Umbrella Organizations

Umbrella OrganizationsLooking for someone to tailor a program to fit your needs? Someone to help with the record keeping and prepare transcripts? Are you someone who prefers accountability? You might be interested in an umbrella organization.

These groups vary greatly in the services they provide, their level of involvement, options, and cost. Before signing up with any organization, make sure that their method of operation is compatible with your philosophy.

“Umbrella programs can be a boon to parents who want assistance in choosing curriculum, planning schedules, and maintaining records. Generally, these programs don’t require a great deal of preparation or teaching time….The negative trade off when using such programs is that you loose flexibility in curriculum choices and scheduling and in your ability to adapt to each child’s needs. Nevertheless, such programs help parents who lack confidence, are disorganized, or do not have time and energy to go it alone.” — Cathy Duffy, 100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum

In other words, don’t pick an umbrella organization that requires you to only use their traditional curriculum if you are someone who prefers unit studies. A Beka, Alpha Omega, Bob Jones and School of Tomorrow all have academies utilizing their own curricula. Other umbrella options may be more flexible.

Services you can look for include diagnostic testing, personalized program planning, grading, transcription services, writing evaluation services, online course offerings, completion certificates, diplomas, and educational guidance by phone, fax, e-mail, Internet, or newsletter.