Is homeschooling the right choice for my family?
More and more families are choosing homeschooling as a good alternative to traditional classroom models. Parents cite a variety of reasons for making this decision. Some are dissatisfied with the academic standards or social environment at their local school. Others are looking for a curriculum that is tailored specifically to their child’s unique needs and interests. Parents of students with learning challenges often feel that their son or daughter would benefit from the undivided attention and differentiated instruction available in a one-on-one setting.
In summary, homeschooling is not the right choice for everyone. However, it might be a good option if:
- You are concerned about your child’s current school environment
- Your child wants scheduling flexibility to allow for more options for activities outside of the classroom.
- You are dissatisfied with your child‘s available academic instruction
- Your child would enjoy learning more given a tailored curriculum designed for a particular learning style
- Your child has a learning challenges or behavioral issue that distracts from group learning and/or learning in a classroom setting
In addition to the reasons mentioned above, a one-on-one learning experience can:
- Provide fresh approaches to learning
- Offer unique ways of tackling more difficult concepts
- Help hone subject expertise in all areas
- Contribute to a multidisciplinary understanding of complex topics
Is Tutor Corps accredited?
Tutor Corps is a private school. Since we teach less than 15 full time students, we are not eligible for accreditation with the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). However, Tutor Corps’ educational standards exceed both California state and federal content standards. In general, most homeschooling programs are not accredited and the student’s academic achievements, projects, assessments and narrative reports guide future admissions committees.
What are the legal requirements for homeschooled students in California?
Homeschoolers have a few options to abide by state and federal laws. The family can qualify as a private school (consisting of one student) by filing an annual Private School Affidavit (the filing period is between October 1 and 15 of each year). Tutor Corps follows this route as well and files with the state as a private school. Homeschoolers may also enroll in private school satellite programs which are often online. Finally, students can enroll in an independent study program using the public school curriculum.
Tutor Corps can work in partnership with a school at which the student is enrolled or another school that is willing to issue credit based on the student’s work. If a family is paying for course credit or school tuition, then this fee should be considered on top of Tutor Corps’ program cost.
Who are your instructors?
Our tutors are graduates of the country’s most prominent universities, such as Stanford, UC Berkeley, UCLA, Harvard, Yale, University of Chicago and Princeton. Many hold teaching credentials and advanced degrees including Masters, PhDs and JDs. Their academic records are excellent, and their standardized test scores are in the top percentiles.
Tutor Corps hires experienced educators who:
- Have a minimum of two years teaching and/or tutoring experience
- Are subject experts
- Communicate effectively
- Motivate students of all ages
- Support students with behavioral and learning challenges
Our tutors are sensitive to anxiety and self-esteem issues, and have worked with a range of learning abilities and styles. They have experience with students with ADD/ADHD, dyslexia, dysgraphia, as well as a variety of health issues.
Strong academic backgrounds, subject mastery, teaching experience and the ability to connect with students, parents and teachers are requirements for all of our tutors. Tutor Corps‘ rigorous hiring process ensures this selectivity. All tutors undergo multiple rounds of interviews including mock tutoring sessions, fingerprinting and reference checks. Our high standards account for a discerning 2% hire rate. Only after our complete vetting process and training, do they become part of the Tutor Corps team.
Are your instructors credentialed?
Some of our instructors have teaching credentials. If you require an instructor with a teaching credential, please specify this in your request.
What about when my child applies to college/high school/middle school? How will this appear on a transcript?
Schools often welcome homeschool students because they contribute to a more diverse student body. Most colleges and universities want to see that homeschool students have participated in rigorous academic programs that have prepared them for college-level work. At Tutor Corps, our instructors have only the highest expectations of their students and our students are usually more academically prepared for college than their peers. We maintain detailed records of courses, monthly progress reports and bi-annual assessments.
For high school students, Tutor Corps makes certain to exceed the set of requirements required to be accepted to UC schools. However, because our classes aren't "UC Eligible", any student applying to a UC should expect to take standardized tests for required classes. Click here for more information.
Example: John enrolled with Tutor Corps in 9th grade, taking core classes and electives. He started test prep for the ACT in 10th grade and took the ACT (with writing) in 11th grade. He also took two SAT II Subject Tests. Because he scored high enough to meet UC requirements, he did not have to take the tests again. In John's 12th grade year, he took two AP tests in order to receive extra credits on his UC transcript.
Tutor Corps also recommends that homeschool families pay particular attention to standardized tests (APs, SATs, ACTs, SAT IIs), as these scores carry more weight for homeschooled applicants. Click here for more information.
Many schools have supplemental forms specifically for homeschooled applicants. Here are a few examples:
Supplemental requirements for Yale.
Supplemental requirements for Stanford.
Supplemental requirements for Princeton.
How much will it cost?
The answer to this question will vary depending on the request. Homeschooling and Independent Learning Programs are not the cheapest full-time schooling option. However, the one-on-one setting means students are able to more efficiently complete academic work and therefore students do not usually need to spend a full seven-hour school day with instructors. Also, keep in mind that full tuition at a private high school in California can cost $42,000 per year.