Frequently Asked Questions
NO - YOU are: the legal, authorized educational institution called, "THE HOMESCHOOL FAMILY."
There are basically 2 major models for homeschooling:
- Homeschooling: Doing ALL courses at home both offline and/or online (or combination of both).
- Those who do this are legal, authorized educational institutions. You, The "Smith" Homeschool does all transcripts, grades, record keeping, manages all courses, etc.
- You choose ALL curricula. It is a "buffet" of textbooks and curricula packages from a variety of companies. You are in complete control - No government intervention. You can choose the best, conservative, truthful, Christian Worldview, excellent curricula for all subjects. The options today are nothing short of amazing! Go to Apologia.com
- For some of your courses, you might use an online educational program that is only assisting you but NOT an actual "school" because YOU (your homeschool) is the actual school.
- Some homeschool families also add occasional Co-Op groups for certain subjects.
- Schooling At Home: Using an online virtual full-service "School" who does all the above (#1) for you.
- They are a legal educational institution, NOT you.
- You are under their authority.
- They choose (mostly) all subjects for you.
- They do all curricula, assignments, grades, obtain all documents from you, transcripts, record keeping, decisions for your children, etc.
- We are the #1 model above. We work with the pure, true homeschool community that doesn't want others telling them what to do.
- The #2 full-service model above is a legitimate option if this is what you are looking for. Just know that it isn't really "homeschooling" in the original sense (no offense intended).
- In the beginning (no, not that 'one!'), families began to homeschool because they wanted full charge of input into their children's minds and were tired of the godless, reconstructing history, politically 'correct' government schools.
- We are NOT a full-service "school."
- We do not have all classes needed for graduation.
- We assist the homeschooling families with the classes we provide.
- All of our courses are:
- High quality, College preparatory courses
- All have a credit value to record on your records/transcripts. Most are worth 1 full credit. Some more, some less.
- Our professional teachers do all grading, testing, etc. But you, as the homeschool institution, record all the grading in your own bookkeeping records.
- Taught by homeschool moms & dads, doctorate, masters, and other educated adults who are experts and specialists in their fields, are evangelical Christians with a Biblical worldview. Most have been on our team for many years and are the best in the industry. RETURN
1B. HELP!!! HOW DO I BEGIN HOMESCHOOLING? ARE YOU HOMESCHOOLING OR SCHOOLING AT HOME?
Also see #1A above. Here are excellent resources to help you:
To find out what your state requires, go to HSLDA.org - Do a lot of browsing there. (remember: Apologia Online Academy has been voted #1 in our Science & Bible Departments for the past 3 years, including this year, by the readers of the largest homeschool magazine in the country) RETURN
2A. What does it cost for live teacher-graded courses?
- Our classes are interactive, live, and dynamic. Our goal is to assist your student and you Family Homeschool in learning the material, asking questions, hearing additional ideas, and mastering the subject.
Our costs are competitive, reasonable, payable in full or installments, and carefully set for maximum stewarship of both you and Apologia.
- Please refer to individual classes for costs (HOME tab/scroll down, or HERE)
- Don't forget to use a discount PROMO code during checkout. RETURN
Yes! You can choose to pay in full or by an easy payment plan that is automatically generated by calculating your day of registration to Oct. 31. (you can request different dates for your debit schedule).
- There are no additional fees for choosing a payment plan.
- All payments are due by the end of October.
- Payment plans will depend on the date you register:
- When you look at the class(es) you wish to take, the system will estimate the payment plan (bottom of info page for the class). This is system generated, but flexible (you can contact us AFTER you register and we can change it)
- So, please register first and then send us a list of when you'd like to pay (weekly, every other, monthly, etc.) keeping in mind that your balance must be paid in full my Oct. 31.
- You may request a different payment plan by emailing Assistance@ApologiaOnlineAcademy.com
- LIVE Personal and professional instruction by qualified teachers in the sciences (masters, bachelor, and doctorate degrees); Christian theologians and apologists in the Bible, Apologetics, and Worldview Department. In all LIVE-GRADED classes, students communicate via the live chat box. If they wish to use their microphone for a question or discussion, they can ask the teacher for permission. All attendees can hear the student speak (teachers have control of all mics). Most teachers can be seen on their live webcam. Students cannot be seen.
- What if I cannot fit the class day & time into my schedule? That's ok. Simply you will register for the same LIVE class but will watch the recording of that class later, within a day or 2. Simply notify the teacher that you will be attending class via the recording. You are still accountable for ALL DEADLINES for assignments, tests, etc. You may submit questions via the Student Portal email either before or after the live class. You are welcome to attend a live session when possible. See also #9.
- Weekly 60-90-minute classes and a total of 32 sessions (16 per semester) in most Departments (30 sessions /15 per semester in some Departments - see class for specifics). Math Department meets twice a week, 45 minutes each. Teachers prepare lectures to assist students with what they have studied during the week. Time is available during class for discussion and questions. Students are expected to interact in class by asking questions and making comments when prompted. Weekly classes are not meant to be a substitute for homework and class preparation. If students do not ask a lot of questions, classes may be shortened. Class duration is an estimate, not a standard.
- Student portal and study site 24/7. Each registered student receives an invitation in August and creates a unique username and password for access to their very own web page that includes all notes, syllabus, assignments, tests, quizzes, audio & video clips, discussions, and other extras.
- Professional Grading: Most assignments, tests, quizzes, papers, etc. are graded by the teacher and posted on the student portal. Parental involvement, although minimal in most cases, is very important. Parents are still needed to check on completed assignments, assist with labs, and if necessary observe quiz & test taking. (As the authorized, legal educational institution, your homeschool is responsible for keeping all records, grades, transcripts, and any other documentation necessary for being accepted by other schools, colleges, or universities.)
- Textbooks/Required Materials: These are separate costs for all classes and not a part of any enrollment costs. Many families have their own materials and/or pass textbooks down from one child to the next.
- Class Recordings: You will have full access to previously recorded classes and our professional virtual classroom. If your student is absent for a class, he/she can always watch the recording 24/7. (The AdobeConnect® web conferencing network we use gives you full access to notes, slides, pictures, web pages, audio and video clips, chat features, and our whiteboard where teachers write class notes on a virtual whiteboard. So if you miss a class, nothing is lost by missing the LIVE session.) RETURN
5. CAN ELEMENTARY students TAKE LIVE CLASSES?
- In general, Apologia Online Academy is for Jr. High (Middle School) through High School. Adults are also welcome to take classes.
- Apologia Online Academy does not offer elementary classes with the exception of our What We Believe course, which can be taken by students 6th grade and above. RETURN
- Apologia Online Academy is certified and authorized by Apologia Educational Ministries, Inc. as a college-prep, excellence-in-education assistance program for your homeschool family.
- The truth: Homeschool accreditation is not required for you or anyone else. In fact:
- No state requires that a homeschool program, curriculum, or diploma be accredited. Most institutions of higher learning do not require this either, although there may be exceptions by individual institutions or programs; and of course schools may change their requirements at any time.
- HSLDA (HomeSchool Legal Defense Association) makes it clear: "We have chosen not to pursue accreditation simply because we don't need to. Accreditation is unnecessary for courses used in a homeschool curriculum. In fact, not all public high schools are accredited. As a homeschooling parent, you have the freedom to choose the courses that you think are best for your students."
- Apologia Online Academy has no need to seek accreditation due to the fact the YOU, the Homeschool Institution, are the legal, recognized, authorized educational institution. We offer our classes to independent homeschools as a resource for the parents. Although your student will receive grades from their academy instructor, you are responsible for issuing the appropriate credit(s) and preparing their official transcript.
- More information:
- https://www.thehomeschoolmom.com/what-is-accreditation-should-my-homeschool-be-accredited/ RETURN
7. ARE YOUR COURSES CONSIDERED "AP"
- The issue with AP courses is that in order to call them an AP course on a transcript, the instruction HAS to come from a certified AP teacher and be more rigorous than the average course. Because our courses are designed for homeschoolers, even though they may contain AP-level work, the student cannot honestly place these courses on their transcript as AP courses if they have only had home instruction.
However, the majority of students after taking our advanced courses (science), would sign up at their local high school for the AP exam without a problem. If they do that and score well, they can call the respective course Honors Biology (Chemistry or Physics) and then place an asterisk next to the title. On the bottom of the transcript can be a short statement, saying “*AP test score:__”.
Unfortunately, these restrictions are because of the College Board’s desire to reign in the misuse of students calling any rigorous class an AP course (with no plan to take the accompanying AP exam), thus overfilling their transcripts with excessively padded courses.
Our advanced courses are definitely college level in their content, and if a student would like to take an AP exam we recommend they also go through an AP prep book in their respective subject while taking the advanced course. That way, they are more aware of the types of questions that will be asked and have access to a few practice AP tests, too. RETURN
- Dropping a class before August 1st: full refund (see Terms & Conditions link). ($50 registration fee is non-refundable)
- Dropping a class August 1st to the day before classes begin: Total paid to date minus 20% & $50 registration (which is non-refundable)
- After classes begin, first 2 weeks only: Total paid to date minus 30% & $50 registration (which is non-refundable)
- After the 2nd week of classes there are no refunds.
- Drop fees are imposed because:
- Teachers have already been paid for your student(s), administration activities and other labors have been performed in great detail, classes have been prepared including your Student Portal, assignments, teacher prep, notes, lessons, test creation, and many other duties performed for you and your student(s) beginning in August. These fees are carefully thought out and designed to be fair to both customer and company.
- The bank and registration company charge us $15-$30 per transaction, per student.
- For Refunds contact Assistance@ApologiaOnlineAcademy.com
- (Video On Demand rentals are NOT refundable). RETURN
You will still register as a LIVE student. You will let the teacher know that your student will need to watch the recording of the live class (a "Recorded/Graded" student). You'll have all the benefits of the LIVE students with teacher interaction & professional grading. You will turn in assignments on time witht he same deadlines as LIVE students. You can attend the LIVE class whenever you can. Recordings are usually ready to view immediately after the live class. You must watch the class within a day or two of the LIVE class in order to keep up with the deadlines. See also #4 RETURN
You may rent for a full 12 months either individual class sessions, or the entire year. CLICK HERE for more. There are no refunds when renting VIDEO ON DEMAND classes. If you would like to see samples, please CLICK HERE. RETURN
Any instructor who is ill or cannot teach a particular session will do one of two things:
- Have all students watch a recorded class and report completion before the next class.
- A substitute will fill in live for the teacher. In the unlikely event that neither one or two is possible, the class will be made up at a later date convenient to all. You will always have about 32 full sessions in the Science Department, and 30+/- in the Bible/Apologetics/Worldview Department. RETURN
Laboratory experiments are performed at home per textbook instructions and are reported to the teacher. Our online classes (Jr. High through High School) assign significant importance to teaching students how to write effective formal lab reports. A large part of the yearly grade is determined by the lab reports. Some teachers may show video clips of the labs, perform them live during an online live class, etc., but will always answer questions students may have about the labs they completed prior to the live online class.
- HOW ARE THE LABS GRADED:
- EXAMPLE: For the Advanced Biology course with Mrs. Fowler, all of the experiments/labs in the text are expected to be completed by the student at home. These are thoroughly discussed in class beforehand, so the student fully understands the assignments, and videos are provided for the dissections. A lab report is to be written for each lab and kept in a notebook for general grading; a minimum of one formal lab report per semester is submitted to the instructor for item-by-item grading. All tests are graded by the instructor as well. RETURN
13. do we have to do real dissections? why can't we just watch them online, virtually?
Why Perform Dissections at Home with Apologia Online Academy?
From Loisann Fowler, Apologia Online Academy Instructor: There is an amazing awareness of God’s power of creation as we observe the various parts of living organisms. As you identify that the heart is made of tough and muscular material and how it is centrally located to the body versus the softer kidneys or the other organs and their placement, you begin to ask yourself, “How did these cells ‘know’ to form this as they divided? How do heart cells know to be heart cells and how do liver cells know to be liver cells? What is driving this complexity?” This experience drives us to a better understanding of the power of our Creator.
There is rich detail beyond words when participating in a dissection, which cannot be experienced through watching a video. Is it messy? It can be. Does it take some forethought and preparation? Certainly, but less than many think. Among Academy students, we hear repeatedly, “The dissection was so cool! I didn’t think I’d like it, but it was my favorite part of this class!” Even the most reluctant express, “Though I didn’t necessarily enjoy it, I’m glad I did it.”
From Sherri Seligson, scientist and author of Exploring Creation with Marine Biology: [Live dissections] prepare us in many ways for adulthood. Watching a video of a dissection removes us from deep observation. We look at the images and may just think everything is “gross.” But when you are doing a dissection for yourself, you are more aware of what living beings look like on the inside. You are learning more than you realize. As a parent, I cannot tell you how many times it was helpful to me to know and understand what makes up our bodies. Through stitches, broken bones, other injuries and sicknesses, I have a greater understanding of how to care for my children and to be there for them as they are scared with blood running down their forehead or with swelling ankles.
Matt Barclay, Apologia Online Academy Instructor, Video Producer at Apologia: Instead of visiting Disneyland, the beach, or their favorite vacation destination, would we rather watch a video of someone else at that same location? Of course not. Why not? Because it’s not the same as being there. There’s a true value in experience. Listening to a recording of a symphony isn’t the same as sitting in the orchestra seats and feeling the resonance in your whole body. When asked about why he preferred stage acting to movies, Kevin Spacey answered “breath.” He went on to explain that on the stage, you share your very breath with the audience. There’s a real difference in being there.
Not going into science in college or later in life is not the point either. Although the student may change her mind, we don't 'dumb-down' other topics. As a seminarian, I didn't refuse to take Greek and Hebrew since I wasn't planning on being a linguist. In Bible College, it was required to take a missionary course on building structures. I knew I was not called to be a missionary and had no plans to build a church in a foreign land. Wow, was I wrong. Although I did not go to the mission field and build a building, and even though I fought the course all the way through, I used the knowledge over and over throughout my life. In High School, as much as I disliked History, I had to experience the entire discipline. Now I love History even though I didn't take it in College and did not go into a vocation using History (well, actually I did to some degree...). The discipline in doing real dissections will be used broadly in the future and in life. We believe they indeed are necessary for future college plans. This is how we see it and are aware others see it differently.
And, these are some of the reasons we expect Apologia Online Academy students to do the dissections in our sciences. RETURN
Any speed will do as long as it is NOT dial-up (is that still available?). Apologia Online Academy uses Adobe Connect Meetings for classes. Please go to the following site to test your connection and computer: ADOBE CONNECT MEETINGS TEST. RETURN
Log in to your account and begin registration (students are added to your account ONLY by registering them - you cannot add a student who is not registered). RETURN
16. email support vs. phone support
Great assistance with accuracy must have follow up and include a paper trail (for clarity) pertaining to your questions & support needs. Many large companies have started using email as the primary form of communication. Most questions are easily answered on the FAQS & FEES page. We are happy to answer all your questions. But we can answer almost 10 times the amount of questions via email. Read on:
- We can answer emails at a rate of 10 to 1 over calls. Crazy, right? Apologia Online Academy can serve the public much quicker via email, which takes an average of 3-5 minutes compared to phone calls at about 15-30 min each.
- If you are unable to find an answer, feel free to call Customer Service at 1-888-524-4724
- Summary: After perusing the FAQS & FEES page, please feel free to ask as many specific questions as you wish via Assistance@ApologiaOnlineAcademy.com RETURN
17. DOES APOLOGIA ONLINE ACADEMY TAKE INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS?
Absolutely! We have many missionaries and military families registered.
NOTE: When registering, be aware that the system does NOT take non-USA States & Zip/Postal codes (option will be added later). US territories ARE accepted: AA,AE,AP,AS,DC,FM,GU,MH,MP,PR,PW,UM,VI.
IMPORTANT: When entering your address:
- Enter your real address.
- Enter "ME" for State and "04007" for Zip (04007 - like James Bond!!!)
Yes, it'll work just fine.
- SUPER-IMPORTANT: When checking out, you MUST use your REAL zip/postal code that is connected with your credit card. When prompted at check-out, please use the correct code regardless what you enterered for your address previously. RETURN
18. IN WHAT TIME ZONE ARE ALL CLASSES?
- ET (Eastern Time) which is the same as New York. Please click HERE to see what time it is now in the Academy time zone. Then convert your difference accordingly in order to choose the correct class times for your homeschool.
19. FORGOT YOUR REGISTRATION ACCOUNT PASSWORD? HERE'S HOW TO RECOVER IT
- Please click the 2-minute video instruction below
- Remember: this is for the account you used when you registered. It is not for our Canvas Student Portal, Apologia, or any other account.
20. IS THERE A RECOMMENDED GRADE AND/OR GRADE SEQUENCE AND ORDER OF CLASSES TO TAKE?
- Science Dept. Courses:
- Language, Literature, Government and Mathematics Dept. Courses: Please see the individual class descriptions for age/grade suggestions.
- Christian Worldview Deptartment:
- What We Believe Series: for all 6-9th grade students
- All other courses in suggested order: (your choice - these are only suggestions)
- Essential Apologetics: Defending Christianity (7-8th ok, recommended 9-12th - a 'must' before graduating!)
- Essential Apologetics: Defending Creation Against Darwinian Evolution (7-12th)
- Critical Theology: Cults & World Religions (7-12th)
- A Survey of Competing Worldviews (9-12th)
- Logic/Thinking Like a Christian (advanced 7-8th, 9-12th)
- Philosophy & Ethics (9-12th) RETURN
21. HOW MANY CREDITS ARE YOUR CLASSES WORTH?
Here is the general rule: Students need to put in 120-180 hours of course work to gain one whole credit or 60-90 hours to gain a half-credit (electives credit is no different than for other highschool subjects).
- 1 Semester class = 1/2 credit (60-90 hours)
- 2 Semester (full year) class = 1 credit (120-180 hours)
IMPORTANT: Apologia Online Academy classes are:
- 60-90 minutes each week, and 30-33 sessions (about 15 or 16 sessions per semester). The exception is our math courses: 45 minutes, two days per week.
- The above hours, of course, come to a minimum of 180 hours of LIVE, in-class instruction. Adding your homework etc. takes you way over the top for full-credit courses.
Other important notes:
- YOU (your homeschool) is in charge of all credits & transcripts. You are in charge. Someone (or 'two') in your household is the school Principal, administrator, secretary, and manager, not Apologia Online Academy.
- All but 1 or 2 of our courses are full year
- Please check with your state Homeschool Association for guidance.
- For state-specific graduation requirements, if your state has them and what they are, go to the Homeschool Legal Defense Association. RETURN
22. WHY CAN'T WE REFUND YOU WHEN YOU FORGET TO "+ APPLY" THE PROMO CODE DISCOUNT?
If you forget to click the "+" (Apply) button when entering a promo code discount, we cannot refund you. Here's why:
- We get charged by the CC bank and Registration Company for every refunded transaction.
- For example: to refund $60 for a $600 transaction costs us about $30. We can refund you if you are willing to get only a partial refund on the discount amount (it is by percentage - a lower transaction begets a lower fee).
How to NOT MISS applying your discount code properly:
- Watch a short video instruction:
- DO NOT ENTER A CC # BEFORE SEEING THE PRICE CHANGE.
- When entering a promo code you must click the "+" (apply) button AND MAKE SURE YOU SEE THE PRICE CHANGE before entering a CC and submitting payment. RETURN