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Online Christian Homeschool vs. Traditional Christian Homeschool: What’s the Difference?

High school is a common time for families to consider homeschooling. 

Many parents feel their teen’s learning style is not well served in a traditional classroom. Others simply want more flexibility in their schedule for family time, traveling, or activities.

Whether you’ve homeschooled before or are considering it for the first time, you know that high school is a critical time of learning and growth. Your teen is not only working to master academic content; they are thinking about their future and charting a course to reach their goals. They’re asking themselves big questions about life and seeking God’s calling like never before. 

It’s possible to think outside the box when it comes to the curriculum, tools, and learning experience that your teen needs to succeed. You may have heard that online Christian homeschool programs are on the rise, and many families are finding that they are a great fit for older children and teens. 

We’re here to help you understand the key differences between traditional Christian homeschooling and enrolling in an online Christian high school. 

Curriculum and materials selection.

When families choose to homeschool, parents select their own curriculum and supporting materials prior to each school year. At the high school level, many families find that they need to pull from multiple resources to meet the needs of their teen. 

Online schools provide all curriculum and learning resources. If you choose an accredited online Christian school, you can rest assured that they’re getting the highest quality academics.

Instruction and academic support. 

In traditional homeschooling, one parent is usually the primary teacher. This means planning lessons, active instruction, and answering questions your child might have about the content. 

Students enrolled in an online program have expert teachers for each of their courses and are much less reliant on their parents to guide the learning process. Many parents remain involved in their teen’s school experience, but there is no heavy lifting. The school provides instruction and assistance.

Tests, quizzes, and grading.

Tests and quizzes can look different depending on your chosen homeschool curriculum. Some include tests and quizzes, and some parents create their own to measure and grade their child’s progress. 

Parents are not responsible for any grading when their teen is enrolled in online classes. All work — including tests and quizzes — are scheduled at the beginning of the class, completed via the learning platform, and graded by the teacher. Students and parents can quickly and easily view all grades.

Spiritual development. 

For Christian families who choose to homeschool, the spiritual growth of their children is just as important as academic development. In traditional homeschool, parents can teach specific Bible classes or integrate scripture throughout the curriculum.

Students enrolled in online Christian schools typically experience both. They will take Old and New Testament Survey courses, and teachers will integrate biblical truth throughout other subject areas, helping students make real-life connections and learn to apply God’s Word to their lives.

Peer relationships.

As your child gets older, you want them to have opportunities to learn alongside peers, develop their communication skills, and find support from like-minded friends. With traditional homeschooling, this might be accomplished through parent-organized groups or co-ops.

In online school, students are encouraged to communicate with classmates via regular discussion forums, and may even work together on group projects, depending on the class. The flexible learning environment also allows students to connect with peers in their own communities through youth sports, clubs, and activities.

College preparation.

If your teen is college-bound, traditional homeschooling means guiding the college planning process, from identifying strengths and potential majors, to researching scholarships and financial aid, to selecting advanced courses for a leg up in the admissions process. 

Online Christian high school has an intentional college planning process built in. Beginning in ninth grade, students can take college-prep courses, plan college visits, and explore different career paths. Parents will find an active partner to assist with their teen’s next steps.


It is difficult to determine the cost of traditional homeschooling when considering the curriculum and materials, supporting activities, and time investment. 

Online Christian schools typically charge per credit hour, which covers the curriculum, teacher access, academic advising, record keeping, and all academic services such as transcripts, college support, and administration.

Is it possible to do both traditional homeschooling and online Christian school?

Absolutely! Many families find the perfect balance teaching some classes independently and taking others through an online Christian school. High school course content can be complex, and parents may have some classes they feel confident teaching and a few they’d prefer to source out. Students also enjoy the change of pace, as well as the increased autonomy that online courses offer. 

Explore the options for your family today.

If you’re considering online Christian school, we invite you to learn more about The Crest Online and how we support families looking for a flexible, home-based learning experience for their teens.

Request more information, and a member of our admissions team will reach out to you soon.

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