Homeschooling High School FAQ
If I am withdrawing my child from high school to homeschool, what do I need to do?
You can withdraw your child and begin homeschooling at any age and at any point in the school year. If your child is under 16, see Getting Started Homeschooling for how to submit an education plan.
If your child is 16 or older, you do not have to submit an education plan, but you should officially withdraw your child. If your child has done some high school, obtain a copy of their transcript when you withdraw.
My child turned 16 mid-year. Do I need to send in my end-of-year evaluation?
No. The day your child turns 16 you can be done reporting.
Are there reasons to keep sending in education plans after my child turns 16?
Sometimes a parent will choose to keep reporting. Two of the most common reasons are:
- to get dual enrollment money at a Massachusetts community college
- to play MIAA regulated sports
If I don’t send in an education plan for my child who is 16+, is my child considered a dropout?
No. Homeschooled children ages 16+ are NOT dropouts. If a student who is age 16+ withdraws in order to homeschool and the school is aware of that, your district will include them in the count of children who transfer to homeschool.
How do I enroll my homeschooled child in public high school?
Contact the school to inform them that you are enrolling your child. The school may want to test the child or see proof of their academic level beyond whatever method of evaluation you usually provide so that they can accurately place your child. Check eligibility to take the MCAS, a graduation requirement, if enrolling after 10th grade.
How do I find high school curriculum?
For high schoolers, it may be helpful to think in terms of slots you want to fill (English, math, science, social studies, etc.) and then look for resources that fill those slots. You can teach your child yourself; your child can teach him or herself; and/or you can make use of local coops and classes, community college classes, or online classes. There are many different ways to approach education and many resources you can utilize.
How can my teenager get a work permit?
To obtain a work permit in Massachusetts complete and submit this form. The public school superintendent (or their designee) is responsible for work permits for all students in their town regardless of how they are educated.
Is my homeschooler eligible for dual enrollment at MA community colleges?
Yes. Most community colleges have coordinators who work with high schoolers and can explain the process. Community colleges may ask for approval letters if you are seeking funding. This is one reason you may wish to continue reporting after your child turns 16.
Can my high school-aged homeschooler participate in school activities?
Participation in school activities is at the discretion of the school. See Are Massachusetts Homeschoolers Entitled to Participate in Public School Classes and Activities?
Can my high school-aged homeschooler play public high school varsity sports?
Homeschooled students are eligible to play in MIAA regulated sports if the school approves. Like all potential players, they will need to try out for the team and they will have to meet yearly eligibility requirements. Participation in MIAA regulated sports is one reason to keep reporting after your child turns 16. See Are Massachusetts Homeschoolers Entitled to Participate in Public School Classes and Activities?
How can my homeschooled high schooler make social connections?
For some ideas, see Homeschooling Teens: The World Is Your Oyster.
Graduation and Diplomas
Do homeschoolers get a public high school diploma?
No. See Public High School Diplomas, the High School Equivalency Assessment, and Homeschoolers.
How will my child graduate?
You as the homeschooling parent determine when your child graduates and provide them with any documentation they may need, including a diploma if desired.
What are the graduation requirements?
There are no set requirements for homeschoolers to graduate. You as the homeschooling parent determine what the requirements are and when your child has met them. See Homeschooling for College Admission, Part 1.
How many credits does my high schooler need?
You can set the requirements for your child, however it can be helpful to look at what the public schools do and at what colleges expect and to provide something similar. See Homeschooling for College Admission, Part 1.
Does my child need to take the MCAS? Can they take the MCAS?
No to both. Homeschooled students are not required to take the MCAS and under current guidelines they are not permitted to take the MCAS. See Public High School Diplomas, the High School Equivalency Assessment, and Homeschoolers.
Can homeschoolers take the HiSET or GED (High School Equivalency exams)?
A homeschooler age 16 or 17 can have the public school write a letter which will qualify them to take the High School Equivalency Exam. See Public High School Diplomas, the High School Equivalency Assessment, and Homeschoolers.
What About College?
How do homeschoolers apply to college?
Homeschoolers can apply to college just like any other student. You as the homeschooling parent act as guidance counselor and provide transcripts and other required information. Some schools may have additional requirements for homeschooled students so it is always wise to check their policies. See Homeschooling for College Admission, Part 2.
Are homeschoolers at a disadvantage in applying to colleges?
Most colleges are used to assessing homeschool applications. In fact, homeschoolers may be attractive to colleges because they tend to have unique experiences and interests.
How do we find and take standardized tests (PSAT, SAT, ACT, AP tests)?
- PSATs must be arranged through a local school. These are usually offered in October. It is best to start looking in early September by calling the guidance department of schools near you. Private schools may be more accommodating than public schools.
- Register online for the SAT through the College Board and for ACT tests at act.org.
- A student wishing to take an AP test must make arrangements with a local school. Usually local public schools will allow homeschooled students to sit for a test if they are already offering it. Again, private schools may be more accommodating and may be willing to order tests that they would not otherwise offer.