Accredited Online Homeschool Programs
How can you choose the best homeschool program?
If you have been debating on keeping your child in a traditional school or finding a homeschool program that will benefit them, you are not alone. Many parents ponder this same feeling every year and it may be a difficult decision. However, knowing how to find the right homeschool program for you and your child will make all the difference.
It is absolutely crucial that you research these programs in order to choose the best one. The most important thing that you will want to find out is how long the homeschool program has been in existence. You don’t want to choose one that has just started and have your child’s education become an experiment. At American High School, they have been working with curriculum and children for over ten years! This means that they will know exactly what your child needs in order for them to succeed in their educational needs.
Should you choose an accredited homeschool program?
When you begin researching through multiple homeschool programs you will want to see if the school is accredited through an agency that will be recognized in your state. This doesn’t mean that you have to choose a homeschool program that is specifically offered through your state. You can still choose a program that allows you to focus on the values that you find most important in their education.
In order to find out if a program is accredited, you will want to find out if they have a school number available. This number will need to be used for the following:
- College entrance
- College financial aid (FASFA)
You will also want to find out if the credit’s that your child earns throughout the program can be transferred to a traditional school if your child ever returns to a campus.
When you begin your research you may notice that some states have harder education requirements for homeschool curriculum. If you choose a program that is accepted nationally, you will be able to bypass these requirements with little effort.
Are there homeschool programs for younger students?
Many online schools are created with older students in mind. However, this doesn’t mean that your younger child’s education should suffer if you choose to teach them their education from home. Online learning can be difficult for children who cannot properly use a keyboard or have not yet learned how to write legibly. It is recommended that your child waits until 3rd grade to begin a complete online curriculum. Not all children can make the transfer from paper to a computer the same way. This is where it becomes important to pay attention to your child’s individual needs and adjust your homeschool program accordingly.
Generally, the transition occurs between 3rd and 5th grades. During these grades, you may find it helpful to choose a program that will allow you to work on a combination format with both online and written curriculum. This can be valuable and help your child be as successful as possible since they will be able to complete certain subjects on paper and gain an extra year of handwriting experience which can benefit them in the future. Not all children will need this transitional education but finding a homeschool program that will cater to your child’s needs can only be beneficial in the long run.
Should you find a homeschool program that offers standardized testing?
When you decide to move forward with homeschooling you may want to get away from the common core state standards. However, standardized testing does not mean that you are aligning to these core standards but it shows that you have chosen a school that is monitoring their academic results for the following:
- Where they can improve
In fact, if you find a program that does not use any type of assessment testing to measure their achievements over the last year you should be concerned.
While there are some states that do not require homeschooled students to complete standardized testing but they will require some type of achievement test results to be submitted to a local school district.
The homeschool program that you choose should facilitate the testing so that the student has knowledge in key areas and is not unfamiliar with any part of the test. When you speak to a school about their homeschool program, they should be able to discuss this testing and any fees that may be associated with it.
Will the homeschool program allow you to transfer your credits?
If your child is beginning a homeschool program after already attending a traditional campus-based school, you will want to find out if they will transfer any credits that your child has already earned. Some schools may even help you with the entire transfer process. This means that they will contact the school that your child has previously attended and handle everything for you.
By doing this, the new school will be able to help you get your child’s academic record in shape so that they can be sure to complete every class that is needed.
Will your homeschool program offer extra academic support?
While many parents think that when they homeschool their child they will be on their own entirely there are some programs that will offer some type of counseling and assistance. This is not the same as academic help that your child would receive with a traditional school program.
You may want to find out if the homeschool program that you are interested in will include subjective scoring. This means that you will have a teacher on call that can assist you with grading homework that involves writing paragraphs or essays. Not only does this assistance help the parents but it also encourages the child to work harder when they know that someone other than a parent will be viewing their completed work. Support offered through a homeschool program can also help parents from getting burned out by doing everything on their own.
Some schools offer this assistance for a low cost and it is always optional. As with any homeschool program, it is something that you will want to keep in mind.
Can the homeschool program be utilized from kindergarten through graduation from high school?
If your child is just starting out in their education, it may be beneficial to find a program that offers all grade levels. If you choose a program that your child can stay with from beginning to end it will offer structure within procedures as they advance from grade to grade.
In addition to that, by choosing one homeschool program, you will be able to register yearly with your school district with much less hassle and stress.
Lastly, by enrolling in a K-12 homeschool program such as the offered through American High School, all of your children will be involved in the same program which will help you remain efficient in a curriculum.
Should you choose a homeschool program that is known nationwide?
Some families plan to stay in one school district forever, other families have to move quite often. By choosing a homeschool program that is recognized nationwide, the transition while moving will be much easier. You will not have to deal with transferring information from one school district to the next or worry that your next school district will make it hard for you to continue homeschooling.