A 501(c)3 Ministry

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes Equip different from other homeschool programs?

Equip falls perfectly between the extremes of the traditional a-la-carte programs and the programs that require heavy parent involvement for the student to succeed. Equip provides a complete day of classes covering all core academic subjects (with the exception of foreign language) required for graduation. We intentionally focus on character development throughout the school year and seek to partner with families to raise disciples of Jesus.

Are students required to take all of the courses offered in their grade or may they choose some and not others?

Equip Education is mostly an all or nothing affair. 5th through 11th grade students must enroll in four classes minimum. Seniors may choose to enroll in only 3 three classes minimum. The student ministries, Project Cipher, and speech club are only open to Equip students.

Can a student participate in Equip one day a week and continue with their regular curriculum or does Equip replace their other studies?

Equip Education replaces most other academic subjects. It is possible to add one or two other homeschooling subjects without too much trouble to the Equip program. It is also possible to to take one FLVS class or one dual enrollment class outside of Equip, but more than that seems to be too much for most students.

Anything I should know about the new 5th grade program?

Yes! The 5th grade program is designed to be a gentle transition into the academic environment of Equip. Therefore, 5th grade classes are 50 minutes instead of an hour and ten minutes (like other grades). Also, 5th grade classes are designed to allow the student to be up and out of the chair more often, while still preparing them for a formal classroom.

How many hours is a student expected to devote to Equip?

Students are typically assigned about 4 hours per week of homework outside of class for each core class. This translates into either 16 or 20 hours per week of homework depending on the number of core classes undertaken. The robotics team meets 3 hours per week on Saturday mornings. The speech club requires 1-2 hours of work per week. The student ministries are voluntary.

How can I determine the correct academic level for my child?

Due to class scheduling it is not possible to pick a student's classes from among the different academic levels. It is necessary to pick one level and at stick to it - with one exception. We schedule Latin classes so that a student entering the program in Dialectic 2 or Dialectic 3 will still have access to a Latin I class. Unless a student has successfully completed First Form Latin, the student will enter the program as a Latin I student. The main considerations for placing a student are math and science, in that order. Math is one of those subjects that really builds on itself. As a result, if a student has not mastered Algebra I, it would not not be wise to skip that class and place a student in Geometry. Once the appropriate math level is determined, then decide if the corresponding science level is acceptable. We are happy to discuss these issues with you for greater clarity.

How many students typically enroll?

Class size is limited to 15 students.

Where do you meet? What day of the week? What hours?

Please see the locations page. The day starts at 8:30 am sharp and concludes at 3:30 pm sharp, unless you are doing speech in which case the day ends at 4:15.

How is Equip work handled if a student is traveling with their family during the academic year?

As home educators, we desire flexibility in our schedules. If a student misses class, the student is expected to do whatever is necessary to master those concepts so that the student may keep up in future classes. If a student does not turn in a homework assignment, there is no grade factored into the student's grade point average for that assignment. Therefore, the student's grade point average in the class is not affected. However, the student's percentage of work completed in the class is affected. If the student does not attend 80% of the classes and turn in 80% of the homework, the student will not receive a final grade for the class.

Are parents asked to volunteer in any way?

Our goal is to support homeschooling families in their homeschool commitments with academic excellence and character building curriculum. In order to accomplish this and build the most effective program, we require a minimum of 5 volunteer hours per family throughout the school year. We provide a number of opportunities to obtain these hours. We also provide opportunities for students to earn volunteer hours throughout the year. We also offer a buyout option for parents unable to fulfill the 5 hour requirement. Just ask us about it.

Do I have to be in the Equip program to join Project Cipher?

Yes. The robotics team is only open to Equip students.

What are all of the costs involved?

Please see the tuition page here.

Do you require both parents to be Christians? Do you require a Statement of Faith in order to enroll?

There are no religious or spiritual requirements for participation of a student. However, we declare that this program has as its main objective the building of disciples for Jesus Christ. All classes are taught from a Christian worldview and there are numerous and non-negotiable behavior and dress-code requirements.

How much (if any) time do students spend on computers at home in order to complete assignments?

Students must use a computer to complete writing assignments and download items from our online database/gradebook. We offer very effective optional, online mid-week labs for math and science which allow students additional instruction.

Does your policy of 80% completion mean that a student can miss a maximum of seven classes and still receive a grade?

That is correct.

What is your start date and your end date?

Please see The Day and the Year.

Do students purchase texts through you? If not, how?

Students do not purchase texts through us. When a student enrolls, an email is sent out with links to the best prices we can find on the materials. As home educators, many families prefer to be on their own regarding materials since they may be able to find some items at better prices from friends, at curriculum sales, or other sources.

Do you take care of year-end testing for the state requirements or do you recommend/take care of having a certified teacher evaluate the students?

Our academic year is 34 weeks long. We offer the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills during the morning of the last two days of class. There is a fee of $50 per student for the test. This is a desirable way for most families to meet their end of year evaluation requirement for Florida law. However, different strategies work better for different families. We are happy to discuss your situation with you during the year so that you are able to determine if testing with us is best for your student(s).

Must the student stay within the grade level (based on age) or are they allowed to be in a grade level based on ability?

We believe that God makes each child unique. Therefore, we do not agree with placing a student based on age. We believe that a student should matriculate at the level which allows the student to be successful and happy. As home educators, we are set free from society's idea that a certain age person should have achieved a certain academic goal.

What happens if my student struggles academically? Is there extra help during the week?

We have strategies to deal with this problem. By far the most common academic struggle occurs in mathematics. The best way to deal with this problem is to make sure that the student is enrolled in the weekly math lab. The math lab gives the student another hour of live instruction in an online environment. Instructors are also available by email and telephone to answer questions during the week. If the student requires more assistance than the occasional answer to a question, an older student of the same gender might be assigned to the struggling student for assistance with the academic problem as well as mentoring in study habits, etc. Older student mentors are not paid for their tutoring but rather earn community service hours. Additionally, our students tend to make strong friendships in their class and students in the same class frequently team up to address each other's weaknesses.

Exactly how does the math lab work?

Math lab is a once-per-week tutoring session between the instructor of the class and the students who are signed up. Students log into an online classroom which allows the student to hear the instructor and see a large blackboard. The instructor is able to hear the students. The instructor may spend 5 or 10 minutes at the beginning of the hour reviewing the lesson from class that week, depending on the desires of the students. After that, the rest of the time is spent responding to student questions about specific homework problems. Instructors attempt to cover as many problem types as possible during the session. The lab is conducted 30 weeks per academic year. There is no math lab the first two weeks of the year or the last two.

Do I get a tax deduction if I donate to Equip?

You betcha! But tuition is not tax deductible. :(

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