High School Credits and Accreditation by Léo Gaumont

There never seems to be any lack of stories about the failure of a home educated student seeking to obtain post-secondary admission or employment due to a lack of high school level credits or diploma. No doubt a few of these stories may actually be true, even if examples of ignorance, but the majority are fictitious tales specifically designed to put fear in the hearts of both parents and students. Even more disconcerting is the fact that the majority of these stories are perpetuated within the home education community by fearful parents, students under peer pressure, and agencies who can do nothing but benefit from supplying parents and students with the means of obtaining high school accreditation. So, what should parents do when it comes to secondary (high school) level training? Who are we to believe?

God! That’s who! That would be an excellent place to start. God has always been able to provide positions within a community, long before the advent of credits and diplomas and without the help of human agencies. He has created each child with the gifts, talents and abilities that direct their educational choices and their post-secondary placements, whatever form it takes. He has directed parents to provide the opportunities for their children to exercise their learning in keeping with who they are and He is the one who accredits it all. He has simply directed parents to lead their children to Him so He can direct them in their lives. Faith in God or fear of man? That’s the choice.

However, home educating parents who have invested so much in preparing their children for the future, will occasionally lose their resolve and risk all that has been accomplished as the post-secondary level draws near. As they lose sight of the eternal and begin to focus on the temporal, without truly questioning or looking into the validity of the oft-repeated claims of needing credits, they either send the children to school or bring the school home.

Government accreditation is just that, nothing more. It is still no guarantee of success when seeking admission to post-secondary level training nor for obtaining employment. A quick survey of successful admission or employment applications will generally indicate that students were not necessarily successful due to accreditation but more likely due to proficiency or the ability to do the work. While accreditation is often acknowledged as the reason for success, there are also ample examples of accredited and diploma’d students who could not do what was required of them to succeed in the field.

Home education is not about having someone else take responsibility for the education of the children, but an opportunity for parents to take control of that education. Diplomas are really not needed to get a job and if that is a requirement, negotiate a trial employment or go somewhere else. When applying for post-secondary admission, students would do well to at least inform the admissions people of the fact that they have been home educated and then to help them understand that they do have an excellent foundation from which to advance to the post-secondary level.

Often, when admission is denied, students who have not been properly prepared to understand the benefits of home education will leave disappointed and discouraged, blaming their parents for having directed them to failure! Parents are tempted to simply forsake home education and go where high school credits are offered. Both indicate a lack of faith in God and an unreasonable belief in man and his accreditation.

There is no shortage of places willing to help the parents get those credits for their children as this process does result in extra cash to the provider. Besides, can we not be as foolish as the Galatians who, having begun by the Spirit, were seeking perfection by the flesh?! God does not need government accreditation and neither do His children.