Do I Need An Accredited Online Homeschool Curriculum?

When searching for the perfect online homeschool program for your family, one phrase you might notice is “accredited.” The term seems official, but vague. What does it really mean to be accredited? Accredited by whom? Do you need to use an accredited homeschool program, and if not – what purpose does accreditation serve?

What does it mean if a curriculum is accredited?

Accreditation means that the curriculum a program offers has been reviewed by an outside agency and has reached or exceeded their standards of quality. Essentially, passing this review gives a curriculum a stamp of approval – one that is continuously revisited and renewed in order for a curriculum to keep its accreditation status. 

Accreditation of educational programs and schools began over one hundred years ago as a means for quality assurance. The accreditation process is voluntary, and it is used to establish credibility. Lack of accreditation does not mean a program is low quality – it simply means that the program has not decided to complete the accreditation process.

Additionally, you may have heard that curricula cannot be accredited and that only schools can. Programs like Miacademy can absolutely receive accreditation! They are simply eligible for a different type of accreditation than schools are. Online programs and curricula are eligible to be accredited as supplementary education programs (SEPs). This title does not relate to the completeness of a curriculum. It is simply the term used for programs which do not offer degrees or diplomas.

Typically, accredited homeschool curricula have established the following:

  1. The program has been reviewed by a qualified independent faculty with no relation to the program.
  2. The curriculum will be continually re-evaluated in order to maintain accreditation status.
  3. The content is student-focused.
  4. The program strives for educational excellence and effectiveness.
  5. The curriculum was created and maintained by certified educators.

What is the difference between an accredited and non-accredited homeschool?

The main difference between an accredited homeschool curriculum and a non-accredited one is the promise of quality assurance by nature of the accreditation. In addition, an accredited curriculum may help you satisfy your state’s homeschool requirements more easily.  If a curriculum is unaccredited, it doesn’t mean that it’s bad, it just means that it hasn’t been reviewed for content quality or rigor. 

You may be interested in an accredited homeschool curriculum if…

  • You think your student may re-enter traditional school at some point. Accredited curricula are more likely to have credits transfer than non-accredited ones. Some schools may have strict guidelines in order for credits to count, so be sure to research your local public and private schools to see what they require
  • Your child has post-highschool plans that involve college or trade school, where proof of a quality education is especially crucial to have
  • You’d like to have peace of mind, knowing your child’s curriculum has been vetted and reviewed by an outside source for quality and consistency

Does following an accredited curriculum mean you lose freedom?

Following an accredited curriculum doesn’t have to equal a loss of freedom – at least, not with Miacademy and MiaPrep! Our K-8 curriculum has earned its accreditation status through our continuous efforts to deliver a high quality education. Our mission is to not only provide the highest quality education, but also to preserve the flexibility and freedom that homeschooling provides.

To achieve this, parents have access to complete customization when it comes to their child’s curriculum. You can set different grade levels for different subjects and even assign work from multiple grades for the same subject! In addition, our Learning Path automatically adjusts for sick days, vacations, and any missed assignments to ensure your child’s learning stays on track for success.

Is Miacademy accredited?

Yes! Our K-8 and high school programs are accredited through the Accrediting Commission for Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges as a Supplementary Education Program (SEP). What this means is that our courses meet WASC’s standards of educational excellence. 

Any membership option (trial, monthly, annual, and lifetime) will grant access to not only our accredited homeschool curriculum spanning all core subjects and a wide variety of electives, but also our safe, moderated community features!
With the number of online school options on the market, it can be hard for homeschool parents to compare curricula effectively. Especially for first-time homeschooling families, knowing that the program has been reviewed and has earned that stamp of approval can make your selection that much easier. If you have any questions about our accreditation status or the accreditation process in general, our customer service team is always happy to help!