As many FS families are adjusting to having their children learning from home virtually due to COVID-19, they are finding new ways to help their children be successful in school, while some also juggling their own careers from home. There is no “one size fits all” formula for navigating this new learning environment. However, there are many resources to guide families in practical ways toward success. FLO’s Education and Youth team has compiled the following information below:
Recorded Webinars and Other Resources
- and – (Fairfax County Public Schools Parent Resource Center)
- Strengthening Parent Resilience for the Virtual School Year Webinar – (Foreign Service Institute/Training Center)
- Recent articles and Resiliency building resources from FSI’s Center of Excellence in Foreign Affairs Resilience (CEFAR)
At–Home Educational Resources
Accredited Distance Learning Programs
Prior to committing to a particular home study/private instruction/virtual schooling program, employees/parents should review allowable expenses for Home Study/Private Instruction at DSSR 277.3. Please note: Only allowable (non-third party) expenses are reimbursable. Program consultant fees and consultant-related fees are the employee’s/parent’s responsibility and are not reimbursed under the Education Allowance with one exception – for a child under the Special Needs Education Allowance (SNEA) program (3 FAM 3280) and this requires prior approval from MED and is limited to locating an adequate school away from post.
Online College Programs
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 (which may have specific curriculum requirements for that country) and they 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 currently or planning on living abroad should understand that homeschooling is not a legal practice in every country. Please check directly with post management and the CLO Coordinator. Additional, non-governmental, homeschooling information can be found at the , which tracks the status on homeschooling worldwide. Visit 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.
Listings of private entities on this page are provided as a convenience and should not be construed as an endorsement by the U.S. Department State or the U.S. government of the entity, its views or the products or services it provides. The order in which names appear has no significance, and the links may be removed at any time at the discretion of the Department.
- – 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.
- 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.
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