Homeschooling the high school years can be an incredible blessing. You'll find the secondary years offer an amazing opportunity to build into the life of your teenager.

We can help you access the many resources available to help homeschooling parents provide a solid high school program.

Because neither the State of Iowa nor resident public school districts certify homeschool diplomas or transcripts, they don't mandate requirements for them either.

You, as the homeschooling parent a secondary student, will:

  • set your own graduation requirements,
  • create your own transcript, and
  • certify your own homeschool high school diploma.

Does this sound scary? Impossible?

It's not! Let us help!

Sample 4-Year Plans for Homeschooling High School

Here are two sample 4-year plans for high school to assist you in this process.

NICHE members may access our NICHE Resource Guide within in the Member Portal to find suggestions and sources for secondary curricula and teaching materials.

Not a member? Join now!

Supplemental Homescho0l Options
Concerning Senior Year Plus (SYP) and Students Under Private Instruction
A student may enroll through SYP in up to, but not more than, 23 credit hours in an academic year at any one eligible postsecondary institution (excluding summer classes).
Dual enrolled students must receive at least 1/4 of their instruction under CPI (no more than 3/4 provided by school district or Senior Year Plus).
College enrollment/entrance requirements and course prerequisite restrictions may apply.
Local school district approval is needed and the student must meet minimal proficiency requirements.
CPI Form A, and the accompanying CPI option requirements, are required for some of the options. Once the student is over 16, the CPI Form A can be submitted with only minimal information — and no teacher supervision or annual assessment results submissions are required.

Students under any form of private instruction must meet all Senior Year Plus eligibility requirements stipulated by 281—IAC 22.2, which includes demonstrating proficiency in reading, mathematics, and science as evidenced by the student’s performance on the Iowa Assessments. In lieu of Iowa Assessment achievement scores, a school district must allow a student under private instruction to demonstrate proficiency in reading, mathematics, and science by any one of the following means:

  • testing at or above the proficiency cut score on the Iowa Assessments, or other annual achievement evaluation approved for students under Competent Private Instruction (CPI)
  • submitting a written recommendation of the licensed teacher who supervises the student's instruction
  • achieving an ACT composite score of at least 21
  • achieving a total combined PSAT score of at least 141 in critical reading, mathematics, and writing skills
  • achieving a total combined SAT score of at least 990 in critical reading and mathematics
  • meeting any other proficiency standard approved by the local school board for all regularly enrolled students.
Creating a High School Transcript

The very thought of producing a transcript can strike fear into homeschooling parents' hearts.

We’re here to help! The process takes a bit of effort, but it’s not impossible. Your end goal should be to present an accurate representation of what your high school student has accomplished.

Read our blog post on High School Transcripts here.

NICHE Transcript Template

NICHE has created two high school transcript template forms, one organized by school years and the other organized by subject. These fillable (type-in) transcript template forms – along with samples to show you to fill them out – are available on our member portal page. Not a member?

ACT, SAT, & other tests for homeschooled high school students
End-of-high-school tests

Several standardized tests are associated with the culmination of the secondary school years.


If you are homeschooling a student in high school, you'll want to find out more about the purposes of these exams and whether or not your child needs to take them.

Learn more about these tests here.

Graduation & Diplomas

While participation in a graduation ceremony and awarding a print diploma are not requirements, these optional rites can celebrate the culmination of the homeschool years. NICHE sponsors a statewide graduation service every May, which is open to all NICHE member families with graduating seniors.

Parents wanting to purchase a diploma for a homeschool graduate may find one at either of these two sources:

Thinking About College After High School?

Planning for college can seem a bit overwhelming.

It doesn't have to be.

You'll find lots of helpful information in the Iowa College Aid guide called Your Course to College.

Included is:

  • a 4-year checklist
  • recommended courses
  • help in deciding between ACT or SAT testing
  • college and degree lists
  • guidance for selecting a college
  • tips on visits and admissions
  • advice on funding college
  • help for filing the FAFSA
  • and much more. 

Download a free copy of this resource by clicking on the cover image. 

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