and more, visit a site such as HomeschoolDiploma.com. Companies such as these can provide just about everything you need for your graduation celebrations.

Diploma Definition and Resources

In most cases, you can issue your child a high-school diploma through your own privately established homeschool and by keeping high-school transcripts of your child's credits earned.

A high-school diploma is simply a document stating that your child has completed his or her high-school education according to the standards you set for your child's overall education. The diploma you issue is proof that your children did meet your standards, did earn the appropriate number of credits during their high-school years, and have completed their high-school education.

You may order your child's diploma from home-school resources such as HomeschoolDiploma.com. Examples of a high school diploma and high school transcripts can be printed from our "Homeschool Forms" page on our Everything Homeschooling website.

For more on issuing your child's diploma, see this article: Homeschool Diploma Article.

Educational Goals

More important than the diploma is the education that takes place during the high-school years. These top the list of most important: Your child's happiness; your child's character; your child's knowledge base; your child's capabilities, growth, development, and future; your child's desire to learn (now and in the future); your child's quality of life, career, and happiness in his or her life and career.

Happiness, knowledge, the ability to learn and be self-dependent, to have morals and values to believe in and adhere to, to have goals and desires, to awaken each day with excitement and enthusiasm for life and learning -- these are true, meaningful accomplishments. No diploma, nor certificate, nor piece of paper can adequately measure and convey these accomplishments as accurately and realistically as the child or young person with that glow of excitement and enthusiasm for life and learning.

Remember that you can award your child a high-school diploma, your child can attend college and apply for financial aid, and your home-educated child cannot be discriminated against.

College Admittance and Financial Aid

As stated by the Department of Education:

"Home schoolers should be admitted to colleges and granted financial aid without having to take additional tests beyond what is required of traditionally schooled students. Ignoring a home school graduate’s diploma and requiring him to take a GED, SAT II, or ability-to-benefit test, while graduates from traditional high schools are not required to do so, is discriminatory." (Quoted from HSLDA's website: Home School Diplomas for College Admittance)

Most colleges today are homeschool-friendly, and many actively seek homeschoolers. If your home-educated child is interested in attending college, he or she should be able to follow their dreams.

Whichever direction your child is eager to go, congratulations to all!

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