What to Look for in Online Christian Schools
by Mark-Elliot Finley, Exodus Contributor
When looking for an online school, the possibilities can seem daunting. But what about when we are looking for an online Christian school? What sort of things should parents be paying attention to when deciding on the right online Christian program? This blog gives you three things to consider before deciding on the best online Christian school for your family: 1) accreditation, 2) teachers, and 3) support.
As with any online school, ensuring the program’s accreditation is extremely important. According to the Department of Homeland Security, “accreditation is the recognition from an accrediting agency that an institution maintains a certain level of educational standards.” Accredited schools ensure students receive proper credit for the work they do. Once college applications come along, homeschool students can signal to admissions committees that they come from an official online program. Some examples of accreditation agencies include Cognia (formerly AdvancED), New England Association, and Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) However, there are also Christian accreditation agencies, such as Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI), American Association of Christian Schools (AACS), and International Christian Accreditation Association. When looking for the best online Christian school for your family, ensure the school is accredited, preferably by a Christian accreditation agency.
Another thing to keep an eye out for are the teachers employed by the online Christian schools. Chances are, you decided to pull your student out of public school because of your disagreements with the teaching and curriculum. As your student transitions to an online Christian program, you should research what certificates are required for the programs’ teachers. All teachers should be certified in some capacity. Teacher certifications are typically facilitated through individual states, with each state having specific educational qualifications for teachers. Along with being certified in their home state, teachers can also get an online teaching certificate, ensuring they are proficient in online education. An example of an online teaching certificate program is the Online Learning Consortium. Christian teachers can also get certified in Christian curriculum, through opportunities such as the ASCI’s Teacher Certificate program. As you are scouting out prospective online Christian schools, ask the administration what certification process their teachers go through. Ensuring your student’s teachers are properly certified will give both you and your student a sense of peace.
Just because you are looking at online educational options doesn’t mean you have to forgo support for either your family or your student. When looking at possible online Christian schools, be sure to ask about the following educational support services:
- Educational materials (digital or physical)
- Tutoring sessions
- Counseling and guidance services
- Parent-teacher networks
- Accommodations for students with learning exceptionalities
Ensuring both you and your student are set up for success will not only make the transition to online school easier but allow your student to make the most of his or her educational experience!
How Exodus Can Help You
Finding the right online Christian school can be difficult. Exodus Institute can help your family and students, as we provide a fully accredited K-12 online program taught by certified Christian teachers. Our program helps students make the most out of their homeschool education, while teaching faith-based principles through our curriculum. For more information on what we can offer your family, visit https://www.thinkexodus.org/.
Are you beginning your homeschool journey? Or maybe you're an experienced homeschooler. Either way, Exodus Institute can help! We have programs for families seeking a complete online school, or just supplemental lessons.
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