have never let my schooling interfere with my education.”
Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain)
Did you know that John Quincy Adams entered
Harvard at age 14? This was common back then and it
is becoming more common again today. There is no reason
that a child capable of high school level work cannot
begin working on their high school requirements at
age 14 or even earlier.
is nothing in the law that says your children must take United
States History in junior high and again in senior high even
though that is what most schools do. Instead, teach it once,
covering it thoroughly even if it takes more than one year.
Then write it on their high school transcript. (Because of
the amount of material covered in history, most schools now
teach history in periods such as US History to 1876 and Modern
US History, awarding one credit for each course completed.
Science can be done the same way: teach anatomy, botany, geology,
physical science, oceanography, etc. as separate courses.
By beginning these courses earlier, your child will not only
cover more topics and gain a more thorough understanding of
the topics covered, but will also have time to do more hands-on
activities and lab work.)
out your course of study for the next six years. Habakkuk
1:2 "Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables
(notebook paper!), that he may run that readeth it." At
the start of junior high school, obtain copies of admission
requirements from colleges or trade schools your child
might 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. Feel free to
use my free High
School Planning Forms to help you
plot your high school years.
your children get into their junior high and senior high
years, their gifts and specific callings will become more
evident. This is the time to expand on those subjects you've
already introduced them to and begin tailoring their studies
to suit each of their specific career or ministry needs.
Two good resources that will help with this are Discovering
Your God-Given Gifts by Don and Katie Fortune and The
Checklist by Cindy Downes.
them involved in volunteer positions that utilize their skills,
talents, and interests. Consider internships and apprenticeships.
Seventy-five percent of the Swiss population go into apprenticeships
around age 15 (equivalent to 8th-9th grade). Feel free to
use the Career Development/Internship
Course (pdf document) I wrote for high school. (pdf document)
programs are usually run by private employers and consist
of one half on-the-job training and one half formal instruction.
Apprenticeships are not easy to come by, but I have found
that with a lot of prayer and by asking questions of people
you know, you can find them. One way to initiate an apprenticeship
program is to approach a business owner with the idea of allowing
your child to spend one afternoon at their place of business
to observe. If that works out for both parties, ask the business
owner if the child could come and volunteer on a regular basis.
This means sweeping floors, filing, washing windows, etc.
Your child must be willing to do the grunt work! You will
find that over time, if your child is diligent and faithful,
he will be welcomed with open arms and slowly given more career-related
work. This volunteer work may eventually lead to a paid position
during high school or even a life-time career.
people are looking for good employees; and when they
find someone who has potential, they will do all that
they can to help train him. If a degree is necessary,
some business owners will even help with funds for education.
Even if your child decides from this experience that
he does not want to pursue a career in this particular
field, think of the time and money you have saved!
be overly concerned about a possible inability to teach high
school level math and science courses that your children might
need. If you train them in their early years to be independent
learners and self-motivated, they will be able to teach themselves
what they need to know as long as you get them the necessary
materials. If, however, you haven't done such a good job in
this area, or if you're starting to homeschool later in their
academic career, check out other resources for these difficult
subjects such as homeschool co-ops, paid tutors, correspondence
courses, and online courses over the internet.
to work your plan, making adjustments as needed. High school
is not as hard as you think. It's actually the most rewarding
time of your homeschool career because this is the time that
you will begin to see the fruits of your labor.
School Graduation Requirements
high school graduation requirements for Oklahoma public
schools are posted on the Oklahoma
State Department of Education website - Graduation
students wanting to participate in Oklahoma's
Promise must follow a prescribed program.
school and some private schools offer accredited
diplomas. What this means is that all the members of the
school system pay to belong to an accrediting organization
which determines 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.
Christian schools have their own accreditation agency which
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.
Homeschool diplomas are not accredited.
your child transfers from one school to another, his
credits will be accepted without question
by all schools who belong to the same accrediting agency.
(Note: In some cases, the school will limit the amount
of credits that can be transferred.)
or may not be accepted if his previous school does
not belong to the same accrediting agency. It's totally
up to the school's discretion.This
is true for elementary and secondary schools as well as
for colleges and trade schools.
colleges and trade schools do not require diplomas from
homeschooled students. Instead they base their decision
to enroll on transcripts, testing, and interviews. For
those few colleges and trade schools that do require
diplomas, your child may have to take the GED. We do
not recommend taking the GED unless it is completely
necessary as a GED indicates to prospective employers
that the child dropped out of school. To decide whether
or not your child needs an accredited diploma, contact
the school system or college where your child wants to
homeschooled students find that they do not need an accredited
diploma. In this case, parents typeset their own diploma
or simply forego one altogether. ProSara
Software sells simple-to-use computer software to
enable homeschoolers to create their own professionally
designed diplomas and transcripts. Another free resource
is this simple, printable
diploma created by Donna Young.
groups or homeschool
organizations offer a high school graduation ceremony. If
you cannot find a graduation service in your area,
send out graduation announcements to your friends and
relatives and have your own celebration at home or
rent a hall and go out out with a dinner!
School Classes, Tutors, and Curriculum:
you want to put together your own High School program
using a variety of curriculum,
you are looking for public
education at home,
here are some choices (see High School Diploma above for
information on accreditation):
School. Online school for nontraditional high
school. Design your own course of study.
101 Charter School. Online school. This school
pulls together resources from all over (online
curriuclum, on-the-job training, apprenticeships, etc)
and combines them into a PreK-12 school program. Free
tuition to Oklahoma residents. This is a public school
Campus of Washington - provides public and private
online high school programs that prepare students for
careers in technology and business.
Books Academy - based on the classics.
Online High Schools -
offering public and private curriculum options
National High School - online high school.
Springs - college prep education.
Technology Center - academic and skill training
Meadow - distance learning.
Virtual High School. This is a free, online, "alternative
education" for high school students. This is a public
Virtual Academy. Another free, alternative education
for high school students. This is a public
of Oklahoma) OU
High School Online.
Dakota Center for Distance Education - distance learning.
Education Program for Gifted Youth -
Online Highschool for gifted students.
Learning Academy - Tulsa Public School program
that meets in the Promenade Mall in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
This may no longer be available. Check with TPS.
Distance Learning, here are some choices:
Liberty Academy - Christian education.
Christian School - Online Christian education.
Classical Academy - Web-Based, Classical education
Academy. Online learning program for grades
7 - 12th using Abeka textbooks and Saxon math.
Sonlight - Christian-based developed for missionaries.
Enrollment Choices in Oklahoma: See College
here are some choices:
Online Classes from Pennsylvania Homeschoolers.
Earn college credit online!
(Massachusettes Institute of Technology) Open Courseware -
FREE lecture notes, exams, and videos from MIT. No
registration required. College level. No credit given by
MIT. Use to prepare for college or for advanced high school
National High School - individual online high school
Henry College - Christian based, distance learning
high school classes (as well as a 4-year college).
This college was created FOR homeschoolers BY homeschoolers.
part time Homeschool Co-ops and
classes in Oklahoma, see Academic
ages 14 and 15, must obtain a work permit to hold a job.
There are restrictions that apply to the number of hours
worked, type of job he or she can do, how much break
time is required, etc. Teens 16 and up do not have to
have a work permit. For information on work permits,
please read the Child
Labor Laws poster.
apply for a permit, call the State
Department of Education at (405) 521-3369. Tell them
that you are homeschooling, and ask for a work permit
to be sent to you. As
40 Oklahoma Statute, Sec. 79, parents
of homeschooled children are authorized to administer the
oath verifying the student's age and homeschool status.
a letter that was printed in the HSLDA newsletter:
Dear HSLDA members and friends:
Homeschool Legal Defense Association was recently contacted
by Capt. James D. Couch, a Flight Commander in the 349th
United States Air Force Recruiting Squadron. The 349th
Squadron encompasses most of Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas,
While evaluating approximately 25 to 35 homeschooled
students in the Air Force, Capt. Couch noticed that these
students, as a trend, scored higher on the Armed Services
Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) then most other applicants.
This impressed Capt. Couch.
At the same time Capt. Couch was concerned that the Air
Force was missing out on a large population of high quality
applicants. Recruiters are able to schedule visits to a
public school or attend college and career fairs. While
there is a definite trend in higher performance among homeschooled
students, recruiters have fewer ways of reaching out to
these students and relating the opportunities available
to them for their possible service in the Air Force.
with this dilemma Capt. Couch contacted HSLDA for
help. Capt. Couch is not a recruiter; however, he would
be happy to direct any homeschool student to a qualified
United States Air Force recruiter under his command. If
interested you can contact him at both Rso349@rs.af.mil and
If you are a homeschool student in Oklahoma, Missouri,
Arkansas or Kansas and have a desire to serve your nation
through military service, we would like to encourage you
to contact Capt. Couch and find out more about how service
in the Air Force could benefit both you and the United
Capt. Couch assures us that Air Force recruiters will
not badger interested individuals, but rather act as liaisons
between needs and desires of perspective applicants and
the needs of the United States Air Force. To see a copy
of the letter Captain Couch sent to HSLDA please visit
Thomas J. Schmidt
HSLDA Staff Attorney
are more resources for homeschooling high school: