Frequently Asked Questions about Homeschooling with Athenaeum Academy
Application and Legal FAQ
Why do I have to go through the whole application process for my child to only attend part time?
If you look through the application forms, the application is partly so that we can learn a little bit about your child and their interests, but mostly paperwork that is required for health and safety reasons: emergency contacts, allergy/medical information, that sort of thing. We need the health and safety paperwork for licensing and insurance purposes, and we want to know more about your child so we can make sure they have the best placement. Although parents have final say concerning which day or days their child attends (space permitting, of course), we will sometimes suggest that a child might have a more positive social experience on a different day, with a different mix of students.
If my child is accepted at a private school, even as a part-time student, does that make them a private school student instead of a homeschooler?
Just like homeschoolers report to their home district, private schools send a list of their enrolled student to each student's home district at the beginning of each year. We do this for students who attend Athenaeum Academy for 4 or 5 days a week, but we do not inform home districts about our part time students. Accepted part time students remain legally homeschooled, and are merely attending our program as an enrichment class. The day might be longer, but legally it's exactly the same thing as signing them up for any other extracurricular activity.
Do I have to mention you in my education plan?
Many districts ask you to list everyone who will be teaching your child. Whether they're allowed to ask for that information is a legal gray area, and we won't make a recommendation either way. If you would like to list this information, information about our instructors is available on our Staff page. However, we haven't heard of any district asking for more information about us or our instructors, and it's up to you whether you mention us.
Will my child miss out on things by only attending part time?
We have purposefully built our program to be as considerate as possible of part time students. Classes that homeschoolers participate in happen once a week, on the same day, so that students who only attend that day don't miss anything. When we have certain celebrations and special events, we will invite our entire student body to come visit that day. We can't promise that your child won't miss anything, but we do promise to do our best to make sure that part time students feel as important a part of our student body as full time students.
Scheduling and Coursework FAQs
How religious is your program?
Our program is completely secular. Evolution is a fact, the earth is round, and sources need to be evaluated. We have families from a variety of faiths and backgrounds, and we celebrate and are respectful of diversity. We do celebrate some holidays that have religious roots, such as Halloween and Valentine's Day, as secular celebrations. However, we recognize that not all of our families celebrate these holidays, and we aim to be sensitive of all families and cultures. If you are not comfortable with your child celebrating certain holidays, please let us know.
What if my child doesn't want to participate in a class?
Our homeschooled students are encouraged to make their own schedule! Our elective courses are designed by the students themselves, and our students have always been very good at making compromises to ensure that as many members of the group as possible are happy with the selected themes. However, sometimes a child just isn't interested in the topic. When that happens, we encourage the student to design their own alternate elective, to work on during the class period. To be honest, this has only happened a tiny handful of times: usually, students who are reticent about a certain topic or class see how much fun their friends are having, and end up happily joining the class.
Does my child have to take English or Math? We do that at home.
Your child will undoubtedly be exposed to a variety of English and Math concepts at the Athenaeum Learning Center, but we don't consider our homeschool program as taking the place of a primary curriculum in those subjects. Our full time students study these topics daily, in grade-based classes. Depending on which days your child attends, you could consider our science, art, and social studies programs to be sufficient exposure to those subjects for an elementary-aged student.
Actually, now that you mention it, can my child take Math at the Athenaeum Learning Center? My child really loves Kevin.
Full-time elementary students take Math and English 4 times a week, and Chinese and History 2-3 times a week (depending on their age), in 45 minute periods, that sometimes happen at different points throughout the day. It is not realistic for a homeschooled student to try to participate in this sort of class schedule. If there is a specific subject that you're looking for enrichment in, check out our themed afternoons. Some of our teachers are also available for after-school tutoring.
Starting in Middle School, we open up most of our academic classes to homeschoolers. Many parents don't feel confident teaching every single subject area at a middle school level, and so this allows families to pick and choose which subjects to supplement their home education with. These classes meet 1-3 times a week, and there will be homework assigned for most of them.