How graduation and homeschooling works

For parents who are making the decision whether to homeschool or send their child to a traditional school, there are a thousand questions to ask and factors to consider. One of these questions is what does graduation look like for a homeschooled child? While there are a few variations and details to the answer, the short version is – it looks a lot like graduation from a traditional school.

Below we discuss the answers to some of the more commonly asked questions around homeschooling and graduation.

Can homeschoolers graduate early?

This is entirely dependent on the curriculum you and your child choose. Each curriculum has it’s own unique benefits, allowing you to find the best fit for your child. For example, should you choose to use the International British curriculum, your child will have the flexibility to work at their own pace and complete the course work within a time frame that is comfortable to them.

This may even enable them to graduate ahead of their traditionally schooled classmates. Should you choose the CAPS curriculum, your child will follow a more structured course schedule, enabling them to stay in-step with their peers as they will need to follow the standard South African School year.

How do homeschoolers graduate?

Homeschoolers, who have chosen to make use of a standardised curriculum, such as the International British, Cambridge or CAPS, graduate in much the same way as traditional school children – they write their final exams at an accredited or registered examination centre, after which their exam papers are marked for a final grade.

Should you choose an “unschooling model” where you do not make use of a standardised curriculum, then your child can graduate whenever and however you choose. It is important to note that choosing to follow this route may pose some challenges for gaining university entrance, if your child should want to pursue further formal education.

Is it more difficult for homeschoolers to get into a college or university?

If you and your child have chosen to follow a standardised curriculum such as the International British, Cambridge or CAPS, and your child has written and passed the final exams at an independent accredited or registered examination centre, then it will be no more difficult for them to attend a college or university than any other applicant. Various curriculums offer different opportunities, depending on your child’s needs and goals.

The International British curriculum, including AS and A Levels, is recognised across the globe and will enable your child to apply at any university, opening doors on an international scale. CAPS will allow your child to apply at any South African university, allowing your child to pursue their goals and dreams for their future. As mentioned before, if you choose not to follow a standardised curriculum there may be difficulties gaining university entrance and you will need to consult directly with your chosen university’s administration on the best way forward.

Are homeschoolers eligible for scholarships?

Homeschoolers are eligible to apply for the same scholarships as those children who attend traditional schools, being awarded a scholarship will be dependent on your child’s choice of curriculum as well as their final grades.

How to make graduation special for homeschoolers

Making graduation an event for homeschoolers is just as important as it is for kids who attend traditional schools. This rite of passage can be celebrated as simply or elaborately as your imagination and budget allows. Why not rent a cap and gown and have a formal or virtual graduation ceremony for your child where you invite friends and family to celebrate this momentous event with them?

You can take a trip to a special place, allow your child to decide where they would like to go, or plan a special celebratory meal at home or at a favourite restaurant. Giving your child a meaningful gift to mark this moment in time will give them something tangible to help them remember their achievement.

Whatever you do, a graduation is an event that marks your child’s passage into adulthood, them moving onto the next stage in their lives and a celebration of how hard they have worked to get to this point. Enjoy it with them.