This week on HSHSP Ep 137: What Are Umbrella Schools for Homeschool High School? This post is running concurrently on the Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network.
What Are Umbrella Schools for Homeschool High School?
What kind of support is there for homeschooling high school families? There is so much these days. One of the most valuable supports is the umbrella school.
Other names for umbrella schools include: charter schools, university-model schools, hybrid schools, one-day schools.
7SistersHomeschool’s birth came out of Mt. Sophia Academy, an umbrella school registered as a non-public school in Delaware. Since its inception in 1996, Marilyn has served as principal, Vicki was academic advisor for 18 years, Sabrina, Kym, Sara, and Allison have served as teachers and other leadership positions.
Umbrella schools are generally designed to help homeschooling high schoolers as:
- A liaison with the state Department of Education
- Transcript service
- Academic and career advising
- Optional on-campus courses
- Support groups
When families are part of an umbrella school, the school is support for you, but you are still the in-charge person. They are not homeschooling your children FOR you but WITH you.
If you are a member of an umbrella school, be sure to:
- Check communications from the school
- Remember YOU are still the person responsible for your homeschool high schoolers’ education
- Maintain active involvement with your homeschool high schooler
- It may take time to get a needed Drivers’ Ed letter, College Recommendation letter or other forms (because staff has a calendar of responsibilities). SO PLAN AHEAD
- Know that an umbrella school will have rules and norms that makes things work. Help your teen get used to following them.
- Train your teens on social skills. Make sure your social skills are sharp. (You’ll get a kick out of this HSHSP Interview with Melanie Wilson of Homeschool Sanity Podcast on what to do about homeschooling mean moms.)
In the group classes, teachers usually provide a syllabus for course. This will provide information on assignments, tests, projects, along with texts and grading scales.
Also do here are more tips to help you successfully work with your teen who is taking an umbrella school course. These are also helpful guidelines for teens in co-op classes.
- Make sure you and your student read and follow the syllabus
- Download a copy of Scheduling Backwards from 7Sisters
- Make, with your homeschool high schoolers, a calendar of papers, projects, tests, due dates, and when to start projects. (You’ll appreciate this episode on avoiding Crunchtime Crazies…as in what to do when teens are procrastinating.)
- Check to make sure your printer has ink
- Make sure you communicate with teachers and staff in plenty of time
- Keep an eye on grades (many umbrella schools have an online grading app)
Tips for parents who are teaching umbrella school courses.
- Help set a friendly and inclusive atmosphere.
- Set atmosphere of brining new teens in an accepting them.
- Teach teens how to do classroom discussion, explain how it works. (Sabrina has some great ideas, listen in!)
- Use *participation chips* to encourage classroom discussion (Sabrina and Kym give out poker chips for participating, which give teens extra credit OR teens must earn X-number of chips each class.)
- Talk about expectations on the first day.
- Be clear to explain and enforce rules and norms about respect of each other, adults, facilities.
- Train teens to initiate questions on homework and assignments, rather than parents. This is a great life skills.
You’ll also enjoy these posts:
- 5 Steps for Catching Up When Your Homeschool High School is Behind.
- Helping Teens Learn to Use a Syllabus
- How and Why to Write a Syllabus
- How and Why to Write Course Descriptions