Accredited homeschooling - to do or not to do, now that's a very good question!
You may be a new homeschool parent or considering homeschooling, and want to know about accredited homeschooling, and if accredited curriculum is better than non-accredited programs.
Your child’s education is on the line and making sure you lay a good foundation when beginning to homeschool is important.
Making informed decisions based on knowledge, will help you spend your money wisely and minimize or eliminate wasteful purchases.
As a homeschool group leader, I know from working with many homeschooling families over the years, that many new homeschoolers OVER SPEND on unnecessary products and services because they do not have the knowledge yet or experience to know what choices to make.
When it comes to accreditation and choosing homeschool curriculum or programs for your children, it is important to know the facts. It can have an huge impact on your financial decision or decision to homeschool.
(Some parents looking into homeschooling look at the available prepackaged curriculum and think that homeschooling costs too much and decide to continue to use the "free" public schools.)
I found an easy-to-understand definition of accredited homeschooling on Wikipedia: "Accreditation is a type of quality assurance process under which a facility's or institution's services and operations are examined by a third-party accrediting agency to determine if applicable standards are met. Should the facility meet the accrediting agency's standards, the facility receives accredited status from the accrediting agency."
In most countries in the world, the function of accreditation for educational institutions is conducted by a government ministry of education. In the United States, however, educational accreditation is performed by private, non-profit membership associations."
Homeschooling is educating or teaching your child at home, so accredited homeschooling would be teaching your child at home using an accredited program or materials that have been approved by a third-party.
Some homeschool curriculum publishers choose to provide accredited homeschooling curriculum, others choose not to have a third party give the accreditation, "seal of approval".
Becoming accredited is an entirely volunteer process, in other words, a publisher of homeschool curriculum is not required to become accredited.
A common reason for not becoming accredited is to avoid conforming to secular curriculum content standards and the freedom to focus on biblical principles, character, academic excellence, etc.
Accreditation doesn't make a curriculum better than another, and does not guarantee that your child will get higher grades in school or get accepted at better colleges.
It only means that the educational program or curriculum has been examined by a third party and there are a number of organizations who approve educational materials.
Accreditation does raise a parent's confidence! It can eliminate the worry a homeschooling parent feels when being responsible for their child's education and future.
Knowing that you are using curriculum that meets certain educational standards provides the needed security parents want, or to help ensure a child is ready for college or higher learning.
However, do not base your curriculum decision solely on whether it is approved or accredited homeschooling curriculum. There are many publishers – large and small who offer wonderful materials for homeschooling families that give the results you want.
It's more important to choose homeschool resources or programs that work best for your child, your family or lifestyle, fit your budget and compliment your values or beliefs.
Most public schools are accredited and use accredited curriculum. A question to ask yourself when considering accredited homeschooling for your family... is accreditation benefiting or making a profound impact on public schooled children, their education or test scores? Is the quality of education higher?
Accreditation should not be your MOST important factor when choosing the best homeschool curriculum or program for your family.
What school did you go to?
We have all heard that question repeatedly throughout our entire life. Often it is used to measure achievement, superiority or personal accomplishment.
Greatness, wealth, or future job achievement is not dependent on what school a person attended. Throughout history many great people have come from humble beginnings, attended small colleges or have had no college background at all - many were even homeschooled! :)
The same is true when choosing a homeschool program or curriculum. A common question most of us ask each other is “What curriculum are you using?” It’s natural to want to know what others are doing, its easy to use it as a measuring stick for our own home schools.
To be honest with you, I just asked a friend of mine that question the other day! :) I hadn't seen her in a year or so and found out she started homeschooling! The first thing that came out of my mouth, after saying "great!", was...
"What curriculum are you using?" :(
See, we all do it! Just don’t fall into the comparison trap or thinking someone is achieving more success because of the products they are using. What they are doing, may not even work for you.
So rest easy if you can not afford accredited homeschooling programs or curriculum, or find one that works for your family.
Focus on the more importantly on what your child is learning, their character, and achievements and making wise, informed decisions.
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