Frequently Asked Questions

What is parent-directed education?

Parent-directed education is whatever a parent does to get the best education they can for their child. That means making choices that fit your child’s unique situation.

How is parent-directed education different from home schooling?

The strict, legal definition of homeschooling is the parent educating the child, or the child engaged in self-teaching. In a loose sense, it’s everything you do at home to raise a child, even if your child is in a classroom setting 180 days per year. What you teach at home may or may not support what is learned in the classroom. Parents directing their child’s education may homeschool for part of their child’s education or may engage an outside instructor, such as a neighbor, relative, professional private tutor, or a class at Achieve.

How is this different from the parent partnership programs (PPP), that the public schools offer homeschoolers?

The PPP’s enroll homeschoolers as public school students, and receive funds from the state as though the child were enrolled in in a classroom setting. Homeschoolers who choose to participate yield their homeschooling status while they participate and become enrolled students of the public school associated with their PPP. The PPP then, with some record-keeping and other requirements, agrees to share some of those state funds with the family, which can be spent on curricular materials such as textbooks, or sometimes on outside lessons.

Achieve Learning Center offers fee-for-service classes at a price that is far more economical than one-to-one tutoring with people who are knowledgeable in their field and/or have demonstrated experience teaching that subject matter.

Do I need to fill out a Student Learning Plan (SLP)?

Other than registering as a homeschooler with your local school district, there is nothing to file. If you’re homeschooling, then you design and implement your own plan. We are part of your plan, but we don’t need to see your plan, which can be very flexible.

Do I have to take a standardized test to participate?

As a homeschool family, you will need to comply with the state requirements for homeschoolers and take one of several approved standardized tests or be evaluated by an educator. Whatcom County homeschoolers have been offered group testing using the ITBS every spring. We can help you contact with the person who administrates that.

Achieve does not require any testing to participate in our program.

What does Achieve Learning Center do?

Most families can educate at home for some of their work. But when the subject matter gets beyond a parent’s expertise, we are here to help. We have certified instructors and a variety of core course offerings, so you can use us to fill the gaps in your home schooling. We offer classes twice weekly, and students can take from 1 to 4 classes, so you can continue to home school the subjects you know best.

Where do you meet?

We are currently located in Whatcom County, meeting twice weekly at Laurel Church, on Laurel Road next door to Meridian High School, on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

What is your educational philosophy?

The purpose of education is to prepare people for whatever God may ask them to do.

Who are the instructors?

Most of our instructors are veteran teachers. They are screened for their Christian commitment and their ability to organize and teach a lesson. We are committed to teaching from a Christian, Biblically-based point of view.

What kind of students do you have?

We have about the same kind of students as any other school does, from remedial to gifted. They are placed where their ability level lets them perform. We also serve students with a variety of educational goals. Some are planning to return to or move into a standard classroom setting in the future, while others are coming to us because they don’t want an all day, every day education.

Our students also represent a cross section of the general population in their devotion to Jesus Christ. In addition to many committed, Christian families, we have some families that don’t go to church anywhere, and some that belong to faiths other than Christianity. While we certainly encourage the personal knowledge of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, it is not a pre-requisite for taking coursework here. We welcome everyone, but all must understand that we teach from a Christian, Biblically-based point of view. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge (Proverbs 7:1).

Is this a school? Can students get credit for work done at Achieve Learning Center?

We are NOT a state-approved school. Rather, we are more of a free-market alternative education center. We could offer many classes, but we only teach those for which there is interest.

How much does this cost?

Each twice-weekly class is $1060 per year. Each once-weekly class is $530 per year. These fees are broken up into a down payment and then a monthly charge for months September through May.

Meeting Location

Laurel Community
Baptist Church
162 W. Laurel Rd.
Bellingham, WA 98226

General registration for 2024-2025 is now OPEN!