iccadmin, Author at American Academy

What is a Homeschool Co-op?

Homeschool Co-op

What is a Homeschool Co-op?

A homeschool co-op is a group of families who meet and work together to achieve common goals. Homeschool co-ops are usually organized around social time, extracurricular activities, and other non-academic class requirements that students need to graduate like art, physical education, and music. Activities and classes that are part of a homeschool co-op may be led by parents, or the parents pay for teachers and activity leaders. There may be as few as three families in a small co-op or as many as several hundred children in the largest co-ops.

Less formal co-ops are typically led by one or two main leaders who form the co-op with a specific vision, usually in support of goals for their own children. They usually plan meetings, arrange a meeting location, and strongly influence the schedule and offerings of the homeschool co-op. They’ll typically try to find other parents who share their vision and who are willing to work co-operatively on the details of activities. Most decisions are made by voting, with guidance from the leaders.

More formal and larger co-ops may have a board of directors and a designated administrator who takes care of and oversees all operations of the homeschool co-op. Decisions for these co-ops are usually governed by a vote by the directors, who are frequently parents of children participating in the co-op. Some co-ops may be ministries of churches, and therefore they fall under a church’s administration.

What’s The Difference Between a Homeschool Co-op and a Homeschool Group?

Local homeschool groups tend to be larger and more general purpose than homeschool co-ops. The purpose of homeschool groups help homeschooled students socialize by planning events like field trips, days in the park, parties, and clubs. Some homeschool groups may also create a homeschool co-op that is one of their activities. Other co-ops are completely independent of any larger homeschool group. Often, people meet at a homeschool group and spin off in their own smaller co-op. There is also a small version of a homeschool co-op that is sometimes called a club. These typically are arranged around one activity or academic subject area, and may meet less frequently like once a month.

What Are The Benefits of a Homeschool Co-op?

A homeschool co-op provides an opportunity for homeschooled students to experience learning in a group atmosphere without having to attend public school. A homeschool co-op can also make what might be a boring class at home alone a much more enjoyable endeavor. It’s a relief for students not to be the one expected to give all the answers and a learning experience to get the input and perspective of other students.

Some subjects require equipment or supplies that can be expensive for a family to purchase to teach the class effectively, such as a microscope and other lab equipment. A homeschool co-op allows the group to share the expense of equipment by all helping pay for it. Sometimes it’s necessary to hire an instructor for classes that parents feel unqualified to teach, such as a foreign language or a high level science course, this expense can also be shared among participating families making it possible to provide high quality classes.

The main thing to remember about participating in a co-op is that it is not a one way street. Parents need to work collaboratively to create something that all the families benefit from, and you and your child are expected not to just receive from the homeschool co-op, but also to give to the co-op.

homeschooling vs public schooling

The Benefits of Homeschooling Vs Public Schooling

Are you a parent that’s thinking about enrolling your child into a homeschool program?

Are you having concerns if homeschooling your child is the right thing to do compared to public school and their programs?

You may have heard from other parents that homeschooling their child was the best decision they’ve ever made, but you’re concerned that your child may not develop the social skills they will need to help bond with other kids and adults.

If you’re presently having these thoughts, it is perfectly ok.

We’ve talked to many parents during our consultations, who have experienced the same concerns that all parents feel.

In the end, we’ve come to realize all parents just want their child to have the best education possible while simultaneously building communication and life skills.

This post will point out the benefits of homeschooling vs public schooling and why homeschooling, in our opinion, is the best option for your child’s education and social development.

Here are the benefits of homeschooling vs public schooling:

You’re accountable for your child’s learning

Yes, following up on your child to make sure they are learning important subjects in a timely fashion can be exhausting but imagine public school teachers having to deal with 30+ kids for 8 hours? Your child may not get the attention they need if other kids are battling for the same attention from their teachers.

You have the flexibility to choose their curriculum

When it comes to education, you want your child to learn how to read, write, and develop math skills, in addition to gaining transferable skills such as learning how to become a leader, developing software engineering skills and other specialized programs. Also, if you come from a religious background, you will want your child to develop the same morals and principles. Do you think you will get that from a public school program? Probably not. When you enroll your child into a public school setting, you’re now at the mercy of their curriculum and philosophy. If you’re a parent that’s selective in what you want your child to learn, homeschooling should be at the top of your decision making.

Your child can grow up better compared to other kids in public school

According to Family Education, kids who are homeschooled tend to develop fewer problems compared to kids who went to public school. This is because homeschooled kids have some alone time where they can self-reflect on what they learn and what topics and subjects they enjoy. This is a big contrast compared to public schoolers are being watched around the clock. Also, homeschoolers can develop social skills by having play-time with other homeschoolers and kids in their neighborhood as well as joining social and sports programs.

homeschooling vs public schooling

Now that you know that benefits of homeschooling vs public schooling, you as a parent should be comfortable to enrolling your child at an accredited online homeschool where your child will have the best education, attentiveness, and social development they deserve.

Online Home School Program

What It Means To Be An Accredited Online Homeschool

An accredited online homeschool means the school has met the standards and requirements as defined by that school’s accrediting organization. The school’s accrediting organization monitors the school on a regular basis to assure it meets the needs and provides a quality education for all of its students. Accrediting agencies may also regulate things like teacher to student ratios, the level of academic training of instructors, how the school promotes its programs and study methods.

Our accredited online homeschool educational program’s quality assurance is self-evident from our accreditation with the National Association of Private Schools. We take that accreditation seriously and we are very proud of our accomplishments. Upon graduating from our academy, every student’s diploma will be accepted by colleges and employers across the country as an accredited home school diploma enabling graduates to receive the scholarships and financial aid that a student with a public school diploma may receive.

The American Academy provides an accredited online homeschool educational program based on the mastery of course material.This program focuses on the level of instruction being held to the textbook’s individualized learning materials, not on the level of the class. In essence, the student earns the grade instead of being passed from grade to grade through exposure instruction, without mastery.

Students entering back into a state-accredited public school from the American Academy may be tested by the receiving public school to determine if he/she should be placed in the desired grade level, or if certain credits may be transferred to the receiving school.  Public Schools are not required to accept credits from schools not accredited by the state or regional accrediting agencies. For additional information concerning re-entry into the public school system, call our office and ask to speak to the administrator.

American Academy accredited online homeschool program graduates are accepted at colleges and universities, however, some colleges may wish to validate the high school diploma before the admission of the student may be approved.  Private Colleges and Online Private Colleges follow different policies for admission and may require other options for college admission.

The American Academy is a leader in Christian Education and one of the finest names in accredited online homeschooling. The American Academy is recognized and used across the nation with a proven reputation in the educational community. Enrolling today is the first step to a quality education that will be the foundation to your child’s future.

Homeschool Socialization

Homeschooled students having terrible social skills is the most prevalent myth about homeschooling and is the most incorrect. Based on the curriculum, homeschooling allows students to interact with family, neighbors, and other members of the community while the public school system requires students to learn in the classroom with the same 30 kids every day. Here are options available to homeschooled student to help with their socialization skills.

Homeschool Groups

You’re not alone when it comes to helping your child’s socialization skills. Homeschool support groups often schedule field trips and days in the park as opportunities for your child to socialize with other children and make friends. You can search for these groups online. There are plenty of websites that help homeschoolers search for groups in their state and may be a good place to get started. Remember that some homeschool groups have specific religious or pedagogical beliefs, and that you may have to look around a bit to find one that fits you, your child, and your homeschooling style.

Extracurricular

Most states require schools to allow homeschooled students to participate in extracurricular activities at the school they would have attended while others leave it up to the school district. Contact your local public school to ask whether they allow homeschooled students to participate in extracurricular activities and to ask for a list of available clubs, activities, and sport teams. You may also be able to find some information on the school or school district’s website.

Classes and Clubs

When it comes to classes and clubs, you have a lot of different options to choose from. Most towns have a recreation centers that offer sport leagues and summer camps. Public libraries tend to offer a wide range of different classes to learn new skills and if you child is interested, they usually offer some type of book club. Remember that socialization is just as important as any course your child might take. Children have a developmental need for social interaction with their peers so make sure to expose your child to many different avenues for socialization. As children work out who they are and where they fit in the world, they benefit from being exposed to a variety of different people and activities.

While homeschooled children can be well socialized, don’t assume it will happen automatically. Listen to your child when they ask about making friends or participating in activities outside the home, be on the lookout for new opportunities and places to take your child, and be willing to make changes if things aren’t working. If you feel your child isn’t getting enough interaction with people outside your home, ask them what they’re interested in, and what they’re looking for in terms of friends and time with friends.

The Homeschooler’s Guide To College

There’s a misconception that homeschooled students have a lot of trouble getting into college. While this was true about 20 years ago, colleges are making the process of admissions just as simple and fair as it is for non-homeschooled students. Many colleges are now seeking out homeschooled students because they tend to be excellent college students. We’ve compiled a few tips that you can put to work to ensure that your college admission process is smooth and successful.

Keep Records

Over the course of your 4 years in high school, your grades are recorded on your transcript and from that, your Grade Point Average or GPA is determined. Your GPA is sometimes ranked against your peers so colleges have an idea of how well you’ve performed. For homeschooled students, this system doesn’t apply because there are no other students to compare to. For this exact reason, it is important to keep a well-documented record of your coursework and your performance with that coursework. Some colleges may ask you to provide examples of projects and assignments you have completed so they can better judge your academic performance.

Along with your GPA, colleges will ask for detailed course descriptions for all of the classes you have taken. When writing the course descriptions, if you can demonstrate that your performance was impressive without the use of options by your instructor, it will go a long way with the application committees.

Standardized Exams

Taking standardized exams like the ACT and SAT have proven to be beneficial for both homeschooled and non-homeschooled students when it comes to applying to colleges. However, for a homeschooled student, they are even more important. Since admission committees have little to base your GPA on because they don’t have other students to compare you to, the SAT and ACT are a great way for them to compare your scores to other students in your area that took the same exam.

Extracurricular

As with non-homeschooled students, colleges look for students that have participated in extracurricular activities, clubs, and athletics. For homeschooled students, participating in extracurriculars can be difficult since they are usually offered by public schools. However, did you know that depending on the school district, homeschooled students can be allowed to participate in all the clubs, athletic teams, and events offered by the school? Look into your local school district’s policies and other local extracurricular opportunities.

Take a College Course

Supplementing homeschooled courses with courses at a local community college will go a long way toward alleviating any concerns about the student’s ability to transition from homeschooling to a traditional school setting. While you can provide everything necessary to prove the difficulty of your homeschooled course to an admission committee, community college courses are graded on a standardized scale that offers application committees a demonstration of your abilities.

Applying and getting accepted to colleges can be tough but with this simple guide,  hopefully, the process can be less daunting. The most important thing to remember during this whole process is just because you are homeschooled doesn’t make you inferior or reduce your chances of getting accepted into a great college. If you prove to the admissions committee that your coursework was just a rigorous and that your extracurriculars are just as important, then you have nothing to worry about.

Online Homeschooling Advantages

Each child has their own individual strengths and weaknesses when it comes to learning, so some students will benefit to homeschooling more than others. Explore some of the hidden advantages of online homeschooling and decide if online homeschooling is right for your child.

Accessibility of advanced programs

Online homeschooling allows for the greatest amount of flexibility, from hours spent to courses offered. In public schools, some students can find themselves not being academically challenged. With online homeschooling, students can access a wide variety of education programs including advanced placement courses. This allows students to reach their full potential and prepare for what comes in their college education.

Focus on their interests

Online homeschooling allows students to receive a tailored education because curriculums can be crafted around the student’s needs, strengths, weaknesses, and learning difficulties. Online homeschooling provides a better experience and interaction for when a student is having a difficult time grasping a concept or subject. Online homeschooled students may also show more self-motivation and interest in their areas of study which is one-factor colleges look for because this usually means the student is also more self-disciplined, will take more responsibility for their education, and are more likely to complete their college education.

Saves time

Students spend 6.5 hours on average each day they are in school. A majority of this time is spent wasted on teachers waiting or trying to calm down an entire classroom of students. More time is then spent on helping some individual students grasp a concept while others might not get the help they require. Online homeschooling cuts down the time spent in the classroom because there are no other students to calm down and no other students to help learn a subject. This saves time which can be alloted to other activities and with less students, this allows for more personalized help with subjects.

Focus better

Homeschooling curriculums are customizable in way of teaching and learning for the child, which can help them learn at a faster rate than public school children. The curriculum can then be adjusted to help the student better understand while in public schools the student would have to either seek out a tutor or be left behind and get a better grasp of the subject on their own.

 

These are only a few of the many reasons why online homeschooling is a smart and viable option for your child. Although there are many other benefits associated with homeschooling and your child’s education is a priority, enrolling today is the first step to a quality education that will be the foundation to your child’s future.

benefits of homeschool

The Benefits of Homeschooling

For centuries, parents have been taking their child’s education into their owns hands and homeschooling their children. In the past couple of decades, homeschooling has gotten more popular and has become a more acceptable alternative to traditional educational environments, particularly for parents with concerns about school quality and safety. While the benefits of homeschooling and online homeschooling may be different on a student-to-student basis, there are some distinct advantages that apply to the educational practice as a whole. Since a homeschooled students education is usually managed by the same person over a long period of time, their education plan can be consistent previous taught topics and courses.

Homeschooled students received a tailored education from their teachers because curriculums can be crafted around the student’s needs, strengths, weaknesses, and learning difficulties. Homeschooling provides a one-on-one experience and interaction for when a student is having a difficult time grasping a concept or subject. The curriculum can then be adjusted to help the student better understand while in public schools the student would have to either seek out a tutor or be left behind and get a better grasp of the subject on their own.

In public schools, scheduling conflicts like family emergencies or extended family vacations can cause students to fall behind if they missed days of school but with homeschooling that issue is nonexistent. Homeschooling allows classes and homework to be taken on the go and learned anywhere. Online homeschooling, in particular, has made virtual classrooms easier and more convenient than ever because it allows so much flexibility. Online schools do follow a conventional school calendar, and some courses do have fixed schedules for the student, but as long as students are on track and communicate with teachers, they have more flexibility in where and when they complete lessons and assignments.

Homeschooling better helps students prepare for college by teaching them the importance of taking responsibility for their own learning. Homeschooled students may also show more self-motivation and interest in their areas of study which is one-factor colleges look for because this usually means the student is also more self-disciplined, will take more responsibility for their education, and are more likely to complete their college education.

Homeschooling is considered the most beneficial educational experiences and when homeschool student was asked about it they reported that they were much more independent in their approach to life and learning. They had never felt the need to follow the crowd, and this served them well. In regard to having to solve learning problems, they were much more independent in seeking out the answers themselves.

 

myths about homeschooling

5 Biggest Myths About Homeschooling

Homeschooling has been around for hundreds of years. Still today, there are stigmas and myths about homeschooling despite the fact that it is more popular than ever before. Let’s dispel five of the most common myths about homeschooling, so you can make the best decision for your child and your family.

  1. Homeschooled kids don’t learn as well

Every homeschool program is extremely specific because every child learns differently so how each understands and absorbs new information is unique. Homeschooling curriculums are customizable in way of teaching and learning for the child, which can help them learn at a faster rate than public school children. Homeschooling allows for better one on one attention with your child in case your child has questions or is having difficulty learning a subject.

  1. Homeschooled kids have poor socialization skills

This is the most prevalent myth about homeschooling and is the most incorrect. Based on the curriculum, homeschooling allows students to interact with family, neighbors, and other members of the community while the public school requires students to learn in the classroom with the same 30 kids every day. Homeschool teachers can also look for local homeschool groups that meet up for activities like field trips and days in the park. Another option for getting homeschooled kids to socialize is some school districts require schools to allow homeschooled children to attend extracurricular activities that they would have attended as if they attended public school.

  1. Parents aren’t qualified to teach

Parents are actually the most qualified person to teach their child. Parents have taught them how to walk, how to talk, and most importantly they watched them grow up. Parents know how their child learns the best to be able to create a curriculum that best suits their needs. In today’s world, parents have a better chance than ever to teach their children with all the online resources and online courses with that provide a professionally crafted curriculum that fit individual needs.

  1. You can’t get into college if you are homeschooled

This myth about homeschooling is another one that is incredibly incorrect. Some schools actually seek out homeschooled students because they possess certain qualities and skills that some public school students lack self-discipline and self-motivation. Now every college handles homeschoolers differently as far as the acceptance procedure but getting into college isn’t nearly as difficult as everyone thinks.

  1. No extracurricular activities for homeschooled kids

Homeschooling allows for students to spend less time in the classroom because there is no waiting for a classroom of 20+ students to calm down, there are fewer distractions, and their teacher isn’t spending a large amount of time helping individual students. With this free time, homeschooled students are able to take on new hobbies, get involved with the community, and join in on extracurricular activities at their local school if the school district allows it.

There are a lot of misconceptions and myths about homeschooling but homeschooling in the United States has been growing at a faster rate over the last decade than it ever has before. Hopefully, these 5 biggest myths about homeschooling have cleared up any misconceptions you may have thought.

Why parents should consider homeschooling

Why Parents Should Consider Homeschooling

 

When it comes to homeschooling your children, there are so many benefits compared to sending them to public school and even private schools. As a parent, you want your children to have the best education that life has to offer, so they can have the tools they need to navigate and survive in the world that they are living in today and to the future.

Again, the question is why parents should consider homeschooling for their kids and how it can benefit not just for the kids, but for you as a parent. Here are our reasons:

Learning Can Actually Be Fun

While you are teaching your children, of course, you may start teaching them basic math, reading and writing skills, and reading comprehension. A problem may come up as to how to make these kinds of subjects actually fun so your kids can retain the information.

One way of making learning fun is to use animations heavily and using words that will keep your children engaged. I’m sure you’re well aware that kids can be easily distracted by their surroundings, so using fun and interesting education material will keep them engaged.

Social Interaction Can Be Improved

Many parents concerns come down to their kids being social with other kids. They believe that because there’s hardly any interactions outside of the home, that they won’t build up the social skills needed to work with others as they grow up as adults.

A parent will actually be surprised that even though their kids can enlist in a public or private institution, they still could lack social skills because of bullying and peer pressure from other kids. So what’s the remedy? Homeschooling can improve your children’s social interaction with others is by having them join extracurricular activities outside of the home.

This can be taking piano classes, joining sports organizations, or attending a homeschool co-op. This can be done every week in addition to their homeschooling education.

Children Can Excel Academically

With homeschooling, there are no set schedules to teaching your kids. You can find out easily build on your kids’ strengths and if there are weaknesses you can personally work with them to improve it.  You can go as fast or as slow as you like and there will be less pressure for your kids to cram the information you are teaching them.

You Can Teach Your Children Your Own Morals and Principles

This is probably the most important reason why parents should consider homeschooling their children. When you leave your children in the hands of other individuals the majority of the time, there is a greater chance that your children can be easily influenced to do things that are against your morals and principles.

Think about it, if you are working for eight hours Monday through Friday and taking care of other affairs, how much time do you actually spend the time to teach your children about life through your worldview? Not much time, I bet.

With homeschooling, not only you can show them your worldview, but you can teach your kids how to budget, how to manage their time to balance between education and play. By doing these task, this will absolutely make you a much better parent.

We are sure there are more reasons why parents should consider homeschooling, but these four points are a great start.

Tips For New Homeschoolers

Tips For New Homeschoolers

As new homeschoolers, we know that educating your kids is a tough task to take, and we also know that having tips and guidelines can help you on your journey. Here are a few tips for new homeschoolers that have worked for us along with other homeschooling families.

 

  • Don’t try to be like public and private schools. We believe this should be obvious. Make the setting in your home fun and inviting for your children giving them an awesome atmosphere of having them feel less pressured so they can retain the knowledge that you are teaching them very easily.

 

  • Ignore the naysayers proclaiming that homeschooling your kids will turn them into hermits. Your kids can join clubs, groups, and co-ops to learn how to build social skills with other kids. Who’s to say that all kids that are homeschooled spend the majority of their time just learning. By involving education and play, it teaches them time management skills which is beneficial to live in the present, technological world. 

 

  • Connect with other familiesOnce you get inside a community of homeschoolers, you’ll be encouraged that you’re making the right choice for your children’s future.You can find a community offline and/or online just by searching through sites like meetup.com.

 

  • If possible in your calendar, attempt to attend a homeschool conference.

 

  • Like we’ve mentioned briefly, we live in a technological world. Use technology but do not turn out to be dependent on it. You may use a computer-based curriculum and you could experience computer glitches. Make sure you do physical books at hand just in case.

 

  • When you are homeschooling your children, always start with one subject such as Math. Then in the next week, add in an additional subject. With this strategy, your children will not feel overwhelmed and disinterested.

 

  • This may go against your will and nature, but there’s no need to do each and every subject each and every day! Keep in mind that public schools supply music once per week, possibly twice. Science is taught only two or 3 days per week, as well as the same goes for history, geography, social studies, foreign language and much more. You will kill yourself wanting to fit in six subjects each day.

 

  • You will be surprised by how a handful of materials you need to teach. Again, start slow and steady with just one subject. Once, you assess that your children are picking up concepts of the subject quickly and easily, add in an additional subject to your curriculum.  

 

  • At American Academy, we can not over-emphasize the importance of reading and math. They’re the keys to everything else your kids will learn. Do every little thing in your power to develop strong readers and small mathematicians.

 

At the end of the day, This is YOUR school. But if you as new homeschoolers follow these tips, you will be well on your way to develop your children into world-class citizens.