Jul 122013

ALL About Accredited Homeschool Programs as options for your high school student. Learn about accreditation and find accredited homeschool programs.accreditated homeschool programs

This article is all about accreditated homeschool programs. After you understand the pros and cons for using accreditated homeschool programs, you may find our lists of homeschool high school options helpful:
Virtual High School Programs for Homeschooling High School
Distance Education Programs for Homeschooling High School

What is an Accredited Homeschool Program?

To become accredited homeschool programs, the program undergoes an examination. The accrediting agency examines the school, comparing it against a set of standards, to determine if the institution meets their requirements. The standards are often based on “best practices.” The agency examines different pieces of the program such as student services, teacher qualifications, technology usage, curriculum, financial policies, etc.

Schools do not have to be accredited to offer diplomas. Any institution can develop and offer courses “for credit”, and issue degrees. Courses from unaccredited homeschool programs will not have the same credibility as similar courses from accredited homeschool programs. This is because no oversight agency examined unaccredited course offerings to determine if minimal quality standards were met in the delivery of instruction.

That’s not to say unaccredited programs aren’t as good, or maybe even better than accredited program. In the world of public education, public schools and colleges put more stock in accredited homeschool programs. Some colleges require accreditation, but many do not. SO, it is wise for you to look at the requirements for colleges your child may want to go to.

How Accredited Homeschool Programs Might Benefit You

If your child is using one of the accredited homeschool programs, then it is more likely his homeschool courses will be accepted by another school. Say, for example, you become extremely ill or are killed in an accident, it might become impossible for you to homeschool. If your child has to be enrolled in a local school, will they accept the courses your child completed as part of your homeschool?

It depends. You’d want to know your local school system’s requirements for accreditation or acceptance of “transfer” credits for your child’s school work to date. Some schools only accept accreditation from one of the BIG Regional accreditation agencies. They won’t accept some accreditation from Christian or other agencies. Some won’t accept any incoming credits unless your child can pass a test for the subject.

For example, our local school system requires the students take “End of Year” course tests for each already completed course. If the homeschooled student passes the EOY test, she gets credit for the class. If she doesn’t she has to take the course over again. If your child finished the courses in 9th grade, and is in 11th grade when she takes the test, it could be really difficult to pass the tests. She might end up having to repeat all of her high school courses in our county. And that is even if the parent has used one of the accredited homeschool programs!! :-O It’s kind of scary!

Another benefit is that some colleges require diplomas from accredited homeschool programs for college admission. If your child has such a diploma, then he will be more readily accepted. Some scholarships similarly require that diplomas be from accredited homeschool programs.

One of he nicest benefits of many accredited homeschool programs is that the program provider makes your child’s transcript and issues the diploma. You wouldn’t have to worry about those items.

Drawbacks of Accredited Homeschool Programs

If you chose one of the accredited homeschool programs will lose some degree of control over your child’s education. You may not have any flexibility in course materials or course choices. This can be a significant issue for a Learning Abled Kid if the program only uses text for teaching.

You have to abide by all of the accredited homeschool programs rules. A lot of accredited homeschool programs require proctoring of tests, have deadlines for assignments or tests, and don’t allow your child to “re-do” a unit or assignment. With my guys, if they failed a unit, I liked to be able to start the unit over and rework it since the whole point is to learn the content.

Also, not ALL colleges require accredited homeschool programs. In fact, an increasing number of colleges accept homeschoolers without any oversight from accredited homeschool programs. Therefore, accredited homeschool programs aren’t necessary if you are flexible about your child’s college choices.

Back on a sudden traumatic illness or event, if your child is not in an accredited program, that doesn’t mean your child HAS to be put in a traditional school. You may have relatives or friends that would be willing to commit to homeschooling your child. Consider your options as part of your decision about whether to use an accredited homeschool program.

Oversight programs 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 company will issue an accredited diploma and handle transcripts for your child’s college application. That can ease your mind if you don’t mind losing your freedom of choice over your child’s education.

There are significant trade-offs for using accredited homeschool programs. Be sure you’re willing to be constrained by their rules and requirements and willing to give up your freedom in exchange for greater “acceptance” by traditional educational entities. Only YOU can make the decision about which is right for you!

You may find our lists of homeschool high school options helpful for picking an accredited homeschool program to be of interest.
Virtual High School Programs for Homeschooling High School
Distance Education Programs for Homeschooling High School