When considering different homeschool programs, the vast majority of parents search for a reputable homeschool program that will provide their families with the academic materials, resources, and quality instruction their children need at a reasonable cost; a few of these parents may also wonder whether or not a homeschool program needs to be accredited. Almost always, homeschool programs do not need to be approved by a third-party and most colleges and universities, including ivy-league universities, have a stated admission policy to accept homeschooled students. This doubt, however, often stems from homeschooling programs or companies which claim to be "accredited" or to have a "fully accredited homeschool program". Parents hope that an approved homeschool curriculum or a fully accredited homeschool program will give their children an advantage and allow their children to retain the grades or credits earned during their homeschool instruction period. In essence, parents hope that if their children ever need to transition back to the public school system, schools will willingly and openly validate and honor their homeschool records and grades. What these parents don't know is that this is seldom, if ever, the case. Almost all public schools will administer returning homeschool-students a test in order to place the returning students in the correct grade level.
The practice of a few homeschool companies promoting themselves as having an accredited homeschool program is largely predatory in nature. These private companies are almost always accredited by dubious private third-parties and not by any official federal or state agency; in fact, they are not even accredited by any state or city's board of education. In essence, their homeschool accreditation is a "pseudo-accreditation" provided by another private party in exchange for a fee, thus lacking any actual weight or practical validity in the real world. These companies often employ this marketing gimmick in order to charge unsuspecting parents a premium as these parents may be indirectly led to believe that their program is better, or that it has been vetted and approved by some authoritative federal or state education agency.
To protect yourself from these predatory companies, always ask the following questions and make sure to get their answers in writing:
Predatory homeschool companies will often provide confusing information pointing to a company or entity which has approved and accredited their homeschool program and claim that the company or entity itself is approved by the government; however, what they purposely leave out, is that these companies themselves are private in nature. Sounds confusing? You are not alone. A state-approved plumber in New Jersey or New York, for example, may be approved by the state to provide services, but the plumber is nonetheless a private party. The plumber cannot issue your child an accredited New Jersey diploma or New York accredited homeschool grades that will be accepted by any public school. Similarly, some of these companies may tell you that their homeschool program has been approved and accredited by a company which itself was approved by the government. This is just part of their marketing gimmick intended to confuse you. What matters at the end of the day is that their homeschool program was not actually approved or accredited by any government or state agency, it was accredited by a private party, like the plumber used in the example above.