An “Umbrella” or “cover” school will approve and oversee a homeschool program. They may offer distance learning that can be used for one subject or as a complete curriculum. Some provide the learning materials while others work with the parents to find curriculum choices that are the best fit for the family. There are umbrella programs that offer courses that are similar to what is offered in a public school and others that follow an alternative educational style. Some offer accreditation while others do not. A typical homeschool day under an umbrella program is often like a traditional school day, but that depends on the educational style of the program. Usually the school will keep a record of students’ marks. Sometimes field trips or other activities are organized through an umbrella school as well.

STRENGTHS

  • some parents are more comfortable with a third party overseeing their child’s education, especially for high school level classes
  • provides parents with accountability which can often motivate parents to homeschool more consistently
  • students may receive a diploma that is recognized by post-secondary institutions
  • homeschooling under an umbrella program that follows provincial standards can make future transition back to traditional school easier for the child
  • following an umbrella program over the long term helps ensure subjects and skills are covered

POINTS TO CONSIDER

  • some umbrella schools may offer a guidance counselling service to help with post-secondary school applications
  • some may charge an annual fee
  • some may have a religious affiliation or want to mandate some of what is taught in the homeschool

RESOURCES

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