Parents know that not all education methods are equal which is why some choose homeschooling over sending their child to a local public school. In the same way, not all homeschool programs are created equal and some may offer a lower quality of learning than others which is why it is important to research and find schools that are accredited.

The accreditation feature is not something that is required from a state’s perspective and there are ways to teach children at home that are beneficial and reliable without it; however, there may also be downsides to working without accreditation. First, it is important to know that accreditation only applies if the family is going to partner with a formal homeschool program that offers print and/or online education options. If parents choose to create their own curriculum, maintain documentation and handle everything themselves in accordance with state requirements then accreditation is not necessary.

However, if parents choose to utilize online homeschool programs so they have access to reliable curriculum, certified teachers and formalized documentation, then accreditation could not be more important.  Homeschool students are not always given the credit they deserve for the work they do.  This can make access to future options challenging, even though the opportunities for homeschoolers have greatly increased over the past decade. One of the benefits of working with an accredited homeschool program is that students are given the credit they deserve and need to pursue their future goals and objectives. Families can have confidence they are working towards a future and that it will be rewarded with action when the time comes.

Parents need to be careful when looking at the top online homeschool programs to ensure they thoroughly review the school’s credentials. Many sites will use strong language that is similar to ‘accredited’ but not exactly the same. Parents should take the time to review the site carefully for information  about their accreditation (or lack thereof) or talk to an Admissions counselor to confirm their accreditation status. Accreditation is not just about having a designation; it is an indicator that the school has been scrutinized in every area including: curriculum, lesson plans, teacher credentials and how they do business. This continuing process is performed by recognized agencies with different focuses so that a school can actually receive accreditation from more than one educational accreditation organization, showing an even greater dedication to excellence. The benefit is that parents can have peace of mind about their child’s education because the primary purpose of the accreditation process is to ensure the online homeschool program meets nationally recognized standards which are accepted by all institutions. The impact is that when students receive their diploma and transcripts and then apply for college, the university notes the accreditation and accepts the classes during the college enrollment process. This makes it easier for homeschool students to be accepted into colleges or universities across the country and gain the higher education and/or careers they want.

Homeschool students are some of the best scholars because of their dedication to self-study, high quality of work and ability to learn outside the traditional environment. It’s critical that they receive the credit and acknowledgement of their good work from places that can affect their future and help them move forward. Look online for homeschool programs with this important designation and enroll your child in an accredited school that backs up their claims of quality and excellence with documented accreditation.

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