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Virtual Learning Resources

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 are 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 free resources to guide families in practical ways toward success. GCLO’s Education and Youth team has compiled the following information below:

Recorded Webinars and Other Resources
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 277.3Please note: Only allowable (non-third party) expenses are reimbursable. Program consultant fees and consultant-related fees ​charged by third party providers (also known as umbrella or cover schools) 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. Please see the Office of Allowances FAQ’s 17a-d regarding this situation.

Note: The following programs are reviewed annually and updated as needed. Please be aware that some of the programs listed may contain third party providers that may charge fees that are not reimbursable.

Online College Programs

Homeschooling

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 GCLO’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 Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) website, which tracks the status on homeschooling worldwide. Visit HSLDA International for more information.

Families are not required to file an affidavit with the U.S. state from which they choose to follow the education standards.

Homeschooling Allowances

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.

Allowance Resources

Homeschool Resources and Curricula

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. GCLO 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.

Homeschool Resources
Homeschool Curricula

Note: The following programs are reviewed annually and updated as needed.

Homeschooling in the U.S.

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

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future