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Free Accredited Online Homeschool Programs

Whether you choose a free or an accredited homeschooling program, the final motive is to make your child excel in the respective realms you want. Today, the internet has made everything handy. The only challenge is to pick the right one.

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Taking into account the crisis-ridden globe where the education sector is alarmingly affected by the pandemic, homeschooling is going to be the prioritized method of education in the near future.
If you are pondering over homeschooling your children fully or partially, the cost is one of the first factors when choosing the perfect curriculum for them. There are plenty of free as well as accredited homeschooling programs and resources that are available online. Some of them provide offline support too.

Free Accredited Online Homeschool Programs 

Along with numerous free homeschooling programs and resources, you can find many accredited programs too. Some of the accredited programs are quite costly, where affordable programs are also available. But there’s no completely free accredited homeschool program yet.
But if you are determined to get free as well as accredited online homeschooling for your children, there are available tuition-free online public or private schools that make free homeschooling available. For instance, Connections Academy and K12.

This definitive guide is designed to lead you through the confusion of choosing a homeschooling curriculum for your children from the numerous available options towards the right pick. 

Free Online Homeschooling Programs

As for the free resources, there are numerous of them. But only a small portion of these resources are presented exclusively for homeschooling purposes.
A majority of these resources are meant to be used by students (sometimes teachers too) from any background like homeschool, public school, or private school with the purpose of getting some aid in their learning.

Let’s get started with the free online homeschooling programs –

1. Discovery K12: 

Discovery K12 is a PreK-12 free online homeschooling platform providing a Non-Common Core, secular curriculum. It includes seven standard courses like Language Arts, Reading/Literature, Math, Science, History/Social Studies, Visual/Performing Arts, and Physical Education.
With 100+ courses, 180 days of curriculum, numerous lessons, quizzes and tests, classic eBooks, etc., it can be a choice for your children. Here, students can sign up with a free student account, whereas Parent/Teacher accounts are a premium upgrade. 

2. Easy Peasy All-in-One Homeschool:

Created by a homeschooling parent, Easy Peasy All–in–One Homeschool is a dependable, completely free online homeschooling resource. It presents a faith-based Christian homeschool curriculum made for students starting from preschool and kindergarten up to the eighth standard. Easy Peasy has a separate site for the high school level.
This free homeschooling site offers 180 days of homeschool lessons and assignments. Along with free online resources, in their store, you get access to workbooks of printables and the worksheets used in the online courses. Their assignment box tracks your child's journey so that you don't lose track of your child's improvement.
The subjects they include are – reading, writing, grammar, spelling, vocabulary, math, history/social studies/geography, science, Spanish, Bible, computer, music, art, PE/health, and logic.

3. AmblesideOnline: 

AmblesideOnline is a free faith-based Christian K-12 homeschool curriculum structured using Charlotte Mason’s principles. As they claim, their curriculum enables children to relate efficiently with everything around them.
The subjects AmblesideOnline includes are Reading, Geography, History, Literature, Science, Phonics, and Poetry. The curriculum is structured keeping at the forefront the unique needs of each child.

4. At Home Middle School:

As the name suggests, this site provides free, secular online educational resources for middle school students (6th, 7th, and 8th grade).
They provide a consolidated syllabus by pulling together “the best free online curriculum, from sites like TedEd, CK-12 and Crash Course”. The subjects they include are – Language Arts, Life Science, Math, Social Studies, Great Artists, Spanish, Coding, and Chess. Having 180 lessons for each subject, the students need to complete one lesson of 30-60 minutes for each subject every day.

5. Under the Home:

Under the Home is another free online K-5 homeschool curriculum based on the Charlotte Mason style.
They follow a self-paced standard 36-week school schedule for their lessons except for phonics, reading, writing, and mathematics. The site provides all the required digital materials for the provided topics. This site is built to make homeschooling convenient for busy families.

6. Khan Academy: 

Khan Academy is a nonprofit organization with a vision for free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere. Khan Academy is not necessarily a homeschooling platform, although you can use it for homeschooling purposes.
This platform offers personalized learning resources for all ages. They include subjects Maths, Science, computing, history, art history, economics, and more, along with K-14 and test preparation (SAT, Praxis, LSAT) content. As they claim, their resources are being translated into more than 36 languages in addition to the Spanish, French, and Brazilian Portuguese versions of their site.

7. HippoCampus: 

Powered by a non-profit project, HippoCampus is an open resource for free, personalized learning. It started with the purpose to improve access to quality education for everyone. The website provides rich multimedia content including videos, animation, and simulation intended for general education subjects to middle school, high school, and college levels. The resources are intended for both teachers and students.
HippoCampus provides thousands of free videos in 13 subject areas included under the categories of Math, Natural Science, Social Science, and Humanities.

8. cK-12:  

CK-12, too, is not a distinguished homeschool curriculum; but you can use it for homeschooling purposes. It provides online free resources with a mission to enable everyone to learn in his or her own way, at one’s own pace.
The offered subjects are Math, Science, English, Social Studies, Astronomy, Health, Engineering, Photography, Technology, and Adult Education.  
They introduce the option to choose from the national curricula of the countries Chile, Brasil, India, and Georgia. Moreover, you can avail your curriculum translated into multiple languages like Spanish, Korean, Deutsch, Chinese, Greek, and Polski. With cK-12, you can start your courses without even signing up.

Accredited Online Homeschooling Programs 

What Is an Accredited Homeschooling Program?

An accredited homeschooling program means that the particular program is recognized by an accreditation agency. You make a particular payment to an accredited homeschool for keeping the records of your children.
Some reputed homeschool accreditation agencies include Cognia, the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA), the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), and the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA).
Accreditation indicates that a homeschool program can attain the standard norms and set of instructions regulated by an accreditation agency that can fulfill the needs of students.

Is Accreditation Essential for Homeschooling? 

To answer in one word, no.
No state requires your homeschool to be accredited. Accreditation is just a matter of choice, not an inevitability. In case you want to be more secure with your chosen curriculum, and you want it to be acknowledged by other outside bodies, and are ready to pay for that at the same time, then you can definitely opt for an accredited homeschooling program available online. If you are a fully homeschooling parent, that can be a great option for you.
Easing up your toil, here’s a list of several affordable accredited homeschool programs –

1.  Bridgeway Academy

Bridgeway Academy offers internationally accredited K-12 homeschool programs along with every requisite to the students, and the required tools and guidelines to the parents. It facilitates you to choose from a variety of homeschooling curriculum options.
They provide both online and offline activities for the elementary standard, live online classes, one-to-one instructor, self-paced learning, interactive online high school programs, and skill development for both college and career success. The high-school students in Bridgeway Academy can choose to go for dual enrollment classes thereby earning an Associate’s Degree while still in high school.
Their diverse homeschool programs include faith-based Christian homeschool programs, programs for student-athletes and performers, for students with learning disabilities, for military families, for missionary families, and international homeschool programs.
Bridgeway Academy includes diverse plans differently for different grades. Their Pre-K and Kindergarten plans start at $1,295.

2. Calvert Homeschool 

With world-class accreditation, Calvert Academy is another K-12 homeschooling option that offers you a 30-days free trial with complete online access to 45 courses and other available features.
They believe in keeping learning contemporary, fun, and engaging. Along with introducing student-friendly courses, they provide 24/7 parent and student support.
Calvert includes subjects of history and geography, language arts, math, science, and spelling. Apart from these, they offer certain new electives including computer programming, foreign languages, etc.
As for pricing, Calvert Academy’s plans start at $229/month.

3. Abeka Homeschool 

Abeka homeschool is an accredited faith-based Christian homeschool providing textbooks, video lessons, teaching aids, and more. They claim to be a video homeschool and offer a free trial for one full week of streaming video lessons.
Abeka offers a homeschooling curriculum for K4-12. They provide the students with flexible lesson plans along with comprehensive expert-level teaching. Besides, they believe in spiral learning.
Their plans are varied based on differential parameters.

4. Oak Meadow Homeschool

Oak Meadow is a secular, accredited K-12 homeschool as well as distance learning school with a zeal for holistic learning.
Students with Oak Meadow get attentive, one-to-one support throughout their personalized learning experience. Their flexible curriculum is designed in a sequence to support the unique developmental needs of children. 
In Oak Meadow, their subscription plan starts at $2,995 a year (10 months). However, they introduce a tuition discount of 10% for siblings and military families.

5. Forest Trail Academy

This accredited online K-12 homeschool provides a flexible but comprehensive curriculum advocating self-paced learning. Students obtain personalized attention from certified teachers as they claim.
Forest Trail Academy assigns a Guidance Counselor for each student, who works with the students creating a Personal Graduation Plan. Moreover, as they say, their high school diploma is accepted by colleges across the world.
Their tuition plan starts at $1,900 (for K-5).

How Do You Choose Your Homeschool Program?

Now the question comes, how do you choose a homeschool program from these diverse options? Go through the following analysis to form an idea about that.
Make Your Choice between Two: 
First off, make sure whether you want to go for a free homeschooling program or an accredited one. Certain considerations will come your way to decide this
  • First comes the budgetary concern. If you have a tight budget, you can choose a free homeschool. Otherwise, you can go for an accredited one.
  • Some free homeschooling programs can be on a par with an accredited one. If you are still not convinced, you can make your own syllabus by mix-matching different homeschool programs, thereby providing your kids a quality education without having to break the bank. 
  • If you are homeschooling your children only partially, then there’s no need to go for an accredited homeschool. You can always opt for mix-matching your syllabus.
  • In case your children are enrolled in any public or private school, and you are still picking homeschooling for certain reasons like the pandemic’s affecting your children’s education, choosing free homeschooling will be a wise decision for you. 
Gauge the School Type You Are Looking for
Point out what kind of a program you are looking for. Measure your preferences between secular and faith-based homeschooling, between specialized and generalized attention towards your kid, between a diverse and a uniform syllabus, between academic and holistic education, and between a flexible and strict curriculum.
Find out Your Needs 
You must have some basic needs that motivated you to step up for homeschooling your kids. You should look for a homeschool designed to fulfill your needs. For instance, you might have to travel too much. Your child may have a busy schedule pursuing his or her career in a field other than education. Your child might be struggling with some kind of learning problem. You might belong to a military family. Hence, search for a program that will fulfill your requirements.
Ask for Your Kid’s Opinion 
At the end of the day, it is clear that you are choosing a homeschooling program for your child/children. And without their interest, it's a complete no-go. Hence, before choosing a program for your kids, don't forget to ask them for their opinion regarding the program.

Final Reflections

Whether you choose a free or an accredited homeschooling program, the final motive is to make your child excel in the respective realms you want. Today, the internet has made everything handy. The only challenge is to pick the right one.
Hopefully, this discussion will lead you towards your right pick.

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Accredited Homeschool
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Shilpi Saikia
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