Skip to Main Content
Parent Reads Online learning tips

Accredited Homeschool Curriculum

Accredited Homeschool Curriculum

Boost your child’s homeschooling with an accredited homeschool curriculum

Homeschooling has become increasingly popular in recent years. According to the National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI), over 3.1 million students (grades K-12) were homeschooled in America during 2021-2022. 

Yet, homeschooling can be a daunting task for most parents. What do you teach? How do you structure lessons? How do you make sure your children are educated to a suitable grade level? How will you keep records? How can you ensure that their homeschool education doesn’t interfere or complicate their academic options in the future? That’s where an accredited homeschooling program can come in handy. 

First, we need to understand what accreditation means. Basically, it’s the third-party evaluation and assessment of an organization's work against nationally recognized standards. This is a big reason why many homeschoolers choose accredited online schools like Apex Learning Virtual School because we can provide record-keeping and transcripts. Keep in mind that state record keeping requirements vary. For instance, even if you currently live in a state with no record keeping requirements, having an official transcript from an accredited school can be additional peace of mind and eases a transition if you place your child in a local public school, for example, or move to a state with more requirements. 

Accredited homeschool programs also offer support and engaging academic courses that are flexible enough to enrich your child's learning beyond traditional homeschooling. In addition, you can feel reassured that your child’s hard work will be recognized by other institutions, opening the door for scholarships or further education courses. In fact, some universities and colleges won’t even consider homeschooling as valid without some sort of accreditation.

In this article, we take a closer look at the different types of accreditation, to help you make an informed decision on the best homeschool curriculum for your children. 

The Process of Accreditation 

Accreditation is normally achieved through a peer-review process. Staff from an accredited agency will perform on-site evaluations of the academic and business practices of a school. To apply, an educational institution must have been open for at least two years to ensure long-term success. 

Accrediting bodies can differ slightly, but the accreditation process is basically the same. Below are the main elements that are required for an accreditation review:

 It’s worth mentioning that the term “accredited” can be thrown around a bit carelessly. So, it’s important to know what you’re looking for. Any school that has received appropriate accreditation will be willing to provide all the necessary information to prospective students. Be wary of terms like “licensed,” “approved,” and “recognized” because these don’t always mean accredited.

Bear in mind that homeschooling laws also differ depending on individual state requirements. So, it’s a good idea to check out the U.S. State Regulations of Private Schools Index.

Types of Homeschool Curriculum

There’s no real one-size-fits-all when it comes to homeschool curricula. Parents choose to homeschool their kids for a variety of reasons, from religious to medical. So, the form of homeschool curriculum you choose will depend on your beliefs and the individual needs of your child.

Below are the main types of homeschool curricula:

Traditional Textbook Curriculum 

This is the most common method for homeschooling because it closely resembles traditional teaching methods. This type of homeschooling uses textbooks that add structure to a lesson, often accompanied by workbooks or teacher guides.

Unit Study Curriculum 

Unit studies are a popular alternative to traditional teaching. Children learn about a particular topic in-depth, incorporating different subjects like history, language arts, and social studies. 

Montessori Curriculum 

The Montessori curriculum puts a strong focus on a practical hands-on learning experience. Creativity and curiosity are encouraged, creating a more student-led approach than more traditional methods. It emphasizes multi-sensory learning with the use of specifically designed materials. 

Religious Curriculum 

The religious curriculum encourages children to learn through the exploration of the world around them and make connections to their own lives. Depending on their religion, families can choose a curriculum that centers around their beliefs, often including scriptural and moral aspects.

Key Features of Accredited Homeschool Programs

Accredited schools deliver consistent high-quality education to their students, no matter which accredited program they choose. This is generally due to fewer distractions and increased self-motivation. Additional benefits include:

Professional Teacher Support 

Many online programs provide one-on-one support and academic resources for homeschooled students, such as online teachers and virtual classes. For example, we offer individualized feedback and support to students through our team of experienced, state-certified teachers. 

School Counselors and Coaches

Some accredited online schools like ALVS also offer students valuable resources like school counselors and coaches. These professionals are adept at supporting students throughout their academic careers and help them make important decisions as it relates to courseloads that will set them up for success in college and beyond. 

Record-Keeping Services  

Accredited educational institutions perform comprehensive record-keeping and grade reporting. So, you can enjoy helping your child learn at home without the added worry of wondering how many credits your child needs for higher education or what classes they need.

Choosing the Best Accredited Homeschool Curriculum

Today, there is a wide variety of homeschooling curricula to choose from. So, it’s important to think about your family's needs and preferences to narrow down your decision. Take your time and do your research.

Some of the factors you need to consider include:

Consider your teaching style — Are you creative-minded or do you prefer a more structured approach? You need to make sure that the curriculum style suits you as well as your child because you’ll both need to be fully invested in the process. You may also want to think about why you want to homeschool your child; is it because they need individualized attention, more meaningful experiences, or something else? This will help you determine the best course of action. 

Consider your child’s learning style — Every child is unique. So, what works for one child may not work for another. Think about whether your child prefers to be more hands-on, visual, or enjoys reading and writing. This will help you to work out the most appropriate learning style that aligns with your child’s interests.

Evaluate the depth and breadth of the curriculum — You need to make sure the curriculum you choose aligns with your educational goals. Curriculum catalogs are filled with different learning approaches, subject areas, and philosophies. 

Check flexibility and customization options — Many accredited schools will offer you a variety of learning options depending on your preferences. For example, at ALVS, we offer enrollment in our full-time school or part-time virtual learning courses. This allows families to mix and match curriculum to best suit their needs. Although we offer a recommended schedule, students can work faster or slower as necessary. Don’t forget that some curricula will also require more parent involvement than others. So, be realistic about your abilities and availability.

How to Implement an Accredited Homeschool Curriculum

It can take a bit of planning and organizing when you first start homeschooling your child. Below are a few handy tips to keep you on track:

Plan your homeschool schedule — Plan a schedule so your child has a good routine and knows what to expect. Don’t forget to add scheduled breaks! You also need to consider your own working hours. Be realistic and stick to your schedule as much as possible. You might find that a calendar comes in handy, especially when you’re first starting out with homeschooling.

Establish a positive learning environment — Allocate a specific room in the house for schooling lessons. Make sure it’s bright, inviting, and quiet, with a comfortable desk area that contains all your child’s learning materials. You can even decorate your child’s working area with motivational quotes and/or educational posters to promote a positive working environment.

Tips for Maintaining and Updating Homeschool Curriculum

As a homeschooling parent, you don’t need to be a qualified teacher. However, you are required by law to make sure your children receive an education that’s appropriate for their grade level.

Below are a few tips on how you can stay up to date with the accredited homeschool curriculum:

Do regular assessments — Performing regular assessments and tests with your child will help you to keep track of their progress and make any necessary adjustments. 

Keep pace with changing educational standards — Education regulations and academic standards are constantly assessed. So, you need to stay up to date with any changes. You can do this by regularly communicating with your child’s online teacher or by regularly checking updated education standards through your local education agency.

Now that you know more about the benefits of accredited homeschools and curriculum, it’s important to consider. ALVS curriculum is accredited by Cognia and can work alongside your current homeschooling. Part-time courses can supplement an existing program, and full-time enrollment can the program itself. Plus, ALVS can provide record-keeping and transcripts which is a key benefit for those who may move out of state or need documents to enroll in a secondary school in the future. Lastly, our accredited program offers students invaluable resources — from engaging courses to school counselors and coaches, and professional teacher support. ALVS has also earned full accreditation from the Accrediting Commission for Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges, a distinguished recognition attesting to the exceptional quality of our educational program. Choosing ALVS means that your academic journey is not only recognized in the US but also holds weight on the international stage.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Does accreditation matter in homeschooling? 

The risk with homeschooling is that your child’s grades will not be recognized by further education institutions. However, accredited educational institutions follow a rigid, high-quality structure that’s widely accepted, just like a high school diploma. This will give you peace of mind that your child’s efforts will be rewarded.  

What does it mean if a curriculum is accredited? 

There is a common misconception that specific curriculums are accredited — this is not true. Only educational institutions can be accredited. This, in theory, means that all their courses are high-quality and follow standard education guidelines adopted by private and public schools. 

How does a curriculum get accredited? 

A curriculum can’t be accredited, but an educational institution can. For an institution to be accredited, it needs to go through a rigorous review process whereby its practices, lesson plans, and staff are assessed by an accreditation agency. 

What are the key benefits of using an accredited homeschool program? 

An accredited homeschool program offers flexibility, compared to more rigid private or public school education. Going with an accredited school will also ensure that any course you choose is likely to be accepted by most universities and colleges and that high academic standards will be adhered to.

Similar Blog Posts