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High School Planning

Homeschool High School Information on:
State Requirements
Parents Serving as Guidance Counselors
Reading List
Apprenticeships & Military Service
National Honor Society
Volunteering & Work Permits
Other Helpful Resources


The Indiana Foundation for Home Schooling desires to serve families considering homeschooling during the high school years by providing helpful information and support. Choosing to homeschool is a major decision and a huge commitment and we have striven to give you excellent resources to encourage your success in homeschooling. This section is therefore extensive.

We will begin by noting that all homeschoolers are required by Indiana law to provide their children with “instruction equivalent to that in the public schools.”

From the Indiana Dept of Education (IDOE)

“There is no definition of equivalency of instruction for public or private schools, either in Indiana state law or State Board of Education rules. Further, IC 20-8.1-3-17.3(b) specifically states that “a school that is 1)nonpublic; and 2)nonaccredited; and 3)not otherwise approved by the Indiana state board of education [as in the case of such state-run schools as the Schools for the Blind or the Deaf]; is not bound by any requirements set forth in IC 20 or IC 21 with regard to curriculum or the content of educational programs offered by the school.”

"The State legislature has designed an educational system that generally waives all procedural prerequisites to nonaccredited, private schooling. There are no curricular standards, teacher credentialing requirements, standardized testing of students, certification or licensure requirements of any kind for any nonpublic, nonaccredited school. Again, this includes, but is not limited to, “home schools.”

IDOE Home Schooling website 

Indiana Public School Diploma Requirements

Although many may wonder what is an equivalent education, we suggest your best plan for homeschooling high school is to consider the guidelines in the Indiana High School Diploma Requirements. It includes the General Diploma, the Core 40 diploma, and the Academic Honors Diploma. Most Indiana colleges use the Core 40 as a minimum basis for expectation for incoming students. If colleges do not see these types of courses on your student’s transcript, they may suggest further work needs to be completed before enrolling at the college level.

Many gifted students in Indiana government schools will strive to achieve the Academic Honors Diploma (AHD). The AHD Question/Answer page can be helpful to you. Although the IDOE does not grant home schoolers diplomas (our own private school does), we can challenge our students to academic excellence by designing a plan that includes similar guidelines to the AHD. The AHD is the diploma that most gifted students will present to colleges. If these are the peers your student will be competing with for scholarships, you should consider the guidelines of this more rigorous diploma.  

Indiana Department of Education

The course descriptions for Indiana classes can be found at the link below. These descriptions can be useful in giving you a brief idea of what could be covered in a course and help you find ideas for courses you and your student may find of interest. Note: Students need to have some hands-on lab experiences within their science curriculums. Colleges are looking for 2 years of lab science.

Curricular content 

Can a home school award a diploma? YES. See the IDOE Home Schooling website

Can a student take classes at a local high school and still home school? YES.

Can a student re-enter full time to public high school after home schooling? YES, but the school has the right to objective testing to see if the student has mastered subjects covered at home. See the IDOE Frequently Asked Questions
Can a student participate in sports? See our Sports page.

Can a student participate in a graduation ceremony? YES. See our Statewide Graduation page.

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You are serving as teacher and often as a facilitator. You may teach a few classes and your student may take some with a group of other local homeschoolers, at a local high school or college, or by distance learning using the Internet. However, you also need to wear the hat of guidance counselor throughout the high school years to help your student be prepared for further education beyond high school or the job market.
A great website to assist you with high school planning is the HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru High School.  It is a must visit site.  It covers every topic from Getting Started, Transcripts, Military, Vocation, College Prep, Testing, Curriculum, Grading Guidelines, Record Keeping, etc.

College Board For those with middle school students, you might want to read info about a free interactive program designed to encourage 7-9th graders to start thinking about college.

Indiana College Answer This is a guidance counselor's dream site. You must go to the 'Counselor' section and look down the bars and across the top bars of the site for even more sources of information. It can really help you grasp the vast amount of help that is literally at your finger tips. One example is on-line interest surveys to help your freshman and sophomores get more of idea of what fields would suit them.

Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana In addition to the career survey offered through Learn More Indiana, you should be able to get career testing service free at your local Ivy Tech college by contacting their guidance office. This will help both you and your student evaluate electives for high school and consider job and volunteer options to prepare him/her for vocational or academic training beyond high school.

Learn More Indiana Resource Center (formerly ICPAC) is a free assistant in the guidance counselor role in Indiana. They have many resources and tools on career exploration, specific grade level suggestions on preparing to advance beyond high school, and information on all Indiana colleges and universities. They even offer a free career assessment survey for students to help them evaluate possible future careers. Learn More Indiana Resource Center is an excellent resource for your parent/teacher questions about K-12 education and beyond.

About 80% of home schooled students go on to higher ed, so it is wise to assume and prepare your child for it, in their course work, extracurricular activities, etc. That begins at 9th grade. Be sure to review our College & Career Prep section as it is full of resources.

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  • Christian Home Educator’s Curriculum Manual for Junior High/High School by Cathy Duffy
  • Home Designed High School by Diana Johnson
  • The High School Handbook by Mary Schofield
  • Homeschooling The Teen Years by Cafi Cohen
  • The Guidance Manual for the Christian Home School by David and Laurie Callihan

Visit our Bookstore for all of these titles and more!   




See our Apprenticeships/Voc EdMilitary pages 


You can choose to honor your student's graduation individually, or with a local support group, or participate in the Statewide Graduation Ceremony that the IFHS hosts.


There is a Homeschool National Honor Society, Eta Sigma Alpha.  The IFHS wants to encourage Indiana Chapters to develop.  Please see our National Honor Society page for details.  If your student qualifies to be in the NHS, it looks great on a transcript for college-bound students and can give meaningful leadership and service experiences to participants.


See our Scholarships page for suggestions.


Several of the books mentioned in the reading list for high school and college prep have transcript samples. Transcripts can be fairly detailed or rather simple. Whatever format you choose, be sure to showcase your student’s achievements.

Several sample transcripts are available on Donna Young's site.
Some families choose a learning approach called Unit Study or Interest Initiated/Unschooling for their academics. In elementary and middle school, this is easier. It is more challenging at the high school level to make sure you are covering all areas of study that form basic groundwork or foundation for higher learning at the collegiate level. It is not an impossible task, but in addition to making sure you cover these areas using those learning style approaches, it is also challenging to document that learning in a way that you can present to college admission officers.

Record Keeping is a challenge for all homeschoolers. This site will help:

Transcripts, which indicate course titles and letter grades are the format college admissions officers are comfortable using. If a transcript is complete, they may not need to or desire to review a student’s portfolio of 4 years worth of experiences. Colleges may accept a portfolio from a homeschooled student, but consistently on their websites, they indicate what they want from home schooled students are transcripts which reflect the courses studied, grades earned, test scores and extracurricular activities and achievements all concisely stated.

However, you should talk to the specific colleges in which your student has expressed interest to get details of their requirements for homeschooled applicants.

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Visit our Teen Volunteering page for details on this and Service Learning.
Work Permits:
The Bureau of Child Labor website indicates homeschooled students have the same hour and occupational restrictions as other teens and must get their work permits from the local school corporation. The site does state “Any requirement that the teen obtain permission or certification from the teen’s school may be met by a statement signed by the teen’s parent or guardian.” Then later under the chart for hours teens can work, it says, ”A teen may work between 7:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. on a school day with written permission issued by the school that the teen attends.”

Homeschoolers, like all other private school students, have to go to the local public school to get a work permit. The Indiana Dept. of Labor will not handle these requests individually and Indiana law has established the public school superintendent as the 'issuing officer.'
From the Home School Legal Defense Association website related to work permits in Indiana:

An HSLDA attorney that formerly handled Indiana cases is Scott Woodruff. His comments below appeared in a Court Report Aug. 2001:

" A Franklin-area member recently applied for a work permit for her son. She was told that a work permit could not be issued unless she supplied a "private school number". HSLDA contacted the school official and explained that private schools (home schools) are not required to have "numbers," and that Indiana law does not permit a school district to deny a work permit because of failure to supply a private school number. The school official agreed to issue the work permit. - Scott A. Woodruff"

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OTHER HELPFUL RESOURCES A collection of motivating articles related to high school issues that have been written by national speakers in the home schooling field. 

Indiana Association of Home Educators (IAHE) The IAHE has a convention yearly with sessions for teens, plus sessions for parents on high school/college prep. IAHE Region Reps might be a good source for information about classes going on in your area for high school students, etc.

Indiana Home Educators Network (IHEN) Offers a statewide network of support and a discussion e-mail list, IndianaHomeschoolers to which you can post questions about homeschooling, including high school and college preparation.

Indiana College Answer Geared toward college bound students, it has a Reading Checklist that is helpful in assigning texts for high school. Overall, the Indiana College Answer website is outstanding!

Indiana University High School IU offers a full diploma program or you can sign up for just one class. Most courses are now available in an on-line format.

National Home Education Network (NHEN) has covered homeschooling methods, learning resources, online support, teens input, college information, alternatives to college, and joining the military.

TeenPact By participating in TeenPact, students learn about the political process and the basics of state government and the responsibility of citizenship. At TeenPact 4 day State Capitol Classes, students practice leadership through hands-on experience. Students analyze public policy from a Biblical Worldview.

Youth Activity Klub (YAK) is a statewide social only club for Christian homeschooled teens 13-18 years of age. Teen must be in at leastthe 7th grade. YAK is beginning it's 11th year of existence. There is not a membership fee. You will only pay for those activities you chose to participate in. YAK has one activity per month including the Prom, a New Year's Bowling Blast, laser tag,cookouts, game nights, road rallies, etc. Some events are for 9th-12th graders only (like the Prom). The new directors are Kristi Boyle and Brenda Williams.  You can reach them at  

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