Getting a high-school diploma from a home school in Texas is simple. First, there is no home schooling statute in the state of Texas, but there is an alternative schooling statute. It is explained in detail under the Texas Education Code, Section 25.086, Exemptions, which outlines who is exempt from public school and how to comply with the Texas alternative schooling statute.
According to Texas law, home schools are legal, private schools, and because home schools are private schools, you can issue a diploma to your home-schooled child---just as any other private school can issue diplomas. The fact that your home school is not accredited does not matter, because there are schools other than home schools that also are not accredited; accreditation does not necessarily equal quality education.
Take online and distance courses. The student can take online or correspondence courses. Course teachers are usually available via chat or the phone. This method of study offers credibility, and if the student decides to apply to college, there will be teachers, other than parents, who can vouch for the student's academic skills and abilities.
Create a transcript. Keep a list of classes taken, grades earned and credits earned. The transcript should explain the class content in detail, grade point average and honors. If the classes were taken online or through a homeschool co-op with a teacher (other than the parent), the teacher can write a letter regarding the student's grade and participation level in the class. This can be included with the transcript.
Compile a portfolio. Take an inventory of the high school student's learning experiences. The portfolio should be in two parts. The first part includes how and when the learning took place. The second part contains documents, pictures, certificates, etc. regarding the learning experience.
The entire portfolio should be 5 to 15 pages in length and is good evidence of learning that can be used in addition to the transcript details.
Print or order diploma. Because your home school is considered to be a private school in Texas, you can issue a diploma to your child. Since a school name will be on the diploma, you can name your home school, i.e., Williams Academy for Excellence, Christian Way High School, etc.
If you have complied with the Texas alternative school statute and taught your child according to what is required, you have the legal right to issue a diploma to your privately schooled (homeschooled) student. Another option is to order a diploma through a company that prints diplomas for homeschoolers; you may qualify for a discount if you order through your homeschool support group.
Phyllis Smith Asinyanbi lives in Chicago and began writing professionally in 2009. Her work has appeared on eHow, Digital Journal and Allvoices. She won an Allvoices American Pundit Semi-Monthly prize for a report she wrote on the Boston bombing and was also featured as an Allvoices Anchor of the Week.