The first step for a successful homeschool education is to find the top accredited homeschools online that offer the curriculum and world view that aligns with your own. This begins with an online search of the best homeschool programs, comparing them together for services, cost and curriculum. It is a good idea to speak with a representative in the Admissions office to ask questions and find out how to get started as the process may be slightly different for each platform. This is especially true if your student is not starting at the beginning of the year and may require an evaluation to determine the proper placement within the grade and which credits can be transferred.
Most families make the switch to homeschooling prior to the start of a new grade or school year as this is the easiest time to transition both for the student over the natural break and from an administration perspective. Parents can choose to start their child’s education in kindergarten with homeschooling or move away from the traditional format into homeschooling in a later grade for a specific reason. High school is also a popular transition time because teens have more activities (sports, jobs, arts, etc.) to balance with their school work and the older students prefer the flexibility that homeschooling allows them in creating their own schedule. Other reasons for switching include school bullying, health issues, employment relocation and custom learning for students who work at a faster or slower pace than their peers. Homeschooling provides a custom education atmosphere where students can express themselves without being concerned about any other standards than the ones they set for themselves and completing the program within the sufficient period.
Some of the events above create a situation where students transition to homeschooling after the start of the traditional school year so it is necessary to work with the accredited homeschools online to determine the requirements and the process. Students may also transfer in between semesters such as over the Christmas/holiday break, but be prepared in advance by requesting the student’s documentation from their original school as staff usually only works part of this time and is off the remainder. Homeschool platforms will not generally require the student to repeat work from the first half of the year but if they switch after the beginning of the second semester then this may not be the case. Parents will need to work with the Admissions staff to help determine the best time to make the switch so it benefits their student and keeps moving them forward. Older grades will have more to consider while young elementary students should be able to make the transition easier due to less stringent courses and requirements.
One of the most important steps in transferring a student to the accredited homeschools online is getting the prior school’s academic records so they can be given to the new school. This is a necessary step because it allows the homeschool program to see what the student has already accomplished, their grade level and where they need to be placed. In some cases, the student may still need to take a placement test, but this is best discussed with the staff to determine if this is necessary or not. Parents may be able to complete a form allowing the homeschool program to request the records from the old school be sent directly to them, but this step must happen before a student can begin the new course of study.
Transferring to the homeschool approach may be an option in order to help students advance a grade ahead when skipping a grade is not allowed by the public or private school. In these instances, it is important to let the staff know the purpose and intent from the beginning so they can provide the right path for the student to succeed. Additional documentation may be needed and students will likely need to undergo a placement test to confirm they are able to handle the higher level of work (aka skipping a grade). If the goal is to switch back to a traditional platform after the year, working with the top accredited homeschools online is critical because these records will need to be sent to the school and approved for the upper grade level placement. Another thing to keep in mind if the goal is to go back to a local public or private school is that they will accept the classes and credits from the homeschool program. If you work with an accredited platform then this should not be an issue but it is still best to check in advance so the work is not wasted and no classes will need to be retaken.
Seniors looking to finish their final year as a homeschool student need to plan ahead and complete enrollment before the beginning of the year so there is no delay in graduation. The majority of homeschool programs require the entire senior year be worked through their program in order to establish a reliable transcript and record documentation for colleges. Juniors and seniors can also choose to participate in the dual enrollment program so they can graduate with their diploma and Associate degree but this requires pre-planning with records to ensure both entities will accept prior courses. The accredited homeschools online guidance counselor is the best person to speak with to put together a ‘path to graduation’ plan for the student whether they enroll at the beginning of high school or towards the end.
Homeschooling provides more flexibility than any other educational format because students can work through a textbook or online, create their own daily schedule and adjust work as needed through the year. For this reason, it has become more popular with families looking for an alternative to the traditional school and the best accredited homeschools online are designed to make the start and transition process as smooth as possible for parents and students. Work with Admission representative to determine what is needed in cost, supplies, documentation and setup to ensure the student has everything they need to start their school year the best way.