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Common Questions About Horizon School Online

How do I start homeschooling?

Many families who are new to homeschooling think about it from the literal perspective. What school supplies do I need? Which workbooks should I buy? How do I set up my home? These are all valid and important questions. However, before your family dives into all of homeschooling’s tactical components, we recommend that you focus on the legal requirements first. Depending on your state, you may need to write a letter of intent to homeschool. Some states require you to notify your local school, while others require you to submit the letter to the Department of Education. Local homeschool groups and co-ops are the best sources for specific information on your state’s homeschooling requirements. Most of these groups are run by experienced homeschoolers who will be happy to help you with your transition. Check out our state homeschool information page to access homeschool resources by state, or our Horizon School Online Families Group on Facebook to connect with homeschoolers in your state.

Is homeschooling the same as a virtual school?

No. While virtual school assignments are completed from home, virtual schools are online schools that are usually part of either a public or private school. This means someone other than the parent is responsible for selecting the curriculum and, ultimately, your child’s education. In the case of virtual public schools, which are offered by many states and are usually free, it’s essentially public school at home. While virtual schools are a viable option for some parents and children, you need to remember that they will likely require you to adhere to a defined school schedule/calendar and curriculum. With homeschooling, parents have complete control over schedules and curriculum choices. Horizon School Online is a curriculum provider, not a virtual school.

When should I start homeschooling?

Parents who have made the decision to homeschool can start anytime. You don’t have to follow a traditional school calendar, and in fact, many families chose to homeschool so they can fully control their learning schedule. Once you’ve taken the necessary steps to withdraw your child from school, it’s important that you take some time to get to know your child from an academic perspective. For many families, it usually takes a few weeks to discover how and when their child learns best, along with skill levels and areas of interest. This will help you determine which homeschool curriculum and overall homeschool experience will work best for your family.

How much does homeschooling cost?

This all depends on an individual family’s budget. There really isn’t a specific amount that it costs to homeschool. We recommend avoiding paying a lot for any homeschool program, especially without first knowing how your child learns best. Sometimes, this results in money lost if you are locked into a contract or can’t return books and software. Horizon School Online is a cost-effective option. We offer a low monthly membership, month-to-month billing and the option to start, stop, and even pause at any time.

Should I follow a schedule when homeschooling?

One of the great benefits of homeschooling is its flexibility. Unlike traditional schools where children follow strict daily, weekly, and yearly schedules, homeschooling allows your family to take charge of when learning occurs. Every family is different. Some families homeschool year-round, with breaks throughout the year; others follow a traditional school schedule and take summers off. Since homeschooling offers a completely personalized approach to learning, you may find that your child doesn’t require 6 hours of academics on a daily basis sitting at a desk. Depending on your child’s grade, they will typically spend between 2 to 4 hours a day homeschooling. Many homeschooling families also include field trips, sports, and other extracurricular activities to enrich their child’s learning and may decide to keep a 4-day school week to account for those extras. The choice is yours. Just remember that learning can take place anywhere, not just at home.

How do I know if my child is learning enough?

This is a common concern for new homeschoolers. First, make sure to follow your state’s homeschooling requirements. Next, it will be important as a homeschool parent to set goals. Do you want to complete an entire grade level in your curriculum? Do you want your child to master certain concepts? For many homeschooling families, academic progress is the goal. Families who are seeking a more formal means of measuring achievement use Testing Services for homeschoolers. These nationally normalized standardized tests can be administered at home and are one way to see if your child is on track. Ultimately it’s up to your family to best determine how you measure progress.

Can my homeschooler go to college?

Yes! Check out any homeschool-friendly colleges and universities your child may be interested in attending. Depending on the school, you may need high school transcripts and/or a high school diploma. You can use this high school transcript template from Horizon School Online or access others from, if you need. Some colleges and universities also require scores from tests like the SAT and/or ACT. Make sure to speak to their admissions counselors to understand their admission requirements fully.

I’m worried my child won’t be socializing with other children. What can I do?

Experienced homeschoolers will tell you that socialization is the biggest non-issue in homeschooling. Many homeschooling groups and co-ops are available for families, so socializing your child shouldn’t be a concern. Many groups offer activities such as field trips, play dates, and other fun events for families to participate together. If you are doing the teaching, homeschooling groups can help connect you with other parents who can be a sounding board when you have questions. Depending on where you live, some schools also open their doors to homeschoolers for certain events and activities. Of course, today, with social media and computer technology, homeschoolers can connect, socialize, and learn with other children at an instant, whenever, and wherever!

Do I have to homeschool forever?

No. Each family is unique, and it’s up to you to decide how long you want to homeschool. It’s easy to move in and out of homeschooling, so you can homeschool for a few years, send your child back to school, then homeschool again if you choose. Look for standards-based homeschool programs, which offer flexibility, and don’t require contracts.

How do I pick the homeschool program my child will use, and when do I need to choose it?

Understanding your child’s unique learning style will be a huge help when choosing a homeschool program. While some families use just one curriculum, others find that a blend of different curricula and resources works better. This curriculum checklist will help you make an informed decision when choosing a homeschool program.

The live classroom sessions are scheduled to commence in the first week of September 2024