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GED's are relatively normal for homeschoolers, right? I'm having a slight panic that I'm messing up my son's future by having him on a GED path. I don't think there were any other options when we started homeschooling, but we've moved provinces and things are done differently here. He's just started grade 9. but it's expected that homeschool students completely switch to live online classes provided by provincially-accredited teachers for grades 10-12, which will earn them a regular high school diploma. These are provided by the homeschool school board (sort of). 

I hate the thought of it.

But... we can opt out and do things our own way and have him take the GED instead. He's been thinking (for a while) that he'd like to go into carpentry, or maybe some other trade. He'll be fine, right? Unfortunately he's our guinea pig, but I'd like to feel a bit more reassured in this decision. Especially so I can plan for next year ahead of time.

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I can't say for Canada, so hopefully some Canadian boardies will chime in. In the states, it's really unnecessary in the vast majority of situations. Therefore, most people recommend against it. It is also not something that students can easily access before applying to college in all states. There are a few doors it can open... but also can look not great for applying to more elite schools because you have to list that you have it and it's generally much better to have admissions focus on your home education program.

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Agreeing with Farrar. I don’t know how it works in Canada, so this might not be useful, but in the US it’s usually better to issue a high school diploma from your homeschool. Having a GED instead of a diploma tends to imply something different, and it can be a problem in certain fields. It may be for what your son plans, that it won’t be an issue, but given that he’s only ninth grade, I would be inclined to keep as many doors open as possible. Hopefully some people who know specifically how it works in Canada will chime in, because this might be useless advice for you there. 

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I can only speak for the U.S. but GEDs are NOT the norm for homeschoolers, and for a variety of reasons it is recommended that homeschoolers do NOT get a GED because:

- U.S. military and virtually all U.S. colleges accept home-awarded diplomas
- GED can actually harm a U.S. citizen's ability to enter the military (no longer accepting GED without 12+ credits from a college or community college)
- some employers still look down on GED holders as "drop-outs"
- additionally, the GED was re-vamped in 2016, and it is now more difficult to pass, and requires study and prep -- taking a GED prep course is advised

On the "pro" side, trade schools, technical colleges, and apprenticeships in the U.S. all accept the GED. In fact, the only place where I've seen homeschoolers need a GED is when applying to a trade school or cosmetology school that requires an *accredited* diploma or GED -- they do not accept parent-awarded diplomas as an "accredited" diploma. Also possibly NY CUNY system.


I would definitely look into the Canadian pros and cons of going the GED route for your student's post-high school future in Canada.

You might look into an accredited online program that is *flexible* about courses, so you still have options as to coursework and materials, yet receive an accredited diploma at the end. I don't know if your student is has American citizenship, but would that allow for using an American accredited program such as Clonlara? (see Clonlara's Off Campus option) In other words, would the Canadian Educational dept. accept that as an accredited diploma, coming from an American accredited program?

ETA: looks like from this link to a big list of accepted distance learning options that the Ontario educational board DOES accept Clonlara -- AND there are also a number of other distance programs on that list, so you might research them and see which ones have flexible programs to allow you to continue to homeschool in the manner you are accustomed to. 😄 

Also, If your student will happen to be living/working in the U.S. after high school, a home-awarded diploma is very widely accepted.

BEST of luck! Warmly, Lori D.

Edited by Lori D.
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1 hour ago, Lori D. said:

I don't know if your student is has American citizenship, but would that allow for using an American accredited program such as Clonlara? (see Clonlara's Off Campus option) In other words, would the Canadian Educational dept. accept that as an accredited diploma, coming from an American accredited program?

Clonlara doesn’t require students to be US citizens or live in the US. They have an international wing.

https://www.clonlara.org/international-services/

I don’t know how it works with the local authorities, but Canadian universities do have options for students with high school diplomas from other countries, so that part shouldn’t be an issue. 

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Since we're all discouraging it... I'll say that I don't think we know the situation there and there are times when it's the most expedient way to achieve a goal. And once you've achieved that goal - admission to a specific school, getting hired for a specific employer, etc. - then it ceases to look poorly in the few situations where it might because you're building on experience. I mean, no one cares that you once got a GED once you have additional college.

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1 minute ago, Farrar said:

Since we're all discouraging it... I'll say that I don't think we know the situation there and there are times when it's the most expedient way to achieve a goal. And once you've achieved that goal - admission to a specific school, getting hired for a specific employer, etc. - then it ceases to look poorly in the few situations where it might because you're building on experience. I mean, no one cares that you once got a GED once you have additional college.

You would think... But there was a thread on these boards about 10-12 years back about GEDs, and YES, someone had trouble from an *employer* about having a GED *in spite of* having a college degree! That seemed so crazy to me that it stuck out in my mind.

 

But totally agree that a Canadian homeschool who's BTDT would be the best source of info for OP. 😉  

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1 minute ago, Lori D. said:

You would think... But there was a thread on these boards about 10-12 years back about GEDs, and YES, someone had trouble from an *employer* about having a GED *in spite of* having a college degree! That seemed so crazy to me that it stuck out in my mind.

 

But totally agree that a Canadian homeschool who's BTDT would be the best source of info for OP. 😉  

Sigh. I think that's going to be pretty rare. The stigma is less now than it used to be. But I would generally not advise anyone here in the US to pursue a GED unless they have a very specific reason.

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I took the GED my sophomore year in college in order to apply to a specific foreign exchange program.  In the 20 years since that application I have never had occasion to disclose my GED to anyone.  I’m not saying it couldn’t possibly be an issue, but I don’t regret taking it to use it for a specific purpose. 
 

(I have multiple graduate degrees, so I’m really not worried about the stigma.  But I don’t doubt such stigma could exist.)

Edited by Lawyer&Mom
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@AsgardCA - what province are you in?  You're welcome to PM me if you don't feel comfortable stating that on the public forum. 🙂  I graduated my daughter from our homeschool in Ontario in 2018 and she did not go the GED route.  Because I knew she was headed for university and then post-graduate studies, a GED would have been seen as odd.  She did, however, take the SAT and had 6 AP exams scores on her transcript as well as scores from the Royal Conservatory of Music (she's a piano performance major).  Universities in Ontario don't require the student to have any kind of "official" high school diploma or equivalency test.  Colleges in Ontario, though, are a whole different ballgame.  If your student is looking at a college trade program or an apprenticeship, then a GED might be the better route.  I've never heard of a university in Ontario requiring a high school diploma or GED diploma but I have heard of colleges requiring one or the other.  Not all colleges, though, so your best bet is to contact some colleges in your province where you think your student might be interested in going and talk to their registrar's office.  Ask what their requirements are for homeschooled students and see what they say.

You're welcome to PM me if you'd like!

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We moved from Ontario (right on the NY border) to the Yukon, next to Alaska. They follow BC education guidelines here. I've tried looking into this more locally and asking on local groups but there doesn't seem to be much discussion about it or precedence with going the non-online class route. We do know someone who was homeschooled herself and she's said that she went for the GED without issue as far as I know.

DS is planning to get his carpentry certificate, becoming an apprentice, and going into business for himself or with his younger brothers who are also (currently) planning to go into trades.

I suppose I should ask about it at the local college. I did look into the carpentry course today and found prerequisites are Math 10 and English 10, and that apprenticeships can begin at age 16, so maybe I shouldn't be too concerned.

Thank you all for your insight!

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In Canada, at least in the provinces with whose homeschool policies I am familiar, there is no such thing as a high school diploma issued from your homeschool--high school diplomas are issued by the provincial governments, not by individual schools. Therefore, any "diploma" you issue will not be viewed as legitimate in any way. To make life simpler, we found that it helps to give post-secondary institutions some kind of numbers to work with. Connie's daughter had the SAT and 6 APs, Colleen's eldest had the SAT and three SAT subject tests, my eldest had 5 SAT subject tests, a local friend's child did enough Athabasca courses in high school to apply as a transfer student--all of our kids had excellent results in application season, but they all applied to universities. Others I know here waited until they were 19, then went to the college for "adult upgrading" to get the adult graduation diploma, and then applied to universities with that.

The colleges are actually much fussier than the universities from what I have seen around here--you might well be better off with the GED. I would go ahead and ask the actual colleges he's interested in--there's often a certain amount of flex if you get lucky and wind up in touch with the right person in admissions. I don't think there's any particular stigma to a GED here--it's just a different pathway to get to where you want to go, especially if where you want to go is a trade.

In our province, too, the vast majority of homeschoolers just use the provincial online high school (distributed learning), so homeschoolers like us who do our own thing are anomalies that several schools here have not encountered before (we are also in the west).

Do feel free to PM!

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