Frequently Asked Questions about Homeschooling

This page provides answers to the most common questions asked by parents about homeschooling.

Be sure to visit the AZ LAW page to familiarize yourself with Arizona Revised Statutes relating to home education.

For frequently asked questions about how to start educating your child at home, please read the GETTING STARTED FAQ.

At this time, we have two categories on our Homeschooling FAQ page. We will be adding more in the future.
Testing
Graduation & Diplomas

Testing

This section answers questions about standardized testing, college entrance examinations, and the GED.

Standardized Testing
PSAT
SAT
ACT
GED
Test Preparation
More Information

STANDARDIZED TESTING

Q: Is my homeschooled child required to take standardized tests?

A: No. In Arizona, there is no standardized testing requirement for homeschooled students including the AIMS test. It is up to the individual parent/family whether or not to do standardized testing through a private source. If you wish to have your child take a standardized test, check with your local homeschool support group to see if they offer testing. If they do not, there are several vendors offering testing materials that you can purchase.

AFHE Statement re: AIMS Testing

Q: What are the benefits of standardized testing?

A: Periodic testing gives your students practice taking norm-referenced "fill-in-the-bubble" tests. It can provide a reliable measure of your child's performance as compared with other students their age throughout the nation.

Q: Are there other ways to evaluate my child's progress?

A: Daily observation as well as tests found in your child's curriculum are two excellent means of monitoring and evaluating your student's progress. Through the one-on-one interaction between parent and child, a parent observes how well their child is learning a specific body of knowledge and skills.

Q: If I decide to have my child take a standardized test, where do I go?

A: Standardized tests are available for purchase by homeschooling families through independent suppliers.

If you wish to have your child take a standardized test, check with your independent support group to see if they offer testing. If they do not, there are several resources offering testing materials. A few of them include:

Bayside School Services
Bob Jones University Press
Catforms Testing Service
Family Learning Organization
Hewitt Homeschool Resources
Piedmont Education Services
Seton Testing Service
Triangle Education Assessments

Q: Can my child take a standardized test through the local public school or school district?

A: The public school will not pay for a homeschooled student to take a standardized test. We recommend that homeschoolers take standardized tests through an independent supplier so that the test scores are used for the parent's reference only.

Q: Should my homeschooled child take the AIMS test?

A: AFHE does not recommend that homeschooled students take the AIMS test. There is no benefit for a homeschooled student to take this exam. For more information, please read the AFHE Statement re: AIMS Testing.

PSAT

Q: When should my child take the PSAT?

A: The PSAT is taken in October of the student's Junior year.

Q: Where does my homeschooled student take the PSAT?

A: The PSAT is taken through a local public or private high school that offers this test. Testing dates and locations can be found at www.collegeboard.com

Q: How do I register my student to take the PSAT?

A: Go to www.collegeboard.com for registration information.

Q: What is the Arizona state home school code for the PSAT?

A: 990 399

SAT

Q: When should my child take the SAT?

A: Most often the SAT is taken during the spring of the Junior year. However, it can be taken earlier as practice if desired.

Q: Where does my homeschooled student take the SAT?

A: The SAT is taken through a local public or private high school that offers this test. Testing dates and locations can be found at www.collegeboard.com.

Q: How do I register my student to take the SAT?

A: Go to www.collegeboard.com for registration information.

Q: What is the homeschool high school code for the SAT?

A: 970000

Q: Which test should my student take - the SAT or ACT?

A: Check with the colleges your student is interested in attending to find out which test that institution prefers. The ACT covers Science, Math, Reading, and Language with an optional essay portion. The SAT has three parts: Verbal, Math, and Writing.

ACT

Q: When should my student take the ACT?

A: Most often the ACT is taken during the spring of the Junior year. However, it can be taken earlier as practice if desired.

Q: Where does my homeschooled student take the ACT?

A: The ACT is taken through a local public or private high school that offers this test. Testing dates and locations can be found at www.actstudent.org.

Q: How do I register my student to take the ACT?

A: Go to www.actstudent.org for registration information.

Q: What is the homeschool high school code for the ACT?

A: 969-999

Q: Which test should my student take - the SAT or ACT?

A: Check with the colleges your student is interested in attending to find out which test that institution prefers. The ACT covers Science, Math, Reading and Language with an optional essay portion. The SAT has three parts: Verbal, Math and Writing.

GED

Q: Should my homeschooled child take the GED test?

A: Taking the GED is a controversial issue in the homeschool community. A diploma earned by taking the GED tends to carry the stigma of being a "high school dropout." There are, however, some circumstances where a college or trade school may require a homeschooled student to verify his credential with the GED. If that is the case, your student can take the GED to satisfy the admissions requirement.

In Arizona, one must be age 18 or older to take the GED test. For homeschooled students between the ages of 16 and 18, verification that they have withdrawn their Affidavit of Intent to Homeschool must be provided. Rules for taking the GED in Arizona can be found on the Arizona Department of Education website: http://www.azed.gov/adult-ed-ged/general-ed-development

TEST PREPARATION

Q: What should my student do to prepare for the SAT or ACT?

A: Purchase study books and take practice tests from www.collegeboard.com or www.actstudent.org. Local bookstores and online bookstores also carry study books and practice tests for the PSAT, SAT, ACT, and GED.

Q: How do I find out which test my student should prepare for?

A: Contact the college admissions office to find out their entrance requirements.

Q: What about community college admissions?

A: Each comunity college has a testing center where they administer their own entrance exam. Contact the community college directly for admissions requirements and testing information.

MORE INFORMATION

Q: Where can I find more information about testing?

A: Visit the HSLDA website for additional information about testing: www.hslda.org/highschool/testing.asp
A: There are several articles about testing on the ARTICLES page of the AFHE website.

 

Graduation and Diplomas

This FAQ answers questions about diplomas and graduate recognition ceremonies.

How does my homeschooled child receive a diploma?
Is a homeschooled student's diploma accredited?
Where can I purchase a diploma?
Is there a graduation ceremony for homeschooled graudates?
Does AFHE validate a homeschooled student's diploma?
Does AFHE offer a graduation ceremony for junior high students?
Should my child take the GED?
Where can I get more information about homeschooling through high school?

Q: How does my homeschooled child receive a diploma?

A: The parent of a homeschooled child is responsible for setting the graduation requirements, creating and maintaining their child's transcript, and issuing the diploma.

Q: Is a homeschooled student's diploma accredited?

A: No, it is not. The homeschooling parent accepts responsibility for issuing a diploma and certifying the student's status as a graduate. Thorough documentation of a student's academic record on a transcript makes the diploma meaningful.

Q: Where can I purchase a diploma?

A: There are a number of vendors that carry diplomas and graduation supplies for homeschooled students. A couple of them include HSLDA and Homeschool Diploma. HSLDA offers a beautiful form in a leatherette case with an attractive gold seal at an economical price. Homeschool Diploma has personalized diplomas and diploma covers, other graduation supplies, and ideas to help you make this a special time for your graduate. The parent signs the diploma.

Q: Is there a graduation ceremony for homeschooled graduates?

A: AFHE sponsors an annual statewide Graduate Recognition Ceremony for homeschooled seniors each year. The AFHE Senior High Graduate Recognition Ceremony is a very reverent, formal cap and gown ceremony that commemorates the achievement of the students and their parents. Visit the SR. HIGH GRADUATE RECOGNITION page for more information about this ceremony.

Q: Does AFHE validate a homeschooled student's diploma?

A: No. AFHE does not validate or certify that a homeschooled student has completed their high school course work.

Q: Does AFHE offer a graduation ceremony for junior high students?

A: Yes. AFHE sponsors a Junior High Graduate Recognition Ceremony which is held on the Saturday evening of the annual home education convention and curriculum fair. Visit the JR. HIGH GRADUATE RECOGNITION page for more information about this ceremony.

Q: Should my child take the GED?

A: Taking the GED is a controversial issue in the homeschool community. There is a stigma attached to the GED because of its association with high school dropouts. However, it is a fairly easy process and there are a number of post secondary education programs, such as trade schools, that require a homeschooled student to have an accredited diploma or GED rather than accepting the student's homeschool high school transcript.

Q: Where can I get more information about homeschooling through high school?

A: HSLDA offers a wealth of information to encourage parents as they teach their children all the way through high school. Visit their website at http://www.hslda.org/highschool.