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What Are the Best Accredited Homeschool Programs and Online Schools for 2020?

With tens of millions of American kids stuck at home, it’s no surprise interest in homeschooling is on the rise. According to a recent survey, 41 percent of families say they are more likely to put their children in homeschool programs after lockdowns end. Registered Democrats and Republicans expressed similar enthusiasm for homeschooling, showing there are still some issues that attract bipartisan support.

Homeschooling is a very broad term encompassing a range of alternatives to traditional public schooling. These include one-on-one homeschooling by a parent, neighborhood homeschool co-op, and virtual schooling. If you intend to teach your kids at home or organize a neighborhood homeschool, then the first thing to do is check the homeschool laws in your state. The next things to think about are homeschool teaching styles and homeschool curriculum.

The purpose of this article is to help you compare the best homeschool curriculum programs. We understand your child’s education is a personal choice, so we deliberately made this guide as general as possible. Below you’ll find our list of the 10 best homeschool programs for K-12. Many of them are adaptable to different teaching styles.

1. Calvert

Calvert has been providing homeschool programs for 110 years. Given its experience, it’s no surprise Calvert provides the closest thing to traditional objective-based learning at home. Each lesson plan begins with a goal, teaches to that goal, and ends with a short quiz to check the goal has been reached. Calvert has a printed workbook curriculum for grades K-2 and online curriculum for grades 3-12.

Pricing: Grades K-2: $160-380 annual fee; Grades 3-12: $320 yearly fee for full homeschool curriculum, $40 for individual courses.

Core subjects: Language arts, math, science, history & geography, electives

Accreditations: Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, Maryland State Department of Education

2. K12

K12 provides online homeschool courses tailored to the age and skills of your children. From K-8, it offers the option of independent or teacher-led learning. From 9-12, only teacher-led online learning is offered. Given the high tuition fees, K12’s teacher-led program is like a private school your kids attend from home. However, the level of personalization and impressive selection of electives (e.g. personal finance, sports, photography) make the price worthwhile.

Pricing: Most courses cost $260-450 for unlimited 12-month access. Price rises to $900+ when courses are teacher-led.

Core subjects: Language arts, math, science, history, art, music, world languages, electives

Accreditations: Cognia (parent organization of NCA CASI and SACS CASI).

3. Bridgewater

Bridgewater has a homeschooling solution to suit everyone. At each year level, it offers a choice of four types of learning: grade-level printed learning kits, customized independent study; self-paced online learning, and teacher-led live online classes. It offers a core homeschool curriculum, as well as the following specialized homeschool programs: Christian home school programs, student athletes and performers, programs for students with learning disabilities, programs for military families, international homeschooling, and programs for missionary families.

Pricing: Annual tuition varies from $700-$900/year for grade-level learning kits. Online courses range from $350-$700 per individual course.

Core subjects: Language arts, math, science, social studies, electives

Accreditations: Cognia, National Association of Private Schools, and Pennsylvania Department of Education

4. The Keystone School

Keystone National High School is a private correspondence and online distance school based in Pennsylvania. Students can obtain a complete education (and earn accredited middle school and high school diplomas) at Keystone or take courses to supplement another high school or homeschool program. Learning can be done offline with homeschool books or online with teacher-led virtual classes. In addition to its K-12 program, Keystone also offers career school diplomas for adults.

Pricing: Full yearly tuition costs $1,800-$2,800. Individual courses start from $230 for offline and $290 for online.

Core subjects: Language arts, math, science, social studies, electives

Accreditations: Cognia, Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools

5. Time4Learning

Time4Learning offers affordable, engaging, and interactive online learning programs for kids from pre-K through to 12th grade. It can be used as a full curriculum corresponding to state standards or as a supplement to your child’s regular school or homeschooling curriculum. The curriculum is suitable for a broad range of student types, learning styles, and homeschooling methods. Parents get access to printable lesson plans, teaching tools, and detailed reporting.

Pricing: $19.95/m for students from Pre-8 through to 8th grade, $30/m for grades 9-12. Prices for individual classes vary.

Core subjects: Language arts, math, science, social studies, world languages

Accreditations: None

6. Forest Trail Academy

Forest Trail Academy is another of the top accredited homeschool programs issuing universally accepted high school diplomas. It offers a choice of secular homeschool correspondence courses, Christian homeschool correspondence courses, or instructor-led online learning. The correspondence courses are self-paced courses with a book-based curriculum comprising interactive, printable worksheets.

Pricing: Correspondence programs cost $950 per grade level. Online homeschooling costs $1,900/y for K-5, $2,600/y for 6-8, and $3,200/y for 9-12.

Core subjects: Language arts, writing, math, science, social studies, handwriting, and character education

Accreditations: Cognia

7. Laurel Springs School

Laurel Spring is another great choice for any parent looking for a correspondence homeschool program or online homeschool program for their kid. The number one reason to choose Laurel Springs School is for its selective online learning program, known as ‘The Academy’. This program for distinguished students in grades 6-12 offers a personalized curriculum built around each student’s interests, talents, and passions. It includes college prep courses, honors and AP courses, world language courses, college credit courses, and one-on-one academic counselling.

Pricing: Annual tuition for regular curriculum $1,900 for elementary school, $2,600 for middle school, and $3,200 for high school. Annual tuition for The Academy is $9,000 for middle school and $13,000 for high school.

Core subjects: English, math, science, history, art, world languages

Accreditations: Western Association of Schools and Colleges

8. Oak Meadow

Oak Meadow is one of the few exclusively secular homeschool curriculum providers on the market. It’s heavily inspired by the Waldorf philosophy, which seeks to instil a sense of wonder and reverence for creation within each student – but without adhering to any specific religious beliefs. Its grade-level correspondence programs are creative, hands-on, and rigorous, and include many nature-based projects from the early grades.

Pricing: From K-8, there are two choices: $745 for the full curriculum or $120 for individual 36-week courses. From 9-12, courses are sold separately, starting from $115.

Core subjects: English, math, science, social studies, fine arts, health & PE

Accreditations: Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement, Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Northwest Association of Accredited Schools, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Approved Distance Learning School in the State of Vermont.

9. Liberty University

Liberty University is the best homeschool program from among a range of different Christian homeschool correspondence options on the market. Founded in 1972, Liberty University offers a comprehensive biblically based curriculum for preschool through to grade 12, complete with textbooks and teaching aids. Its teacher-directed framework empowers teachers and parents to focus students’ attention on the material they need to learn – and in a sequence that will help them learn it best.

Pricing: Annual tuition starts at $270 for kindergarten and rises to up to $1,290 for high school. Prices for individual courses vary.

Core subjects: Language arts, math, science/health, history/geography, bible, electives

Accreditations: Florida Association of Christian Colleges and Schools, Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools

10. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has a range of courses based on the Saxon teaching method of incremental learning. Its specialty is math, although it also has a range of kits on other subjects. HMH doesn’t offer a comprehensive curriculum. Rather, its kits are best used to supplement your child’s traditional school or homeschool education.

Pricing: Kit prices vary

Core subjects: Math, English, Spanish

Accreditations: None

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