Alternatives to Accreditation: No Diploma? No Problem! (Part 7)
There are a number of ways that accreditation is offered through home-based learning options, but as mentioned before, since this approach is far more difficult than simply getting the credits at school, not only do home based students often come up short with poorer grades or an incomplete transcript, but they place themselves in competition with the majority of post-secondary applicants who have gone to school.
In my opinion, based on decades of high school experience and in keeping with my faith, a better and much easier approach to preparing for the future is to avoid any accredited courses altogether. It is better to follow an individualized home education program that allows a student to focus and specialize in keeping with the student’s gifts and talents.
Accommodating for individual differences is the very thing that accreditation cannot do. A program that has everyone follow a standardized path, can only result in conformity. Allowing for individual growth, home educated students are generally at the post-secondary level by the time they get their driver’s license, usually just a few days after their sixteenth birthday!
Besides, being different is not only acceptable, it actually sets the home educated student apart from the cookie cutter masses.
In some respects this creates a situation that makes the student stand out, essentially making him/her an “outstanding” student!
This is not to say that a post-secondary institution will automatically accept unaccredited home educated students. That would be silly. It is just that since the student had to have special treatment, due to his/her being “different,” there is a better chance that the admission people will actually remember the name of the admitted home educated student.
This is good in many respects, but it will also result in the student being more closely observed while attending the program, making him/her a sort of “ambassador” for home education. I trust I need not admonish anyone about being a good one!
Understanding that there is no compelling reason for acquiring government accreditation at the “high school” or secondary level, should cause us to question the ulterior motivation of home education agencies encouraging that route. Let’s summarize.
• The main reason for seeking accreditation is probably not knowing that there is an alternative.
• Education funding follows the student and there is more funding for government programming than alternatives.
• It is easier and more lucrative to encourage parents in their fear of failure without accreditation than to teach them alternatives, assuming, of course that the providing agency has any knowledge thereof.
• The unaccredited have a greater chance of advanced training in keeping with individual differences.
Now, before leaving this topic, one needs to understand one very important distinction. Alternatives to accreditation are not to be confused with alternatives to post-secondary prerequisite needs. If Biology is a requirement, it is a requirement, but it need not be the “Biology 30” of standard accreditation.
This is to say that if Biology is a requirement for admission in a program, a student will never be admitted without proof of proficiency in Biology, however this can be done through a number of alternatives to accredited Biology 30 from school.