We recommend an accredited homeschool program!
An accredited homeschool program has several benefits. The first benefit is so you know the school or homeschool program has been thoroughly audited to surpass minimum requirements as a school or program. Accreditation requires a curriculum audit to check for educational standards, plus how the curriculum reviews past concepts and prepares for future concepts. Many parents do not have the time to check for these hidden curriculum essentials year after year. Accredited schools or programs must submit any changes to the accrediting organization for evaluation before implementation.
Homeschool programs with more than one accreditation have an added value. Some homeschooling options have an accreditation from an organization recognized by a state’s Dept. of Education, plus an additional accreditation that may also evaluate a particular emphasis such as Christian education. One accreditation may be similar to what public schools use. A second accreditation may evaluate additional Christian or private school values the first accrediting organization does not evaluate. See Accredited Christian Schools for more information about specific accreditations.
Accreditation is technically not required for K-12 by the Federal Dept. of Education, but can be very beneficial in many locations. In some regions or districts, high school credit may not be transferred to public schools unless the credit was earned under a state or district recognized accreditation. It is our opinion that credit under an accredited school will raise less red flags in annual registration in tougher districts, counties, or states. Even if transferring to a different school or relocating your family is not planned, an accredited homeschool program may give some added flexibility.
Generally, accredited homeschool programs have a school number used for college entrance, military, or FAFSA (financial aid). This can save a homeschool parent or student considerable time.
Accredited homeschool programs, especially ones with multiple accreditations, have some additional expenses to acquire and maintain accreditation. We believe it is worth the additional cost for a well accredited program.
A popular distance learning example that offers an accredited homeschool program: Southeast Academy
We recommend these two larger nationwide PreK-12th grade schools mainly because they meet or surpass our “Ten points to review before choosing a homeschool program”. They are a financial value for the benefits they provide. Both of these schools have regional accreditations recognized by states, counties, and districts, plus have a separate private school accreditation. Both have been in existence over 30 years each. They use a Christian worldview curriculum for building character and traditional values. Although they are both PreK-12th, they offer price and support options for 3rd-8th grades to meet varied needs. They use booklets for PreK-2nd that dovetails into an online format at 3rd grade, plus offer some combination booklet and online options for 3rd through middle school. An annual achievement test is included in tuition for most grades. They offer “no credit check” payment options. Most importantly, they diagnose new students for any missing concept mastery, then use a custom plan to correct any problems.
Other helpful pages:
Something to consider about free or low-cost homeschool options. Freehomeschooling.net
How can I afford homeschooling costs? I’ve heard it is expensive.
Why homeschooling makes sense. Homeschool Efficiency
How and why to homeschool. How to Homeschool