Homeschool Diner Logo -- 1960's style sign with atomic starburst
Copyright 2006 Julie Shepherd Knapp
site map
Copyright 2006 Julie Shepherd Knapp.  All rights reserved.
about the book
"You send your child to the schoolmaster, but 'tis the schoolboys who
educate him." -- unknown
The Homeschool Diner's Guide to
Standards-Aligned Curriculum,
Cyber Schools, and Public e-Schooling

by Julie Shepherd Knapp, copyright 2006

Parents who are looking to re-create a traditional school experience in their
homeschool (but without actually "going to school") will probably establish a
"School-at-Home" approach for their children.
 School-at-Home is often the
first method tried by new homeschooling families, especially if their children
have already enjoyed success in a school environment.  It is a familiar way
of learning for students and parents alike.  

School-at-Home Curriculum consists of a complete set of materials
designed to teach all subjects at a specific grade level.  This usually  
includes teacher's guide books, lessons, worksheets, tests, and other
activities -- everything needed to teach one child for the entire school year.
This is similar to the kinds of curriculum used in public schools and, just like
public schools, the curriculum is often based on state educational
standards, so it may also be called "standards-aligned" curriculum.  

If you want to re-create the public school environment in your homeschool,
then this is probably the kind of "formal" curriculum you are looking for.  
You may buy complete packaged sets from curriculum suppliers; or you
may create or pull-together your own curriculum using textbooks and online

A School-at-Home approach is usually accomplished by either the  
independent use of a
standards-aligned curriculum or by enrollment in
a distance learning "
Cyber School".  Enrollment in a public online
charter school also provides a "school at home" learning situation, but is
not legally considered "homeschooling".  It is home-based public school.

School-at-Home can be a good choice for children and parents who enjoy
a scheduled, structured learning experience.  [For those who may be
interested in other options, schedule and structure are also emphasized in
the "
Classical Education" homeschool approach.]  School-at-Home is
also popular with families who are homeschooling on a temporary basis
with the intent of returning to traditional school within a year or less.  
Sometimes parents choose School-at-Home to ensure that their children
will be at the same place, academically, as their school counterparts
(neither behind nor ahead).  In some cases, parents who are
homeschooling on more of a "trial basis" may feel pressured to provide
"proof" of learning success, and will appreciate the paper trail and test
results available to those using school-at-home curriculum.

School-at-Home Curriculum Suppliers,
Cyber Schools/Online Academies, and Other

Here are some examples of standards-aligned curriculum created for use
in public, private, and parochial schools across the nation.  In most cases,
homeschoolers have the option of purchasing the curriculum to use,
independently, at home or enrolling in their cyber school, or (in some
cases) enrolling in their online public charter school.  Also visit the
Distance Learning" section for "Umbrella/Cover" Schools that do not use
"School-at-Home" methods and for
Gifted Enrichment Programs.

K12 Online Home Schooling - (K -12) a packaged curriculum, an
accredited private cyber school, and also available thru
public charter
as an online "Virtual Academy", the standards-aligned
curriculum is a text/workbook-based online program, but most work is done
offline, allows for skills-based placement at different grade-levels, provides
daily lesson plans

Calvert Curriculum - (K - 8) a packaged curriculum, an accredited private
cyber school, and also available online
thru public charter schools as
"Connections Academy", the standards-aligned curriculum is textbook
and worksheet-based, grade-level is decided by placement test, allows
different grade level placement for math only (if needed), daily lesson
plans provided

ACE Accelerated Christian Education - (K -12) a packaged accredited
Christian curriculum can be used independently or by enrolling in the  
"Lighthouse Christian Academy" cyber school, curriculum is
text/worksheet-based, skills-based placement tests for all subjects, allows
for accelerated learning, emphasizes rote memorization and recall of facts,
promotes independent work

A Beka - (preK -12) a packaged accredited Christian curriculum used by
many private schools, can be used independently or by enrolling in
"A Beka Academy" cyber school, textbook-based curriculum with DVD
options and worksheets, emphasis is on detailed rote learning, focus on
computation skills, lots of quizzes, tests, and busy work, middle school
science focuses on rote memorization.

Alpha Omega - (3 - 12) a Christian, bible-based curriculum used by many
private schools, can be used independently or by enrolling in the "
Omega Academy
",  offers a choice of the computer-based version called
Switched-On Schoolhouse" or the traditional worktext version that uses
separate "
LIFEPAC" learning units which are fill-in-the-blank worktexts,  
uses Horizon K-6 Math, uses Weaver Curriculum bible-based unit studies   

Time4Learning -- (preK - 8) completely online, standards-aligned
curriculum sold as a monthly subscription.  Includes interactive, self-paced
lessons, activities, printable worksheets, learning games, and
assessments. Children may work at different levels in different subjects,
text narration optional.  Many families with special needs students find this
flexibility helpful.  The focus is on language arts and math with social
studies and science provided as "bonus" items.  Educational content
provided by CompassLearning® Odyssey, aka "ChildU".

Christa McAuliffe Academy - (K -12) accredited cyber school, also can
be used to complete/supplement credits for public high school graduation,
a standards-aligned curriculum,  online worktexts with some interactive
worksheets, high school diplomas issued, allows student to work at his or
her own pace

3D Learn Interactive Academy - (7 - 12) an accredited private cyber
school offering a standards-aligned "multi-sensory 3-D curriculum", a high
tech interactive online environment - a virtual reality learning framework -
that requires an estimated 4 - 5 hours online each day, plus additional
at-home hands-on activities, offers full or part-time enrollment, boasts a
14:1 student to teacher ratio, issues accredited high school diplomas

BOB Jones University Press - (K -12) a conservative Christian
curriculum, worktext-based, online options, math uses manipulatives and
word problems, science is activity-oriented and high school science
emphasizes lab work, teacher's manual is essential for all grade-levels
because lots of prep work is required - parent presents lesson to student

University of Missouri-Columbia: Center for Distance and
Independent Studies - (3 - 12) can be used to supplement public school,
self-paced, online texts, worksheets, accredited high school diplomas,
online Bachelor's Degree in General Studies also available.  

MarcoPolo Internet Content for the Classroom  - (K - 12) a collection
of seven content-specific web sites with free standards-aligned lesson
plans, student interactive content, down-loadable worksheets, links to
panel-reviewed Web sites and additional resources

The Educator's Reference Desk - (K - 12) over 2000 free lesson plans
written and submitted by US teachers

Kendall-Hunt Publishers - (K -12) standards-aligned learning modules
for all subjects, hands-on science units, modules available for purchase
individually,  can be used with a more "mix and match" style of School-at
Home, also can be integrated into unit studies

Evan-Moor Educational Publishers - (preK - 6) a variety of
standards-aligned workbooks, thematic units, and skills practice books in
all subject areas

Related Resources

SRA/Mcgraw-Hill - (K - 8) a variety of workbooks and worktexts for all
subject areas, designed to help students build skills needed to improve
scores on standardized tests

For distance learning options that aren't School-at-Home check out:

Distance Learning Institutions for Umbrella/Cover Schools
Distance Learning Options for Gifted Enrichment
back to
homeschool approaches