Added Educational Support for Homeschoolers

Independent Study Students Receive More Assistance from a Credentialed Teacher

Sometimes parents and students need extra support from a credentialed teacher to aid with student instruction. The Independent Study option is especially good for students who are struggling in school, or need a more flexible schedule. To help these families, Horizon Charter Schools (HCS) provides the opportunity for more assistance from the family’s Supervising Teacher (ST).

Although very similar to Home Study, families that choose Independent Study for all or some of their children receive a more hands-on approach. As with Home Study, your ST will help develop a Personalized Learning Plan based on the California Academic Content Standards and the individual child’s abilities, interests, and learning style, but with Independent Study, your ST will meet with you and your child on a more frequent basis, providing additional guidance, oversight and input.

High school students often choose independent study to allow them the freedom to pursue their individual academic and career interests and goals under the guidance of a California credentialed instructor. Independent Study also affords older students the ability to have a more flexible schedule than they would in a traditional classroom setting, giving them the opportunity to enroll in Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses (formerly ROP), take advanced placement or community college classes, or pursue internships or other career opportunities.

Students in Horizon Charter Schools’ Independent Study program enjoy the same benefits as those in the Home Study program including:

Increased Student Funds

As a public charter school, there are never any tuition fees and all classes, study trips, and educational materials can be paid for with state-provided student funds. To help families get even more from their independent study experience, this year we raised the amount of funds you have to spend — $2,600 per kindergarten (K) through 8th grade student, and $2,800 for high school students. That’s $1,000 more per student than in previous years, and more than most other area charters provide. In addition, funds can be shared between family members, providing even greater flexibility and choices for parents.

Guidance Counselors, Mentors and Tutors

Our Guidance Counselors help high school students plan their course schedules to best meet their future college or career goals. They also assist students with career exploration; help students access Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses (formerly Regional Occupation Program (ROP)), community college classes, work experience, apprenticeships, and Work Permits; and provide information about colleges and scholarships and other financial aid. HCS also provides mentors and tutors. For more information, contact our Guidance Office at 916-408-5276, toll free at 800-338-8003, extension 5276, or email

Core, Elective and Enrichment Courses

Student funds can be used to participate in academic and elective classes in several HCS Learning Center locations, as well as for private or group instruction with HCS-approved partner businesses. Courses include: martial arts, visual and performing arts, horseback riding, robotics, driver training, and many more elective courses, as well as core classes and tutoring for academic subjects.

Our extensive list of approved vendors is parent-driven — if your child wants to take a class through a local business that is not on our list, you can request we add them. Our staff will work with the vendor to gain approval whenever possible. Visit our Enrichment and Electives page to learn more about these types of classes and to view our parent-driven list of approved vendors.

Study Trips, Activities and Homeschool Meet Ups

Take study trips to area museums, performing arts centers, special events and other educational and exciting venues. What’s more fun that taking a field trip? Taking a field trip with other homeschool families! Throughout the year, HCS organizes many study trips to locations throughout our six-county region and all of Northern California.

Sometimes you just need to get together with other homeschoolers, whether it’s to learn something new or just to meet others with similar interests and goals. To meet this need, we orchestrate family meet ups at a variety of locations.

Educational Materials, Aides and Supplies

Unique to most charter schools, HCS has an extensive, well-stocked Curriculum Resource Center (CRC). Located in Lincoln, our CRC houses a rich collection of materials to support and enhance student learning. These include library books, curriculum support materials, parent and teacher resources, audiovisual materials, games, manipulatives, and reference materials — all of which are available for checkout. The CRC also has a professional development library with recommended grade-level curriculum on display.

In addition to the CRC, student instructional funds may be used to purchase approved materials from our extensive list of vendors.

Home Study

Responding to a growing population of parents who wanted to have an active role in their children’s education, Horizon Charter Schools began as a public home study program more than two decades ago, and we have always remained true to our roots.

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Learning Centers

To augment the home school experience, many parents want their children to benefit from interaction with other homeschoolers and teachers in a limited, small group setting without losing control of the education process. So, HCS developed Learning Centers

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Enrichment Classes

In addition to the courses available at our Learning Centers, students can take a variety of enrichment and elective classes provided by a vast array of local businesses in areas ranging from core subjects to visual and performing arts to physical education.

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Virtual Learning

In the 21st Century, higher education classes are often taught online. To prepare students for this type of learning and provide greater flexibility in their schedules, high school students can take some or all of their classes through distance learning options.

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For over 100 years, families have benefited from the child-centric educational approach to schooling developed by Maria Montessori. We applaud this method of teaching and are happy to provide a free, public Montessori school option to our families.

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HCS is a Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) accredited public charter school, which means you can rest assured your child will receive a quality education. To help high school students wishing to enter the University of California system, we offer A-G approved courses for California State University (CSU) and University of California (UC) eligibility.

Vendor Lists

Use our interactive online search tool to find our educational partners and approved vendors. You can access this tool on our Vendor Search page.