Until recently the only option for homeschooling a high schooler in Georgia was to learn the curriculum ahead of them (if you didn’t already know it) or pay dearly for access to local or online classes. In this past month, however, two online high schools have been approved as Georgia High schools allowing students to enjoy public high school from the safety and comfort of home. Such an online charter school is a bit controversial among traditional Georgia homeschooling as it can be seen as intrusion into home schooling in our state. For new homeschooling, and homeschooling needing a change of pace, it can be a lifesaver. Others would prefer to continue paying for classes (myself included). Regardless of the pros and cons of using on line schools, they are here.
Provost Academy GA was recently approved as a new charter school in Georgia. When the budget is finalized, sometime in late July to early August, they will begin enrollment. I called and spoke to an enrollment specialist to find out more about the program. I had three children in mind with completely different needs, and I discussed how the program could be used for each child or type of homeschooling. Here is what I found:
Provost Academy is not a good fit for the advanced homeschooling who just needs help with a couple of classes. In the case of this homeschooling, my son, who is just a few classes from finishing home schooling and already working on some CLEO (college level) work, they cannot use Provost Academy for tutoring in classes where they need help, such as Calculus and Physics. Students must make a full commitment to Provost Academy, and so they cannot pick and choose what they will and won’t take. For students who don’t need a full program, and don’t want to waste their time going over work they have already done, it is not a good fit.
Provost Academy may be a good fit for a child that needs a flexible schedule. In the case of this homeschooler, my daughter, had a typical 9th grade experience, doing well in all of her curriculum and showing through testing that she progressed well, a transcript (made by mom if necessary) is all she needs to transfer into the 10th grade. In her case, however, she participates in a full day Arts Homeschool program one day a week that we would not want to end should she attend such an online school. The specialist seemed surprised that she would want to continue the home school arts program, but reported that the child has to sign in 5 of 7 days a week, so she could take Tuesdays off and work on Saturdays.
Provost Academy is an excellent fit for students struggling in a traditional high school. In the case of another child close to my heart, I asked if they could handle a child with special needs or who struggled in high school. Her answer was absolutely. They deal with IEP’s. They do well with previously bullied students. They even challenge students who were bored in school.
Kaplan Online High school was also recently approved. The representative I spoke to insisted that it be called public school at home and that it is not homeschooling. He is absolutely correct. It if is funded by the state, it is not homeschooling. Here are my findings about Kaplan online high school.
Students looking to take individual classes should go through their private school division which can cost over $500 for a class.
There is very little flexibility for a student with other interests. They have to spend an hour online per class per weekday. This could mean over six hours a day online. The rep made it clear that the parents are not asked to teach. They also made it clear that they felt some parents are not equipped to teach. They do deal with some IEP students as well as advanced students.
So now, with the addition to Georgia Cyber Academy that educates through grade 8, there is now public school at home education from Kindergarten through high school. The student would have the luxury of learning at home and get a diploma that is the same as a typical public school diploma. While this may not meet the needs of people who homeschools for freedom of education, it can work for students who have hit a wall academically in public school.
Provost Academy GA
Kaplan Online High school