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Alabama Homeschool Cover Schools

Alabama Homeschool Cover Schools
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Prior to updates to the Alabama homeschool law in 2014, using a cover school was the only viable way to homeschool your child without having your school approved by the state board of education. As a result, the vast majority of Alabama homeschoolers taught their children at home through enrollment in a cover school (also called a church school or umbrella school)*. Although cover schools in Alabama are not as necessary for homeschooling as they once were, many families still prefer this option. On this page, we’ll look at some of the reasons families might choose to register with a church school, questions to ask a church school before enrolling, share a list of some popular church schools in the state, and how Time4Learning works with Alabama homeschool cover schools.

*The terms “cover school,” “umbrella school,” and “church school” are used interchangeably on this page.

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Legal disclaimer: This page provides suggestions and information on how to meet the mandatory school attendance laws in Alabama. It is not intended and should not be used as definitive legal advice. In most states, parents find a variety of legal methods to pursue the educational approach that they prefer for their child.

Church Schools in Alabama

Although this is by no means an exhaustive list, here is a list of some of the most popular church schools in Alabama.

  • Asbury Academy
  • Calvary School
  • Contemporary Education Academy
  • Crossroads Christian School
  • Dayspring Christian Academy
  • Essential Church School
  • Everest Academy
  • Ezekiel Academy
  • Franklin School and Homeschool Center
  • HOPE Christian Academy
  • River Quest Academy
  • Way Home Christian School
  • Whitesburg Christian School

Pros and Cons of Umbrella Schools in Alabama

When you are deciding to homeschool in AL your first choice is usually whether to use an umbrella school or to set up your own private home instruction. To help you in your decision, it may be useful to know the advantages and disadvantages of homeschooling under a cover school. Below you will find some of the considerations to take into account when determining the best route for your student and your family.

Umbrella Schools

  • Some cover schools may offer extracurricular activities or other social gatherings for enrolled students.
  • Some cover schools offer transcripts and diplomas for enrolled students.
  • Some cover schools offer regular support meetings for enrolled parents as well as a curriculum lending library.
  • Some cover schools offer graduation ceremonies for enrolled students.
  • Since most cover schools charge fees, the only way to get free homeschool in Alabama is to set up a private home school.
  • If a cover school dissolves, it may be very difficult to get records in the future.
  • Parents must submit attendance records to their cover school. Some cover schools require additional record submissions as well.
  • Some cover schools require a statement of faith to enroll.

Questions to Ask Your Cover School

If you’ve weighed the decision and have decided to move forward with enrollment in a cover school in Alabama, you still have another choice to make: which cover school should you use? Depending on your overall goals for homeschooling, the following may be questions you should ask each school you are considering.

  • What are the enrollment fees and/or tuition costs?
  • Are you a statewide cover school or do you operate in a specific region?
  • What items do you require our homeschool to report to you, and how often?
  • What services do you provide in regards to transcripts and diplomas?
  • What services do you provide in regards to extracurricular activities for students?
  • What services do you provide in regards to parental support while homeschooling?
  • What rules and policies do you require homeschool families to follow?
  • Do you require a statement of faith to enroll?
  • What happens to my student’s records if the cover school ceases operation?

Homeschool Umbrella Schools and Time4Learning

Most cover schools in Alabama allow parents to choose whatever curriculum, or blend of curricula, works best for their student. Many of those families have chosen to use Time4Learning’s online program for umbrella students because it has a host of benefits for homeschooling families. Time4Learning uses fun, multimedia lessons to teach students in PreK-12 the fundamentals of math, language arts, science, social studies and more. Students love that concepts are presented via animated lessons and instructional videos. Parents love that Time4Learning takes care of all the grading and record-keeping so they can stay focused on supporting their children.

Additional Resources Related to Homeschooling Alabama

Have other questions about homeschooling in Alabama? You may find the following pages helpful.

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