The Keystone SchoolConsumerAffairs Unaccredited Brand
I have used the K12 public online schools for two other kids in the house, so we were not new to the online experience. This is truly a self-paced program, which my son prefers so that he can work on assignments as quickly as he can and use his afternoons for golf. The classes are challenging and focus a great deal on writing papers, and incorporating MLA format in all classes.
You can print a daily schedule based on your projected end date for the courses. It's not completely accurate, but in general works fairly well (it doesn't take into account the time you might need for a paper vs. a 5 question quiz). If your child cannot stay on task and gets behind, you do have an entire year to finish a course. However, if you are trying to finish it like a typical school year they can definitely run into problems if you are not supervising or your child is not motivated.
To give you a rough daily idea of what we're doing... he starts class between 7 and 8 am. He takes a little break between each, and works about an hour a day on each (they have 5 classes). He's done for the day around noon, and this is a schedule for him to complete the semester in 3 months (working Mon-Fri). It's great for kids in extracurricular activities, or those who work and need to change schedules around. As far as online schools go, I am very happy with the choice. People who complain about it likely wouldn't do well with any online school.
Teachers are prompt to respond to emails and you can call and get help asap during regular business hours. There are NO live classes to watch. The lessons do contain videos at times, but in general the middle school classes are materials the kids sit and read. They're organized and closely match or exceed the honors classes we switched from in our public schools.
My daughter wanted to take a language that wasn't offered at her public high school, so we signed her up at Keystone. She just finished German 1 and recently started German 2. She's very satisfied with both classes. My husband is fluent in German, he reviewed some of the lessons and says the material is accurate. There is a teacher assigned to the classroom. My daughter has contacted the teacher 3-4 times throughout the courses with questions and the teacher always responded within a day.
This program IS NOT EASY, but is on par with a high school level course. A typical course in a "brick and mortar" public school system is about 45 minutes a day for 180 days, and Keystone courses take just about the same amount of time. You need to complete all the lessons and assignments before the course is considered complete. The lessons are very comprehensive. The assessments are taken directly from learned material, so as long as the student takes notes and studies, they'll find the quizzes and tests to be relevant and of an appropriate degree of difficulty. Keystone uses "Blackboard" to deliver the course material, which is the same software most colleges use. I would definitely recommend Keystone.
We wanted to try homeschool for my daughter. We purchased 8th grade math from Keystone with the understanding that if she did well with online school, we would purchase the other courses needed for her classes. My daughter found errors in the first chapter; there was a math game that had the student "shoot" the correct answer. The problem was -4 x -5. My daughter hit 20 and was told she was wrong. She was told the correct answer was -9, which is only correct with addition -- not multiplication.
She then had a problem where the student was to change a mixed number into a fraction. The instructions said to multiply the denominator and numerator together and add the numerator. They later contradicted the original statement, saying correctly that you multiply the denominator by the whole number and add the numerator.
These are just two of the many examples of errors found in the materials. This company is now saying they will only refund a portion of the total cost, stating that my daughter already took some of the lessons. Give me a break. My 13-year-old child could teach this class better than the material we received. We reached out to find that our “teacher” was no longer working there. I emailed and then spoke to the “principal” who said that she would put in a “ticket” to correct the errors we found. When I asked why the teacher had not proofread the material I was told they did not have time to do so. My point is that the student is there to learn, not to correct the materials. I have had multiple conversations and emails and still just promises of refunds. Buyer beware!
The Keystone School expert review by ConsumerAffairs
The Keystone School is a private, tuition-based online school. Started in 1974, The Keystone School was one of the first in the industry to develop distance learning and online schooling. The Keystone School has had students from all 50 states and nearly 100 countries.
Enrollment options: The Keystone School allows students to enroll in grades K-12 for a comprehensive education or to simply purchase individual course modules to supplement another schooling program.
Flexible tuition: Students who enroll full-time can receive a discount. There are also discounts for military families and those with more than one student enrolled. Discounts will only be applied if enrollment is done over the phone.
College acceptance: Students with Keystone diplomas have been accepted at all types of colleges including prestigious institutions such as New York University, Dartmouth, Duke, Notre Dame, Stanford, Yale, Rice, and West Point.
Accreditation: Keystone is accredited by AdvancED/Northwest Accreditation Commission and the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.
Student support: Keystone offers many ways for parents and students to get support, including access to teachers, learning coaches, counselors and staff. There are also class discussion forums, clubs, and social media pages.
Best for: homeschooled students, student performers and military families.
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The Keystone School Company Information
- Company Name:
- The Keystone School
- Year Founded:
- 920 Central Road
- Postal Code:
- United States
- (800) 255-4937