Jul 122013

Correspondence Schools for Your Child’s Homeschool Diploma

Correspondence Schools allow you to homeschool your child while submitting evidence of work completion to a company who will ‘certify’ your child’s progress. When your child has finished the entire course of study, the Correspondence Schools will issue a diploma. They will also handle your child’s transcript for college applications. With any of these Correspondence Schools, be sure to verify the school has accreditation if you want an accredited high school program.

It is your responsibility to verify the Correspondence Schools accreditation at the time of your application/ You also need to be sure the accrediting agency’s certification is accepted by colleges your child is likely to attend.

Correspondence schools are far less common than they used to be! As the list of Correspondence Schools programs dwindles, the list of virtual high school programs grows!

If it doesn’t matter to you whether the school is virtual, you may have better luck with our list of virtual high school options these days. 😉

You can see a list of all of the accredited schools by visiting http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/ and downloading their list of all accredited programs.

Long-Standing Correspondence Schools

Below are organizations which offer oversight services nationally and correspondence high schools:

American School – Is one of the long time Correspondence Schools that has been around a long time. It is well-known, and a nice low-key option. American School produces their own course books and materials which are not known to be rigorous. If your child needs to meet high academic standards for college, this may not be the program for you. American School is said to be “easy” by many homeschoolers and offers the benefit of letting a child get an accredited diploma without spending hours on academics. As one of my friends pointed out, American School allows her child to engage in many extra-curricular activities because her school work can be completed in a few hours each day. American School is probably fine for any child seeking admission to a fine arts college.

Keystone National High School – Is one of the long-term Correspondence Schools. It has relatively rigorous programming for your child’s high school program. Keystone has offered correspondence courses for a long time and is moving into the Virtual High School arena. Keystone can offer you flexibility. You can have your child take some courses online and some correspondence courses as long as Keystone continues to offer traditional correspondence courses.

North Atlantic Regional School (NARHS) – This is an Oversight organization that allows you to pick your child’s curriculum from dozens of choices. It’s not really in the family of correspondence schools, but a close enough option that I thought I’d include it. The NARHS program guide includes lists of programs that can be used to meet required credits in various courses. You can pick from any of the “acceptable” choices and build a flexible program tailored to your child’s specific needs. This is one of the most flexible programs available although it is up to you to build your child’s program. There are no pre-packaged courses offered by NARHS. It is strictly an oversight agency, not an actual school.

James Madison High School Their website used to state outright under the High School info: “we cannot enroll students who have previously taken special education courses for academic reasons.” Even if someone did not disclose the prior receipt of special education instruction, and has an aptitude to do complete their classes, the discriminatory stance earns JMHS a definitive thumbs down in my book. We decided to bypass James Madison altogether after asking them about exceptions to their policies. At the time, they had no exceptions. I wanted to include JMHS in the list so you will know they exist. For me, it’s the principle of the thing.. I cannot, in good conscience, recommend an organization who shut out persons who learn differently rather than supporting and encouraging them. :-/ They now say they help struggling learners. I’m not certain of how much their culture may have changed, so they may be fine. Feel free to explore them knowing what their stance used to be.