Participate as a Homeschool

A new approach to math for homeschool in WV

Excel Together West Virginia introduces the CSM Course that allows homeschoolers 14 years or older to complete college math before they go to college (at WVU or community colleges), and to gain employer recognition in hiring from employers. This is a very practical math course, without the need for homeschool algebra, that works for all homeschoolers, from struggling to advanced.

CSM is a new type of math class for homeschool college prep and career readiness. Implementing CSM is easy and inexpensive, with lots of support.

CSM builds High Performance

Excel Together West Virginia uses an online, self-paced training program called the CSM Course that builds High Performance skills including:

  • college-level quantitative reasoning and professional literacy
  • problem-solving mindsets and strategies
  • learning strategies, mindsets, and the ability to learn on your own
  • intention to excel, supported by attention to detail and persistence
  • and, most importantly, self-efficacy -- a person's belief in their ability to succeed at whatever they put their mind to.

These High Performance skills form the basis for success in school, college, work and life, and yet they aren't prominent in most school or college curricula.

A key aspect of CSM is building students' math confidence. They'll use their math more often, and fear of math is a major reason why many people avoid college or vocational programs.

The CSM Course may seem to be a homeschool math class, but it is also a work skills course focused on the skills needed in ALL jobs -- these are practical skills that you can use everyday to excel at work.

CSM is a different homeschool curriculum

Inside CSM is a next-generation personalized learning engine that focuses on a person's learning strategies and mindsets, their behaviors, and how they feel about themselves. As these personal factors develop, participants build the ability to learn math, literacy and problem solving on their own.

Some aspects of CSM give a sense of its difference from conventional courses:

  • CSM builds attention to detail by requiring 100% correct on mainly fill-in-the-blank questions -- this also develops a belief in participants that they are capable of A-level work.
  • CSM develops persistence by monitoring student frustration levels and collaborating with coaches to transform it into persistence.
  • CSM improves learning strategies and mindsets by observing participant learning to devise personalized interventions.
  • CSM enhances students' number sense and way of interacting with the world by focusing on mental math and estimation skills that the large majority of 4-year college graduates lack.
  • CSM builds robust problem solving with complex multi-step problems, often with information that is incomplete or hidden in memos written at the college level.

Cathy Duffy homeschool review

Cathy is a nationally-known for her independent homeschool curriculum reviews. Her review can be found here. Some short snippets include:

  • "CSM uses the academic content as a vehicle to help students develop personal qualities that will help them in many situations. For example, if a student can gain self-confidence and persistence, those qualities will help him or her in school, in the job market, in the work world, and in their ability to conquer new tasks on their own."
  • "These 'soft skills' are often difficult for a student to learn. I’ll give you an example of how CSM helps students develop one of these skills—persistence. CSM requires 100% mastery of each item rather than passing students with a lower percentage of correct answers."
  • "CSM should be particularly helpful for struggling students who doubt their ability to learn. However, the soft skills taught in the course might be needed by students who are college-bound and meet academic requirements but still lack confidence and persistence when confronted by new tasks. In addition, CMS can also help academically strong students who need to accept greater personal responsibility."

The CSM Certificate is a concrete indicator of college and career readiness

College Readiness and Homeschool College Credit

The CSM Certificate earns college credit that satisfies the general education math requirement for associate degrees across the state, for many bachelor's degrees at WVU, and at many colleges across the country. This means that students can enter college with their math requirement in the rearview mirror, even though CSM includes no algebra! Given that college math is the major academic cause for stopping-out in college, and one of the major concerns for people considering college, earning a CSM Certificate improves both college access and completion.

Glenville State University
Concord University
WVU Potomac State College
West Virginia University Institute of Technology
West Virginia University
West Virginia University Parkersburg
West Virginia Northern Community College
Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College
Pierpont Community and Technical College
New River Community and Technical College
Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College
BridgeValley Community and Technical College
Blue Ridge Community and Technical College

Career Readiness

The CSM Certificate shows that a student has in-demand High Performance skills. Excel Together West Virginia is working with Workforce West Virginia and business and industry associations across the state to gain employer recognition for students who have earned a CSM Certificate.

In the workforce, the skills that CSM teaches are called "transferable skills" or "employability skills". These are the skills needed in every industry sector -- healthcare, manufacturing, retail -- and in every position. That's why CSM is supported by the WV Manufacturers Association, the WV Hospital Association, and the Gas & Oil Association of WV.

CSM skills really are valuable for all positions. CSM isn't just taken by high school students; employers use it for upskilling, and not just by frontline workers, but also by managers with advanced degrees -- this is the same CSM Course that you'll take! In fact, in the Excel Together WV website, we have a webpage for employers who want to use CSM for improving the skills of their employees.

Survey of WV Manufacturers Association members, 2023

In a 2023 survey of members of the West Virginia Manufacturers Association, the most critical workforce skill identified was the ability to learn, followed by attention to detail and problem solving -- these are all High Performance skills! Job-specific skills were lower, and algebra and related math skills were at the bottom of the list.

CSM improves math and literacy

CSM's focus on High Performance competencies including independent learning, persistence, attention to detail, and self-efficacy does not mean that it stints on academic learning.

A national study of educational technology with mainly high school dropouts found that CSM had the largest math and literacy gains compared to online course from large national textbook publishers like McGraw-Hill and Pearson.

Most educational technology allows advanced students to accelerate while struggling students fall further behind. For struggling students, CSM is the best homeschool math class as students did far better than even classroom instruction.

CSM coaches

Most students benefit from a coach

CSM is challenging! A coach can help students through CSM, allowing them to complete the course faster and with less difficulty.

The purpose of a CSM coach is NOT to teach math, literacy or problem solving -- students are required to learn all of those skills on their own so that they become more independent learners. Rather, the coach is there to help students with their learning strategies, their persistence, and their confidence.

You can use an Expert CSM Online Coach through SeeMore Impact Labs, the non-profit creators of CSM. This comes with a modest fee, and the coach works at a distance through phone, Zoom, text, email or however you like to work. And the coach stays with you as long as it takes to complete CSM.

A parent can be a coach!

In a CSM homeschool, a parent can become a coach. SeeMore Impact Labs offers a free 4-6 hour, self-paced course for parents to become a Certified CSM Coach. The parent experiences the first few skills in CSM while learning about how to be a coach and how to use the special Toolkit to help students.

Additional courses for homeschooling online

CSM includes a number of additional courses at no additional cost.

Career Strategies

Career Strategies teaches career decision-making as a skill. The course can be taken in-between CSM lessons, or alternatively after taking CSM. Topics include the difference between jobs and careers, thinking like a manager, the living wage, how to put purpose into any job, and career pathways.

People make career decisions throughout their life, yet few people visit career coaches more than a few times, if ever. The goal of Career Strategies is to create an "internal career coach" who is always available.

You can learn more about Career Strategies here.

Challenge Problems

Challenge Problems take students through lessons in problem solving and critical thinking at the college level:

  • Problem-Solving People builds an exploration mindset to problem solving, and critical and logical thinking.
  • Mathematical Intuitions builds math confidence, fluency, and engagement.
  • Social Science Explorations creates engagement with hypothesis building, experimental design and data interpretation of social science research.

Click here to learn more about the Challenge Problems.

CSM is inexpensive

The entire cost of CSM is $39, including:

  • the CSM Course
  • the CSM Certificate of High Performance
  • Credly® digital badge
  • college math credit
  • employer recognition in hiring
  • Career Strategies
  • Challenge Problems

If you would like an Expert CSM Coach, this costs an additional $99.

Student at BridgeValley Community and Technical College
CSM was key in changing her life trajectory...

" now I don't have to take any math for my associate’s. Now looking back, I felt like I wasn't deserving of a college degree, because I couldn't get through basic math. I had kinda given up, really. To me, CSM saved me!”  

Click here to read all of Brittany's story...
Student at Eastern WV Community and Technical College

"I’d not done very well in math before, so I was nervous when I heard about CSM… CSM never made you feel uneducated, never made you feel… stupid.  It was so fun, and it made you think about math totally different."

Click here to learn more about Janelle's story...
Past student at Eastern WV Community and Technical College

"And since completing CSM, math is no longer frightening to me... You don’t know how much more comfortable I feel with the knowledge that I learned with CSM."

Click here to learn more about Jon's story...
adult learners who are going back to earn a bachelor's degree

“Ok, so for those of you who need a math course, I can’t suggest CSM enough. As someone with ADHD who is AWFUL at math, this way of learning is far more effective than any traditional setting that I have experienced in my life. It’s fun, and I am learning a lot more than I ever have!” – BrighterFuture88, July 2019

click here to hear from other college-bound adult learners

Using CSM in your online homeschool

Technology requirements

In order to take CSM, a student must have a smart phone, tablet or laptop. You need a connection to the Internet, but it doesn't have to be a high-speed connection. If you're not sure about your device or how good your connection is, you can start CSM, and if it's not working, your purchase can be refunded.

I'd like to try it out first

You can try out CSM using the free trial period, which lasts the first 2 hours or 10% of the way through CSM (whichever comes first).

WV homeschool laws and requirements

  • While West Virginia does NOT require students to take the GED before completing homeschool high school, CSM does serve as HiSET (the high school equivalency) preparation.
  • Homeschool parents are NOT required to prepare transcripts for their children, but CSM can serve to indicate college and career readiness, and it comes with a Credly® digital badge of High Performance that is recognized for college math credit at many WV colleges and universities

Ways to use CSM as a homeschool program

There are a number of ways for a homeschooler to take CSM:

  • as an independent student working on their own
  • as a student with a parent/guardian acting as a personal CSM Coach (becoming a CSM Coach is free!)
  • as a student working with an online Expert Coach from SeeMore Impact Labs

In the form below, please choose which option you'd prefer. If you're not sure which option is right for you, choose the one that you think is most likely, fill out the information, and then click the "I would like more information before starting" option at the bottom -- Excel Together WV will contact you.

Homeschool Interest Form

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