General FAQs

FAQ Categories:

General | High School | Technical | Online Public School | Course Purchase

What is K12?

K12 is the nation's leading provider of online curriculum and support services for grades K–12. Families use the K12 curriculum and learning programs through online public schools, online private schools, blended or "hybrid" schools, and independently through direct course purchase.

How do I purchase courses or enroll my child?

To purchase courses, visit the K12 Online Store. To see what enrollment options are available in your state, go to our SchoolFinder.

How much does it cost?

Costs vary depending on which option you choose. Our online public schools, available in many states, are tuition-free. We have a variety of private school options, each of which has its own fee structure. And you can also purchase courses directly for supplemental or independent homeschool use.

What subjects will my child study?

Language arts, math, science, and history are the core courses. Music and art are offered in appropriate grade levels, and high school students have access to a robust portfolio of elective courses. We also offer summer school courses, world languages for grades 3–12, early learning programs for pre-schoolers, credit recovery, AP courses, STEM courses, and more. Visit our K–8 online courses and high school online courses sections for full lists of all K12 courses.

What is the parent's role?

In the K–8 environment, the parent acts as a Learning Coach who facilitates progress through daily lessons. Suggested weekly lesson plans are provided, which update automatically as the child progresses. The lesson plans can be varied to accommodate the child's pace or abilities. A wide array of practical advice, tips, and substantial support is always available.

In the high school program, the parent still plays an important supportive role to help the student stay on task and ensure follow-through on his or her assignments. During high school, though, the student is expected to start managing his or her own time and academic schedule more directly.

What are K12's education standards?

The K12 team has developed a comprehensive program that is designed to exceed national and state education standards. Our goal is to provide children with an education that is comparable or superior to that provided by the nation's best public and private schools, regardless of demographic constraints.

Is the K12 program accredited?

K12 is an AdvancED-accredited corporation meeting the highest standards of educational management. The parent organization of the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI), AdvancED is dedicated to advancing excellence in education worldwide through accreditation, research, and professional services. NCA CASI and SACS CASI schools share a unified, clear, and powerful accreditation process designed to help schools continuously improve.

Additionally, many K12 schools are accredited by a wide variety of respected accreditation bodies, including:

Can my child work at his or her own pace?

The K–8 program is self-paced and flexible within the parameters specified by the laws of each state. The high school program is a combination of self-paced work and scheduled lessons and activities. Students are expected to achieve a year's academic growth in a year's time.

What role do computers play in the K12 curriculum?

The K12 curriculum and learning platform—the Online School (OLS)—are delivered online. Everything necessary for a comprehensive education is found in the OLS, including lesson plans, attendance tracking, planning and progress tools, resources, materials lists, and much more.

Will my child be sitting in front of a computer all day?

Not at all. Generally, children in grades K–5 do about 20–30 percent of the work online. They do much of the work offline—reading books, solving math problems on paper, drawing, and conducting science experiments. Middle school and high school students have more refined reading skills, so instruction and activities involve increased computer use, according to educational standards. However, offline work will always be essential.

How can I connect with families who are using K12 currently?

First, we suggest that you visit our "What's Your Story" site where you can read real stories from K12 students and families about how an individualized online education has made a difference in their lives. Also, many of our online public schools have Facebook pages set up to connect local families. Feel free to post any questions you may have. In addition, you may want to attend one of the many face-to-face events hosted by K12 and our local schools every month. At these events you can meet current families and talk to teachers and representatives to get a feel for what the program is like day to day. See our events calendar to find out what's coming up in your area.

Does the program provide textbooks and other instructional materials?

Yes, we provide all the textbooks and instructional materials that are needed to complete the program at no cost to families who are enrolled in an online public school program. These books and materials are sent to families directly.

Families enrolled in our private schools may receive materials as part of their tuition. Please check with the school administrator or a K12 customer support representative should you decide to enroll in one of these schools.

Will K12 work for children with special needs? What about gifted children?

Yes. We provide tools that allow students to work at their own pace. K12 works for children who need extra time to master a subject, as well as those who learn quickly. Depending on a child's IEP, we can tailor our curriculum to meet your needs. To discuss your child's needs, please call us.

How many of my children can use K12 at a time?

Because K12 provides all the lesson plans and materials needed for grades K–12, many parents find it easy to enroll multiple children in the program.

How much time do students spend on the computer?

Computers help us provide you with effective assessment, planning, and time-management tools. That's why we use a unique multimedia approach that also includes a great deal of well-written and designed textbooks, workbooks, and hands-on instructional materials. We expect that K–8 students will spend no more than 20–25 percent of their time on the computer in the early grades. High school students spend an average of 6 to 9 hours per week for a regular course and 8 to 12 hours for an Advanced Placement (AP)® course.

What computer skills are required?

Some basic skills are required. Use of the computer is an important part of the program, but in the early grades it is mostly the parent (or other responsible adult) who interacts with the computer. The program is user-friendly.

How do students interact socially?

Throughout the year, students are invited to participate in local outings, field trips, picnics, and other social events. We expect local clusters of students and parents to get together on a regular basis in their areas. With online discussions and forums, new types of communities can be formed that are based not on geography but on shared interests. Students can also join a wide variety of clubs—some student-led, some headed by teachers—covering myriad topics of interests and connecting them to their peers around the nation and across the globe.

What tools are available for parents?

Along with the curriculum, we give you planning and progress tools to help you plan your day, including an electronic calendar with suggested lessons for each day and a detailed outline of the total time required for each lesson. In addition, our built-in online tracking system helps you to determine how your child is progressing in terms of pace and development.

Do you have programs for pre-K and early learners?

EmbarK12 is our proprietary kindergarten readiness program that prepares children ages 3–5 for school and gives them a strong academic foundation. EmbarK12 features more than 800 activities that let you work hands-on with your child in math, language arts, science, social studies, art, and music. Based on the latest early learning research, the program promotes mathematical reasoning, basic literacy, and scientific observation in young learners.

Noodleverse Language Arts is our supplemental online reading and writing skills practice and enrichment program for grades K–3. Thousands of activities help students cement early reading and comprehension skills in phonics, grammar, spelling, etc. Students work on Noodleverse activities independently, which helps them become more confident, competent readers and writers.

Noodleverse programs for other subjects are coming soon.

How does the K12 program teach reading?

K12 has developed a proprietary PhonicsWorks reading program, designed to help young students take those important first steps toward becoming a skilled reader. PhonicsWorks provides easy-to-follow online lessons, and supplemental materials, including a training video, a magnetized letter-tile kit, and illustrated books. PhonicsWorks is designed to help your child recognize the relationship between letters and sounds; blend sounds represented by letters into words; read and spell longer, unfamiliar words by breaking them into syllables; and read sight words.

Will this program intrude into my home?

There are no home visits as part of the program, and there are no cameras or any other intrusions into your home. K12 was created to help your child obtain a first-class education and serve your family's needs. If you ever feel that it is not right for your family or your child, you can withdraw your child at any time.