Frequently Asked Questions | Homeschool Connections in Michigan
Our mission at Homeschool Connections is to support, encourage and advise parents as they educate their children; to provide a variety of innovative and quality educational opportunities; to help prepare students for their future; and to have a profound impact on the educational society.
Homeschool, Homeschool Connections, Michigan Homeschool, homeschooling in Michigan, Detroit homeschool, homeschooling in Detroit, homeschooling, Christian Homeschool, Homeschool Support, Academic Advising
66087
page-template,page-template-full_width,page-template-full_width-php,page,page-id-66087,ctct-bridge,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,qode-title-hidden,qode_grid_1300,footer_responsive_adv,qode-content-sidebar-responsive,qode-theme-ver-16.4,qode-theme-bridge,disabled_footer_bottom,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-6.0.5,vc_responsive
Frequently Asked Questions
Your Homeschool Connections Help Page

How do I sign up for funding through a public school disctrict?

You must fill out an application to the district funding program of your choice. In most cases, you will enroll as a “virtual student”, even though our classes meet in person.

Where do I find the application for Croswell-Lexington Community Schools’ Funding Program?

Click here.

Where do I find the application for Clarkston Community Schools’ Funding Program?

Click here.

Do I need to enroll my child in a minumum number of classes?

Only if you are receiving district funding. Otherwise, you are free to choose any number of classes!

If you’re receiving funding from a public school district, they require a minimum. At the time of this posting, Clarkston (CCS) & Croswell-Lexington (Cros-Lex) require your child to be enrolled in a minimum of 3 classes for part-time students and 6 classes for full-time students (at least one must be on-campus, the others may be on-campus or dual enrollment).

Do I have to use public school programs for funding?

Absolutely not! We want to provide families with as much information and as many options as possible! YOU choose what’s best for your family!

Also, you are always welcome to pay for classes in addition to classes paid for by public schools.

What is required to receive funding through public schools?

Each public school district has its own requirements. Districts must follow state guidelines and those are subject to change at any time. We can provide general information, but each district has the right to change their requirements. Requirements will be different for full-time and part-time students. Some districts may require state testing and/or Count Day participation. The type of funding (full or part-time) may dictate which classes your child may take.

You are always welcome to pay for classes in addition to classes paid for by public schools.

If I use district funding, can I still self-pay for additional classes?

Yes, you are always welcome to sign up for additional classes.

What fees will district funding pay?

Public school districts will pay for qualifying* class fees. They will not pay registration, lunch, study hall or book fees. You will need to talk with a district funding representative if you have any questions.

 

*Part-time students may receive funding for non-core classes only. Full-time students may receive funding for four core classes and two non-core classes.

What does “part-time” mean (for students using district funding only)?

Part-time students may participate in 3 to 5 classes. All part-time students must participate in non-core classes. These are clearly indicated in our schedules. Please see your campus’ schedule for specific class choices.

Students may participate in only one class in each department category (for example, one technology class, one fine arts class). Part-time students are not required to take state-mandated tests.

What does “full-time” mean (for district-funded students only)?

Clarkston Community Schools (CCS) require “full-time” students to be enrolled in 4 core classes plus 2 non-core classes. Core classes must include science, math, English, and social studies. CCS also requires full-time students to take state-mandated testing once a year. CCS may have additional requirements to obtain funding. (If you have any questions or would like more details, please contact CCS directly. This information may change at any time.)

Croswell-Lexington only allows students living in Sanilac, Lapeer, St. Clair, Tuscola, and Huron counties to be full-time. “Full-time” students are required to be enrolled in 4 core classes plus 2 non-core classes. Core classes must include science, math, English, and social studies. Only full-time students will be required to take the grade-level appropriate, state-mandated tests. Locations for testing will most likely be at Cros-Lex Schools. Cros-Lex may have additional requirements to obtain funding. (If you have any questions or would like more details, please contact Cros-Lex directly. This information may change at any time.)

Which classes are considered non-core classes?

All core classes are indicated in the “Funding Classification” column within each campus class schedule (chose your campus here).

 

Do I need to have originals of my proof for residency or can I bring in copies?

Bring copies of everything, but also bring originals of birth certificates and parent picture identification.

When meeting with a school district, do I need more than 1 copy of required documents if applying for multiple children?

It is best that parents should bring a complete set of required documents (and applications) for each child.

Who do I ask about dual-enrollment?

You must contact your public school district with your questions directly.

Do college classes count as core classes (for students using funding for dual-enrollment)?

Most college classes are not considered core classes because they are not required to graduate high school. Some college classes can be counted as a core class if your child is a full-time student. Please contact the school district you are receiving funding through for specific information.

When would a campus cancel classes?

In the case of poor weather conditions that lead to power outages, facility issues, and/or safety issues, a campus may be canceled.

If there is an emergency or safety concern, the campus will be canceled.

If the campus’ local public school district is canceled (not a regularly scheduled day off like MLK Day), then the campus classes may be canceled.

We have updated our Bad Weather Policy to try and limit the number of “snow” days we have, thereby limiting the number of days we have to make up.

If the school district your campus is located in is closed due to bad weather and/or bad road conditions, we will also be closed. We will be listed on the school closing and news websites, you will receive an email, there will be an announcement posted on the Start Page of Orbund, and the closing(s) will be posted on Facebook, and Instagram.

If the school district your campus is in is closed due only to cold weather, we may not be closed. Schools close due to cold weather to keep children safe while waiting for the bus or walking to school. We still want to keep our families safe while traveling to and from campus so we will close if the actual air temperature during campus hours will be sustained at 12 degrees below zero or if the wind chill will be sustained at 30 below zero. If the school district is closed and the temperature is above our cold weather threshold, we will notify you via email, Orbund announcement, Facebook and Instagram by 6:30 am of the day in question.

As always, your safety is our priority. If you feel that it is not safe for you to travel to campus on a day that we are open, please stay home and look for assignments and homework on Orbund, including Fast Five Feedback assessments.

In addition, at times, we may have building issues that cause us to have to cancel. We will always notify you of those via our regular correspondence, as listed above. It is always a good idea to check your email before you leave for campus just to be sure.

Public school districts for each campus are listed here:

  •  Auburn Hills Campus follows Pontiac School District and Avondale School District
  •  Clarkston Campus follows Clarkston Community Schools
  •  Eastside Campus follows Detroit Public Schools Community District
  •  Rochester Hills Campus follows Rochester Community Schools
  •  Romeo Campus follows Romeo Community Schools
  •  Shelby Township Campus follows Utica Community Schools
  •  Troy Campus follows Troy School District

If you’d like to sign up for email notifications about school closings, a local news station offers these here.

This policy was updated on January 29, 2019. Click here to download a copy of the notice.

How will I know if a campus cancels class?

  • You will receive an email. If in doubt about class, check your email!
  • News outlets (download the “Click on Detroit” app, watch the news in the morning, listen to the radio, look at local news websites, etc.). Homeschool Connections will specifically be listed along with the specific campus(es).
  • Orbund will show campus cancellations in the “News & Announcements” portion at the top of the Start Page.
  • Our website, mihomeschoolconnections.com, may have this information posted to the first page and/or the specific campus’ information page.
  • We will attempt to post an announcement on our Facebook page, Facebook.com/mihomeschool, as soon as possible.
  • Beginning at 8 am, you may call your campus supervisor. Please respect their time as they may be receiving many calls.

If a campus gets closed midday during class hours, how will I know?

  • We call parents, so please be certain you have your phone number entered in Orbund on the parent record and on the student record.  For those of you with young children, practice with them so that they know your phone number.  This helps us to reach you even faster.
  • We email parents, so please be sure your email is accurate and up to date in Orbund in your parent account & profile.
  • Orbund will have an announcement posted in the “News & Announcements” portion at the top of the Start Page.
  • We text, but this is the last resort.  But again, if we don’t have a cell number that is correct, we won’t be able to reach you, so make sure your phone number is accurate in Orbund—double check it, please.

Will missed days of class due to campus cancellations need to be made up?

Homeschool Connections does not make up the first missed day at each campus in each semester. Any campus that has more than one missed day will be notified via email and in our newsletter when the makeup day(s) will be scheduled.

UPDATE as of January 29, 2019: We do not make up the first closure of each semester. If we have a second or third closure, they will be made up the weeks of May 13th and 20th. We will not be able to make up days beyond 3 canceled days.

Are our campuses nut-free?

At this time, none of our campuses or lunch zones are nut-free.

What are Michigan’s requirements for graduation?

Michigan homeschool graduation

Michigan Graduation Guidelines

In order to graduate from High School in Michigan a student must complete:

  • Four credits of English language arts
  • Four credits of math including Algebra I, Geometry and Algebra II. The Algebra II credit can be covered by equivalent work in a Career Technical Education (CTE) course. The fourth credit can also be covered by CTE.
  • Three credits of social science: U.S. history and geography, World history and geography, and a half credit each of civics and economics
  • Three credits of science including biology and chemistry, physics, anatomy, agriscience or a CTE credit equivalent of one of those courses. The third science credit can be covered by any one of the previous courses or a computer science course.
  • One credit of visual, performing or applied art
  • One credit of physical education including a half credit of health and a half credit of traditional P.E. The half credit of P.E. can now be covered by “extracurricular activities involving physical activity,” things like sports or marching band.
  • Two credits of foreign language. One credit of foreign language can now be covered at any time in K-12, the other can be waived for CTE credit or art credit. This change is only written in the law for the graduating classes of 2015-2020, it will then be reviewed for effectiveness.

The full language of the two bills can be found at the Michigan Legislative website
ON THE WEB: Michigan Legislature:
HB 4465 http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/2013-2014/billenrolled/House/htm/2013-HNB-4465.htm
HB 4466 http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/2013-2014/billenrolled/House/htm/2013-HNB-4466.htm

This entry was posted in Education on July 1, 2014 by Jennifer Weingart. Please check with Michigan.gov regularly for updates. We do not guarantee that this will always be accurate.

How do I log into Orbund?

Orbund is our online system for communication between students, parents, and instructors.

Go to hc.orbund.com. Or copy and paste https://hc.orbund.com into your browser search bar.

You should have received an email with your login information. If you have not, please email help@MIHomeschoolConnections.com.

You and your child will have separate logins.

Make sure you type in both your username and password correctly before contacting Carrie for help.

Also, make sure you select “Parent” or “Student” appropriately. Each time, the dropdown will default to “Instructor”.

Orbund Login Page Image
Then click “Login”.

How do I register for classes?

Necessary steps to be able to register:

How to register:

How do I find the Start Page?

The Start Page is the first screen you will see after logging in.

start page

If you need to go back to the Start Page, click on “Start Page” on the top left column. It is in white text with a blue background.

On the Start Page, you will find News & Announcements. These are very important to read. Click on the blue text to read the announcements.

start page indicating news and announcements

The grey boxes underneath the News & Announcements are called widgets. The boxes include messages, upcoming events, and assignments due. Which widgets are shown will be different for students and parents.

start page widget

Assignments will only show when your student has assignments to do! Fast Five Feedback is not an assignment. To learn more about Fast Five Feedback, refer to the “How do I find Fast Five Feedback?” dropdown.

 

How do I read my messages in Orbund?

After you log into Orbund, you may find a notification about having unread messages under “News & Announcements”. You need to read these as this is how teachers communicate with parents and students!

start page messages

Messages will also be listed in the “Messages” widget on the Start Page.

To read the message, click on the “new messages” in blue text, the name of the message in the widget, or “Messages” under “Communication” in the left sidebar.

Here is an example of what the messages page will look like:

Messages Image

On the right, the “Status” column indicates whether you have read the message or that it is new.

To delete read messages, click the box to the left of the date of the message. A checkmark will appear. Then, in the “Move to” dropdown box, choose “Trash”. Then click “Move”. The message will instantly be moved to your trash folder (similar to an email inbox).

To move messages back into your inbox, choose “Trash” from the dropdown menu next to “Messages/Folder”.

trash folder in messages image

Your deleted messages will appear. Check the box next to the message you’d like to move to your inbox. Select “Move” to move the messages. They will instantly move to your inbox.

How do I contact or message a teacher?

Messaging your teacher through Orbund is the best way to communicate with them.

In the menu sidebar on the far left, click on “Communication”. Options will appear underneath:

messages in menu image

Click on “Messages”. Then on the far right side, click on “New Message” (circled in red below).

new message image

Next, it is time to select the recipient(s).

message recipient image

Click on the appropriate category of your intended recipient. For this example, we will email a campus supervisor, Jessica Thompson. Start with clicking “Add Staff” because campus supervisors are staff members. (Note: if you have an emergency, call your supervisor. Contact information is found here.)

Names are organized by last name. To save time, you can click on the appropriate letter. For Jessica Thompson, click “T”.

add recipient image

To insert her email, click the box to the left of her name. When a checkmark appears, then click “Add”. If you’d like to add more recipients, find their name and continue check the box then clicking “Add” after each one. When you’re done select “Close”.

Fill in an appropriate subject into the subject line.

Enter the message you’d like to send. You may attach a file, if needed, by clicking “Upload File”.

example message

When finished, select “Send Message”.

How do I check my child’s attendance?

You may check your child’s attendance with either your parent login or your child’s login.

In the menu sidebar on the far left, click “Attendance”, then “Attendance Records”.

attendance menu image

When your child’s attendance appears, make sure you double check the settings in the dropdowns along the top. Check the student’s name, the semester, and the class to match what you are looking for.

attendance example

Scroll down on the webpage to see more.

attendance example 2

Use the key along the top to understand your child’s attendance record. This example used a test student so very little information is available. Your child’s information will be more extensive as the semester progresses.

 

How do I check my grades or my child’s grades?


Log into your Orbund account.

On the menu sidebar on the far left, select “Reports & Transcripts”. Then choose “Progress Reports”.

progress report image

Along the top of the Progress Reports webpage, select the student, semester and course you’d like to see.

progress report image

There you are!

 

 

Where can I find my bill?

First, log into Orbund with your parent login.

Then in the menu sidebar on the far left, click on “Finance”. Then click “Payment & Invoice”.

finance menu

This is an example of what should appear:

Always double check that the correct semester and payment plan are chosen. To see an expanded view or breakdown of you bill, click the plus sign next to your student’s name. An expanded, itemized list will appear. For example:

finance image

Payments by check may be mailed to:

Homeschool Connections Educational Services, LLC
2685 Lapeer Rd.
Suite 208
Auburn Hills, MI 48326

You may also make payments via credit card or online check within Orbund.

We understand that families with multiple children in the program may need to arrange a payment plan. Please contact our financial services office to set one up. They can be reached at accounting@mihomeschoolconnections.com.

On my iPad, how do I view my child’s schedule in Orbund?

If you’re viewing your child’s schedule in your iPad, click on the large square. Your child’s classes will appear in a pop-up. If you continue to have issues viewing the schedule, please try on a laptop or desktop computer.

ipad image of class schedule

Where can I find my schedule or my child’s schedule?

Students can find their schedule the same way as parents (outlined below), but will not be able to see anyone else’s schedule.

To find your child’s schedule, click “Enrollment & Schedules” in the far left menu sidebar. The choose “Class Schedules”. If you see the message “No schedules found.”, make sure the correct student and semester are chosen. “Winter 2019” is the system’s default.

class schedule

After you have chosen the correct student and semester, you should see your child’s schedule.

class schedule

The classes above are test classes for demonstration. Looking at your schedule, the class code is listed, followed by the location in parentheses. You can find the full name of the class by looking up the code in our course descriptions.

(There is a shortcut of this: if you hit “Crtl” and “F”, a search bar will open at the top of your web browser. Type the code in the search box. This will find & highlight the code! Click the “x” or exit button to close this search bar.)

For class locations, abbreviations are used for each campus:

  • AH = Auburn Hills
  • CL = Clarkston
  • ES = Eastside
  • RH = Rochester Hills
  • RM = Romeo
  • ST = Shelby Township
  • TR = Troy

After the campus abbreviation, the room is listed.

How do I find my student’s total number of credits to date?

Log in with your Parent Login.

In the left menu, select “Reports & Transcripts”. Then choose “Academic Transcripts”.

Make sure the correct child is selected in the dropdown menu. Then you’ll see the child’s total credit hours since we switched to Orbund in the Fall of 2018.

If you need an updated transcript or records from before Fall of 2018, please email Help@MiHomeschoolConnections.com.

Where do I find the Enrollment Agreement?

This is required for ALL families, even returning families!

Using your parent login, this form is found in Orbund. Then under “Reference” (on the left side), then “Forms” (on the left side). Then choose (on the far right side) “New Enrollment Agreement”.

enrollment agreement image

Remember to click “Submit Form” at the end. This sends us your agreement form. If you do not, we will not receive it!

Why do I need to fill out my child’s student profile?

There are many important fields, such as emails, funding type, and cellphone numbers, that need filled in.

If there is an emergency, we need your (the parent or guardian’s) cellphone number in Orbund! This is where we look for critical contact information!

In order to receive notifications from Homeschool Connections, your email must be entered in correctly.

A critical field in the profile is the funding type. Selecting the funding type determines whether your information will be shared with district funding sources. If you are self pay, this will keep your information from going to any funding program. If you are funded through any district or outside funding program, for any classes at all, then select the appropriate funding type and this will ensure that your information will be shared with the program as necessary.

Always click “Save”.

funding type image

 

Where do I find the Behavior Agreement Form?

This is required for each student, even returning students!

Using your student login, this form is found in Orbund. Then under “Reference” (on the left side), then “Forms” (on the left side). Then choose (on the right side) “New Behavior-Agreement”.

Behavior Agreement image

 

Where do I update my child’s account & profile?

Using your student login, this form is found in Orbund. On the Start Page, you will see “Account & Profile” listed on the far right side of the page. Click “Account & Profile”.

account image

Fill in all of the information fields, continuing through each tab across the top. Click “Save” as you finish each tab! It doesn’t hurt to return to each tab to make sure your answers are still there.

funding type image

There are many important fields, such as email, cellphone, and funding type, that need to be filled in. A critical field in the profile is the funding type. Selecting the funding type determines whether your information will be shared with any district funding programs. If you are self-pay, this will keep your information from going to any outside funding programs. If you are district-funded, then this will ensure that your information will be shared.

What is the Fast Five Feedback?

This is Homeschool Connections’ new, online, weekly component that will be implemented in every class as a type of “homework.”

  • It will be 5 questions that teachers have created based on the weekly lesson. The questions/answers are to be related specifically to that particular week’s topic/lesson. It can be thought of as a review-at-home exercise for the students.
  • Questions will be in the format of (a) Yes/No, (b) True/False, (c) Multiple Choice, and (d) Short Answer. This assignment should take a maximum of 5 minutes for students.

Purpose of the Fast Five Feedback

We are incorporating this measurable instrument as part of our routine for students and teachers because of its many benefits:

  • Weaving together different parts of the course and approaching content with varied tools helps students integrate what they learn and develop a deeper understanding of the material.
  • FAST FIVE helps students establish learning points.
  • In a classroom, students are sometimes swamped by the details of the immediate experience and need help to extract general principles from concrete experience. Doing FAST FIVE at home during the week will help them “unpack” their classroom experience in a more concrete way.
  • Teachers will be able to use the information gathered from students to affirm that what they are teaching is reaching your students’ minds. It will also reveal any students who are struggling and perhaps need a little more differentiation in the classroom.
  • “Bridging” and “Reviewing” are powerful teaching strategies and FAST FIVE helps develop specific skills being taught in the classroom.
  • This is a self-assessment for students to discover if they are actually “plugged in” to the class lesson.
  • When parents are with students when doing FAST FIVE, you will see more exactly what your child is learning in their classes and then perhaps reiterate those lessons in creative ways at home.
  • This is an objective piece of courses that will be entered into the grade book.
  • Most school programs, public and private, have online components in their routine. Technology is a “first language” for today’s students. We must keep our students tech-relevant, and we can do this by providing them meaningful questions to review and recall their previous week’s lessons. Practice makes perfect in memory recall.
  • For district-funded students, this online component will satisfy some district funding’s Count Day and will replace Study Island and other question/answer dialog between students and funding programs in years past. Your payment method is private information that is not shared with our teachers.

Where do I find my child’s Fast Five Feedback?

Word of Caution: ALWAYS BE SURE TO LOOK FOR FALL SEMESTER!!!!

Log into the student’s Orbund account.

Take note of the Student’s Start Page. The window below shows the left side menu. Click on Classes (circled in Red). You will see a list of ALL classes, including Fall and Winter. Be sure to look for the “Fall 2018” in bold (circled in Blue) and select a class below that.

Fast five feed back image

Click on the desired class and this window will appear, or something like it with YOUR student’s class information.

Fast five feed back image

Click on Fall Week 01 (or the appropriate folder used to differentiate Week 1) and the information for that week will drop down.

Fast five feed back image

Your student’s may look a little different, but you will see “Assessments” (in pink) and you will want to click on Fast Five Feedback (red arrow) which will change to a link when you hover over it.

Fast five feed back image

You will then see the following window where the student is given the information about the Fast Five Feedback. The Student clicks on “Start Exam” (circled in red).

This screen will appear. Click “Yes” (in red) if you are ready to proceed and “Cancel” (blue) if you are not.

After your last question, click Save (red) then Finish (blue).

After clicking Submit, you will be directed to a window that shows how many attempts you have left.

You can try again or be done. The student’s score does not show at the end of the assessment. To see what they score they earned, please see the student’s progress report, and look for the Fast Five score for the correct week.

Where do I update my parent account & profile?

Using your parent login, this form is found in Orbund.

parent account profile

In the menu sidebar on the far left, click “Setup”. Then choose “Account & Profile”.

Fill in all of the information fields on the General Info tab. It is imperative that you fill in your cell phone number.

Remember: Click “Save” when you finish!