If you are lucky enough to homeschool in Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Homeschoolers Accreditation Agency offers a diploma program that is recognized by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. The agency sets requirements that each student must complete and show in his or her educational portfolio.
When your child meets these requirements, he or she is able to graduate with a diploma issued by PHAA. He or she also has the opportunity to participate in a graduation ceremony and can invite friends and family to celebrate those achievements with him or her.
Many state homeschooling organizations offer programs like this one, but not all are recognized by their state’s department of education, and that means they will not qualify a student for financial aid or satisfy a college requirement for a diploma. Still, these are often a better option than taking the GED.
Another option for your student is enrollment in an on-line educational program. Several schools offer self-paced, work at home high school curriculum. The state of Pennsylvania even offers a free cyber school education.
This is a public school with certified teachers, and the program will supply all the necessary materials to your child including a computer and printer. For some, programs like these work well. If you are less organized than you might like to be and keeping records is a struggle for you, this option allows your child to work with more freedom than a traditional educational program.
The disadvantage is that you have less input, and sometimes no input, as to the content of your child’s education. For families that choose to homeschool because of the environment rather than the content of public educational institutions, this is a good option. These schools will issue your child a diploma upon completion of the program, and this diploma will entitle him or her to the rights and accolades that come with any public or private high school program. For families concerned with the content of a public education, there are better options.