Thanks for the responses so far. Following is my rather long narrative about why these questions have become pressing for me this summer.
Some of you may recall that last fall I wrote about preparing to move overseas to take my dream job as a cartographer in Germany. That ended up getting delayed due to further government approvals that I had to wait on, causing my family to spend several more months on the roller coaster of life that we’ve been on these past years. Our son, Soren, ended up doing the full year of CC’s Challenge B, though he didn’t complete nearly everything in the curriculum, and I wasn’t thrilled with the decision to stay the course with CC.
As of a few months ago, the job in Germany became a strong possibility again, and it now looks like we will be moving there soon—perhaps by the end of July.
With this major move impending, and with Soren on the cusp of high school, decisions about his education are forefront for me and my wife (and Soren). There is a CC group based in the area where I would be working, and my wife’s inclination would be to continue with this program that she has enjoyed and been so impressed with. I’m not wholly opposed to that, but I have two salient reservations: my ongoing dismay with CC’s weak approach to science and the fact that CC does not, to my knowledge, issue diplomas to its “graduates”. I believe they do partner with a company to provide a means to a diploma (or at least a high school transcript), but I don’t know much about that. I’ve seen marketing emails, but have never investigated further. Perhaps Lisa @Lstrite or one of the other CC moms on this forum can tell me more.
I know that many excellent colleges have admitted homeschooled students, and I expect that some of those students did not have a formal diploma of any kind. But I also know—largely because I inquired of admissions officers two summers ago—that the work required to put together a compelling application package is substantial. I applaud those, including several on this forum, who can do that sort of work. But I know my family, and I just don’t see it happening for us. So I’m convinced that some route that leads to a diploma is the best plan for Soren. With that conviction, I’ve identified four main paths we could take:
- Soren could attend the local DoD school
- Soren could attend one of the international schools in the area
- Soren could attend a private Christian school (I’ve only found one in the area)
- Soren could continue with homeschooling (and probably CC) while participating in another program to enable him to work towards a diploma
My wife and I had a very good beginning discussion of these options. She seemed to appreciate that I’ve considered many issues that she had not given thought to—particularly how each path makes specific options for Soren’s post-secondary education either more or less accessible. Since we anticipate staying in Germany at least four years, and since we expect that Soren would then be interested in going to college, I’m keen to make sure that we don’t close off any post-secondary options he might want to pursue. As of now, he’ll say that he only wants to go to Clemson, following his dad, an uncle, and several cousins. But I can see a scenario in which after four years we all want to stay in Germany, so I’d like him to be prepared for potential admission to German universities as well. I’m not sure that homeschooling—even with a diploma—provides a path to that, in a country where the practice is still illegal for its citizens.
All that said, it’s our consideration of homeschooling towards a diploma that led me to finally ask about this forum’s experiences with that. As my wife and I were talking, we wondered if there might be on online academy that would allow us the flexibility to continue with CC (skipping science and other parts of the curriculum I’m sure) and apply the work done in CC toward credits for graduation. So far, I’ve found three that look promising:
Wilson Hill Academy
Memoria Press Academy
K12 International Academy
I know that Wilson Hill has been discussed on this forum before. I don’t know that K12 has a specifically classical or Christian emphasis, but I think they are larger and may carry a stronger reputation internationally. Memoria Press seems appealing, especially since they specifically mention that “co-op classes” can count towards their diploma.
Does anyone here have first-hand knowledge of the diploma programs for one of these academies or a similar one? I’m still at the beginning stages of exploring these options, but we’re about six weeks away from the start of the school year with a lot of work in front of us related to the move, so any help people can offer will be most welcome. Insights, cautions, recommendations, exhortations—bring them on.
I will also note that my employer will be responsible for covering educational expenses, so I can say—for perhaps the first time in my life—that cost is not a factor.