Putting Together Homeschool High School Graduation Requirements

Last year after my daughter completed her first high school level class (an outside Latin class) and did well with it, I gave her the choice of either continuing on a traditional junior high (middle school) then high school approach, or to start directly into high school level work, in the areas where she was ready for it.  She chose to start the high school homeschooling journey.

So about a month ago, my husband and I sat down and mapped out what our homeschool’s requirements are for high school graduation.

Our Homeschools High School Graduation Requirements

We started with our local public high school’s graduation requirements for college prep students, and adapted them for our educational goals for our homeschool and children.

Each school – public, private, or homeschool – has it’s own agenda, its own goals, and we are no different. We value creativity and independent thinking. We’re raising and educating our students to be well-rounded and to be creative problem-solvers, to serve others, and to be ready not only for the work place, but also for the most important relationships they will have – with their spouses and children.

And so, we adapted our graduation requirements to reflect our goals, our objectives.  

I’m sure yours will look different than ours, but here’s a few of the areas where we made changes:

  • Be prepared for Dual Credit and/or College Prep. While our daughter (and her siblings) currently have no interest in going to college, we want to make sure she has the requirements needed, in case she changes her mind. We also want to leave the door open for the possiblity to earn dual credit in a few years.

  • More technology. Now we are biased, both my husband and I work in the IT world, and our kids have been using computers since they were toddlers. But we also feel that the need for an understanding of how technology works and for technology skills will only grow. We want to equip our homeschoolers with a good foundation. So, we are requiring  4 credits of technology, including a credit each of programming, office productivity software, and web technology.

  • More Interpersonal Skills Training. Basic high school requirements state a half credit in Speech, and we just didn’t feel that was enough. Being able to be comfortable speaking to not only groups, but also with a variety of individuals and in a variety of situations is a key factor in both personal and professional success. We are requring two full credits, and one of which needs to be in practical experience.

  • More Language and Culture. We live in a diverse world, and we feel our children must be able to be able to live in that world without unfounded ignorance or bias about other cultures. So we’re requiring a half credit of world langauge and culture study AND four years of foriegn language study. Each child must be verbally fluent in at least one other langauge (other then English) and be familiar with at least one other langauge (other than English). American Sign Language does count towards our langauge and culture requirement.

  • More Practical Skills. We’ve added requirements for Fine arts, Community Service, Recreation (not including PE), Psychology (including Human Motivation), Personal Finance (not just Economics), and child development and parenting skills. Why? Because we’re not just preparing our students for work, we’re preparing them to be ready for life – for balancing the reality of money, relationships, and personal fullfillment.

I could go on, but I won’t. Instead, if you’d like to check out what we came up with, you can download our homeschool high school requirements here (opens in a new window). 

It ended up being 9 more credits than our local traditional public school, but we’re okay with that. We have opportunity to earn credit outside of traditional public school hours, and our goal is not to compete with or duplicate the traditional schools, but to provide our children with an education that allows them to be prepared for the life they will be leading as adults.

Please feel free to share your thoughts on creating your own homeschool high school graduation requirements in the comments below. I welcome your thoughts.


P.S. If you are looking for more info on homeschooling high school, please be sure to check out my homeschooling high school page where’s I’ve listed resources I’ve found useful.

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3 Responses to Putting Together Homeschool High School Graduation Requirements

  1. Frazzled Mom says:

    Our brains must be sycronized! I’m having a Homeschool Q&A for Highschool in my home this coming Thursday at 3:00! I have a panel of 6 seasoned homeschool moms who have homeschooled through high school and have kids in college and beyond.

  2. Shannon says:

    Elizabeth – I’m so glad you mentioned the gathering you are hosting on Thursday. I wish I could be there. The year or two before Kate hits a new stage I always seem to become a sponge about anything I can learn on homeschooling and parenting that stage. What a blessing it is to learn from those who have gone before.


  3. Joan Rivers says:

    Our brains must be sycronized! I’m having a Homeschool Q&A for Highschool in my home this coming Thursday at 3:00! I have a panel of 6 seasoned homeschool moms who have homeschooled through high school and have kids in college and beyond.

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