Are you considering Homelife Academy but wondering if it’s the right umbrella school for your family?
When I began researching the best umbrella schools, Homelife Academy continued to come up as one of the top choices for home education. After thoroughly exploring the Homelife Academy website and speaking with other homeschooling moms, I made the decision to enroll my seven year old.
In this post, I will guide you through the process of deciding if Homelife Academy is the right umbrella school for your family.
Options for Homeschooling
If you have not yet made the decision to homeschool your kids, you may want to read this post first:
In the article linked above, I weigh the pros and cons of homeschooling to help you determine if it’s the route you want to take.
After committing to homeschooling your kids, you probably want to know the next step in the process. I suggest beginning by looking into your state’s rules and regulations for homeschooling. Depending on where you reside, the state government will have specific guidelines for you to follow.
This is a really important first step because states from Florida to Texas to North Carolina to Tennessee may each have different rules. To check out your state’s homeschool law, you can visit Homeschool Laws by State for a quick and easy resource guide.
Once you become familiar with your state’s homeschooling regulations, you can look into the different types that are available. Each of these homeschooling options has its own pros and cons, so you will want to take some time to consider what exactly you are wanting your family’s homeschool experience to look like.
Some of the homeschooling methods you could choose include:
Independent Home School
With an independent home school, you would contact your local school district to submit your intent for homeschooling. Throughout the school year, you will be responsible for turning in attendance records and student grades. This option is typically the cheapest way to homeschool as you may not pay a fee at all since you are going through the local public school system.
Accredited Online School
You may also have the option of enrolling in an accredited online school. Depending on the online school you choose, they may handle your child’s curriculum, attendance, and grades. This is a great option for those parents who are wanting a more hands off approach; although, online schools can get pricey.
Your state may also allow the option to use an umbrella school. Depending on the umbrella school you choose and the state in which you are homeschooling, you may not need to communicate with your local school system. The umbrella school can typically handle attendance and grades for you. However, you may be responsible for choosing and purchasing the curriculum to use when teaching.
How does an umbrella school work?
Since Homelife Academy serves as an umbrella school, let’s talk more about this homeschooling option.
What exactly is an umbrella school?
An umbrella school, or cover school, is a non-traditional school that provides support for homeschooling families.
It may help to think of a school like Homelife Academy as a private school because they essentially provide many of the same features including:
- providing official transcripts and diplomas
- issuing teacher and student ID cards
- distributing grade reports and report cards
- maintaining attendance records
- offering resources and support
You may ultimately decide to enroll in an umbrella school like Homelife Academy because they handle all of the above mentioned tasks.
Even though I have years of experience teaching in the public school system, I did not want to take on the responsibility of handling all the record keeping and paperwork while homeschooling. So, I chose to go through Homelife Academy.
In addition to enrolling in Homelife Academy because of what they do, I also chose this school because of what they DON’T do. HLA does not require you to use a specific curriculum. Instead, you can choose the materials that work best for your family.
This is such a huge perk because kids learn and thrive in so many different ways. Homelife Academy allows parents to choose the curriculum and materials to meet the specific needs of their students.
Before you begin the school year, you will need to let HLA know which curriculum you plan to use with your child. The Homelife Academy website offers a list of curriculum options for each subject area if you are looking for a starting place.
In addition, these are answers to some commonly asked questions about Homelife Academy:
Is Homelife Academy accredited?
Homelife Academy, like other umbrella schools, is NOT accredited. However, this is not an issue for most families. Colleges and universities typically do not require transcripts from accredited schools in order to be accepted. The issue that may arise occurs if you choose to withdraw from HLA and enroll your child in the public school system. Your local school district may not recognize transcripts from non-accredited schools. If you find yourself in this situation, the public school in your area will more than likely require your child to complete a placement test to ensure they are placed in the correct grade level/classes.
What are the requirements?
Homelife Academy lists several requirements for families on their website. These include items like:
- having access to internet and email service
- reporting grades and attendance (twice per year)
- specifying subjects you plan to teach
- providing the curriculum you will use
In addition, the parent needs to have a high school diploma or a GED in order to enroll at HLA.
How much does Homelife Academy cost?
Compared to local private schools and other online homeschool options, Homelife Academy is REALLY affordable for families. The price you pay depends on several different factor, so it’s difficult to specify a one size fits all amount.
If your child is in grades 8-12, you will pay a higher price than those parents with younger kids. In addition, you may be responsible for a transfer fee, international fee, and/or family fee. You can check out the Homelife Academy cost calculator here to determine the price for your family.
I have one child enrolled at Homelife Academy, and we paid less than $150 for the ENTIRE school year. Again, this is a tremendous savings compared to other private institutions and online schools I have used in the past.
Final Review of Homelife Academy
I hope this review has highlighted all the great benefits of enrolling with Homelife Academy. At the start of our homeschooling journey, my family questioned how difficult the process would be. Homelife Academy offers such an easy enrollment process, and they consistently provide superb communication and support.
The incredibly low price combined with the resources that Homelife Academy makes available really drive HLA to be a top choice for homeschooling families.
Are you considering Homelife Academy as an umbrella school for your family?
Comment below with any questions or comments you have!