Come August, a continually growing number of school-aged children will not be racing to beat the morning bell. Rather, they will learn at home with their families or with other children in their communities using course materials from accredited distance education institutions such as Ashworth High School.
According to a recent survey by the National Center for Education Statistics, an estimated 1.1 million students nationwide are currently learning at home. Programs like Ashworth’s offer high school students considerable breadth when it comes to homeschooling. Students have a choice of two tracks – general education and college preparatory. Both are available via online or correspondence.
Ashworth prides itself in offering extensive range among its academic course offerings. Students in 9-12 grades have access to a variety of courses in English, mathematics, social studies, science, business, technology and foreign language and the ability to customize their course of study to fit their needs.
“There are many misperceptions about homeschooling,”
Homeschooling takes many forms, from a daily routine that follows a scheduled curriculum to child-led learning in which parents supervise and help. According to Dr. Bryde, there are two primary types of homeschooling programs – those that have religious affiliations and those that don’t. There are numerous sub-categories, as well.
There are many reasons why a parent might want to homeschool a child. Frustration with the performance of the local school administration. A family who moves frequently seeking stability. Educating a child with special needs (low-achievers, children limited English proficiency, disabilities, etc.).
“Speaking for Ashworth, we are sensitive to the needs of the parent,” said Dr. Bryde. “We have developed a companion program for the parent, much like the traditional ‘teacher’s edition.’ This allows the parent to feel a part of the process and be able to help answer questions. We also provide tutoring services for our students.”
Ashworth first launched its homeschooling curricula in 2005. Since that time, it has continued to refine its offerings to ensure Ashworth High School continues to be a leader in distance education. Bryde commented that “distance education is truly state-of-the art. It can accommodate each child’s needs and learning style by providing an education that is practically tailor-made.”
In addition to its accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), Distance Education and Training Council (DETC) and the Commission on International and Trans-Regional Accreditation (CITA), Ashworth High School provides other distinguishing features of its homeschool program, specifically:
• A co-op network of volunteer parents available to advise on set areas of expertise, i.e., math, science, etc.
• A curriculum that can be either a set package or tailored to the individual student.
• Textbooks and course materials from recognized publishers, as well as student and parent supplements, are customized in a learning-style format to ensure continuity through a single source. In the case of science courses, students receive complete lab kits which they will keep.
• Compared to competing programs that require parents to maintain student records, Ashworth assumes this responsibility and provides necessary documentation to county and state government.
• AHS programs comply with county and state laws, allowing student eligibility for financial aid and college scholarship programs (in the case of Georgia, the HOPE Scholarship)
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Ashworth High School (formerly James Madison High School) is part of Ashworth University, a worldwide leader in comprehensive online, distance education. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), The Commission on International and Trans-Regional Accreditation (CITA) and the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC). Based in Norcross, GA, Ashworth University, offers more than 450 different high school, career school, associates, bachelors and masters courses.