Sometimes it helps to explain the legality of your homeschool, so there will not be misunderstandings or additional questions. These extra steps are not usually necessary, but for some situations, explaining that you homeschool legally is appropriate, especially for parents dealing with an uncooperative university or situation.
As a homeschooler, it is easy to modify your transcript slightly, to clearly explain the seriousness, and legality of why you are an official and recognized form of education. Use some of the following ideas to homeschool legally.
You can cite your local homeschool law on the transcript. On the bottom of your transcript, provide a simple sentence explanation referencing your local laws.
“Education Completed in Accordance with Indiana Department of Education Education Law (IC 20-33-2-21)” or “Education Completed in Accordance with Washington State Home-Based Instruction Law RCW 28A.225.010″
You might consider making a watermark, which can make the transcript appear more official electronically. Find a video online, by searching “How to Customize a Watermark in Word.” If you choose to do this, use the name of your homeschool, or put the words “Official High School Transcript.”
In some situations, it’s a good idea to add a signature section at the bottom of your transcript. Sign and date on the day they graduate. A simple row for signature and date is simple to add and looks like on of these examples.
Signature of School Administrator ____________________ Date _____________
Signature of Home Educator ____________________ Date _____________
If you will send a physical copy of your transcript, you might want to use use special document paper. You can purchase a few sheets of resume paper at Staples or Office Depot. Although 24 lb paper is fine, but it might help to use a resume’ style paper if possible.
You can choose to have your transcript notarized to authenticate your signature as the homeschool parent. Ask your friends if any of them are notaries, because it is free that way. You can also find a notary at accountants, banks, libraries, city offices or government buildings.
Make sure to save your transcripts when they are done. Keep it on your computer, and keep a paper copy and digital file in your safe deposit box as well. Send a copy of your homeschool records to a close relative to save as well.
Present a diploma to your teen with some fanfare. When asked “Do you have a high school diploma?” you want the reply to be an immediately reply “Yes!” not “I’m not sure, I was homeschooled.” A diploma will help them answer without hesitation, clarification, or disclaimer. Scan your diploma that you provide, and keep it with your homeschool records.
If you come across an organization that doesn’t understand the legality of your situation, take matters into your own hands to change the company policy: Socially Active Homeschoolers Change College Admission Policy. If you are homeschooling within the law, and you can legally provide a transcript and diploma as a homeschooler, than you are providing an official homeschool education within the law. You can educate organizations that do not yet fully understand homeschooling.
- Find your homeschool law here: Know Your Homeschool Law.
- Information on being assertive: Socially Active Homeschoolers Change College Admission Policy
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Lee Binz, The HomeScholar, specializes in helping parents homeschool high school, and provides many of her homeschool resources for free. Get Lee’s FREE 5 part mini-course, “The 5 Biggest Mistakes Parents Make Homeschooling High School.”