After years of hard work and countless obstacles while homeschooling, helping your child prepare for high school graduation is huge. It means much more than just developing a high school transcript. To ensure your student is ready, explore this high school graduation checklist.
The years fly by. It is hard to imagine that the child you were helping to tie his shoes or memorize the multiplications table now needs to prepare for the end of their homeschool journey. As hard as it may be as we realize the time is fast approaching, we can also be incredibly proud to have withheld the struggles that come along with home education.
We can easily equip ourselves with an organizational system to prepare for wrapping up homeschool with a high school graduation checklist to make sure no stone is left unturned. We can worry and worry that we missed something, or we can keep the information handy as you trek along.
Many homeschoolers may worry about their state high school graduation requirements when the reality is that most states don’t have ANY homeschool high school graduation requirements. States have public school graduation requirements, but those do not apply to homeschoolers.
That ruffles the feathers of those who are against homeschooling. However, there are aspects of graduation you should consider. One thing would be to set up your child with courses that aim for college. That way, whether your child chooses to be college bound or chooses another career path, they are prepared for life either way.
In 2003, the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) commissioned the most significant research survey to date of adults who were home educated. Over 74% of home-educated adults ages 18–24 have taken college-level courses, compared to 46% of the general United States population.
That statistic tells me homeschoolers are doing a great job. Now, how can they take steps to ensure they are ready for high school graduation? What better than a checklist?
Explore this high school graduation checklist to help your student:
Check in with HSLDA.org for your state’s homeschool laws.
Make sure you are complying with your state home education laws. Most states have homeschool organizations that can help you understand the laws if you need clarification. This is a great place to start.
Investigate college admissions requirements and suggestions from local colleges.
Your state might not have homeschool graduation requirements, but colleges do have requirements to get in that may significantly affect how you plan your high school homeschool. You may know that your child is not intending on going to college. However, you never know if they change their mind in the future.
The best thing to do is to prepare them with courses to at least meet the minimum admissions requirements for the local college. For instance, many colleges require two years of foreign language. Not knowing this could really set a student behind.
Explore extracurricular activities and sports in your homeschool.
Whether your child is college bound or not, these types of activities in homeschool can significantly benefit them. It can be super competitive when it comes to getting into colleges. Having extracurricular activities, volunteer hours, or being involved in sports all can help contribute to a college admissions application.
It is true that colleges prefer students with a track record of getting involved. Aside from improving a college application, homeschoolers also learn to work with others, to be part of a team, and to serve others. All of these are instrumental in making good future citizens.
Set aside time for scholarship applications.
There are so many scholarship opportunities that are just not tapped into because students either don’t know about them or they feel as though they will never get the scholarship. Put your child’s essay writing skills to the test and set aside time to help your student submit scholarship applications for college.
Prepare high school homeschool transcripts.
Once you are aware of what your state laws are and what colleges are looking for in an admissions application, you will know what needs to be your student’s high school transcript. There are plenty of free high school transcript templates available for you online.
Theoretically, once your child hits high school, you should be keeping a record of attendance, grades, courses, volunteer hours, sports program, reading lists, etc. Keep some graded assignments and essays whether in hardcopy or softcopy.
Learn basic life skills before graduation.
This may sound insignificant but in the grand scheme of things, is your child prepared to make it independently? Can they make a basic meal, iron their clothes, do laundry, or clean up after themselves?
Many adults are negatively impacted by having to learn necessary life skills when they are already adults. Perhaps the most important thing you could do for your homeschooler is to prepare him/her for adulthood before high school graduation.
Visit a college fair and college campus.
College fairs are a great way to pick up materials, ask questions, and learn about colleges you might not be familiar with. Explore college tours or “day on campus” events in your area or take a trip to college that you are interested in. This will give students a great feel for the college campus and an idea of what to expect.
Plan for college entrance testing.
Know what test your child needs to take upon graduation. Some of these tests are required to get into other career choices like the military or certain trade schools. Visit The College Board or ACT.org for information on which tests your child needs and prepare for those tests in advance.
Visit the FAFSA website to figure out college finances.
Finances are a real issue for many families when it comes to thinking about how to pay for college. Getting familiar with the FAFSA website is wise. This helps colleges determine how much money the government thinks you can afford to pay for college.
The FAFSA also determines how much financial aid colleges will provide you. This may not be the most fun thing to think about before graduation, but it would be best to include this as part of the high school graduation checklist.
Apply to colleges.
Your student should now be ready to apply for colleges. This often includes completing applications with a fee and writing essays. If your child is undecided about where to go for colleges, a good rule of thumb is to apply to two community colleges and two private colleges.
Have fun and plan for graduation celebrations.
Graduating is truly a great accomplishment worthy of celebrating. You don’t have to spend a fortune to celebrate. You can be creative and still enjoy this period in your child’s life for very little.
Some students aren’t planning on college or not right high school graduation anyway. This dramatically cuts down your high school graduation checklist, but some items on the list are worth considering, just in case.
Do you suggest anything else to be added to a high school graduation checklist to help students before graduating? Did you use a high school graduation checklist with your older students?
Leave some insight on high school graduation checklists in the comments below. We would love to hear about your experience or any questions you may have.