Umbrella Schools? What are they? Will they help me organize or educate? Are Umbrella schools the same things as “Cover Schools”? Are Umbrella Schools the same in all 50 States?
If you are looking for info on umbrella schools, you’ve come to the right place.
Included on this page:
- What is an Umbrella School?
- What Does an Umbrella School Do?
- Homeschooling Legal Background
- Homeschooling Requirements
- Choosing The Right Homeschool Approach
- The Benefits of Using Time4Learning’s Curriculum
- The Time4Learning Program Structure
What is an Umbrella School?
There is no universal definition for an umbrella (or cover) school because home education laws vary from state to state. In Alabama, for instance, the only way to homeschool is to either have your own teaching certificate or affiliate with a cover school. In Florida, homeschooling through an umbrella school is a convenience but there are other legal approach for folks to homeschool who do not have a teaching certificate. The best way to explain what an umbrella school is is to define what it does.
What Does an Umbrella School Do?
In some states, homeschoolers can get some level of support and legal protection for their home education program. So while the answer varies from state to state, here are some of the typical features of umbrella schools:
- Provide legal legitimacy to a family’s home education program in states that require it
- Issue report cards
- Maintain attendance records
- Host field trips, academic clubs, reading contests and the like
- Provide a student ID card (which may be useful in obtaining discounts with local merchants)
Homeschooling Legal Background
Each state sets its own legal requirements for the education of children. Education is mandatory for children in each state, but there is wide diversity of what is required and most states allow for several different ways that the mandatory school requirements can be met. The most obvious and mainstream solution is to attend the public schools of the state. All states also allow students to be educated at accredited private schools or parochial schools. And, if parents so choose, they have another alternative: homeschooling.
Do you need some specific information on your own state guidelines? Check out our State Homeschool Information page to find information for your own state.
Each state has specific standards when it comes to testing. Time4Learning’s staff has assembled an overview on standardized testing, including practical tips and suggestions on how you can improve your child’s performance. Click here for a state-by-state overview of standardized testing across the country.
My daughter always liked learning, but Time4Learning has turned “like” into love! I’ve never seen her so excited to do lessons, before!
It’s amazing how quickly my kids are learning difficult concepts. The animation really helps them apply the lessons to something tangible!
In some states, homeschooling is as simple as filing some paperwork with the proper authorities, and picking out your curriculum. Other states have more stringent requirements regarding eligibility, record-keeping, school hours, and core subjects. In those situations, parents may choose to have an Umbrella, or Cover school help oversee their homeschool. These schools can provide options that homeschoolers might not have on their own, including field trips, resources, team sports opportunities, and tutoring. They also have widely different requirements regarding curricula, record-keeping, and even religious affiliation. Because of the variability of each school, parents need to carefully research an umbrella school to make sure it is a good fit with their family before enrolling their children. Whatever the framework of the school itself, the purpose of an umbrella school is always the same: to fulfill the requirements of the state in regards to education.
In the state of Alabama, for example, homeschooling is not accepted as a separate legal option for educating a child. So to comply with state laws, families must choose a church-based cover school to oversee their homeschool. (Unless the parent has a teaching certificate, in which case they can legally tutor their own child.) For those who are not homeschooling for religious reasons, this can get tricky, although many have gotten around this stipulation by widely defining what a “church” is. Some even go so far as to say that since the Christian word for “church” is actually defined as the people who make it up, that each family could therefore sponsor their own church school. However it is interpreted, Alabama law has made the need for cover, or umbrella schools of utmost importance when homeschooling.
Choosing The Right Homeschool Approach
Umbrella schools sometimes provide a full curriculum for their enrollees, sometimes make suggestions of curricula, and other times let families completely choose their own materials. Families new to homeschooling quickly discover a dizzying array of choices when it comes to selecting homeschool curriculum. There is no more popular discussion on the web than homeschool curriculum reviews by homeschool families. After sifting through the homeschool curriculum reviews, most parents end up mixing and matching homeschool curricula, trying to create the best match for their child.
For families with more than one child, choosing a homeschool curricula can even be more problematic. What works for one child, doesn’t work for another. What works for one subject may not work on the next. What works one year, may not work the next.
Time4Learning’s experience shows that there is no single, best homeschool material. Rather than feeling torn between homeschool resources, parents should select a diverse blend of materials and activities.
The Benefits of Using Time4Learning’s Curriculum
Time4Learning is used by homeschool parents either as a primary curriculum or as a supplemental program to other materials such as Saxon, Alpha Omega, Five in a Row and A Beka. Some of the features that make Time4Learning so successful include:
- Time4Learning appeals to a wide range of learning styles. Our online learning materials are especially well-suited to children who are visual or kinesthetic learners. These children can take advantage of Time4Learning’s interactive, multi-media materials.
- Children like using the computer to learn. It’s a convenient, interactive homeschool resource that provides a welcome change each day to paper-and-pencil workbooks and textbook-based lessons.
- Parents like that it tracks progress and helps children advance by clearly presenting and reinforcing the each lesson.
- Time4Learning’s self-paced, modularized lesson plans allow you to move forward and back through the materials whenever you want. You can skip lessons that teach concepts your child has already mastered and repeat those he or she has not. The choice is yours. With Time4Learning, you are always in control.
- Time4Learning is proven effective with homeschoolers , has a low monthly price, is easy-to-use , and provides a money-back guarantee so you can make sure that it works for your children! Sign up for Time4Learning as part of your overall homeschool program.
If you would like to learn more about how Time4Learning can benefit your homeschool, click here for more information.
The Time4Learning Program Structure
Time4Learning has been refined through years of feedback from educators, parents, and students. Subjects are organized into chapters composed of interactive lessons, printable worksheets, quizzes and tests. Students are guided through the activities at their own pace by an automated system.
When students log in, they choose a subject, select a chapter, pick a lesson and complete the activities. A bright green arrow tells them where they left off, and completed work is clearly labeled with a check-mark or a gold star. Visual and auditory prompts guide students through the lessons making them easy for young learners to follow, and an online playground (controlled by parents) rewards and motivates them to finish their lessons.
Parents get access to printable lesson plans, teaching tools, detailed reporting and parental support through our online Parent Forum.
Does your child have different achievement levels for math and language arts? No problem. Time4Learning lets you set each individual subject at the appropriate graded level, making this program great for special needs and gifted students.