Graduation is only a concept. In real life every day you graduate. Graduation is a process that goes on until the last day of your life. If you can grasp that, you’ll make a difference. ~Arie Pencovici

Graduation season is here and often families with children approaching their teens wonder how homeschool families address homeschool graduation? They wonder if they will get a diploma and how important that piece of paper might be to their child’s future.

The last Closer Look: Diplomas offered many articles from Home Education Magazine on the subject. Below you will find more articles from Home Education Magazine and others on the subject. There are also a few more resources that may help you determine the best path for your family to take.


The Value of Uniqueness vs. Orthodoxy – Alison McKee

First and foremost was the decision about the diploma/GED issue. As an unschooler Christian had no “official” diploma. But wait? Hadn’t we educated our children in accordance with the laws set out by the state? Didn’t that qualify us to stipulate that Christian had truly graduated? We’d always advised both children to claim high school graduation status on job applications once they were beyond high school age. Was this situation much different? We eventually decided it wasn’t different. Not willing to jeopardize Christian’s future, though, we decided to do our own research. Through reading, letter writing and conversation, we uncovered lots of useful information about the “GED vs. the personalized diploma.”

The “S” Word – Cafi Cohen

During their high school years, both of our homeschooled teenagers had the opportunity to participate in all of the usual high school activities. Their friends (most of whom attended school) invited them to football and basketball games, school dances, and musical productions. One fall, Tamara attended homecoming dances at three different high schools (getting a lot of wear out of the single formal dress she made for all three events). Both kids were invited to proms and had the opportunity to participate in a formal graduation. One statewide support group offered one such ceremony, as did our local school.

Interview with Sandra Dodd – Emily Subler

I’m completely sure of unschooling because I believe in people’s desire and ability to learn wonderful things in quirky ways if they’re given the opportunity. Some people don’t believe in unschooling, and one reason, I think, is this: They have a mental vision of “high school graduation”-of a set of facts and skills. They see that as their goal and destination. They work backwards from that incrementally and they want to put their kids on the straight and narrow road to that goal. They look at unschoolers, and they don’t think unschoolers can get to their goal, so they reject any further thought of it.

If I wanted my children to reach cap’n’gown high school graduation, I’d put them in school. That model channels all of life toward one small set of information on one small day (May 22 of the year the child is closest to his 18th birthday), after which the project ends.

From Home to Higher Education – Sunshine Campbell

When I entered college in August, 1993, with a homeschool diploma and a stranger as a roommate, The first things my roommate asked me was, “Do you really think you are prepared for college?” I had heard that question many times before from skeptical friends and relatives who regarded my recent graduation with suspicion. Some wondered how I would adjust to sitting in a classroom all morning; others questioned whether I could cooperate with fellow students after being “deprived of socialization” for so long; and still others speculated that the structured work would be too difficult for me.

Ungraduation by Liz Shosie

In June, 1998, our son Cassidy took the GED (high school equivalency test) and scored 97%. He received (in the mail) his high school diploma “With Honors” from the State of Connecticut.

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