2012 Fall Diploma Applications
The application for the fall will be available on your member page on the website September 1, 2012. The deadline is October 31, 2012.
2013 Spring Graduation Applications
The application for the spring graduation diploma and/or ceremony will be available January 15, 2013 on your member page on our website with the deadline being March 1, 2013.
Homeschooling Through High School
Whether you are a new homeschooler or a veteran of many years, preparing to homeschool your high schooler can seem somewhat overwhelming. You are faced with new questions: Will you homeschool in a safer, more traditional way or be bold and chart a less traditional path? Will you prepare your student for college, or a vocational or entrepreneurial path? Will you teach what society expects or what is important to your family? How will you document the accomplishments of your students? with transcripts, portfolios, achievement tests, etc.? What outside resources will you need? These are just a few of the many new questions. As with homeschooling in the earlier years, in the teen years there is not ONE right way to homeschool. Families and children are all different, with different philosophies, beliefs, and goals; therefore, each homeschool will be unique. This brochure does not attempt to answer all your questions about homeschooling at the high school level, but offers aid in charting the course.
For ongoing support we recommend that you join North Carolinians for Home Education (NCHE) and your local support group. NCHE is committed to supporting homeschoolers, promoting home education and protecting the right to homeschool. See Home Education in North Carolina for more information. NCHE can help you find a support group in your area.
The NC Law
The law requires that homeschools with children ages seven through fifteen be listed with the NC Division of Non-Public Education (DNPE). (Our brochure, Home Education In North Carolina, gives more information on the NC law.) When homeschooling a sixteen year old, parents do not need to notify the state, unless the student plans to obtain or maintain a driver's license. (See section XVI) However, this does not prevent the student from being legally homeschooled.
Concerning the source of instruction, the law states, "'Homeschool' means a nonpublic school in which one or more children of not more than two families or households receive academic instruction from parents or legal guardians, or a member of either household." There are two common ways this vague wording is interpreted. DNPE's interpretation is that all academic instruction in core subjects must come from parents, legal guardians, or a member of the household, and not from anyone outside the household. DNPE does not apply these restrictions to non-core subjects, such as piano or art. North Carolinians for Home Education (NCHE), after consulting with attorneys familiar with the homeschool law, supports a second interpretation: that some academic instruction, but not all, must come from parents, legal guardians, or a member of the household. This interpretation allows homeschool students to receive some supplemental academic instruction from tutors or courses attended outside the home.
Books on How to Homeschool
- Christian Home Educator's Curriculum Manual, Junior/Senior High by Cathy Duffy
This is one of the most complete books on homeschooling high school. Following are excerpts from the book:
"One of my goals has been to provide the necessary information for whatever approach people choose, while providing some ideas about why we might choose one alternative over another. ... In truth, many home educated teens have been educated in very unconventional ways. College entry has not been dependent upon traditional documentation and courses of study."
"Home education is, by its nature, at least a step or two away from the established trail, so if we have made that initial commitment to home educate a teenager, we have already shown a willingness to consider and choose alternatives. But we need to maintain that questioning attitude. We often get caught up in the traps of custom and habit when we choose the methods and materials that we will use. We do not really know what we are getting into, so it usually seems best to rely upon course work laid out by someone who has more educational experience than us. That may not be a bad choice, but, at the same time, it may not be the better choice."
"How we approach education should be an individual decision based upon our philosophy or beliefs. If our philosophy is still in the formative stages, we might rely on the example or directions of others as to how to proceed with home education. But, as we develop our philosophy, we will also be developing our own specific ideas about how to best educate our children. In a group of even a small number of veteran home educators, the discussions are sure to get hot and heavy. Each of them has had time to think and work through her (or his) ideas about education. They are bound to have some different, even contradictory ideas."
"Since we are talking about teaching teenagers, it is important to remember that these young people are at an age when they, too, have ideas and opinions and want to understand why they are doing things. If we cannot provide a good rationale, we might find ourselves battling over the validity of daily assignments or else imposing arbitrary authority. Then the issue becomes one of control rather than what is appropriate for study. Enforcement, when not backed up by sound reasons, can lead to serious problems in our relationships with our teenagers."
"One of the primary concerns is college entry. Colleges usually require that high school students complete specific courses to qualify for entry. ...Many colleges are willing to individually evaluate potential students, so the need to plan a course of study to meet college entry requirements is debatable."
"We should each examine carefully our preconceptions and decide what we consider essential and what is open to discussion."
- And What About College? by Cafi Cohen
- Homeschooling the Teen Years by Cafi Cohen and Janie Levine Hellyer
- Homeschoolers' College Admissions Handbook by Cafi Cohen
- Mentoring Your Teen: Charting the Course to Successful Adulthood, Inge Cannon (864-609-5411)
- Bear's Guide to Earning College Degrees Non-traditionally, John Bear
- Big Book of Home Learning, Volume 3, Mary Pride
- College and Admissions: A Guide for Homeschoolers, Judy Gelner
- Homeschool Guide to the Online World, Mark and Wendy Dinsmore
- Homeschooling the High Schooler, Diane McAlister and Candice Oneschak
- Peterson's Guide to Distance Learning, Peterson
- Senior High: A Home-Designed Form-U-La, Barbara Edtl Shelton
- The Teenage Liberation Handbook, Grace Llewellyn
- The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling, Debra Bell
If possible, before the student enters high school, start planning when and how the student will cover his high school courses. Take into consideration the student's long range goals?college, vocational training, apprenticeship, etc. If the student is considering college, look at potential colleges early, as the college entrance requirements will probably influence your plan. Adjustments will be necessary as you go along, but it helps to start with a plan.
Common High School Curriculum
Many of these companies offer several services, including a program in which the student may enroll, and the option of purchasing books without enrolling.
Key to Notations: (A) Accredited, (AT) Achievement tests, (B) Sell books individually, (C) Christian, (CO) Consulting available, (CS) Correspondence, (D) Diploma, (NA) Non-accredited, (P) Publisher, (R) Record keeping, (S) Secular, (T) Traditional approach to education, (U) Unit study, (V) Video school, (VA) Some videos.
A Beka (800-874-BEKA)
- C, NA, P, T.
- Options: B, CO, CS, D, R, V
Alpha Omega (800-622-3070)
- C, NA, P, T.
- Options: AT, B, CO, R.
- Self-paced workbooks.
American School (800-531-9268)
- A, R, S, T.
- Options: CO, D
Advanced Training Institute (630-323-2842)
- C, NA, U.
- Options: CO, R.
- Must apply for family enrollment. Bill Gothard's Basic and Advanced Seminars and additional training required.
- College courses available.
Bob Jones University Press (800-845-5731)
- C, NA, P, T.
- Options: AT, B, CO, D, R.
- HomeSat, satellite courses.
Christian Liberty (847-259-4444)
- C, NA, P.
- Options: AT, B, CO, CS, D, R
- A, P, S. Non-traditional.
- Options: AT, B, CO, D, R
Cornerstone Curriculum (972-235-5149)
- C, NA, P, U.
- Classical approach.
- Options: B, CO, VA
Covenant Home (800-578-2421)
- C, NA
- Classical approach.
- Options: CO, D, R
Home Study International
- A, C, P, T.
- Options: AT, B, CO, D, R, VA
Konos History of the World (336-887-2045)
- C, NA, P, U.
- Options: B, CO
Seton Home Study School (540-636-9990)
- A, C, P, T.
- Largest Catholic Publisher.
- Options: AT, B, CO, CS, D, R
School of Tomorrow (800-925-7777)
- C, NA, P.
- Options: B, CO, CS, D, R, VA
Sonlight Curriculum, Ltd. (303-730-6292)
- C, NA, U.
- Options: B
The Teaching Company (800-832-2412)
- NA, S, V
Colleges that offer high school and college level correspondence courses:
- Indiana University (800-334-1011)
- North Dakota Division of Independent Study (701-231-6000)
no college courses available
- University of Arizona (bilingual, Spanish-English) (800-772-7480)
- University of Arkansas (800-638-1217)
- University of California (510-642-4124)
- University of Nebraska-Lincoln (402-472-4321)
- University of Oklahoma (800-942-5702)
- University of Wisconsin (800-442-6460)
Other sources for English (See Catalogs)
- Writing Exposition, Writing Strands
- Writing for 100 Days, and Fairview's Guide to Composition and Essay Writing, Gabriel Arquilevich
- Learning Language Arts through Literature: the Gold Book
- Wordsmith Craftsman, Janie Cheaney
- Understanding Writing, Susan Bradrick
- Writers Inc.
Other sources for math (See Catalogs)
Algebra I, Algebra II, Advanced Math, and Calculus, Saxon
Elementary Algebra and Geometry, by Harold Jacobs
Key to Algebra Workbooks, and Discovering Geometry, Key Curriculum Press (800-338-7638)
Algebra I, David Quine (972-235-5149)
D.C. Heath and Company texts, available from Chalk Dust Company (800-588-7564)
- Essentials of Algebra I
- Essentials of Algebra II
- College Algebra
- SAT Math Review
- Algebra Program
- Advanced Algebra
- Functions, Statistics and Trigonometry Program
- Pre-calculus and Discrete Mathematics Program
- VideoText Interactive Algebra, <www.videotext.com>
- Algebra and Trigonometry, by Paul Foerster
Note: Solutions manuals (which document how to acquire the answers) are available for Scott Foresman, Saxon, Paul Foerster and D.C. Heath and Company texts.
Other sources for science (See Catalogs)
- Apologia Educational Ministries (888-524-4724) <www.apologia.com>
Materials listed above may be ordered from these catalogs.
- Christian Book Distributors (800-CHRISTIAN) <www.christianbook.com>
- Greenleaf Press (800-311-1508) <www.greenleafpress.com>
- Lifetime Books (800-377-0390)
- Rainbow Resources (888-841-3456) <www.rainbowresource.com>
- Veritas Press (800-922-5082) <www.veritaspress.com>
NCHE's Annual Conference and Book Fair
NCHE's Annual Conference and Book Fair is an invaluable source of information and curricula. Held in the spring each year, this event brings together workshops by local and national homeschool leaders, nationally known keynote speakers and over 90 vendors from all over the nation with a wide array of curricula and supplies.
Resources: Other Options
- Community Colleges: All North Carolina community colleges offer courses free of charge under a concurrent enrollment program. These courses are intended to enable advanced high school students to take college level courses that are not available at their local school. To qualify, students must be at least 16 years old, attending high school (public, private or home) at least 3 periods or 1/2 day, and working toward graduation. Priority in registration is given to adult students.
- Local Colleges: Many colleges and universities allow high school students to take college classes for a fee. Students enter under a dual or concurrent enrollment program. Check with the colleges in your area for availability, requirements and costs.
- Private High Schools: Some private schools allow homeschoolers to enroll in specific courses. Homeschoolers may be allowed to participate in extra-curricular activities and sports, if they take a certain number of classes.
- Organized Group Classes: Many homeschool parents organize group classes for homeschool students. Sometimes a homeschool parent does the teaching, and other times a specialist is hired. Sometimes parents form a co-op for classes once a week. Each parent takes a role, whether it is teaching or performing other types of service related to the classes.
- Correspondence College Classes: Some colleges offer high school and college classes by mail. The Independent Study Catalog by Peterson's is a good source of information on correspondence courses. See Section VI B for a partial list.
- Computer Programs: Interactive programs are available and continue to be developed that can fulfill or aid the teaching of high school subjects. Many homeschoolers have found computers especially helpful in teaching foreign languages and preparing for the SAT.
- Public High School: Some (very few) public high schools allow homeschool students to enroll in classes. Unless the local school board has a policy against this, the decision is up to the school principal. If a student is enrolled for at least half a day, the school receives the full student allotment from the state.
Note: See "The NC Law"
How credits are determined.
In most traditional high schools one credit is earned for each year-long course (135-160 hours of classroom instruction). As homeschooling and traditional schooling are two different forms of education, homeschool work cannot always be measured in traditional ways. Each homeschool must determine what constitutes a credit in their school. One suggestion is to use a combination of hours the subject was studied and mastery of the subject. For example: If your student has mastered Algebra I, he gets a credit no matter how long it took. However, with a vast subject like World History, the number of hours studied may be the best criterion for determining credit. Keep in mind that homeschooling is more efficient than traditional schooling.
A transcript can be put together for a homeschooler in the same way that conventional schools develop transcripts for their students. It should include final course grades as well as final grade point average (A=4; B=3; C=2, etc.). The completed transcript should look professional and may be printed by a computer or printing company. It should include the official school name and the principal's signature. Those using a non-traditional schooling approach can translate equivalent learning experiences into courses and credits that a college can understand. Assign grades based on the competency level achieved in each course. Some homeschoolers choose to forego the transcript and submit a portfolio of representative work (essays, reading lists, etc.), as well as college board scores and recommendations. Talk to college admissions officers at prospective colleges about their requirements for admissions and what form of documentation that college accepts.
North Carolina does not have graduation requirements for homeschoolers. Like other private schools, homeschools may set their own graduation requirements. Public high schools in NC require a student to have 20 credits to graduate. When your student has met your graduation requirements, you may issue a diploma to him. Some support groups organize graduation ceremonies, while some families prefer to plan their own service at their church or home. NCHE has a statewide graduation ceremony at the annual conference in May. Students qualifying for an NCHE diploma also qualify to take part in the NCHE graduation ceremony.
Each homeschool in the state of North Carolina is a private school and has the privilege of conferring a high school diploma on students who have successfully met the graduation requirements set by the homeschool. Families may design their own diploma or purchase ready-made or custom-made diplomas. For qualifying member families, NCHE provides a beautiful diploma for the homeschool to present to the graduating student.
NCHE does not confer diplomas or set graduation requirements. However, NCHE offers a distinctive NCHE diploma to qualifying member families with graduating homeschool seniors. These beautiful diplomas are individualized with the name of the school, the student's name and the date of graduation. They are enclosed in a hunter green diploma cover, bearing the NCHE logo in gold foil. Each diploma has the NCHE gold seal and the signature of the NCHE president, along with a place for the school administrator to sign. NCHE does not set any academic requirements for this diploma?it is the homeschool that sets these requirements. However, NCHE does set membership requirements for the student's family to receive an NCHE diploma.
In order to receive an NCHE diploma, the recipient's family must meet these requirements. 1) The family must be a current member of NCHE at the time the diploma is requested and received. 2) The family must be a member in good standing for a minimum of three out of the last four years unless the student starts homeschooling during the high school years. 3) If the student starts homeschooling during high school, then the requirement will be NCHE membership for at least two out of the last three years. 4) Homeschoolers who move into the state during the student's high school years need to be members from the time they begin homeschooling in North Carolina, 5) Students must have homeschooled a minimum of two years of high school.
NCHE diplomas are printed and prepared for delivery only twice a year, in the spring and the fall. NCHE is not able to provide individual diplomas at other times. Member families who desire diplomas for students graduating in the spring must submit an NCHE Diploma Request Form to the NCHE office by March 1 of that same year. This form may be obtained by contacting the NCHE office, (919) 790-1100 or from the NCHE website, <www.nche.com>. If you desire a diploma in the fall, contact the NCHE office for details.
Athletics: College Eligibility
If your student athlete plans to compete in a sport for a Division I or II college or university, you must begin NCAA record keeping requirements as early as you can. NCAA changed their rules for homeschool students during the spring of 2004. For complete information as to the eligibility process and rules go to the website <www.ncaa.org>. There are important guidelines you should know, including course requirements and SAT or ACT minimum scores.
Typical Course Work Desired by Colleges
Math: 3-4 credits - usually Algebra I and II and Geometry, at least. (Most colleges want a math taken in the senior year.)
English: 4 credits
History or Social Studies: 2-3 credits
Science: 2-3 credits (at least one or two must be a lab course)
Foreign Language: 2 credits of the same language. (Most colleges want a language taken in the senior year.)
PE: 1-2 credits
Fine Arts: 1 credit
Electives: such as typing, computer, home economics, and Bible. (Some Christian colleges require some credits in Bible.)
Achievement tests - Any student listed with DNPE as part of a school, is required to receive a yearly nationally standardized achievement test. By law, this test must measure achievement in the areas of English grammar, reading, spelling and mathematics. The most commonly used achievement tests are the California Achievement Test, the Iowa Test of Basic Skills, the Stanford Achievement Test, and the Metropolitan Achievement Test. (See our brochure "Home Education in North Carolina" for sources of tests).
Of the following, only the ACT has been approved by the NC Division of Non-Public Education to fulfill the state's yearly testing requirement.
G. E. D. The Graduation Equivalency Diploma is a test taken in lieu of high school graduation. Since homeschoolers can issue a diploma they do not need to use these tests. Although some feel it brings closure to high school, it can carry a stigma of being a high school drop out and may hurt future chances of getting into college or the armed forces.
PSAT The PSAT is usually taken by tenth or eleventh graders and is offered in October. Juniors must take the test to be eligible for National Merit Scholarships. Other scholarships may also be based on these scores. Unlike the SAT, the schools can control who takes the test, and it is given only once a year. To register, contact a local school (private schools are more likely to be cooperative) in late August or early September to ask if your student can take the test with them. For information on which schools give the test, call 609-771-7070. The cost is around $20.00. The PSAT code for NC is 99 34 99.
SAT I The SAT I, a basic test of math, verbal skills and reasoning, is used to measure the students potential success in college. Colleges require either the SAT I or the ACT for admission. The test is offered seven times a year, and can be taken innumerable times. Colleges usually accept the highest score, but each score becomes a permanent part of the student's record. It is commonly taken in the spring of the junior year. To register for this test, pick up a registration form from your local high school, call 609-771-7600 or go to <www.collegeboard.com>. Registration forms are mailed directly to the College Board.
The cost is $29.50. The SAT code is 970 000. An SAT review course would be a good investment for the homeschool teen. Two of the available courses are: the book, Cracking the SAT, and the multimedia computer program, The Princeton Review: Inside the SAT.
SAT II Formerly called College Board Achievement tests, these twenty-two tests cover specific subject areas. Colleges may require some of these for admission, especially from homeschoolers. These tests are given in conjunction with the SAT I. You can take up to three a day, but you may do better taking them one at a time. However, there is separate registration fee for each day you test, as well as a fee for the test itself. These are sometimes used, along with other assessments, to place out of entry level college classes. The SAT code is 970 000. See SAT I for registration information.
ACT The American College Testing Program is required by some colleges for admission. All of the constituent institutions of the University of North Carolina accept SAT I or ACT scores in support of an application for admission. The UNC System encourages homeschool students to submit both scores. This test has been approved by the NC Division of Non-Public Education to fulfill the state's yearly testing requirement. To register for this test, pick up a registration form from your local high school, call 319-337-1270, or go to <www.act.org>. The ACT code for NC is 969-999.
AP tests The Advanced Placement test results are used by colleges to waive introductory college classes and award credit for those classes. They are offered in thirty different subject areas. The tests, which are given at high schools in the spring and cost about $73.00 each, are usually given to students who have taken advanced placement courses; but the courses are not a requirement. Detailed AP course descriptions, teacher's guides and sample tests may be purchased. Contact your local high school counselor's office for information on registering for these tests or call 888-CALL-4-AP. (Private schools are more likely to be cooperative.) Check with your prospective college to see which tests are accepted.
CLEP College Level Examination Program exams are designed to give students college credit by examination. There are twenty-nine subject tests and five general tests. While they may be taken by anyone, they are particularly helpful to people with experience in an area and no previous course work. Some colleges offer these tests to students who have good SAT scores to move them into upper level courses. These tests are given at colleges and cost about $50.00. Check with your prospective college to find out which tests they accept and what their administration schedule is.
Entering a Public High School
In the state of North Carolina it is up to the principal to place an incoming student. State law requires that the principal use nationally standardized test scores, if the scores are available and if they are adequate to determine grade level. If your student decides to go to a public high school after high school has begun, he will probably be admitted with no problems, but this is not guaranteed.
Driver's Education and Obtaining a DEC
When a student reaches the age of 14-1/2 (and not a day before) he is eligible to take Driver's Education free of charge. This class, provided by the state, includes 30 hours of classroom instruction and 6 hours of behind-the-wheel instruction.
Click here to read more about Driver's Education.
NCHE helps to facilitate the opportunity for North Carolina homeschooled teens to participate in the Governor's and the North Carolina Senate's and House of Representatives' Page Programs by setting aside a week each year as homeschool week and providing help for those who wish to go on their own at another time.
Click here to read more about the page program.