Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About High School
What do I need to do when withdrawing my high school student from public school?
Even though not required by Oklahoma law, we suggest you submit a letter of withdrawal to the principal of your school. In addition ask for a copy of the course descriptions for the courses he or she has taken during the period he or she attended the public school. This will be helpful when preparing your student's high school transcript.
What courses need to be taught in high school?
There are no high school exit requirements for parents to issue a diploma to their homeschooled student. Parents may choose coursework to satisfy the requirements of their own homeschool high school. If your student is college-bound, it is advisable to tailor your subject matter to the courses required by the college(s) of your choice. We recommend that you contact several colleges for their entrance requirements. You may also find that Oklahoma's State Board of Education Requirements for High School Graduation, which apply to PUBLIC schools only, are a useful general guideline for a course of study. See the state board's website, www.sde.state.ok.us, for these requirements.
How do I plan the courses my student should take in high school?
During junior high, it is recommended that you and your student make a plan of study for the high school years. A good track upon which to run can be found in the admission requirements of colleges or trade schools your child may be interested in attending. College and trade school catalogs are free for the asking. Keep these requirements in mind as you plan your course of study, but do not feel that you are limited to just these courses. Build your child's course work with his specific gifts and callings in mind. This is the time to expand subjects you've already introduced and begin tailoring studies to suit his/her specific career and/or ministry needs. Get your student involved in volunteer positions that utilize his/her skills, talents, and interests. Consider apprenticeships. Make the goal of his/her education the development of life skills, not just acceptance to a college or trade school.
How do I teach upper level subjects?
Don't be overly concerned about a possible inability to teach high school-level courses that your student might need. If your student is an independent learner and self-motivated, he or she may be able to teach himself/herself what is necessary to know as long as you secure the necessary materials. However, if you find that additional help is needed for these difficult subjects, check out other resources such as homeschool co-ops, paid tutors, or video or correspondence courses. Other options may include internet courses, community college courses, or bartering with another parent to share teaching responsibilities.
What is a high school credit/unit?
A [credit] is a measure that identifies one semester's course work. Two credits make a full Carnegie [unit], or a year's course work of 120 hours. In homeschooling, the amount of course work required for each credit or unit is determined by the parents. The number of units required for graduation from high school is also determined by the parents. College entrance requirements include certain numbers of units in each area of study (for example, 4 units in English, 3 units in math, etc.).
How do I prepare a high school transcript?
A well-prepared transcript, showing an overview of academic accomplishments during the high school years, is an important part in the process of being accepted by a college or university. There are different ways to design a transcript. You may wish to pay someone to do it or you can organize it yourself. The entire transcript should be limited to one page. A student information section should be at the top, including the student's name, address, social security number, date of birth, parents' names, home phone number, total years of home education, date of graduation, and GPA (grade point average). Courses completed and the grade for those courses should be listed according to each year of high school. Accomplishments, awards, and community service hours may also be listed. A place for your signature as the primary instructor and a notary stamp is advisable.An embossed seal is available in the OCHEC office. A sample transcript is available in the OCHEC handbook or by visiting one of these websites.
www.donnayoung.org (Click on homeschool forms)
www.gomilpitas.com/homeschooling/index.htm (Click on Older kids/Teens or do a search for transcripts.)
Can homeschools be accredited?
Accreditation refers to schools that have paid an accrediting organization to determine specific rules for how and when to teach each course, the number of hours each course must be taught, and the curriculum that must be used to teach the course. In return for following these rules, the school can offer "accredited diplomas." Homeschools and most private schools are unaccredited schools. Many Christian schools have their own accreditation agency that regulates their coursework based on biblical standards. While their diplomas are "accredited" by their accrediting agency, their diplomas are not "accredited" in the eyes of the public school system. Other Christian schools and private schools choose not to belong to any accrediting agency and therefore do not offer "accredited" diplomas.
Can my student accrue college credit during high school?
Yes, many students take concurrent classes in basic college courses during high school. Most colleges do require that the high school student take the ACT or SAT and meet the minimum score required for their institution. Upon graduation the college may apply those credits toward a degree program. In addition, credits are usually transferable. This is a great way to get a head-start in college. Check with colleges in your area for details. Another way to accrue college credit is by taking CLEP (College Level Examination Program) tests. By showing proficiency on CLEP exams in specific subject areas, students are exempt from certain college freshman courses. Ask your college or university for details.
For more info about High School testing see our Testing Page.
What about vocational-technical programs?
Vocational-technical programs are a great resource. During the junior or senior year of high school, a student may enroll in a two-year vo-tech program concurrently with high school coursework. Other options also exist.
Does my child need a diploma from an accredited school to be admitted to college?
Most colleges do not require a diploma. ACT or SAT test scores and a well-prepared transcript are most often all that is necessary. There are some colleges that do require a transcript from an accredited school. It is a good idea to contact the particular institution your child is interested in to find out specific transcript requirements.
Should my student take the GED?
By successfully passing the GED (General Educational Development) test, a certificate of high school equivalency is earned. Some colleges, trade schools, or job training programs may require a GED in lieu of a public school transcript. Research your options to be sure that having a GED will really help your student. We do not recommend taking the GED unless it is completely necessary because a GED often indicates to prospective employers that the student dropped out of school.
What if my child desires a career in the military?
The military classifies would-be recruits into one of three categories, which are known as [tiers]. Tier I candidates are graduates of a traditional high school or students who have completed at least 15 college hours. Tier II candidates are high school dropouts who have successfully passed the GED (General Equivalency Diploma). Tier III includes individuals who possess neither a high school diploma nor a GED.
Prior to October 1998, the military classified homeschoolers as Tier II candidates, often requiring them to pass the GED. However, in October 1998 Congress passed a five-year pilot program in which homeschoolers would be considered high school graduates and placed in Tier I. For more information concerning homeschoolers and military enlistment, see Home School Legal Defense Association's website, www.hslda.org.
What about a graduation ceremony?
Many homeschool support groups and organizations sponsor a graduation ceremony with parents presenting the diplomas. If this is not offered in your area, consider having your own celebration at home.
Is a work permit required for my teenager to get a job?
A 14- or 15-year-old teen must obtain a work permit before an employer will consider him or her for a job. There are some restrictions that apply to types of jobs and number of hours. Teens who are 16 or older have no restrictions. To get a copy of the child labor law for 14- and 15-year-olds, go to www.okdol.state.ok.us and click on the child labor poster link.
To get a work permit, call the State Department of Education at (405) 521-3369. Explain that your child is homeschooled and you would like the work permit form to be sent to you. According to Oklahoma law, the parent of a homeschooled child is authorized to administer the oath, verifying the student's age and status as a student.
40 Oklahoma Statute, Sec. 79 states, in part:
"The age and schooling certificate shall be approved by ...one of the child's parents if the child is being schooled at home...."