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Grizzly Mama

There's a Grizzly who has escaped the City of Brotherly Love..(and she's going back to homeschooling!!)

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Location: Out of Philly, Pennsylvania, United States

"All who have meditated on the art of governing mankind have been convinced that the fate of empires depends on the education of youth." Aristotle - Greek Philosopher.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

High School Diplomas and Homeschoolers in PA.

Although PA is a state with high regulation in regard to homeschoolers - we are lucky in that we have the PHAA - Pennsylvania Homeschoolers Accreditation Agency. PHAA's high school diploma is recognized by the PA Department of Education.

Unlike the GED - which many homeschoolers are forced to get in order to attend college or join the military - there is no stigma associated with PHAA's diploma.

From the website:
"PHAA's standards, which can be found in its bylaws, are based upon seven principles:

1.Homeschool graduates should be literate.
2.Requirements should be construed in flexible ways.
3.Homeschooling families can be trusted.
4.Outside structure can be helpful.
5.Requirements should be clear.
6.Diplomas mean more if someone outside the family is involved.
7.Graduates are not drop outs."

The emphasis is mine - of course! Apparently, there are drop outs who claim to be homeschooled to gain admittance to college or the military. When discussing these types of students Chris at O'DonnellWeb coined the term 'homefoolers'. Catchy - isn't it?

Thank you Chris - you are a clever young man!

The Pennsylvania State requirement for necessary high school courses is as follows:

"SECTION 3. REQUIREMENTS FOR GRADUATION. In order to graduate from a home education program, a student must complete all of the courses that are required by Pennsylvania law during high school (grades 9 through 12). These requirements are: (1) Four years of English, (2) Three years of mathematics, (3) Three years of science, (4) Three years of social studies, (5) Two years of arts and humanities."

The Olsen Family's Knowledge House has an interesting discussion about what to consider for the future of your homeschooled high schoolers.

The first paragraph contains the good news:

"College acceptance is a concern for homeschoolers, but in many cases, homeschooled applicants are looked upon more favorably than their public-schooled counterparts. Homeschoolers can also receive substantial scholarships!"

How true - and we have the families that went before us to thank for that. Yes - they're the ones who paved the way, fought the fight to have our right recognized, resulting in all 50 states recognizing homeschoolers.

The Olsen family also discusses the military experience of homeschoolers. Normally homeschoolers are placed into Tier 2 - the same tier at which drop outs are placed. An amendment was duly passed which required the armed forces to induct a certain number of homeschoolers into Tier 1. They tracked the homeschoolers for 5 years. THIS is where the 'homefoolers' may have skewed the results. The debate is ongoing.

In any case it is wise to look to the future, know what your options are and sketch out provisions for your children's future. Our daughters are quite young now - but I am keeping track of the goings on.

Check to see what is in place in YOUR state for high school homeschool graduates. If there is no homeschool diploma program recognized by your department of education - well - get moving!! Contact PHAA and ask for some advice - I'm sure they would love to help you - they are very helpful and enthusiastic (yet pragmatic) people.

If you ARE in Pennsylvania - contact PHAA and get cracking on those requirements. (I KNOW that you already are dear!) They have a wonderful graduation ceremony in Gettysburg every year. Caps, gowns, the whole 9 yards.

God Bless America!

The graduation for PHAA is not at Gettysburg. It is in Harrisburg. The most recent information that I could find for the Gettysburg graduation is that is open to all homeschoolers whether a recognized diploma is issued or not.

Grizzly Mama is drinking the Kool-Aid! LOL! Oh dear, dear Chris. I have not claimed to be cooler than you. I am just opening the discussion up to the possibility that drop outs wrongly claim to be homeschoolers and this just may have a negative impact on for real, for real homeschoolers. I have presented one possible solution that I think sounds reasonable. If you don't like the solution please just say so, to me, on my blog and explain what it is you don't like. So far you have left a couple of sideways sounding comments. I'd like to hear a reasoned argument, calmly stated, without sarcasm if possible, so that we can all chew on it. Please come back to Grizzly Mama, dear! Tell me. Tell me everything!


Blogger COD said...

Homefoolers is clever, but alas I can not take credit for it. If you'll exercise your homeschooler reading comprehension skills and take another look at the link - you'll see that that particular post was authord by HSLDA attorney Scott Somerville, as part of a series we did at ODonnellWeb debating the merits of the Homeschool Non Discimination Act.

04 December, 2005 10:47  
Blogger Valerie said...

>>Unlike the GED - which many homeschoolers are forced to get in order to attend college or join the military - there is no stigma associated with PHAA's diploma.<<

(a link to your blog made it to HEM-networking where we're discussing HR 1815, its holdup in a senate committee, and Section 522 of it

http://hr3753.blogspot.com/ )

In the current regulations of the Army, Air Force, and Marines (I haven't got the Navy's or the Coast Guard's yet), homeschoolers are not required to acquire a GED. _In the regs_, both homeschoolers and GED holders are classified as Tier II recruits (alt ed diploma holders), so there doesn't seem to be any gain for the individual to substitute one for the other.

How this plays out in Pennsylvania, in light of the diploma, would be interesting to read about. Do you have any recruiter-connections?

04 December, 2005 12:06  
Blogger MonicaR said...

Chris - whether you coined the phrase or not - I think you are terribly clever.

I believe that the link to your post supports my main point. And that is (here it comes - I will bold-face it so that you don't miss it...)

The phenomenon of drop outs claiming to be homeschooled is a real one - and one that does not reflect well on true homeschoolers. It would behoove homeschoolers to obtain a reputable homeschool diploma to distinguish themselves from drop outs who claim to be homeschooled.

In addition - I found the information about the tiers in the military fascinating and thought it would make interesting reading.

If you are not happy that I have linked to you - please state that clearly and I will hasten to remove the link.

04 December, 2005 23:53  
Blogger MonicaR said...

Valerie - the legislation that I was speaking of was circa late 1990s. If I understand what I read correctly (and apparently Chris thinks I have a problem with comprehension - so I COULD be wrong!!! the 5 year study has been completed and the results were less than spectacular for the homeschoolers.

I will make a point to visit the site that you mention. Thank you for posting. Oh! Thank you for posting too Chris.

04 December, 2005 23:58  
Blogger COD said...

Actually I have to take some blame since I eliminated the 'Posted By' tag in my templates a long time ago - not forseeing the day that I would invite an HSLDA Attorney to debate on my site. I guess I should add that back sso it is clear which posts I didn't write. We can't have me sullying Scott's sterling reputation ;)

05 December, 2005 14:35  
Blogger Mike's America said...


Off topic, but it's a full out moonbat invasion at Mike's America. Salon.com linked to my thoughts on "Defeaticrat" Barbara Boxer:


It's like shooting fish in a barrel... or clubbing baby seals... Just too easy!

Send the Troll over too!

05 December, 2005 15:12  
Blogger tshsmom said...

In MN, eligible 11th and 12th graders(homeschoolers included) can take free classes at Community Colleges that count toward their diploma AND toward their AA degree.

I'm not too worried about the GED aspect. We can't afford an Ivy League school. It's Community College or nothing in our household. CCs have no problem with GED students. Our local CC even lets students take classes while they're working on their GED.

05 December, 2005 16:11  
Blogger MonicaR said...

Alright COD - my comprehension has remained unsullied then.

Please now - be nice about the nice attorney. Yes and add those things back that you were talking about so people know.

Thanks tshsmom. Actually - I just had a thought. What's the deal with S.A.T.'s? Forgive my ignorance on this issue - I never took the SAT and my girls are quite small. It seems to be the thing to do now and I'm not sure if it's required by law -- or just something kids take to help with getting into college -- and what do homeschoolers think about the SATs? Will you have your kids take the SAT?

I do know many a person who started at community college with a GED and went on to a four year college. (and some who didn't go on to a 4/yr college..) It seems that it is necessary to take some college courses after a GED to remove the stigma of it.

I know that it is an EQUIVALENCY test - and is supposed to count as much as a degree. You know and I know that there IS some stigma attached to it.

I have no plans at this time as to what the girls will be doing. Community College is perfectly respectable and I will be pleased as punch to see them continue their education this way. We have many years to go but I am anticipating that some Community College classes will be taken as part of their high school years.

05 December, 2005 23:39  
Blogger MonicaR said...

Mike - good for you!! LOL!

Troll is on his way - I will be soon. I have to stand up for myself over where the euro-weenies congregate...

05 December, 2005 23:41  
Blogger tshsmom said...

The SAT is generally optional. Most schools are happy with the ACT. The SAT is for the yuppy types that sign their kids up for the prestigious preschool before they're born.

06 December, 2005 18:22  
Blogger Steve Donohue said...

East Coast schools and a few West Coast schools require the SAT, but most now accept either the ACT or SAT. I did not take the SAT because a bad test stays on your permanent record, while you can erase a bad ACT score.

I think it's funny that I spent a total of 0 hours studying for the ACT. And I only applied to three schools! Man was I pressing my luck- I did every single thing high school guidance counslers tell you not to do. And look where it got me- Champaign f*%$&% Illinois. Man I should have gone to Michigan, or Northwestern, or the University of Chicago.

Ah, but I digress.

08 December, 2005 00:26  
Blogger MonicaR said...

LOL! Thanks Steve. There are several mistakes made in my youth that I look on the same as you describe. Never heard of a frigging ACT until you and tshsmom mentioned it. This is all good information and I thank you both.

You're doing a fine job. You are very intelligent, well written and will be a great success! A few years in the desert (so to speak) will be GOOD for you. Makes you strong and tough. ;-)

08 December, 2005 00:32  

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