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Graduating a Unschooler?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

My son is 17, was unschooled for 1 1/2 years between 7-8th grade. He went to live with his father and went back to school till the 10th grade. He is now living with me. Has 2 years of "public school" left. However....unschooling is so much better for him and our family. We travel quite a bit and he is learning so much from life it's amazing.

However, i'm at a loss as to what to do next. Do we have him take his GED? or can i make up a diploma when we feel the time is right? What do we do next? If he wanted to get a job? go to college some day? He is a life learner in all aspects....but what do we do for closure of the "high school" period. And what would a diploma look like?


post #2 of 5

My eldest eventually chose the public school diploma system over 100% unschooling, but we did continue with the documentation throughout her teen years as a back-up, should completing the high school diploma requirements prove counter-productive. (She was only enrolled in school part-time and was travelling extensively and living away from home.)


What I did was to keep a fairly rigorous-looking private blog, paired with a database system for her transcript. I used Blogger for the blog with Zoho for the transcript, though there may be a better system now. I logged her "courses" according to course number and name, description, comments, start and completion date, course level and credit weight. Here's a sample.


Social Studies 9 SOC0900

Canadian geography and history, geography and culture of South-East Asia.

Travel to Edmonton (9 days), Montreal (9 days), across Canada's heartland by rail (4 days) and to Southeast Asia (60 days).

Background reading, tours, museums, planning, collaborating with others on trip planning. Photo- and text-journaling.


Excellent photo and powerpoint

presentations with discussion x 3. 

10-Jul-2008 02-Apr-2009 9 4


Where I live (Canada) it's the transcript that matters. No one ever asks to see a diploma, but it would have been easy to generate a diploma based on the transcript.


The blog was really just some brief anecdotal documentation that supported the awarding of each "credit" on the transcript. For Instrumental Music 11 I linked to YouTube videos. For Social Studies 9 I put in a few photos of her in Myanmar, Thailand, Montreal. For Math10 I documented the textbook she had worked through. I tagged the posts by course name so that they were easy to sort through. The blog would serve as a very robust portfolio if she were to apply to university as an unschooler. 


As it turned out our local high school was happy to award her credits under their system for her unschooled learning, based in part upon my documentation of it. But I think the system would have worked well also as in support of an application for higher education. 



post #3 of 5
Depending on the laws where you live, you may be able to make him a diploma legally, but a diploma for a homeschool (or other non-accredited high school) won't count for much in a lot of cases. I also found that a transcript was more useful for most things, although we did ours after the fact instead of as we went... it was both fun to sit and think back and stressful to try to remember, but luckily Rain had a lot of college courses so those were documented, so we just had to fill in the rest with other stuff she'd done. With two years of actual high school, though, you'd need to include that on his transcript.

I would wait and see when and if he needs something like this, and then go from there.
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

Dar, we live in Dominican Republic and our home base state in America is North Carolina. I am a member of a unschool group on yahoo based out of NC. I will post this question on the group too.

I like the wait and see approach, however if their is something that we need to do extra, i'd like to start that now.


post #5 of 5

My daughter just graduated.  The school board did her diploma.  It's very official looking.  If we want a transcript they will also give us one - we graded her on various things over the years.  As for college - her facilitator will write her a letter of recommendation and even go with her to interviews if we want, but so far she isn't interested in any formal education.  She works at a bakery franchise and is training for management duties and wants to open her own bakery someday.

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