Foreign Service families may decide to home school when a post offers limited educational facilities or because of personal or religious preferences. With a wealth of online learning options available, homeschool remains a popular choice for Foreign Service families. If they choose the home study option, families should be aware that they will have to abide by local education laws and will have limited outside support while instituting their education plans. Explore FLO’s Homeschooling FAQs as a starting point for families considering homeschooling.
Before choosing the homeschool option, families living abroad should check the legality of homeschooling in their host country. The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) tracks the status on homeschooling worldwide. Visit HSLDA International for more information.
The Department of State offers employees with children a Home Study/Private Instruction Allowance if they decide to educate them at home while posted overseas. This is a reimbursable allowance. (Employees from other agencies should check with their certifying official on whether a similar allowance is available.) Families are encouraged to work with their Financial Management Officer at post or their agency’s certifying officer to ensure their planned purchases and education programs meet the respective requirements before purchasing.
- Department of State Standardize Regulations – 277.3 Home Study/Private Instruction Allowance
- Frequently Asked Questions and Answers for Home Study/Private Instruction Allowance
Homeschool options tend to fall into two categories. A family can either buy a full curriculum for the school year or can create personalized curriculum from different resources. Some families have also used education consultants to construct personalized programs. FLO collects information on the programs and resources Foreign Service families are using worldwide. Below is a list of curricula.
The Department of State and the Family Liaison Office do not endorse any of these programs and strongly advise families to independently research education options for their children.
- Home School Facts.com
- PBS Parents Homeschooling Overview
- Virginia Department of Education Approved Multidivision Online
Homeschool Curriculum Programs Used by Foreign Service Families
Online College Programs
Homeschool Resources Used by Foreign Service Families
The Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training (ADST) is dedicated to capturing, preserving, and sharing the experiences of America’s diplomats through their oral histories to strengthen public appreciation of diplomacy’s contribution to America’s national interests. Explore ADST’s educational materials and its rich collection of over 2,000 primary source oral histories by American diplomats that will inspire students and support a variety of world history, global studies, and civics projects. The history of their work can deeply engage students by fostering historical empathy and by bringing global competence to life in a unique way.
The Department of State and the Family Liaison Office do not guarantee the reimbursement of any of these programs or services. Work with your Financial Management Officer at post or your agency’s certifying officer to ascertain whether you qualify for the Home Study/Private Instruction Allowance and what will be reimbursable.
There are no homeschooling education allowances available to child dependents living in the U.S. Home instruction requirements and procedures vary by state and county. For more information, contact your state’s Department of Education.
Washington, DC Area Information on Homeschooling
- Fairfax County Home Instruction Guidelines/Online Campus – Fairfax County Public Schools offers online courses identical in content to those offered in traditional classrooms.
- Montgomery County, MD Public School System Homeschooling Information
- Northern Virginia Homeschool Support Group
- Prince William County, VA – Offers online coursework for high school credit for students enrolled in an accredited high school.
- Virginia Homeschooling
- Washington, DC Homeschooling