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Has anyone used either of these programs? Any input on them would be great. :)


Specifically, I am looking for what you thought of them overall, but also if, while you were attending, how the courses looked, and what the work was like. Finally, once you are enrolled, if you take courses at the local college, or at the local high school, is it easy to transfer them?


All help is really appreciated, thank you!!!! :)

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We have been using Keystone for DS, and expect him to get a diploma from them eventually. Keystone can be a lifesaver if your DC needs the flexibility (our DS has had health issues...much better now...with good and bad days to work around.) Keystone has been very good about transfering public high school credits, as well as credits from other online providers given appropriate documentation. They will accept a limited number of homeschool portfolio courses, but we did not use that feature.


Course quality at Keystone varies, and the adults need to check the materials during the refund peiod to be sure you are getting what you want. There can be a significant amount of busywork involved in these courses, which use standard high school textbooks and methodologies. There are often errors in the online tests....multiple correct keys. Our experience is that Keystone will credit these if challenged, but one needs to be aware of the possibility.


There are far better courses available.....we have used Lukeion and Scholars Online for some things and are enthusiastic about both these providers...but Keystone covers the basics with flexibility.

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My ds is currently enrolled in courses with Keystone, Oak Meadow and American School. We also considered Laurel Springs, but we decided it was just too expensive. Incidentally, Laurel Springs granted us 24 hour access to their online system so we could preview it. I was impressed with the clear explanation of assignments and detailed rubrics outlining requirements. However, the course content seemed to be mainly reading material online, and I didn't feel it was worth the high cost. They do offer a high level of teacher involvement and college/career counseling, so if this were highly desired and money no object, it could be a good option.


So far, we are pleased with Keystone. It is a very traditional textbook-based approach, but it has a lot to offer considering the reasonable cost. I like the fact that they combine online work with textbooks. Therefore, the student goes through a brief online introduction to the lesson, then reads the material in the textbook, and completes a self-check quiz online, which is automatically graded. Tests and assignments are submitted online, and are graded by the course teacher within 72 hours. I am pleased with the level of support available at such a reasonable price. They also offer correspondence courses which are similar but everything is submitted through mail, and these are quite inexpensive.


Oak Meadow is more of the caliber of Laurel Springs, so we only chose one course from them. Their assignments are very thought-provoking and push students to truly interact with, think through and assimilate the material. There are also multiple assignment choices available addressing different learning styles. OM is great for students who like a more holistic, interactive approach without busywork and mindless regurgitation of facts.


However, if you prefer the latter approach :) American School is a good choice. I have also been impressed with American School's materials. They are traditional like Keystone, but offer the bare-basics, no frills, no real support. This can be a big bonus for students who just want to learn the material and get credit without a lot of extras; the direct antithesis to OM or LS. That said, I don't feel AS's materials are watered down or too easy. They are simply efficient. The only issue is they don't offer many advanced classes, so you would likely have to take some 11th and 12th grade courses elsewhere.


As for tranferring, there is never any guarantee that one school will accept credits from another. However, the best insurance you have of credit acceptance is if the credit was earned at a school that is accredited by one of the major regional accreditation agencies. All of the schools I have mentioned (Laurel Springs, Keystone, Oak Meadow, American School) carry this accreditation, so you could transfer credit between any of these programs. Colleges will recognize these credits as well. Some umbrella schools carry some sort of accreditation, but if it is not by one of the big regionals, it may not be accepted (Oak Meadow informed me, for example, that they cannot accept credits granted by NARHS, because their accrediting agency is not one of the big regionals).


Hope that helps, and best of luck with your decision.

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The best of the Keystone courses are interactive...there are textbook reading assignments and questions to address, but also online activities. The ungraded test-youself online quizzes, usually one for each week's worth of work, are helpful. They can be taken as many times as you like until you are confident of the material. The online graded tests are part multiple choice, part teacher-graded short answer and essays....feedback on the multiple choice part is immediate, with the rest coming back within two or three days.


However, some of the courses are not interactive and involve textbook readings and assignments only, plus the online graded tests. These are less effective and harder to motivate.


In either case, the textbooks are included in the fees and are yours to keep. They can be marked up and highlighted in whatever way helps you learn. This, too, is very helpful.


Good luck....


One really has to look through a particular course during the refund period to be sure it is a good one.

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