There are several benefits of a homeschool program through an accredited school.
Even though there is a tuition cost for accredited homeschool programs, it is offset by saving transportation costs to and from a campus-based school. Not only do you save gas, but expensive wear and tear on your vehicle. Driving time and schedule stress is also removed twice per day. This is extremely important when you have more than one child that will likely end up in different schools at some point. If that saved time is applied to supervising the student’s homeschool work, very little additional time is needed for the parent to homeschool. Later, the pressure to consider a high school driver is also removed. Even very short school commutes will add up to over $1000 per year.
Even if your child can walk to school or take a bus, the annual bill for school lunches adds up! Often, school lunches are expensive and may not be as nutritional as home cooking. The use of sack lunches cost more than eating at home, and often nutrition is compromised. School lunch costs are normally over $500 per child per year.
Even if you live next door to the school and qualify for free lunches, extra money is needed for the volume of fashionable clothes or uniforms that are required for school. Students naturally have more pressure to have a variety of clothes than if homeschooling. This also creates extra laundry costs and parent labor time. It is not uncommon for campus-based students to need several hundred dollars for extra clothing.
On top of these additional costs for “free public schools”, many schools require fundraiser participation that often involve parent time, transportation costs, and inescapable parent purchases. There are also classroom snacks and party participation costs. There are additional school events that cost gas and time to attend. There are other hidden school costs that add up throughout the year. Even if some spending is done for extra activities, homeschooling can allow you to invest in activities the family decides, not activities chosen by others.
Money saved by homeschooling will often cover the costs for a tuition-based accredited homeschool program. These programs have multiple benefits.
Someone besides the parents expects quality work to be done on time. This is a strength that most homeschool parents realize, only too late. It also provides the opportunity for the student to please additional people and be recognized for achievement.
An accredited homeschool program can offer ongoing teacher support. This is especially valuable for middle and high school. Some parents may need this because of academic limitations. Some may need this because the parent has difficulty assisting the student due to personalities or other reasons. Some may need this because the parent works from home and cannot always offer immediate help to the student. Teacher support can save the homeschool parents time and reduce student frustration. Even computerized curricula will require a human to regularly do subjective scoring of the student’s work. Normally, the portion of tuition that covers subjective scoring is one of the greatest values available to homeschoolers.
If you take the cost of the accredited school tuition and divide by the number of school days in the year to find the cost per day, you will often find the cost of the program is a value for the benefits you receive. In the daily cost, you get curriculum, teacher support, accreditation, school diploma, annual achievement testing to analyze growth, records management, and other benefits. For some students, it offers a school identity. For others, it offers support to make your homeschool a success.
Savings Over Do-it-yourself Homeschooling
An accredited homeschool program will mainly save the parent substantial time over a program the parent puts together. For many, time has a monetary value. An accredited program that supports your homeschool also provides insurance for when the parent’s schedule temporarily changes or the parent gets occasionally worn out. An initial estimate of parent commitment in the beginning may change later. An accredited homeschool program protects from that issue. An accredited program can better support a work at home parent.
Why is the word “accredited” used so many times on this page? It is mainly to distinguish between options with high support and those that offer little or no support. Accredited homeschooling options must include support levels that free options or curriculum-only options cannot provide. The parent saves time from having another person (subject teacher) the student can use for help via an online interface with the curriculum. The parent saves time from not having to maintain student records. The parent saves time from not having to do subjective scoring. The parent saves time and money by not having to arrange annual achievement testing to monitor academic growth. The parent saves time by having a school number for college entrance tests, financial aid, and other situations where it is more time consuming for independent homeschoolers. The parent saves time from ensuring concepts spiral properly through the grades. There are several other time saving benefits for the parents.
Here are two accredited homeschool programs that were selected by a combination of cost, years in existence, accreditations, better online transition options for younger students, Christian worldview, achievement testing included, pre-K through 12th, high school science labs, options for teacher support in younger grades, and additional benefits. Both have hundreds of students in all 50 states. Both are structured for late starts and mid-year transfers. Also, these programs were reviewed as the lowest cost for services supported. Southeast Academy Western Christian Academy