An accredited home school curriculum is a program that is certified by a private organization, known as an accrediting agency, as having met certain standards. Here's some information about the pros and cons of accredited homeschooling.
Parents who use accredited curricula value the structure and record-keeping these programs provide. They want to make sure their children receive a quality education that will be readily recognized by colleges and employers.
However, accredited programs are often unnecessary for high school diplomas or college admission. In fact, many public high schools are not accredited. Here are some reasons parents would choose NOT to use an accredited program.
An accredited homeschool curriculum is designed to meet the need of the accrediting agency, not the needs of the child. These programs can be expensive and inflexible, and their grading systems may not accurately reflect a student's knowledge and ability.
According to the National Center for Home Education's August 24, 2006 report entitled Homeschool Enrollment in Colleges and Universities, "accreditation does nothing to measure a students knowledge or what he was taught, it merely reflects where he was taught." (Emphasis added.)
Homeschoolers who avoid these programs don't want to be told how or what to teach. They resist the intrusion of outside agencies into the home, and they realize they do not have to use an accredited curriculum to give their children a good education.
For more information, read veteran homeschooler Mary Hood's essay, The Dangers of Accreditation.
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