Faq’s For Homeschooled Teens
Idaho homeschooled students are not required to submit to standardized testing, but many of them do take the IOWA Test of Educational Development voluntarily. This test is offered by the Idaho Coalition of Home Educators, www.iche-idaho.org. It is wise to take this nationally-normed test in preparation for college entrance exams. Homeschooled students can take the PSAT, ACT, and SAT tests with public school students when the tests are being offered. Register for PSAT and SAT at www.collegeboard.com Register for ACT at www.act.org.
Many bright homeschooled students like to get a jump start on earning college credits by taking CLEP (College Level Examination Program) tests. Idaho public universities sometimes require homeschooled students to take an ACT Compass exam for course placement. Both of these tests can be administered at any Idaho college in their testing centers.
Yes, homeschooled teens do graduate, and there are several lovely graduation ceremonies around the state. The largest ceremony is located in the capital city and more information can be found at www.idahohomeschoolgraduation.org. It is wise for homeschool parents to prepare a transcript of their child’s high school course work with grades and credits given.
Transcripts and Diplomas
Parents create and maintain their child’s transcript and issue the diploma. Home educated students are not required to take any of the state-mandated tests that are required for public school graduation. There are factors that you will want to consider, depending upon the path that your child wants to take upon graduating from homeschool. Here are a few helpful resources for homeschooling through high school:
- Homeschooling Through High School www.hslda.org/highschool
- Transcript Pro & Transcript Boot Camp DVD www.edplus.com
- Mentoring Your Teen: Charting the Course to Successful Adulthood by Dr. Ronald and Inge Cannon www.edplus.com
- The High School Handbook: Junior and Senior High at Home by Mary Schofield www.cheaofca.org
Should my homeschooled student get a GED?
Homeschool graduates are not required to receive a General Equivalency Diploma. We do not recommend that you obtain one for your child as there are many negative repercussions associated with a GED. There is a negative social stigma attached; our students are graduates, not dropouts. Having a GED automatically restricts one to a lower tier for military recruitment, as well as eliminating them from consideration for federal college grants. It is not necessary for college admission. For more information on this topic we suggest that you visit www.hslda.org.
Is a homeschool graduate eligible for college admission, grants and scholarships?
Almost every college in America accepts homeschool graduates, and many of them actively recruit our students and offer them scholarship inducements to attend. They appreciate our student’s strong work ethic as well as their preparedness for college level courses. Most colleges accept parent-generated transcripts, especially when the scores on college entrance exams substantiate the student’s grade point average. It is recommended that a homeschool student take the SAT or ACT exams (or both). If you have a student whom you think may qualify as a National Merit Scholar then it is imperative that they take the PSAT exam in the fall of their junior year. They can take it in the fall of the sophomore year for practice.
Idaho has a dual enrollment law that allows home educated students access to public school classrooms and activities. To participate in athletics our students are required to show a recent score on a standardized test. This does not need to be the ISAT. Many homeschooled students in Idaho voluntarily take the IOWA Test of Basic Skills through the Idaho Coalition of Home Educators, www.iche-idaho.org and these test results are sufficient for this purpose. Student athletes must also have medical physicals and receive a signed medical release form when physicals are required at certain grade levels. They must participate with the public school in whose district they reside.
Idaho does not allow parent-taught driver’s training until your child reaches the age of 17, when they can be licensed without taking a driving course. Our students may take a driver’s training class at their local public school, or from a private driving instructor.
Removing your student from Public School
In Idaho, home educators are not required to register with the state or local school district. If your child has been enrolled in a public school simply call the school office and inform them that you are removing your child to home educate him. If you would like to have a written record of your notification, which is wise, we recommend that you write a brief and polite letter that states your intention to homeschool without stating your reasons for doing so. A sample withdrawal letter can be found at http://www.iche-idaho.org/search.html?q=withdrawal%20letter
FAQ’s for Homeschooled Teens
Do you get to do school sitting on the couch all day? Is it a bummer to not be able to go to the prom? Is it true that homeschoolers have to go to summer school? Are you a good speller?
These are just a few of the silly questions that our homeschooled teens get tired of answering. We quizzed some homeschooled teens and here are a few more of the questions they are commonly asked.
Do you learn anything?
Studies continue to overwhelmingly show that homeschoolers do indeed learn, and learn well. It’s pretty hard to fool your mom when she’s sitting right beside you.
Do you have a social life?
Homeschooling teens have many real-life opportunities to develop their social skills. Unlike their traditionally schooled peers whose primary social contacts are within a narrow age bracket, homeschooled teens have an opportunity to interact regularly with people of all ages. True socialization is a club of fellow enthusiasts, not a class of uninterested age mates. Homeschooled teens find friends the same way most adults do, through pursuing their interests, through volunteer opportunities, church involvement and by living in the very real world.
Would you rather go to public school?
No. Would you rather be homeschooled?
Do you get bored?
Like any other teenagers, homeschoolers admit to having favorite and least favorite subjects. Homeschooling is efficient and many homeschooled teens have extra time to pursue their interests due to their flexible schedules.
Can you get up in the morning whenever you want to?
Most homeschoolers follow a schedule of some sort that involves regular waking and sleeping. One of the benefits of homeschooling however is the flexibility that it affords. Some families choose to keep less typical hours in order to spend more time with a parent who works a swing shift, or who travels frequently.
Do you get to do school in your pajamas?
This is the number one question homeschooled teens are asked by non-homeschooling individuals. Really! It’s hard to imagine why they find the answer to this question so interesting when it seems like pajamas are acceptable attire everywhere these days. In fact, very few homeschoolers when queried will admit to schooling in their pajamas, but they appreciate the flexibility that they have to do so if they wished.