Virtual Homeschool International
As the parents of nine adopted children, several with special needs, we became aware of the need for low cost high quality homeschool curriculum. After having tried various online and purchased offline curriculums it became apparent that most information in education was well established in times past. It became frustrating to see many other homeschool families as well as our own struggle with paying the high price of curricula and being priced out of the online homeschool option. Homeschool curricula tend to be expensive, and homeschool educators are usually already making sacrifices to be able to homeschool. Because of the great homeschool wave, and boom of new materials, many families are spending more than they can afford to provide their children with a quality education. Virtual Homeschool International is intended to make a quality home education easier and more accessible for families. It was for this reason Virtual Homeschool International was created. Our goal is to make quality homeschool available online to families choosing the online choice.
The bulk of the curriculum presented by Virtual Homeschool International is Classical in nature. There are eclectic elements where we determined that these were needed.
The designers and educators supporting this site have Ph.D.'s in Education and Instructional Design. Dr. Elizabeth Klein and her husband Dr. David Klein have nine adopted children, six of whom have special needs and are currently being homeschooled with this curriculum.
We suggest that the first thing you do in considering a homeschool program is to consult your State Homeschool Statutes.
You probably have lots of questions about how Virtual Homeschool International can help you and your child. Answers to the most common questions are below; if after reading them, however, you want more information, contact us and we will be glad to answer all of your questions.
Quick Start Guide:
After you receive your username and password, have read the Virtual Homeschool International Handbook (recommended), and returned to the site:
- Login with the username and password emailed to you after you made payment (usually your fist initial and last name in one word in lowercase letters, and your last name in lowercase letters).
- Read the start page which will be on the left menu bar. This will give you some guidance on how to use the homeschool resources.
- Next, look to the left of your computer screen on menu bar. It is the school (labeled, “Course Rooms”) and is where you will find your child's grade level and subjects.
- Select a grade level and read the Grade level page. It will give you information both on your child's age level development what to expect from the courses.
- Next select a course subject.
- At the top of each subject page is located a Materials and Resources list. These are the suggested Materials for each subject. Use these to cover the topics in the list below.
- Topic lists are also suggestions of what is being covered by others at the same grade level. You may choose any grade level that suits your child.
- Extras are just that. You may cover this material or choose to skip it. Also there are Extra goodies in some subjects. These may be used as suits you. Flexibility is the rule at VHI. Work through materials at your child's pace and interest level.
- Consult the handbook if you find you have questions or problems.
Questions You May Have
1. Is Virtual Homeschool International really $45.00 $20.00 a year?
a. Yes, and we have no fees other than the yearly $45.00 $20.00per family. Although some links in the school go to "pay for use sites," we do not ask you to use the fee portion of these sites. Only the "Graduation Option" is an extra charge, and that is optional for graduating seniors.
2. Are all the materials, books, paper, and courses in the Virtual Homeschool International free?
a. Yes, direct links have been provided to the resources you will need to teach your student. All books in the course suggestions are provided online free; paper, and reference materials are also provided online free. These can be accessed from within the classrooms; the tool bar on the top of each course room page connects the student to the resources he or she may need.
3. How can VHI offer such low enrollment fees?
a. VHI was conceived by the Dr.'s Klein, who have nine homeschooled children. They wanted to make homeschooling affordable to all families, large and small, with internet access.
4. How can VHI benefit my family?
a. VHI provides access to age-appropriate materials for each grade level. We use several methods in developing our curriculum 1. Charlotte Mason, 2. Classical, 3. Eclectic, and 4. The U.S. Standard Course of Studies, an average of scopes and sequences across the U.S.A. The Course of studies followed in the subject courserooms is larglely based the World Book Typical Course of Studies (2005), however the implementation of course of studies is original to VHI.
5. Do we have to follow the program exactly?
a. No. You can modify the program to fit your learner's needs. Use all, some, or just a little of what VHI has to offer; you can even use coursework from varying levels of ability.
6. How do I get around VHI?
a. After logging in, you can select a grade level. There you will find general grade-appropriate resources for student or parent, or you can choose a subject. Use the subject pages to find texts, worksheets, teaching guides, quizzes, games, and anything else useful in pursuing this subject. Be sure to read the Handbook. Helpful resources can also be found in Scope 'n' Sequence, Record Keeping, Records/Forms, and Links. Under Communications users can choose from several ways to interact in this growing VHI community.
7. Do I have to pay a fee for each child in the family?
a. No, just $45.00 $20.00 a year (otherwise stated ), for everything.
8. I can't get in after I logged in before. What happened?
a. If you use AOL, then this is a browser issue. You'll need to use a different browser to access VHI in the future. Optional browsers are available. If you do not use AOL, you probably need to have your password reset. Contact us to have this done.
9. I told my friend about VHI. Can he or she use the site too?
10. How do I pay the enrollment fee?
a. You can pay by credit card or with your bank account through Paypal here. You can also use this form and send a check to:
Dr. E. Klein
Virtual Homeschool International 1466 Walker Way Coralville, Iowa 52241
11. Is Virtual Homeschool International a licensed or accredited school?
The long answer:
Virtual Homeschool International is a homeschooling resource center and curriculum provider. As a homeschool learning resource, Virtual Homeschool International believes it is in the best interest of its students and parents to remain separated from the negatives associated with government licensing. We are a non-profit organization, and maintain the status of a homeschooling resource center and curriculum provider. Those who subscribe to Virtual Homeschool International look to their local home education laws for oversight. We believe this gives parents the highest level of freedom to educate their children properly.
The short answer:
No, homeschools do not need to be accredited. Your decision to homeschool and your choice of curriculum are protected by law in all 50 U.S. states. Accreditation would obligate Virtual Homeschool International to provide an environment and curriculum that are similar in many ways to situations you are hoping to avoid by leaving the public or private school environment and making the decision to homeschool.
12. Will my child receive an education that is equivalent to the education received by children in public schools?
The short answer:
No, it will be a better and more complete education.
The long answer:
No, in most cases it will be much better than the education received by children attending public schools. Although we do not require or endorse standardized testing, research has shown that the majority of children who are home schooled score above grade level on standardized tests. It is not uncommon for a child to proceed through the curriculum faster once he or she has left the traditional environment for home education. Because the responsibility for the child's learning is shifted from the "teacher" to the student, the student tends to "own" his or her knowledge and comes to respect the learning environment homeschool facilitates.
13. What about graduating and granting a diploma?
There are two options in graduating and diploma granting.
The parent grants the diploma and graduates the child once the parent determines that the child has completed enough high school curriculum to be able to succeed in college.
The parent and child enter into a graduation contract with VHI, the child completes the contracted senior year curriculum or project, and VHI grants the child a Virtual Homeschool International diploma.
14. Do colleges and universities take homeschool diplomas seriously?
Yes, they do, along with other evidence of achievement such as SAT or ACT scores, a portfolio of accomplishments, projects, and curriculum studied, and in some cases an interview with the student, along with a "Statement of Purpose," which tells the university who you are and what you intend to do with your college degree. This is much the same as it is for any graduating senior in any educational setting. And your student is eligible for Financial Aid Too.
15. What if I decide to put my child back in public school? How will they know what grade to place him or her in without testing or grades?
The principal and teachers of the public school your child will attend will make this decision. They will make this decision regardless of what testing or evidence of achievement you provide for them. It is their decision and other than making suggestions you get little say in what they do. They will most likely place your child in the grade or program your child was in when your child left the public school setting. He or she will take subject area placement tests if other children of that grade level are also taking them. It really is out of your hands. Look at it this way: you and your child will not have lost anything if you homeschool, or if you continue to homeschool. And you both have much to gain.
*World Book (2005). Typical Course of Studies. Retrieved August 28, 2005. http://www.worldbook.com/wc/browse?id=pa/tcs