The homeschooling wave has been gaining momentum over the past decade, and it’s no mystery why: homeschooling is producing confident, well-adjusted kids who excel academically, and in many cases far exceed the national average of public school students who move on to college pursuits. The statistics prove homeschoolers on average score 25-40% higher on standardized tests than their public school counterparts.
But with new growth comes an inevitable intrusion of opportunists and wannabes eager to ride a fresh wave to financial success. If you are not careful, some courses taken through less credible schools may not be considered valid in the public school system. So how do you know for sure that a homeschool will meet your child’s educational goals AND will be recognized by higher learning institutions across the country and around the world?
Accreditation is certainly the answer – so what is it about accreditation that you really need to know?
The Meaning of Accreditation
Accreditation is a process by which private educational institutions are evaluated against established standards to ensure a high level of educational quality. It is typically accomplished through a peer-review process in which faculty from accredited institutions help to conduct evaluations of either new non-accredited institutions or accredited institutions seeking renewal.
It is important to understand that the term “accredited” can be thrown about a little carelessly by certain institutions – so you really need to know what to look for when beginning your inquiries. All institutions of higher education, whether online or physical, will openly provide information on their accreditation to prospective students. Be cautious of any language that gives the appearance of accreditation when in fact none exists – phrases such as “licensed”, “registered,” “authorized,” or “approved” may sneakily imply an unearned distinction.
Reaching the highest standards possible and a long-term commitment to improvement are what we want to see from our homeschool institutions, and accreditation is a formal method of proof. It forces schools to assess enrollment methods, staff qualifications, materials, resource allocation, program effectiveness and much more. So does it really matter? The answer is yes!
In essence, accreditation is a method of differentiating schools that uphold consistent academic standards from those who do not.
Source: Crosswalk | Jessica Parnell, HomeschoolingHelp.com