Jump to content

Menu

Do homeschoolers have to meet state graduation requirements?


Recommended Posts

I'm a bit confused to whether homeschoolers actually have to meet state graduation requirements. DD will be in 9th grade this year and I'm trying to lightly sketch out a road map for the next four years. Our state flagship university requires 4 English, 4 math, 3 science, 3 social studies, 2 foreign language, and 1 fine arts. Beyond those, our state requires physical education, practical arts, health, and personal finance. Within social studies, American history, state government, and state history are required. Plus, there's a US and state constitution test, American civics exam, and CPR requirement.

As far as I can find, homeschoolers are not required to take any tests in our state, but I can find nothing that specifically mentions the constitution test, civics exam, or CPR requirement. And while DD will surely take a government class, I'm not sure how much time I want to allot to studying our state government. Also, I see no class geared to state history at our local public school. 🤔 Does anyone know what state history usually gets rolled in with? Can I just have DD casually read a book or two on our state's history and call it done (and focus our true social studies on something else)?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Here in Ohio, if a student is graduating from the homeschool, then they don't have to meet the high school requirements for graduation.  Unless it's changed since we homeschooled.  It could be totally different in other states, though.

 

ETA - I would make sure to include classes on the transcript that the universities require.  Especially if you have any idea where she may apply (she's so young for that, though).

 

 

 

Edited by Kassia
  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it's the same here. I've done some additional Googling. I've found that private schools have to take the government/civics tests but not homeschoolers. That's a stress off my plate. I really don't want to have to coordinate with the local school to take those tests on their time tables.

1 minute ago, Kassia said:

Here in Ohio, if a student is graduating from the homeschool, then they don't have to meet the high school requirements for graduation.  Unless it's changed since we homeschooled.  It could be totally different in other states, though.

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would say it depends on what state you're in. Some states require hs'ers to cover certain courses, some don't.

My state doesn't, and so I gear our hs towards what our state school looks for in applicants, not what the ps high school requires. But I don't want to tell you that and have that violate your state law for hs'ers 😊

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've churned up a lot of online sites that offer homeschool classes that say that there are no state graduation requirements for my state. And, I've looked up a bunch of state statutes that are referenced in our homeschool law. I really think there aren't any graduation requirements. Can I assume that colleges truly don't care as long as we hit their admissions requirements?

23 minutes ago, Momto6inIN said:

I would say it depends on what state you're in. Some states require hs'ers to cover certain courses, some don't.

My state doesn't, and so I gear our hs towards what our state school looks for in applicants, not what the ps high school requires. But I don't want to tell you that and have that violate your state law for hs'ers 😊

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, pitterpatter said:

I've churned up a lot of online sites that offer homeschool classes that say that there are no state graduation requirements for my state. And, I've looked up a bunch of state statutes that are referenced in our homeschool law. I really think there aren't any graduation requirements. Can I assume that colleges truly don't care as long as we hit their admissions requirements?

 

I think so. I use the admission requirements for my state flagship as a guide when I plan out what we need to make sure to get done. In general I've found that they're more rigid than private colleges and universities, so as long as we hit those we're probably good. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, pitterpatter said:

I'm a bit confused to whether homeschoolers actually have to meet state graduation requirements. DD will be in 9th grade this year and I'm trying to lightly sketch out a road map for the next four years. Our state flagship university requires 4 English, 4 math, 3 science, 3 social studies, 2 foreign language, and 1 fine arts. Beyond those, our state requires physical education, practical arts, health, and personal finance. Within social studies, American history, state government, and state history are required. Plus, there's a US and state constitution test, American civics exam, and CPR requirement.

As far as I can find, homeschoolers are not required to take any tests in our state, but I can find nothing that specifically mentions the constitution test, civics exam, or CPR requirement. And while DD will surely take a government class, I'm not sure how much time I want to allot to studying our state government. Also, I see no class geared to state history at our local public school. 🤔 Does anyone know what state history usually gets rolled in with? Can I just have DD casually read a book or two on our state's history and call it done (and focus our true social studies on something else)?

It really depends on the requirements in your particular state. In Delaware, there are no state requirements for homeschool graduation, so the smart money is on meeting or exceeding the requirements for possible post-graduation plans, be that college, the military, a job, or trade school. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It would help if you mentioned the state you are in, so people could offer specific references. Homeschooling, like many other education requirements, is governed by state law; so there can be significant differences in requirements and procedures from one state to another.

In general, I suggest looking at both what colleges require for admissions and what high school students in your area tend to accomplish in high school. The local high schoolers will be some of the students you child is competing with for admissions (especially for public colleges in your state). If they are doing rigorous work, it's worth knowing that.

However, few colleges are going to base an admissions decision on coursework like health, driver's ed, PE, or financial literacy. If these are not required of homeschoolers in your state, you are probably safe to incorporate them in daily life or another class rather than making them the subject of an official homeschool course.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know people are saying it depends, but as far as I know, no states actually have homeschool graduation requirements. Even in states where you're required to teach something yearly (like health) or once during high school (like state history), they don't require you to create a high school credit for health, just that you cover it to the satisfaction of the state requirements. In a few states, like NY, where you can get a letter saying your homeschool program was approved, then you'd have to do various things in order to get that. In states where you're part of a homeschool charter or program, that may have requirements, but most states with a program like that also have independent homeschooling as an option where you would not have graduation requirements.

Edited by Farrar
  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I was in high school, they sat us down and said, here’s what you need to graduate high school, and here’s what you need to be admitted to the state public university system (in other words, the college prep route). Also, private schools have different requirements; I am familiar with two private schools in my state, and neither aligns exactly with the public schools. Both require things the public schools don’t, and both also drop some of the state’s requirements. I wouldn’t advise skipping anything major, unless there’s a reason to. But again, in my state, there is a way to design an alternate high school plan that sidesteps some of the requirements, including substituting some classes for math.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In our state, we have multiple sets of requirements.  For homeschoolers, there are a bunch of subjects that have to be taught between 7th and 12th grade, not to any particular amount or degree, just that they have to be covered at some point in those years.  Then we have a set of requirements for a high school diploma if you are a homeschooler.  (It is slightly different from the public school diploma requirements.)  Those requirements overlap a bit with the 7th-12th grade requirements.  So there are two things to satisfy: one is the homeschool law, and the other is the law for a high school diploma issued by the homeschool supervisor.  It's slightly confusing but doesn't really mean anything in actual practice.  So, we have to cover health, but we don't need a credit or half credit or anything, just some proof of covering health at some point between 7th and 12th grade.  

 

What a college may require may be slightly different though, so always check about that.

 

My best advice is to find a group specific to your state and ask about requirements there.  People who actually homeschool in a state have a better handle on what it looks like in practice and what the laws actually mean.  (My state is actually pretty easy to homeschool in, once you understand the law and its silly hoops, but on paper, it looks harder, and people freak out.)

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Missouri

I think the constitution tests and civics exam have worried me the most over the years. I really don't want to interact with the school to set those up. I don't want to be on their timetable either. The other thing is studying Missouri history and the Missouri constitution. I don't expect that I'll find a suitable pre-made curriculum for those. And, I don't value them enough to want to spend much time coming up with my own. (I don't even remember studying Missouri history in high school. It was a big deal in fourth grade but not high school.) DD knows enough about Missouri that she doesn't want to live here after graduation. Hah! She would rather spend time studying world geography, ethnic studies, etc.

On 6/9/2021 at 7:14 AM, Sebastian (a lady) said:

It would help if you mentioned the state you are in, so people could offer specific references. Homeschooling, like many other education requirements, is governed by state law; so there can be significant differences in requirements and procedures from one state to another.

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, pitterpatter said:

Missouri

I think the constitution tests and civics exam have worried me the most over the years. I really don't want to interact with the school to set those up. I don't want to be on their timetable either. The other thing is studying Missouri history and the Missouri constitution. I don't expect that I'll find a suitable pre-made curriculum for those. And, I don't value them enough to want to spend much time coming up with my own. (I don't even remember studying Missouri history in high school. It was a big deal in fourth grade but not high school.) DD knows enough about Missouri that she doesn't want to live here after graduation. Hah! She would rather spend time studying world geography, ethnic studies, etc.

 

According to everything I am seeing (here is one example), homeschoolers in MO have NO requirements to do ANY testing, nor are homeschoolers required to fulfill the MO public school graduation requirements (listed below).

And from this website, clearly homeschoolers are NOT included in who must take these exams: 
"Any student entering the ninth grade after July 1, 2017, who is attending any public, charter, or private school, except private trade schools, as a condition of high school graduation shall pass an examination on the provisions and principles of American civics... The design, content and passing criteria for the test(s) are at the discretion of local school districts. ... Students must also pass the course or courses designated as containing the required instruction in the institutions, branches and functions of federal, state and local government and in the electoral processes." (Graduation Requirements for Students in Missouri Public Schools, page 27. Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education)

So it looks to me that as a homeschool you do NOT have take those worrisome exams (American Civics, Missouri Constitution, US Constitution). Nor do you need to fulfill the instruction requirement of 30 minutest of CPR/First Aid, nor do the credits in Health, PE, Personal Finance, or "Practical Arts", if you do not wish to. So you are free and go forth and enjoy World Geography, Ethnic Studies, etc. 😄  

However, I really agree with the following, as a "CYA" policy 😉 :

6 hours ago, happypamama said:

...My best advice is to find a group specific to your state and ask about requirements there.  People who actually homeschool in a state have a better handle on what it looks like in practice and what the laws actually mean...

_________________________

MO High School Graduation Requirements for PUBLIC Schools
minimum of 24 credits, including:
4.0 credits = English
3.0 credits = Math
3.0 credits = Science
3.0 credits = Social Studies
1.0 credit = Fine Arts
1.0 credit = Practical Arts
1.0 credit = PE
0.5 credit = Health
0.5 credit = Personal Finance
7.0 credits = Electives

Additional requirements for graduation:
- American Civics exam
- Missouri Constitution exam
- US Constitution exam
- 30 min. CPR/First Aid instruction

Edited by Lori D.
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is how I read it too. Just needed some additional opinions. 😁 Thanks.

2 hours ago, Lori D. said:

According to everything I am seeing (here is one example), homeschoolers in MO have NO requirements to do ANY testing, nor are homeschoolers required to fulfill the MO public school graduation requirements (listed below).

And from this website, clearly homeschoolers are NOT included in who must take these exams: 
"Any student entering the ninth grade after July 1, 2017, who is attending any public, charter, or private school, except private trade schools, as a condition of high school graduation shall pass an examination on the provisions and principles of American civics... The design, content and passing criteria for the test(s) are at the discretion of local school districts. ... Students must also pass the course or courses designated as containing the required instruction in the institutions, branches and functions of federal, state and local government and in the electoral processes." (Graduation Requirements for Students in Missouri Public Schools, page 27. Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education)

So it looks to me that as a homeschool you do NOT have take those worrisome exams (American Civics, Missouri Constitution, US Constitution). Nor do you need to fulfill the instruction requirement of 30 minutest of CPR/First Aid, nor do the credits in Health, PE, Personal Finance, or "Practical Arts", if you do not wish to. So you are free and go forth and enjoy World Geography, Ethnic Studies, etc. 😄

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As a life skill, I recommend First Aid certification. The Red Cross has an online class, as an example. Very useful. I had a very good public HS health class, and I was able to step into automatic mode and immediately deal with health problems especially urgent ones like kids choking (which each of my kids has done), when I am not actually very good at emergencies in other situations.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/10/2021 at 9:05 AM, Plum said:

While my state doesn’t require homeschoolers to do anything other than teach a subject at some point in whatever way I choose, there are backdoor requirements. For example, if a homeschooler in my state wants to qualify for reduced tuition scholarship, they must meet general college prep credit requirements and get a minimum score on the ACT. If a homeschooler in my state wants to qualify for 2 years of free community college after graduation, they have to get a GED. But all of this is on the same level as homeschooling to meet college admission standards. 

I hope somebody is working on cancelling that GED requirement. After all, a GED is a signal that you failed to graduate from high school, and homeschoolers ARE high school graduates! They should not be forced into taking a credential that says they failed to graduate. Homeschoolers in other states are not required to get a GED.

 

Edited by NittanyJen
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Plum said:

Believe me I’ve complained to everyone who will listen! HSLDA said it’s considered a scholarship so they can’t do anything. The state homeschooling group agreed with me and suggested an ACT score but nothing has happened. 

When we have an issue come up, we make an appointment with people on the education committee in our state legislature (where those scholarships are funded, in our state) and go talk to them, face to face. Many of them are not first-hand knowledgeable about homeschooling and homeschooling issues, and they rather like having the chance to get to up to speed from constituents are knowledgeable and articulate on the matter— and local (ie, not an outside group like HSLDA, which we never involve ourselves with). It has proven very effective, and if you try it, don’t be surprised if you are contacted with a heads-up on legislation or regulations somebody is thinking about writing— it’s often really helpful to be able to give input before things really get rolling!

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/10/2021 at 3:13 PM, pitterpatter said:

Missouri

I think the constitution tests and civics exam have worried me the most over the years. I really don't want to interact with the school to set those up. I don't want to be on their timetable either. The other thing is studying Missouri history and the Missouri constitution. I don't expect that I'll find a suitable pre-made curriculum for those. And, I don't value them enough to want to spend much time coming up with my own. (I don't even remember studying Missouri history in high school. It was a big deal in fourth grade but not high school.) DD knows enough about Missouri that she doesn't want to live here after graduation. Hah! She would rather spend time studying world geography, ethnic studies, etc.

 

I homeschooled in MO and we never covered MO history. If you decided to add anything, you might consider finding information on the Border Wars and what led up to it just prior to the Civil War. It's quite interesting.  I TA for a university US history course in MO and most of my students have little understanding about it - even those who attended in MO. 

If she does decide to attend a MO university, they do require a constituational credit which means either taking a US survey level history course or an American Gov course. This is a state requirement. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

One very direct way to get the answer to this question is to look up the state legislation in the education statutes where you live. I don’t know how things are worded where you live; in Delaware, USA, the legislation is in plain English and lay-person terms for the most part, and very easy for any citizen to understand. The requirements for public and non-public schools are pretty clearly spelled out.

I’m not trying to be a wise-acre; I have found in over a decade of helping other homeschoolers that a lot of homeschoolers are actually pretty surprised at how accessible their state guidelines really are. The default assumption is that they will be densely-written legalese, and at least here, they are not.

 

Edited by NittanyJen
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is what I did. I looked up all the statutes (that pertained to graduation requirements and homeschooling) that were referenced on the general Department of Education web pages. I posted here for confirmation that I wasn't missing something. Or, didn't understand something quite right. 😉 I feel like I got some good responses. I generally feel at peace with it now. I really appreciate everyone helping me get to this point. It was a nagging tidbit that was starting to stress me out. Now I can stress about other stuff. Lol.

7 hours ago, NittanyJen said:

One very direct way to get the answer to this question is to look up the state legislation in the education statutes where you live. I don’t know how things are worded where you live; in Delaware, USA, the legislation is in plain English and lay-person terms for the most part, and very easy for any citizen to understand. The requirements for public and non-public schools are pretty clearly spelled out.

I’m not trying to be a wise-acre; I have found in over a decade of helping other homeschoolers that a lot of homeschoolers are actually pretty surprised at how accessible their state guidelines really are. The default assumption is that they will be densely-written legalese, and at least here, they are not.

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/16/2021 at 12:21 AM, NittanyJen said:

One very direct way to get the answer to this question is to look up the state legislation in the education statutes where you live. I don’t know how things are worded where you live; in Delaware, USA, the legislation is in plain English and lay-person terms for the most part, and very easy for any citizen to understand. The requirements for public and non-public schools are pretty clearly spelled out.

I’m not trying to be a wise-acre; I have found in over a decade of helping other homeschoolers that a lot of homeschoolers are actually pretty surprised at how accessible their state guidelines really are. The default assumption is that they will be densely-written legalese, and at least here, they are not.

 

This is wise advice. Also, I've found that having a good understanding of what is an isn't in the law is helpful when dealing with officials who are not that familiar. They can be more willing to comply with the law or a state DOE explanation or FAQ than with an explanation sourced from a homeschool group.

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...