Navigating the Red Tape- Part 3: Our Path to an Accredited Diploma

High school is approached differently than the younger years.

     This is the last part of this series, and I saved this topic as the last section for a reason. High school is approached differently, even more intentionally, than the younger years. There is a reason for this…
     We have decided to use a homeschool accreditation diploma program for high school diplomas versus me issuing one myself. From what I’ve found in my research, parent-issued diplomas can sometimes run into problems where lawyer-backing becomes necessary, so this is the most comfortable option for us.
     Since I wrote about Devin’s decision to approach school in a more textbook-driven way in an earlier post, today I’m going to focus on how we will fulfill the necessary requirements next year.
     Devin and Dillon will both be in ”high school” next year. It’s very important to me that their learning is self-directed, despite the fact that more structure will be necessary than for the younger kids. (I addressed the accreditation requirements right here.) Once again, thanks to Renee over at FIMBY, I was able to take what they’re interested in and create their entire curriculum around these subjects.

     Dillon loves Minecraft. There’s no getting around it. I fretted and fretted about the amount of time he spends on it and got sound advice from Renee. Can you incorporate this into his curriculum? After some research I discovered that yes I can! I stumbled across Minecraft Homeschool, an online (obviously) class that is sufficient to replace curriculum.
     I totally get how it covers math (to a point), history (the class involves researching ancient structures and replicating them), and a gaming elective. As of right now, they are planning to add science and language arts curriculum in the fall, so that would be perfect. We’re also looking into computer programming through Khan Academy but haven’t come to a definite decision, yet.
     If you’re wondering whether Dillon’s time is going to be completely consumed by the computer, trust me, it won’t be. Dillon loves the outdoors- catching slimy critters that disgust (and scare) me, wading through the creek, and skateboarding are some of his favorite pastimes.
     The only concern I really have right now is the fact that he has to read 25 books next year, including 3 classics. Sometimes it’s really hard finding books that he’ll actually finish.

     Devin loves the PBS show Sherlock and the USA show Psych. She’s fascinated with body language (kinesics) and logic, so right there’s her perfect curriculum! She’ll be reading the classic Sherlock Holmes books and will possibly write her own private investigation short story (a requirement is that she must write three compositions of any length and one ten page composition). She’ll be studying Psychology with a textbook (I’ll post our curriculum choices in a future post. We’re not 100% on almost anything yet.) We were going to just utilize the library for this, but I want to make sure she learns psychology with a Christian-based curriculum versus new age ideologies. We’re going to cover kinesics through living books and logic through a Christian-based curriculum. She will also be taking geometry- a requirement through the state- and astronomy. (I know this has nothing to do with the curriculum, but this was her choice for science, so she’s doing it. Incidentally, I do know for a fact that we’re using Teaching Astronomy through Art because it combines two of her favorite things, so it’s a no-brainer)
     So is this approach still considered unschooling? I guess it depends on who you ask. These curriculums have been created solely on their interests, so self-directed may be a better word. It honestly doesn’t matter to me, as long as they are learning and loving it!

How do you homeschool high school? Leave a comment and join the conversation!






Author: Shelly Sangrey

I'm Shelly, a Christ-following, homeschooling Mom of eleven children ( okay, not ALL children. My oldest is 23.) I met my husband right after graduation, and we've been together ever since. Though my life can be hectic at times... okay, ALL the time, I wouldn't change it for anything.

12 thoughts on “Navigating the Red Tape- Part 3: Our Path to an Accredited Diploma”

    1. Thanks so much for creating this awesome program. My son is so excited about it. Thanks for the link to the video! Your son is an amazing speaker; that’s definitely the approach we’re trying to take on education.


  1. Hi, Jackie stopping by from the Let’s Homeschool High School February Blog Hop. I wanted to personally thank you for linking up with us this month.

    Absolutely you are still unschooling (in my opinion). It is all self directed learning of their choice.

    My daughter loves Mine Craft too. I had heard of the curriculum you mentioned. I think it’s awesome someone took time to create something so creative to further learning skills. I wonder if it’s mentioned in the Let’s Homeschool High School Curriculum Directory? I know the directory is being overhauled since the site was just updated. I’ll have to look.

    I look forward to you linking up with us again next month.

    Let’s Homeschool High School Admn.


  2. Any ideas how to incorporate movie stars and Hollywood gossip into high school? I’d love to make school more fun for my daughter, but we’ve taken a pretty school-at-home approach for my teen, even though we both just do it without much excitement. She helps pick the actual books we use, and has a say in how her day plays out, but it’s very textbook-y. A driving force too, is earning college credit through our work at home. That’s a big motivation for my daughter, so I suppose that’s a bit interest led.
    I love interest led, and I’m still trying to wrap my mind around how to make it work when her interests don’t run very deep. LOL


    1. Lol. Maybe some biographies of actors and actresses? You never know. Maybe someday she’ll be a publicist. I say that with a smile, but my cousin’s son actually did become a publicist for a basketball team. (Don’t ask which one…I have no idea. I just know he lives in Massachusetts.


  3. Hi! Came to your blog by way of the LHSHS Blog Hop, so glad I found you! I guess it is still unschooling because it is child-led. I seem to need a bit more control than that so we base her core subjects on the Time4Learning High School curriculum. However, my daughter does do what we call special projects, which are based on her interests. Currently she is learning calligraphy so that she can write/paint a historical document on a canvas. Just a note to Shannen–maybe add a study of cinematography, or make up artists, or something related to movies, that could include the movie stars as a special project? Anyway, love the Minecraft idea, my daughter has been bugging me about Minecraft lately. Maybe this is the push I needed to look into it! Thanks!


  4. Glad you’ve found something that you’re comfortable with in your high school. Fortunately, Florida is a very easy place to homeschool. My transcript has always been enough to get my kids into college. Thanks for sharing this post.


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