How CHS Compares with Virtual Public Schools
Many homeschoolers consider enrolling their children into their state-sponsored virtual public school to complete their high school diploma. This may well be a sound decision for many of them. But for parents who want more freedom in their student’s learning schedule – and fewer educational requirements to follow – private, accredited institutions like Citizens’ High School (CHS) offer an option worth considering.
We think you’d agree that a fully informed parent can make the best choice for completing his or her child’s education through high school. So that you can gather information easily for this important decision, below we show some key differences between CHS and many virtual public high schools. We believe that parents should carefully consider these differences before choosing a home-based high school program in which to enroll their children.
Many homeschooling parents choose Citizens’ High School over a virtual public school, because of the many benefits we offer. Here are some key differences between CHS and many virtual public schools:
- The virtual public schools in many states don’t offer an option for parents to homeschool in the traditional sense. Instead, to learn at home and obtain a diploma, they must enroll in a full-time, virtual public high school program – in which the curriculum and pace of learning is dictated and identical for all students across the county or state. These programs require strict adherence to their school-year calendars, including on-time submission of work and exams. By contrast, CHS lets students follow their own calendar during a school year, letting them learn at a pace that’s right for them.
- Full-time state virtual high school programs that take over education in the home usually require that students take their state’s standardized exams, many times in a school classroom under the supervision of a proctor. As a result, their curriculum is more slanted toward allowing students to do well on these exams. However, CHS does not require its students to take such exams – nor do we “teach to the test.”
- Most virtual school programs have very few enrollment dates per year – sometimes just one or two – while CHS admits new students and previous students year round.
- While some state virtual schools are free to in-state students, others charge for courses up front, or limit the number of free seats. Even so, many states charge extra for textbooks or technology costs like computers and internet charges. CHS offers an affordable tuition that includes all textbooks and materials, which is payable in convenient monthly payments with no interest charges.
- For those states that do allow a Homeschooling Program in their virtual public school, many of them do NOT offer a high school diploma to these homeschooled students upon graduation – even though they have completed the same curriculum as public school students. CHS awards a nationally accredited diploma upon graduation.
- In many virtual public schools, portfolios of work must be kept by homeschooling parents, and students are required to be evaluated at least once each school year by a state-certified teacher.
- Many states require that homeschooled students either take standardized exams and/or hold monthly discussions and periodic phone assessments with state-certified teachers. CHS students are not subjected to these requirements, but simply take a final exam for each course of study.
- Many homeschooling programs in virtual schools require parents to register their students with the local school districts, where their students’ grades and transcripts will be permanently kept. CHS handles both the curriculum and record-keeping for its students, no matter their location.
- Homeschool programs in public virtual schools sometimes require that a certain pace of study be chosen by the homeschooling parent. Once chosen, this pace may not be altered. CHS allows parents to speed up or slow down the pace of study within a school year, to fit your student’s schedule and ability to learn.
- There is nearly always an age limit for attendance at a public virtual school. It varies by state, but usually any student over 19 to 21 years of age must find another way to obtain his or her high school diploma. CHS accepts students of all ages.
Yet, with all these beneficial differences versus virtual public schools, CHS continues to offer academic programs that match up to state virtual school diploma programs, including these attributes:
- Widely accepted and up-to-date, high-quality textbooks
- All CHS teachers are certified by the state
- Accredited by an accrediting agency listed by the U.S. Department of Education
- Offers a high school diploma widely recognized by colleges and employers
There are many reasons why some parents choose their state virtual high school programs over private diploma programs like those of CHS, but the main one is cost. Many of the state-sponsored programs offer free tuition for residents of their states. However, after considering all the key differences, many other parents decide that the benefits offered by Citizens’ High School are well worth its very affordable tuition, paid in a monthly payment plan with 0% interest and no finance charges.
In summary, Citizens’ High School is a nationally accredited, private, distance-education institution that fulfills the homeschooling obligations of virtually every state, and which awards a widely recognized high school diploma upon graduation.
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