Many homeschool parents wonder in the back of their minds: just how long can I do this? How far can I take my student? Naturally, high school is often a sticking point.
I’ve heard from other parents, “I can teach through middle school but after that, they’re going to high school.” Many are intimidated by their own memories of high school math and sciences, while others worry about the scope and rigor of the humanities.
We’re fortunate to live in an area where there are many good options for grades 9-12, so transitioning from home school to high school is not an uncommon choice.
In Maryland, the state does not award diplomas to home school students at graduation. Credits needed to earn a diploma are only granted by state-accredited institutions – the state won’t grant a diploma based on your home school portfolio review.
However, if you choose to enroll your student in public school during their high school years, your still may be granted credit for their home school work. Here’s how the general process works in my county:
Credit is determined by subject. Assemble your portfolio materials and bring it to your school, usually to your student’s academic/guidance counselor. The review seems to generally be conducted by the head of that academic department. Under state law, the school can include tests, exams, or interviews with the student to determine placement or credit.
Upon application of a child for admission to a public school from a home instruction program,the local superintendent shall determine by an evaluation the placement of the child and anycredits to be awarded toward high school graduation. The evaluation may includeadministration of standardized tests and examinations and interviews with the child.Maryland COMAR 13A.10.01.04 I recently went through this with my school, and the results were varied. Math was the easiest, we were granted credit immediately. English took a little longer but credit was granted there, as well. We’re working through the process with biology, and I’ll keep you updated on how that goes.
Why go through all the trouble? Because you need a certain number of credits, per subject, to graduate. If you don’t try to claim your home school work for credit, you either have to enroll in summer school, or else take academic classes where you would otherwise have taken electives.
Next time: looking at portfolio assembly for math.