Today there is a lot of take about using accredited homeschool programs especially for high school. Do you really need one? Let's look at the pros and cons of using a program.
It is a homechool program that has been reviewed by a third party accreditation organization. The program has to meet certain standards set up by the organization. In the United States the organization is a private company, not part of the government. There is no standard for accreditation. An accredited program may be accepted in one area of the country but not another.
A lot of the public schools are accredited. Homeschool programs look similar to the public school curriculum.
There are homeschool programs for children pre-kindergarten through high school. Your child does schoolwork online or in workbooks that are sent back to the academy. The academy then scores the paperwork.
Some states classify using accredited homeschool programs as distant learning not homeschooling. Distant learning is a more accurate definition. To be part of a program you need to belong to an umbrella school or an academy.
When you homeschool independently you have more choices. You can choose curriculum from different venders. You do not have to follow the academy's recommendations. You can use Bob Jones to teach history and Lifepacs to teach language arts. You can even write your own curriculum or use unit studies. I like to choose my own curriculum. Also if I don't agree with something in the curriculum I can choose not to teach it.
When you do not use a set program you do not have to conform to their timetable. Most programs use a 180 day schedule and give you 12 months to finish the schoolwork.
Most programs are focus on academics. For me education is a lot more than academics. I want to teach my child character and life skills.
There are ways to get support without going through an accredited program. If you do not feel comfortable teaching a subject you can look for a tutor. You could find a tutor through a homeschool co-op.
If you cannot find a tutor for your child, you child could take classes at a local college. College classes are usually reserved for children who are juniors or seniors in high school. If your child takes college classes he can receive dual credits.
I have read about children who have been homeschooled and gone to college. Most did not use an accredited program. Some of those children even received scholarships. A good place to read encouraging articles is The HomeScholar.
Some parents choose to use a program to give them more confidence. Most programs have some kind of academic support. You or your child can talk to a teacher either by e-mail or by phone.
Most programs provide transcripts and diplomas.
If you do choose to use a program remember that it will cost you extra money. You will have to buy the curriculum and pay to use the services.
If you really want to look at accredited homeschool programs here is a short list. There are many others. I chose these because you can use their products without belonging to their academy.
With Alpha Omega academy you can choose Switched on Schoolhouse, Lifepacs, or Horizons curriculum.
A Beka academy uses textbooks from A Beka and video instruction.
There are many way to homeschool some people choose to use accredited homeschool programs.