Sometimes, figuring out the differences between online school and homeschooling can be a bit tricky. Since Excel High SchoolEarly on, we worked with families who wanted a fully online experience for their students, as well as those who wanted to use our curriculum to supplement their homeschooling. Our education experts have identified the following key differences between online education and home education:
- • curriculum
- • Employee support
- • Timelines
- • State requirements and accreditation
The first difference between a fully online high school and a college is the curriculum. When you use the full-time online program, you are provided with 100% of the curriculum. As a parent of an online student, you don’t have to research, create, or grade anything. All of your child’s academic records are maintained and recorded online by your student’s high school. We provide you with content, videos, quizzes and final exams for all of your child’s classes. Teachers provide feedback on your student’s essays and our office provides your child’s official transcript.
Homeschool families often prefer to implement some of their own curriculum and supplement it with individualized courses from an online resource. Excel High School allows anyone to enroll individual courses through our “Summer School” or “Credit Recovery” class list. These classes are the same as the courses we offer to our full-time enrolled students, but parents can choose which they want to use to supplement their own curriculum. Many homeschool families like to add faith-based courses to their curriculum through a provider such as Northgate Academy100% Online Christian School.
Whether students attend a 100% online high school or want to take a few of our unique classes along with the original family homeschool curriculum, one thing remains the same. Using a pre-made online curriculum at any grade level frees up parents’ time as curriculum creators and records managers, so they can focus on supporting their students, encouraging them, and finding great new ways to help their children become well-rounded and responsible adults. .
Another difference between online school and home schooling is the availability of staff support for both parents and students. Students attending traditional online schools like Excel have access to teachers they can email from their dedicated learning management system. Every middle or high school student enrolled full-time also has Academic Success Coach which parents and students alike can turn to for advice on planning, navigating our online system or preparing for college. This takes that burden off the parents’ shoulders and allows them to focus on other ways of supporting their children. Full-time students with EHS also have access to unlimited online tutoring through Train the Brain, where they can choose a tutor, sign up for lessons and receive tutoring from anywhere with an internet connection. We even offer SAT prep course help prepare your student for college admissions.
Homeschooling families must go through all the curriculum explanations themselves unless they enroll their children in online tutoring such as train the brain. In addition, homeschooling families are responsible for being clear about the requirements their children must have in order to attend college or university. In other words, homeschool parents must be their children’s parent, teacher, administrator, registrar, tutor, and academic advisor.
Most online schools have deadlines for completing each level. For example, Excel High School gives each of our students 12 months to complete one level. While this is significantly more than most traditional brick-and-mortar schools expect, it is different from families who educate their children entirely at home.
Excel’s 12-month flexibility still allows students to take breaks to explore other interests, travel with family, or complete projects to help them become more well-rounded individuals, but there is no such timeline in true homeschooling. This can be a disadvantage for homeschoolers because sometimes you run out of time and suddenly your student is scrambling to graduate on time.
State requirements and accreditation
The last major difference between online education and home education is accreditation. Accreditation is how colleges and universities know that your students have completed a sound, academically sound program. Schools must go through a rigorous documentation process where independent agencies review the school’s curriculum, processes and policies and sign off on the program’s viability. Accreditation ensures that a school like Excel meets specific nationally standardized criteria. In layman’s terms, accreditation means that a diploma from EHS is the same as a diploma from a traditional public high school.
Homeschool families must keep careful records with sample lesson plans, class records, and evidence of student work for many different states. States may require students to take and pass various standardized tests, and colleges or universities may deny admission if a family cannot demonstrate that their students have completed a legitimate and viable academic program. This record keeping can be stressful and even overwhelming for families, but it is completely possible; it just takes attention to detail and an organized system.
Ultimately, parents can choose which system is best for their family. Homeschooling has come a long way since the beginning of the homeschooling movement, and now there are many resources available online, including supplemental courses from a trusted online school. The choice boils down to the time available to parents and their ability to take on many different roles in their child’s educational career. Whichever path you take, as the person who knows and cares for your child better than anyone else, we know you will do the best for your child’s future.
registration into one of the programs available at EHS is 100% online and quick and easy! However, if you are interested in Excel High School and would like more information, please do not hesitate to contact us at 800-620-3844 or text us at 952-465-3700. Our knowledgeable admissions counselors are happy to help you consider your options and tell you more about what EHS can offer your family.