Unschooling is a form of self-directed education where children learn through their interests and experiences rather than through a traditional school curriculum. Many people question whether unschoolers can obtain a diploma, as the concept of unschooling is often seen as being at odds with the traditional education system.
In this blog post, we’ll explore whether unschoolers can get a diploma and, if so, how they can do it.
The Legalities of Unschooling and Diploma Obtainment
The first thing to understand is that unschooling is legal in the United States and many other countries. Parents have the right to educate their children as they see fit, including the option to unschool. However, because unschooling is legal does not mean that unschoolers are automatically entitled to a diploma.
The laws regarding diploma attainment vary from state to state in the United States, but in general, unschoolers will need to meet certain requirements to obtain a diploma. These requirements may include passing standardized tests, completing a certain number of credit hours, or meeting other criteria set by the state.
Options for Unschoolers to Obtain a Diploma
While unschooling is a form of self-directed education, unschoolers can obtain a diploma if they choose to do so. Some of the most common options include:
- Taking Standardized Tests: In many states, passing standardized tests such as the GED or HiSET can be an alternative to completing a traditional high school education. These tests cover math, science, reading, and writing subjects and are designed to measure the skills and knowledge typically acquired during a traditional high school education.
- Homeschool Diploma: Homeschooling is a form of education similar to unschooling in many ways, but it is often more structured and may involve a more formal curriculum. Some homeschooling families choose to follow a curriculum and award their diplomas.
- Online High School Diploma Programs: Several online high school diploma programs are designed specifically for unschoolers. These programs are often self-paced and allow students to work on their schedule, which is particularly well suited to unschoolers.
- Competency-Based Education: Some schools and organizations offer competency-based education, which focuses on mastering specific skills and knowledge rather than completing a set number of credit hours. This approach is well-suited to unschoolers, as it allows them to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in the areas they are most interested in.
- College admission: Some unschoolers apply to college without a high school diploma. Although it may be more difficult to gain admission without a diploma, many colleges and universities consider applicants who have not graduated from high school.
Assessing Unschoolers’ Knowledge and Skills
Obtaining a diploma is not the only way to assess unschoolers’ knowledge and skills. Some unschoolers demonstrate their learning through portfolios, which are collections of work they have completed over time. This can include written work, art projects, videos, and other items demonstrating the student’s knowledge and skills.
Another option is to take subject-specific standardized tests such as the Advanced Placement (AP) exams or the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP). These tests allow students to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in specific subjects and can often be used to earn college credit.
Can unschoolers get a diploma?
Yes, unschoolers can get a diploma, but the process may be different compared to traditional school students. They may need to pass standardized tests, complete a certain number of credit hours, or meet other criteria set by the state.
Is unschooling legal?
Yes, unschooling is legal in the United States and many other countries. Parents have the right to educate their children as they see fit, including the option to unschool.
What are some options for unschoolers to obtain a diploma?
Some options for unschoolers to obtain a diploma include taking standardized tests, obtaining a homeschool diploma, enrolling in online high school diploma programs, participating in competency-based education, and applying to college without a high school diploma.
How can unschoolers demonstrate their knowledge and skills?
Unschoolers can demonstrate their knowledge and skills through portfolios, subject-specific standardized tests such as AP exams or CLEP, and other assessment forms.
Can unschoolers apply to college?
Yes, unschoolers can apply to college, even if they do not have a high school diploma. Many colleges and universities consider applicants who have not graduated from high school, and unschoolers can demonstrate their knowledge and skills through other means such as portfolios, standardized tests, and other forms of assessment.