Mainstream education in Japan is thought of the conventional or traditional public and private schools of Japan that comprise accepted schools for complying with the compulsory schooling requirement under the law. In addition to these, schooling is also accepted if children attend the exceptional category of schools which are “international schools” and free schools to which children are directed when they refuse to attend conventionally accepted schools. Alternative education comprises this latter category of free schools and free spaces as well as learning conducted via distance learning programs, correspondence schools, online schools, satellite homeschool support or umbrella schools.

 

DISTANCE LEARNING PROGRAMS (Dlps) / CORRESPONDENCE SCHOOLS & COMPUTER-ASSISTED LEARNING/ ONLINE SCHOOLS / SATELLITE & UMBRELLA SCHOOLS / FREE SCHOOLS

I. Proper Accreditation
II. Independent/Distance Learning Programs for Academically Gifted Students
III. High School Distance Learning Course Offered by Universities
IV. DETC Accredited High School Programs
V. Distance Learning/Correspondence Programs international / in Japan
VI. Online Correspondence Schools international / in Japan
VII. Homeschooling Support Services / Homeschool Umbrella Schools

I. PROPER ACCREDITATION
Important: Read this before you proceed!

For most parents, accreditation is important as a way of validating a given school, or department within a school; it proves the organisation has been thoroughly investigated by a group of impartial experts and found worthy of approval. Accrediting agencies will investigate the mission statement of the organisation, require proof that the school is living up to its mission goals, met its academic standards, and also look into the financial standing of the academic institution.

In most other nations, colleges and universities are chartered by their national or provincial governments. Eg., the UK the Open and Distance Learning Quality Council assesses distance learning programs.

But the bad news is that investigating accreditation of US schools can be really confusing, like opening a can of worms. There are many different accrediting agencies. Also beware that many “unaccredited” US schools call themselves accredited in their prospectuses and websites. You really need to understand what the recognised accrediting agencies are. For example, the Department of Education does not accredit any school or institution, it merely “licenses” it or approves it as fulfilling certain legal requirements in order to exist at all, ranging from incorporation to certification or other state approval. Many schools which call themselves accredited private schools are in fact “licensed” schools.

In the United States, there are two types of accreditation which indicate that an institution meets the standards to ensure universal acceptance of its degrees: regional accreditation and professional accreditation. To have legitimate accreditation, make sure the school you are interested in has the credentials from one of these four categories of accrediting agencies:

1) 6 regional associations, and the geographic areas in which they accredit academic institutions :

  • The Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (responsible for Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, the Canal Zone, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands)
  • The New England Association of Schools and Colleges (responsible for Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont)
  • The North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (responsible for Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming)
  • The Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges (responsible for Alaska, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington)

    The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (responsible for Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia)

  • The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (responsible for California, Hawaii, Guam, and the Trust Territory of the Pacific)

2) Distance Education Training Council (DETC), (formerly known as the National Home Study Council (NHSC) until early 1994) Note: Degrees conferred by DETC-accredited schools will not necessarily be perceived as legitimately as those conferred by regionally accredited colleges. Likewise, not all regionally accredited colleges and universities will accept course credits from DETC-accredited schools in transfer.

3) The American Bar Association (which accredits law schools) /the American Medical Association (medical schools) / the American Psychological Association (psychology programs) / the National League for Nursing (nursing programs).

4) The Accrediting Association of Bible Colleges (AABC, formerly the American Association of Bible Colleges), which accredits undergraduate institutions, and the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada (ATS)

The above accrediting agencies are recognised by either the US Department of Education and/or the Commission on Recognition of Postsecondary Accreditation (CORPA)

However, accreditation is a voluntary process and the school itself must decide to pursue accreditation. An unaccredited school may not necessarily be a diploma mill or a sham school, it may decide not to pursue accreditation out of doctrinal convictions, newness of operation or other reasons, eg Christian Liberty Academy.

To research accreditation of colleges, or to know more about accreditation and diploma mills, peruse these two websites: Degreeinfo.com and Geteducated.com

II. INDEPENDENT/DISTANCE LEARNING PROGRAMS FOR ACADEMICALLY GIFTED STUDENTS


The Center for Talent Development
‘s Gifted Learning Links Program*

A correspondence program catering for academically talented students that offers enrichment courses for grades 4-6 and AP and Honors courses for 6-12 grades. The program provides two options for distance learning: the Center’s Gifted Learning Links courses in mathematics, social sciences, and the humanities for students in sixth through twelfth grade; and the LetterLinks/EPGY on-line math courses for students in kindergarten through twelfth grade, jointly offered by the Center for Talent Development and Stanford University’s Education Program for Gifted Youth (EPGY). Course materials are sent and received via regular mail. A high school instructor is assigned to each individual student, serving as teacher and mentor. All work is corrected and evaluated by the teacher. The courses are taught at the level of a high school honors course and each course carries either one or two semesters of high school credit. Northwestern University’s Center for Talent Development is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. LetterLinks/EPGY on-line math courses use computer-based multimedia to provide students with audio lectures combined with text and graphics. EPGY courses are individualized so that fast learners can move through the mathematics sequence with little repetition, while slower learners will receive additional drill and practice. Textbooks and off-line assignments accompany on-line work. Instructors help students and parents by telephone and by e-mail during afternoons, evenings and weekends. Admission requirements for K-8 are 95% in math on any nationally normed standardized test. For Algebra and above, the minimum score criteria are SAT-M 520 and SAT-V 400.

For further information on these courses, phone (847) 491-3782, fax (847) 467-4283 or email

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) Independent Study High School (ISHS) *

An accredited award winning distance learning program offering more than 105 courses on the Internet as well as on the World Wide Web. It is fully accredited by both the Nebraska Department of Education and the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. UNL’s ISHS combines computer technology with personalized instruction by highly qualified resident teachers to ensure a quality educational experience for advanced students who want to accelerate their high school progress. UNL requires that students be supervised by qualified adults who reside near the students and who are approved by either a local school official or the ISHS. The benefits of the courses offered for the advanced child include core courses in all major curriculum areas, special or low-enrollment courses for which a regular school cannot provide staff, courses needed for college entrance and many elective courses to meet the enrichment needs of students with a wide range of interests. Students may enroll for the UNL high school diploma or may take individual courses to gain credit toward a high school diploma from their regular school as well as AP courses. Students may obtain an ISHS transcript at the end of a course to gain high school credit. Pre-high school students are welcome to apply to take high school courses for credit. For further information on the Nebraska-Lincoln Independent Study High School, phone (402) 472-2175, fax (402) 472-1901, email: unidde@uni.edu
The Independent Learning Program of the University of Wisconsin-Extension

A distance learning program which is fully accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Independent Learning offers a correspondence program via regular mail. It offers a full program of high school courses that can be applied toward a diploma, or used in a home-school environment. Independent Learning does not grant high school diplomas. The student may take individual courses to apply toward the high school diploma in their regular school. Should the student want to apply the credits from Independent Learning toward their high school diploma, they should seek and obtain permission and approval in advance from their local high school. Pre-high school students are eligible to apply for high school courses. Phone: 1-800-442-6460, or email

Texas Tech University Distance Learning K-12

A distance learning program accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Students may enroll for a high school diploma or take individual courses to apply toward their own high school diploma if their regular high school accepts the credits. This correspondence course takes place through the regular mail. Students are admitted on an individual basis at the discretion of the educators and professional counselors who process the applications. Pre-high school students are eligible to take courses if they meet the admission requirements. Elementary through High School courses (grades 9-12). Offers extensive range of courses with some high school classes such as English and math, US History and civics, physics and health. College classes meet UC entrance requirements and the program is accredited. Students have to take exams to earn credits. Enroll any time. Earn credits by taking examination towards a high school diploma offered. Accredited.

Box 42191, Lubbock, TX 79409-2191 Phone: 800-692-6877 ext 320

University of California-Extension’s Center for Media and Independent Learning

Offers a distance learning program that makes extensive use of computer technology. Most of their courses may be taken on-line or through email. It offers individual courses for both high school credit and college credit. Students should obtain permission from their own high school or college before beginning the course if they wish to receive credit for courses. Students enroll at any time and work at their own pace. They are assigned an instructor who mentors them through the course, grades their work and provides feedback to the student. One of the features of CMIL is that most courses end with a supervised final examination. Successful students will receive a certificate of completion.

Gelfandd Correspondence Outreach Program in Mathematics(GOPM)

Part of Rutgers University Center for Mathematics, Science and Computer Education. GOPM is a program for middle and high school students directed by Professor Israel M. Gelfand. There are three different levels of the program which is designed to allow students to investigate mathematical problems chosen to illuminate basic mathematical ideas and the connections among them. A unique feature of this program is that students do not just provide answers to questions, but are required to provide explanations of how they arrived at their answers. Students work at their own pace and they enjoy the benefit of individual feedback from a GOPM mentor who reads all of the student’s work, provides individual responses and guides the student to obtain the greatest possible benefit. At the end of the course, they will receive a GOPM certificate and they can also count on a letter of recommendation from Professor Gelfand when they apply to college.

Phone: 732-445-3491, or email gcpm@math.rutgers.edu.

Talent Identification Program at Duke University, Learn on Your Own Program

Students must find a mentor in their local area who will supervise their study. Duke TIP provides college level texts and other materials. The program is self-paced but if one assignment per week is completed, a course takes one academic semester. Courses include Algebra I and II, English Language: Use and Origin, Functions, Introductory Latin, Microeconomics, Plane Geometry and Reflective Writing. Registration is open.

TIP, P.O. Box 40077, Durham, NC 27706-0077 Phone: (919) 684-3847
Institute for the Academic Advancement of Youth at John Hopkins University

Grades 6-12 Expository Writing Tutorial, Grades 8-12, links verbally talented students with professional writers who have teaching experience. You must qualify on the basis of SAT-V scores and are assigned to a tutor based on an analysis of previous writing. Assignments require approximately 3 to 5 hours per week and are exchanged by mail with the instructor.

Level 1 focuses on the personal essay; Level 2 on analytical and critical thinking; Level 3 offers three courses, poetry, fiction or AP language and Composition.

Phone 410-516-0277, or email IAAYEWT

The IAAY Center for Distance Education also offer mathematics courses in conjunction with the Education Program for Gifted Youth (EPGY) at Stanford University. These are CD-ROM based mathematics courses , beginning with kindergarten math, all the way to college level courses. For more information, phone 410-516-4759, or email
USA Mathematical Talent Search

USA MTS is known as a challenging math competition for grades 9-12 but it is also a non-credit correspondence course. It is free to all participants. For each of the four rounds of the USA MTS, students receive 5 problems by mail and have 4 weeks to send in solutions to at least 2 of the problems. Professional mathematicians evaluate your work and points are assigned depending upon your solution. Winners receive books or gift subscriptions to mathematical publications. Students who participate in all four rounds and accumulate at least 40 points receive a Certificate of Publication. The USA MTS stresses perseverance and creativity, and gives students excellent experience in writing solutions and proofs.

Contact Dr. George Berzsenyi, Department of Mathematics, Box 121, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, 5500 Wabash Ave., Terre Haute, IN 47803 Phone (812)847-8474/8391.

Bratislava Mathematics Correspondence Seminar

Conducted by university students in the Mathematics and Physics Department of Comenius University and the Unity of Solovak Mathematicians and Physicists. The Bratislava Mathematics Correspondence Seminar uses a competition format that encourages independent math learning. The seminar is for high school students who like to solve advanced level math problems. The contest takes place in two parts, winter and summer, and each part consists of three series of problems that require solution by mathematical argument. Writers of the best solutions are invited to spend a week in Slovakia.

III. HIGH SCHOOL DISTANCE LEARNING COURSES OFFERED BY UNIVERSITIES

Brigham Young University Independent Study High School

With over 45,000 enrollments each year, BYU Independent Study offers approximately 350 university courses, 170 high school courses, and 95 personal enrichment courses. In addition to traditional paper based courses, 150 courses are offered online. Full range of business-oriented High school courses are offered.

206 Harman Building, PO Box 21514, Provo, UT 84602-1514
Phone: 801 378-2868
California Virtual Campus

The world’s first virtual university created jointly by California’s leading colleges and universities. Over 6,000 courses, 232 Programs offered by 135 schools in the CVC Catalog.
Indiana University High School Diploma Program

IU offers a high school diploma that you can complete entirely through distance education. Indiana University High School features distance education courses from Continuing Studies’ award-winning Independent Study Program and will confer a high school distance education diploma upon having earned 47 credits of study that is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Owen Hall 002, 790 E. Kirkwood Avenue, Bloomington, IN 47405-7101 Phone: 800-334-1011

OSU K-12 Online

Oregon State University offers a flexible learning program that currently includes more than 30 high school and some middle school classes. Curriculum includes subject areas like English, math, science, social science, arts, health, technology, foreign language and career learning. It was traditionally known to offer “distance learning” college classes for high-achieving high school students. Delivery methods for classes include the Web, videotape, interactive television, independent study, and face-to-face instruction. Accredited by Northwest Association of Accredited Schools.

The Education Program for Gifted Youth (EPGY)at Stanford University

The Education Program for Gifted Youth (EPGY) at Stanford University develops and offers multimedia computer-based distance-learning courses in a variety of subjects at levels ranging from kindergarten through advanced-undergraduate. Precollege Courses in Mathematics, Physics, English, and Computer Science and programs for individuals are also offered.Combining technical and instructional expertise, EPGY provides high ability students of all ages with an individualized educational experience, optimized in both pace and content. Combining technical and instructional expertise, EPGY provides high ability students of all ages with an individualized educational experience, optimized in both pace and content. Through EPGY, students have access to courses in a variety of subjects at levels ranging from kindergarten through advanced-undergraduate. EPGY courses use a combination of CD ROM and Internet technologies to provide gifted students with a multifaceted, highly individualized learning environment. Students who demonstrate ready mastery move quickly through a course, while slower learners receive additional instruction. EPGY instructors provide support by telephone, electronic mail, and through a virtual classroom. EPGY uses sophisticated data collection and analysis techniques, allowing instructors to keep detailed records of individual student progress and assuring appropriate support for every student. Students gain Stanford University Credit for EPGY courses through Stanford’s Continuing Studies Program (CSP). Currently over 2200 students from 28 countries, ranging from 5 to 18 years of age, are enrolled in EPGY.

Texas Tech University Distance Learning K-12

A distance learning program accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Students may enroll for a high school diploma or take individual courses to apply toward their own high school diploma if their regular high school accepts the credits. This correspondence course takes place through the regular mail. Students are admitted on an individual basis at the discretion of the educators and professional counselors who process the applications. Pre-high school students are eligible to take courses if they meet the admission requirements. Elementary through High School courses (grades 9-12). Offers extensive range of courses with some high school classes such as English and math, US History and civics, physics and health. College classes meet UC entrance requirements and the program is accredited. Students have to take exams to earn credits. Enroll any time. Earn credits by taking examination towards a high school diploma offered. Accredited.

Box 42191, Lubbock, TX 79409-2191 Phone: 800-692-6877 ext 320

University of California Extension Online Program

High school classes such as English and math, US History and civics, physics and health are offered online (while free classes are on the internet). Courses meet UC entrance requirements. Accredited by WASC.

University of Iowa Center for Credit Programs

Aimed at part-time, nontraditional students, in cooperation with The University of Iowa’s academic colleges, a range of credit courses and degree-related courses is offered through distance education using extension sites, interactive and broadcast television, the World Wide Web, independent study, streaming video, and other technologies. Accredited. High school aged students may take no more than 100 college-level courses.

University of Missouri-Columbia High School (aka MU High School)

MU High School offers a large variety of distance learning high school courses through various methods including online courses leading to an online diploma. It is an an accredited diploma program for adults and other students with a need for an alternative to traditional high school attendance. A complete high school experience is offered – the specific credits required to receive a diploma from MU high school meet the minimum requirements established by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for public schools in the state. The aim is for graduates of University of Missouri-Columbia High School to be fully prepared for whatever endeavors they may want to pursue after graduation. Accredited by the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement.

136 Clark Hall, Columbia, MO 65211-4200; 573 884-2620
University of Wisconsin-Learning Innovations / Independent Learning

UW offers courses for high school and university credit (undergraduate-level), continuing education units for personal and professional development, but does not grant university degrees for its independent learning courses. Its tradition goes back to 1892. 600 high school and college courses, some online. Flexible self-customised curriculum possible with work submitted by surface, mail, fax, email or online.
University of Texas, Austin, K-12 and High School Diploma Program

Offers young people with professional careers, home schoolers, students who want to accelerate their education, and anyone who needs the flexibility of distance education options, a fully accredited program that allows students to earn a high school diploma through AskMe online (text-book free) or CD-based courses. It also offers a K-16 credit by exam program where students must be tested at an exam center (though one-on-one may also be arranged) – acceleration on grade level is automatic if students score 90% or more on test scores. Accredited by the Texas Education Agency.

432 North Lake Street, 104 Extension Building, Madison, WI 53706 Phone: (512) 475-7933 or (866) 361-8847.

IV. DETC ACCREDITED HIGH SCHOOL PROGRAMS

The Distance Education and Training Council (DETC) organization accredits programs. Check out its list of DLPs.
American School

A nationally accredited correspondence and distance learning high school with a 100 year old history in the business as a correspondence school that offers home study courses to meet students’ needs. Students may work at their own pace and in the comfort of their own homes. Provides a flexible and academically broad high school curriculum with a choice from two complete high school programs or the Independent Study program. The American School cooperates with over 4,000 public and parochial high schools and continuing education programs by furnishing correspondence courses for Independent Study Programs Offers High School diploma. Traditionally a popular program with students in the entertainment and sports fields. 16 credits required taking 2-4 years.

Contact: American School / 2200 East 170th Street, Lansing, Illinois 60438 Phone: (708) 418-2800

Citizens’ High School

Provides quality coursework for people to earn a high school diploma from its Accredited High School Program. A year-round calendar is observed, students may begin and complete coursework and grade levels at their own pace and in the comfort of their own home or wherever their travels may take them. Textbooks supplied do not have to be returned and are taken from mainstream publishers such as Thompson Learning, Steck-Vaughn, Amsco. New Readers Press, Prentice-Hall, Triumph Learning/ Educational Design. etc. The School was founded in 1981 and is located in beautiful Orange Park, Florida. Upon receipt of the enrollment agreement and tuition, the first course material is sent including special instructions on how to begin and other necessary information. Within each self-paced course, self-check exercises allow the student to check what they have learned. Students may write to or phone their teacher when extra help is needed. The study guides sent with each course also include the course examinations which are completed on the open book principle. When ready, the student takes an examination for a unit of lessons completed and mails it to CHS for grading by a qualified teacher. At the school, the teacher personally corrects the exam, records the student’s passing grade, the school then mails the exam back to the student. When a student finishes a subject, he or she will receive a Certificate of Completion and a grade report. Upon completing the minimum of sixteen (16) units of credit subjects, the student is awarded a high school diploma! DETC accredited and listed with the Florida Department of Education Directory.

Contact: Onna L. East, Education Director, P.O. Box 1929, Orange Park, FL 32067-1929

Home Study International (HSI)

A Seventh Day Adventist distance education provider. At the K-12 level, it offers home schoolers and their parents a Christ-centered curriculum and the benefits of national accreditation.

Home Study International, PO Box 4437, Silver Spring, MD 20914-4437

James Madison High School (Aka Professional Career Development Institute)

James Madison High School, which is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), General or Academic Diploma Program as well as the DETC program. Select one of two study tracks: the General Diploma Program or the College Prep Diploma Program if on the college-track. Choose also either textbook option or online school option.

Keystone National High School (aka Learning and Evaluation Center )

An accredited High School (Gr 9-12) that offers over 30 full-credit courses of Highschool study including English, Mathematics, Social Studies, and Science; coursework delivery to the student is either correspondence-based and Internet-based. SAT Prep is available. Completion of 21 credits to graduate with diploma. An online option is possible with Keystone National’s online iSchool. The iSchool students will receive the same accredited, up-to-date curriculum and personal service now provided to our students enrolled in our correspondence-based program . Keystone iSchool enrollees receive the same high quality textbooks now used in our correspondence-based program. Providing students with textbooks allows students to take their work with them, freeing them from having to always have access to a computer. In addition, the following new features are available to students enrolled in Keystone online iSchool, all for only $299 per course: Online delivery of Learning Guides / online testing (both objective and subjective). / Online lesson evaluations (reduced turn around time). Online access to evaluation results. Online access to progress reports via private Home Room. Online access to transcript via private Home Room. Online one-to-one chats with faculty and staff. Online Message Center connecting faculty to students. Online access to supporting Internet resources.

Penn Foster Career School (formerly Harcourt High School)

A DETC accredited school that offers career or vocational courses in the fastest growing fields of business, technology, healthcare and select trades. Choose either textbook print materials or online school options. Also accredited by Middle States Commission on Secondary Schools.
Richard Milburn High School

Offers a traditional distance learning program as well as on-line high school classes (WISE).

Available internationally for armed forces families. High school program features: Academic curriculum consisting of language arts, social studies, mathematics, science and electives; Academic core curriculum focusing on skill improvement for reading, writing, spelling and mathematics; Transition to Work Program; College Placement Counseling and Preparation Program; SAT/ACT Preparation; Monitored Study Program that is personalized, monitored and evaluated
Portfolio and Experiential Learning; Low Pupil /Teacher Ratios; Block and Modular Schedules to meet students’ personal and academic needs.
V. DISTANCE LEARNING / CORRESPONDENCE PROGRAMS

Note: * denotes the institution is properly accredited by a regional crediting body or DETC. DETC is one the key accrediting bodies for distance learning institutionsThe absence of an asterisk means that I was unable to find any information to verify whether the credentials are genuine or false.
and elsewhere

Distance education (or correspondence/independent home study) is the enrollment for the purpose of learning with an educational institution which provides lesson materials. The materials may be paper-based as in traditional learning or may be delivered via internet, video, CD software but they should be prepared in a sequential and logical order for study by students on their own. When each lesson is completed the student may submit by available means: fax, mail, or computer, the assigned work for correction, grading, comment, and instruction and guidance by qualified instructors. Corrected assignments are returned to the student, an exchange which provides a personalized student-teacher relationship.

Sometimes called alternative education (originally conceived as a “substitute” form of education), not only have the degrees or diplomas conferred upon distance educated students become totally acceptable today, but distance learning has become the preferred option of many. Distance education programs are being offered today by colleges and universities, major corporations (such as Hewlett Packard), educational agencies, government agencies, branches of the armed services, trade associations, religious institutions, service industries, political entities, private entrepreneurs and charitable, nonprofit organizations. Some famous people who studied by distance education have included Franklin D. Roosevelt, Walter P. Chrysler and Walter Cronkite.

On the question of educational effectiveness, much research published since 1920 has indicated that correspondence/distance study students perform just as well as, and in most cases better than, their classroom counterparts (see DETC publication, The Effectiveness of the Home Study Method, 1993. ).

A-Beka Home School*

A-Beka has always been very popular traditionally with the Christian community. From its highly popular textbooks, A-Beka now offers a DVD program besides its traditional parent-directed textbook-based program and an accredited College Prep Program. Accredited by SACS, FACCS and CITA (see here for details)

Alpha-Omega Academy Online (Bridgeway Academy)*

Alpha Omega Academy was established by Alpha Omega Publications in 1992 as an additional service to those home school families who desire the support of a full-service correspondence school. Alpha Omega Academy is an accredited school servicing students in grades K-12, and offering eighth grade and high school diplomas to its graduating students. It is said to possess an outstanding math curriculum. K-12 Christian curriculum that offers several options including Switched-On Schoolhouse CD-ROM Curriculum & Program Grades 9-12; LIFEPAC; Horizons; Weaver Curriculum; Power-Glide. The online school uses the Switched-On Schoolhouse multimedia curriculum with students completing their studies at home on the computer. Daily, they link up to our internet site and transfer their work to our teachers. Simultaneously, any grading and/or comments made by our teachers is transferred back to your students. The Multimedia-enhanced CD-ROM program offers a wide variety of interactive problems, learning is taught and reinforced with the “Focus Learning” system. Quizzes and tests are given to prove what students have learned. An email messaging system is built right into the curriculum so that students and teachers can easily communicate. Using electronic “sticky notes” students can attach questions or comments directly to specific problems. Qualified teachers and teaching assistants personally grade all subjective problems and reports, and monitoring their progress. Placement testing helps to customize the program for your student’s educational needs. Lesson plans built around your own personalized school calendar set the due dates. Progress reports and report cards are issued. Permanent records are kept and official transcripts provided. High school students can earn graduation credits and their high school diplomas. Accredited in all 50 states by the National Association of Private School.

Alpha Omega Academy OnLine 300 North McKemy Ave. Chandler, AZ 85226-2618
(877) 688-2652 online@aopub.com

Blueprint Education (formerly Phoenix Academies)

Blueprint Education offers middle and high school courses that are compatible in content to traditional schools in the United States. Blueprint features education that is non-traditional – students today take classes outside the normal school environment for many reasons – its students do not need constant supervision, but they receive guidance, feedback, support, direct communication and a total educational experience that enriches their lives. Students may take courses either to make up classes or to accelerate the educational process in order to graduate early. Each student learns at his or her own pace through an open-entry/open-exit system. Blueprint offers online internet-based or print-based classes leading to a high school diploma. “Flex” start schedule. Open Entry/Open Exit system means students may enroll in a course at multiple times during the year. Accredited by NCA and CITA. Established since 1969 and fully accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Boston School*

A national private school based in California that serves homeschoolers through independent study programs. A typical course of study with elementary, junior high and high school programs are offered for member families. This course of study outlines the common concepts generally offered at each grade level. Members may then use standard textbooks, computer programs, materials from home, community and library or other alternative sources to present these concepts to their students. Record keeping forms and instructions are provided to member families. High school diplomas, transcripts and transfer assistance are available. Record keeping is simple but provides a solid outline of materials and concepts covered during the year. A NCACS & NALSAS accredited Private School offering a High School Diploma, Record Keeping, Transfer Assistance services.

P.O. Box 2920, Big Bear City, CA, 92314-2920 Phone: 909 585-7188

Branford Grove School

Branford Grove School is a Grades 1-12 private school in the state of California. The independent study program emphasizes holistic learning and a “do-it-yourself” curriculum while Branford supports each school family by helping with record keeping; by filtering through the myriad of information that is available to homeschooling families today, then passing those gems on to them; by obtaining and maintaining the cum files, communicating with school officials as needed, directing you to curriculum resources and homeschooling support groups, and offering, encouragement as well as knowledge that we have gained through years of facilitating our own children’s education. Services include: Annual filing of an R-4 affidavit with the California State Department of Education / Accredited diploma (accredited by NALSAS (National Association for the Legal Support of Alternative Schools)) / Member of NCACS (The National Coalition of Alternative Community Schools) / Transfer and maintenance of student records. / Communication, via e-mail, fax, phone (collect) or U.S. mail with enrolling families as needed and with local school officials when indicated. / An independent study manual which includes:a curriculum guide or typical course of study for grades K – 12, a resource guide for purchasing books and educational materials, and a student I.D. card / Record keeping forms including: Monthly attendance and activity sheets, Student evaluations, Teacher education and experience records, and an Independent study contract with materials list. / Additional services, such as individualized teacher service, full curriculum development, more individualized teaching services, and/or obtaining books, available for an additional fee.

P.O. Box 341172, Arleta, CA 91334. Phone (818) 890-0350, and fax : (818) 890-6440.

Citizens’ High School*

Provides quality coursework for people to earn a high school diploma from its Accredited High School Program. A year-round calendar is observed, students may begin and complete coursework and grade levels at their own pace and in the comfort of their own home or wherever their travels may take them. Textbooks supplied do not have to be returned and are taken from mainstream publishers such as Thompson Learning, Steck-Vaughn, Amsco. New Readers Press, Prentice-Hall, Triumph Learning/ Educational Design. etc. The School was founded in 1981 and is located in beautiful Orange Park, Florida. Upon receipt of the enrollment agreement and tuition, the first course material is sent including special instructions on how to begin and other necessary information. Within each self-paced course, self-check exercises allow the student to check what they have learned. Students may write to or phone their teacher when extra help is needed. The study guides sent with each course also include the course examinations which are completed on the open book principle. When ready, the student takes an examination for a unit of lessons completed and mails it to CHS for grading by a qualified teacher. At the school, the teacher personally corrects the exam, records the student’s passing grade, the school then mails the exam back to the student. When a student finishes a subject, he or she will receive a Certificate of Completion and a grade report. Upon completing the minimum of sixteen (16) units of credit subjects, the student is awarded a high school diploma! DETC accredited and listed with the Florida Department of Education Directory.

Contact: Onna L. East, Education Director, P.O. Box 1929, Orange Park, FL 32067-1929

Christian Light Education

Full service, including diploma, and support, Mennonite publisher Christian Light Publications provides Christian Light Education (CLE) complete K-12 curriculum has been developed by ) to meet the needs of children for a Christian education. The CLE curriculum includes a variety of materials that are used in classroom schools, learning centers, home study, adult study, and in supplemental ways with other programs. The CLE curriculum emphasises conceptual learning. Students are guided to analyze related facts and draw proper conclusions from their study.

Box 1212, Harrisonburg, VA 22801, Phone: 540-434-0750

Clonlara School Home Based Education Program*

A fully-functioning K-12 day school that enrols homeschoolers into their high school program or online courses from the Compuhigh school (the first online high school in the world). Clonlara School provides a comprehensive program for early-, middle-, and upper-elementary, and secondary students. As in traditional schools, Clonlara High School students earn credits called Carnegie Credit Units.do the same. No canned curriculum, no textbooks and no tests, so that not only academic learning, but all other learning and activities can count for credit. Tuition: Between $625.OO – $1150.00. Tuition includes: maintenance of all student records; issuance of private school diploma ; a binder of materials for student and parent each; report cards and student transcripts; a private school diploma upon graduation (same as that received by Clonlara’s campus graduates.); a curriculum; guidebook with performance objectives showing what a student in conventional schools would be doing at a given age/grade level from K-9; other guidance and advice on what has worked successfully in Clonlara’s day school for thirty years, lots of hands-on activities, lots of ideas, resources; The Learning Edge Newsletter; a copy of “Clonlara Resources” Catalog (containing books and materials available for sale); an assigned contact teacher shepherds the student files, responds to parent letters or e-mail, and offers as much counseling and guidance as necessary. Unique strengths: Clonlara School’s Director has over 40 years of teaching experience and will handle the contacts between the public school officials and the homeschool family, and every such administrative matter is handled with and for the family, including attention to legalities. Achievement Tests are available every year for an extra fee. Course content past offerings included: Algebra I /Algebra II / American Government / Collaborative Writing / Computer Networking /Geography /Earth Science /World Geography. It is “fully accredited” by the National Association for the Legal Support of Alternative Schools (NALSAS).
1289 Jewett St., Ann Arbor, MI 48104; 313 769-4515

Core Curriculum of America

Assembles complete curriculum for you addressing various needs and styles of learning.

14949 S. Tamiami Tr, Suite 112, North Port, FL 34287 Phone: 888-689-4626

The website suggests using educational services and support available from private “umbrella” school Active Learning Academy. Parents assume the primary responsibility for the education of your children, but the homeschool becomes a satellite school, by contract with Active Learning Academy and an extension of the ALA campus. Parents are required to:

1. Provide adult supervision for enrolled students during your chosen school hours.

2. Keep a record of attendance, daily activities, courses, grades etc.

3. Turn in attendance, grades and all required records mentioned in the contract.

One-time Registration fee per child: $25.00 Tuition: $12.50 per month OR $90.00 p.a.

Tuition includes: Curriculum Discounts, A.L.A. Trivia Giveaways, Semi-monthly Newsletters,

School Transfers, Attendance & Record Keeping, Cumulative Transcript, Student/Teacher Card.

All other services, such as standardized testing, are on a fee schedule basis.
Desiderata School

Accredited, K-12 individualised program for students who need flexibility in their curriculum and scheduling and who want to work toward a college-accepted, accredited diploma through Desiderata’s Distance Learning (Correspondence School) or on-site Private School programs. Students complete coursework on their own schedule, at their own pace, with the regular attention and assistance of their own private Sponsor. Services include curriculum guidance to an accredited high school diploma, students matched with instructor.

4617 County Rd #2, Berthoud, CO 80513, Phone: 888-678-9335
Eagle Christian School

Grades 7-12 (jr high-sr high) distance learning ministry of Valley Christian School. Assignments for a class are posted on the internet on a weekly basis with due dates.Teacherscan be contacted “live” through chat software or through email, and voice email. Occasionally, a teacher will schedule an activity where all the students “meet together” for a discussion or activity, subject to the different time zones of their students. Currently seeking accreditation by the Association of Non-Public Schools in Montana (ANSM) and several other accreditation programs.

2526 Sunset Lane, Missoula, MT 59804; 888 EAGLE4U

Futures International High School*

One-on-one personalized individual instruction using videoconferencing via internet. College-prep and rigorous academic high school program is offered. DETC accredited

Great Books Academy

The Great Books Academy (GBA) is a homeschool and charter school organization dedicated to liberal education based on the classic great books of Western Civilization. GBA provides a complete curriculum for grades nursery through 12th, including books, lesson plans, and related materials in twelve (12) subject areas: Art, Cartography, Foreign Languages, Geography, History, Language Arts, Literature, Math, Music, Philosophy, Science, and optional, online Great Books Discussion. Additional services for enrolled students include placement tests, quarterly tests and grading, report cards, diplomas and transcripts, email consultations, and the 5 online services detailed above.

Institute For Study of the Liberal Arts and Sciences

Protestant and Catholic programs, secondary 7-12 level, classical education, diplomas. Featuring: Scholars’ Online Academy (high-school and adult), Agnus Dei Junior Program(ages 10 – 13), Regina Coeli Online Academy (high-school and adult), and Regina Coeli Junior Program (ages 10 – 13) The Institute for Study of the Liberal Arts and Sciences (ISLAS), sponsors Scholars’ Online Academy (SOLA) which is a non-profit educational corporation chartered by the State of Louisiana. It shares faculty and technical resources with its sister school, Regina Coeli Academy (RCA). All courses are taught from a college preparatory level and provide opportunity for students, young or mature, to excel in specialized study or to enroll in a complete academic curriculum. Preparation for the online distance-learning environment is afforded students from ages 10-13 through ourAgnus Dei and Regina Coeli Junior Programs. No info on accreditation was available from the website.

Contact Admissions: Scholars’ Online Academy, 9755 East McAndrew Court, Tucson, AZ 85748; Phone: (520)751-1942

James Madison High School

James Madison offers its core general high school or Academic Diploma Program. The Academic Diploma, which offers challenging and rigorous college-prep studies while the General program has lots of courses for career-minded students. There is an online school as well.

Kolbe Academy Home School*

A K-12 accredited Catholic private day school in Napa, CA that also offers a homeschool program with the following services for homeschoolers: a classical academic program that is flexible and adaptable to your needs; syllabi and week-by-week course plans for a complete course of study; assessments and staff assistance; quarerly tests: books for all courses; diplomas upon completion of grammar and high school; report cards and transcripts; Stanford Achievement Testing. a way and philosophy of education that is thoroughly Catholic (Ignatian) and classical.

Note: The website claims adamantly that it is not a correspondence program, since parents remain in control as teachers. Kolbe Academy is accredited by NAPC*IS, the National Association of Private Catholic and Independent Schools.

Kolbe Academy 1600 F Street, Napa, CA, 94559; Phone (707) 255-6499 (707) 255-6412 Fax (707)255-1581 Email

Laurel Springs High School*

Independent study program for grades K-12. Laurel Springs is a private school in Ojai, California, with accreditation by the National Independent Study Accreditation Council (NISAC) and Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). Said to be the U.S.’s first online high school offering the first online distance learning study programs for students in grades 4 through 12, as well as more traditional home-study courses for students in kindergarten through grade 12. Courses meet the University of California’s a-f requirements.

Laurel Springs School, 302 W. El Paseo Rd. Ojai, California 97302

North Atlantic Regional High School

An incorporated for-profit business in the State of Maine, recognized by the State Department of Education as a grades 9-12 private school with authority to provide educational services and to grant diplomas. High school course work through us is parent selected and parent directed. Our Credential Management Services provide a means of tracking the homeschooler at the high school level resulting in a high school diploma from North Atlantic Regional High School. Students maintain your choice of curriculum. We assist families in conforming to their state regulations regarding applications and annual reviews. Daily record-keeping, a portfolio of dated/corrected student work and yearly submission of a homeschool transcript are required. (Affiliated to Homeschool Associates) The NARHS offers consultation, record-keeping suggestions, tutorial services, testing options, high school diplomas (NARHS becomes the record holder and the transcript sender for post high school requests to colleges and universities), college planning, transcripts for transfer to public or private schools and for college admissions, arrangements for college credits even for high school work (these college credits are accepted by 3,000 colleges and universities in the U.S.), accelerated diploma options. The website says it is a State of Maine recognized private school, so that enrolment and completion means you graduate from a Maine high school; that it is NOT a “cover” school, NOT correspondence school but is “A real high school diploma for your homeschool work”, that you can “Use your curriculum your way for high school credits and that it is the “home of the best high school diploma option EVER”. Service Fees for Option 1 which involves Credential Management, allowing a student’s work to accumulate towards their high school diploma, become part of their ongoing transcript OR Option 2. Full enrollment fees includes intensive consultations on a weekly or monthly basis.

116 Third Avenue, Auburn, ME 04210; Phone: 207 777-1700 Ext 16, 800 882-2828 Ext 16
North Dakota Division of Independent Study*

The Division of Independent Study, a division of the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction, was established in 1935 by the North Dakota legislature to provide distance education courses for students in grades 5-12. The Division of Independent Study is accredited with commendation through the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction and is also regionally accredited through the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA). It is a high school diploma program and has 171 one-semester course offerings for grades 5-12; Offers online courses and has a resident staff of licensed instructors. Homeschooled students may apply to receive credit for independent work. Tuition, covering teaching services, is $61.00 per half-credit course for North Dakota residents and $73.00 for non-residents. The costs of textbooks and course materials are stated in the course descriptions. Shipping and handling charges of $20.00 per half-credit course are additional. It has both paper-based options as well as an online delivery options.
North Texas Academy

North Texas Academy is a licensed private school located in Plano, Texas. Aka Plano Home School Academy. Offers a high school diploma (accommodates grades 9-12). North Texas Academy is not a “casual correspondence school” where you can do your work whenever it’s convenient – take off when you please – turn in work when you please. You will have a teacher that will be expecting your work at a specific time (for example; on the 1st and 15th of each month) and will be checking on you if the work does not arrive. A penalty is applied for students that are not doing their work. Students will eventually be expelled from the school if they refuse to follow the rules and don’t complete the required school work. A student is permitted, in turn, to go faster than the required length of time. We certainly don’t want to stop anyone from being industrious and doing a good job. Students receive a checksheet (an assignment sheet) for each subject. It will be marked to show exactly what is due and when (date) it is due. Tuition: most students will spend $1500 for one year of study, ($160 per month average) and $300 for books. There is a shipping and handling charge of $45 to ship the curriculum to the student.

Note: The website tells you this is not an “accredited” school. It is a “licensed” school – licensed by the state of Texas. Many private schools are not accredited. This may make a difference if you want to return to a public school.

North Texas Academy, P.O. Box 940887, Plano, TX 75074

Oak Meadow School

Oak Meadow is a fully accredited, state-approved distance learning school for students in grades K-12. All Oak Meadow School students complete their work at home, then they send their work to qualified Oak Meadow teachers for assessment, and then trimester (K-4) or semester (5-12) evaluations are kept in the students’ cumulative records. Students can transfer these credits to other schools or use them to graduate from Oak Meadow High School and attend colleges and universities around the world. Features adaptability to each child’s unique learning style, support newsletter. Established since 1975. Accredited by accredited by the Commission on International and Trans-Regional Accreditation as well as by the Middle States Commission on Elementary Schools in grades K – 8 (a commission of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools) and by the Commission on Secondary and Middle Schools in grades 9 – 12 (a commission of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools). The school is known for having its early roots in Waldorf-inspired philosophy that has been adapted and varied, and for providing distance education internationally to English-speaking students.

PO box 740, Putney, VT 05346; Phone: 802 387-2021

Our Lady of The Rosary

Internationally recognized Catholic correspondence or online school for children in pre-K-12, Full service, cooperative curriculum program or course curriculum program options. Full curriculum services offered include complete teacher services, i.e. more teacher input, quarterly exams, unlimited counseling and support either by e-mail or phone, book reports, and any creative work corrected and returned, report cards, full transcript services, diplomas awarded for completion of Kindergarten, eighth grade and high school, leasing of all books necessary is also included (no need to shop for books which were provided on a book list.), college preparation assistance, and shipping included. Cooperative Curriculum Program offers Limited Teacher Services, i.e. teacher input, unlimited counseling and support either by e-mail or phone (some of our teachers even take calls on nights and weekends). Book reports, quarterly exams, and creative work are graded by the Parents, then submitted to our teachers for review. Parents are provided with quarterly tests and keys. All other services are also included, such as report cards, full transcript services, diplomas awarded for completion of Kindergarten and eighth grade, leasing of all necessary books and shipping are also included (no need to shop for books which were provided on a booklists). Course Curriculum Program – Designed for the independent student and adult student in mind, this program offers some of the greatest flexibility in designing a custom curriculum. It offers all the services of our Full Curriculum but at one course at time. High School courses earn high school credits. No info on accreditation on the website. Students can also take courses at the online school. Courses, tests, grading, counseling and tutoring are all delivered on-line.

10-10 Withrow Court, Bardstown, KY 40004 Phone: 502-348-1338

School of Tomorrow’s division Lighthouse Christian Academy

K-12 the School of Tomorrow uses the Accelerated Christian Education (A.C.E.) curriculum that provides: A solid back-to-basics educational program; a course of study individualized to meet a child’s specific needs and learning capabilities; a program incorporating goal setting, character building, and wisdom principles; a curriculum using available advanced computer technology to help ensure the finest education possible in today’s high-tech climate. Lighthouse Christian Academy is a full service homeschool academy that uses the A.C.E. Accelerated Education curriculum and offers services include that include: Experienced Academic Advisors; diagnostic testing; projected course of study; report card; enrollment verification; transcripts; End-of-Year Standardized Testing; High School Diploma; Graduation Ceremony

No info on accreditation was available from the website.

PO Box 299000, Lewisville, TX 75029-9000; Phone: 800 925-7777

Seascape Educational Center and Malibu Cove High School

K-8 correspondence school offering a unique approach to homeschooling and a customizable curriculum for grades K-12 with emphasis on programs that provide learning enjoyment. The programs are designed around the lifestyle needs of the student. For Grades Preschool thru 3rd, the storytelling and listening program is built on classic folktales, fairy tales, myths, narrative poems and stories by beloved children’s authors such as Hans Christian Anderson, Lewis Carroll, Arthur Ransome, and more. Choice of quality educational programs includes instructional materials and fun activities with materials from Fisher Price, Disney, Staedtler, Mead, Cambridge, Mcgraw-Hill, Scholastic, etc. All textbooks, attendance sheets, lesson plans and goal sheets are sent with each enrollment. Pencils, paper, rulers, and folders for completed work are also provided; Grading on students’ completed work and filing; An official transcript of child’s grades and school credits; Report cards are sent out each semester; Diplomas are also awarded to students graduating from the eighth grade. High school services available through affiliated Malibu Cove high school program. I

PO Box 1074, Thousand Oaks, CA 91358-0074, Phone: 805-446-1917
Seton Home Study School*

K-12 Catholic program offering special services: daily lesson plans, counseling by phone, fax and e-mail, online newsletter, standardized testing services, books, software, videos, and other educational materials. Seton Home Study School is accredited by the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges, one of the main regional accrediting associations in the US.

1350 Progress Dr, Front Royal, VA 22630,
Phone: 540 636-9990
Summit Christian Academy

Summit Christian Academy is a home study with K-12 courses leading up to diplomas. Summit Christian Academy is a distributor for the Alpha Omega LIFEPAC’S and “Switched-On” Schoolhouse CD-ROM curriculum and accepts Bob Jones and Abeka curricula for our core courses. All of these are considered college preparatory materials. Services offered by Summit Christian Academy include:

  • A completely unified, developmental sequence for grades K -12.
  • Bible-based curriculum for our core courses.
  • Diagnostic Placement Testing for Bible, Language Arts, Math, Science and Social Studies for grades 3-12.
  • Maintenance of an individual file, report cards, transcript and choice of three high school diplomas for each of our students.
  • Telephone consultation via our toll-free number for our enrolled students.
  • An annual Iowa Test of Basic Skills for grades 3-12. (Optional)

Registered with the A.C.T. and S.A.T. and N.C.A.A. College Entrance Exam Boards with our own school-code number. National accreditation through the National Coalition of Alternative Community Schools. Tuition for Grades 1-12 (Enrollment, Testing, Tuition and Lifepac Gold Curriculum with all out-bound shipping and handling costs): $580.00 for 4 subjects: Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies (40 Lifepacs and 4 Teachers Guides) OR $680.00 for 5 subjects: Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, and Bible (50 Lifepacs, 5 Teachers Guides)

2100 North Highway 360, suite 503, Grand Prairie, TX 75050 Phone: 75050, 800-362-9180,

St. Thomas Aquinas Academy

St. Thomas Aquinas Academy offers a program designed by homeschoolers for the homeschooling family. The Independent Study Program program is Catholic, classical liberal arts with a relaxed style and unit study flavor, designed specifically for homeschooling families. Features a Catholic, Classical Liberal Arts Program for Pre-1st – 12. Offers Student Skills Assessment; Continuing, Personal Guidance and Support; Report Card, Diploma, and Transcript Options; diploma. he great eras of western civilization–Greek, Roman, Old World and New–are studied in Grades 4 – 12. An independent private school registered with the State of California.

PO Box 630, Ripon, CA 95366 Phone: 209-599-0665

Sycamore Tree

The Sycamore Tree, Inc. has been incorporated in California since 1982, and provides K-12 homeschool educational text-based curriculum as well as an online school services to students in grades K-12 all over the world. Supporting the school or anyone needing Christian based educational materials, is a catalog purchasing service which provides a wide range of more than 3000 educational items. Claims to be a accredited, complete homeschool but I could not find any info on accreditation on its website. Also features the accredited Sycamore Tree Online School for grades 4-12. It covers Bible, Math, English, Science, and Social Studies.

2179 Meyer Place, Costa Mesa, CA 92627
Phone: 949 650-4466
Westbridge Academy

A college preparatory school for academically advanced homeschoolers, gifted students and those looking for an accelerated Pre-K – 12 program. Its graduates have been accepted in top colleges and universities including Ivy League schools, top ranked engineering schools, and excellent liberal arts schools. Every Westbridge student has gone on to college or advanced performance schools with scholarships (including National Merit scholarships, Presidential Endowed Scholars, and other awards.) Many sources of curriculum: large text publishing houses, smaller publishers who produce texts used in exclusive private schools, classic texts from the past, and Christian publishers of various sorts. Specific curriculum is customised based upon learning level and style of the student, academic quality of the text, the goals of the student, and other more individual criteria. The school keeps records and provides homeschooling support, encouragement and advice for the student. The transcripts and other records necessary for college admission are prepared by the academy. Help in preparing admissions documents and scholarship applications is also available. No info on accreditation available from the website.

Westbridge Academy,  2562 Montebello Drive, San Antonio, TX  78259. Phone: 210-481-9269

Local Distance Learning Options in Japan:

Again we want to CAUTION that our readers do not take this listing as an endorsement of any of those listed as legitimate. Parents are advised to use the list as information and must proceed to make all appropriate enquiries, comparisons and research the academic standards of the outfit in question. Although at least 77% of high school kids use cram school services, remember that even Monbusho does not officially endorse any of the cram schools, so neither do we.

DISTANCE LEARNING OPTIONS IN JAPAN FOR JAPANESE STUDIES:

All kinds of Distance Learning schools have been around in Japan for a long time, the earlier established ones initially catering to Japanese who had their high school studies disrupted due to the outbreak of war or having to take up employment for economic reasons. There are 87 accredited Distance Learning schools around the nation, many of these require that applicants live within a specified region. There are too many DL schools to list all of them here. Listed below are unique Distance Learning schools:

NHK Academy of Distance Learning

The only nationwide DL high school. Students living anywhere in Japan can apply to this school. Students study by watching and listening to NHK’s designated programs with NHK’s textbooks, send reports, attend schooling at local study centers and take exams in September and February. Upon completion of the course, the students obtain the required credits and a high school diploma. The first year’s tuition is 175,000 yen. For the second and third year, tuition is 140,000 yen.

NHK Academy of Distance Learning
2-36 Fujimidai, Kunitachi-city, Tokyo 186-8001
Phone: 042-572-3151 Fax: 042-576-1006

Chuo Gakuin Daigaku High School is an example of a Monbusho-recognised private high school. Students can choose its online distance learning course (as opposed to its in-school course). Internet delivery was introduced this spring as an option to snail-mail delivery. They can also submit their essays and receive marked assignments and consult tutors via email. After studying their texts, students take tests online and receive their scores instantly. Students have to study the set curriculum of the school in accordance with the national guidelines, put in the requisite study hours and take tests, but upon completion of the curriculum and passing the tests, they obtain a locally recognised high school diploma.The first year’s tuition and entrance fees are 249,000 yen. Total student capacity: 300 Applicants from Tokyo, Chiba, Kanagawa, Saitama or Ibaraki area only.
Address:1-19-10 Shinkawa, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0033
Phone:03-3552-5025 Fax: 03-3552-506

For more information on other Japanese Distance Learning high schools, go here

For a full list of all accredited distance learning high schools in Japan, obtain a copy of the book, Step Up School Guide published by Riifu-Shuppan 2,800 yen.

Unique perhaps to Japan, institutions or educational services that serve to support and supplement studies at Distance Learning programs, (ie., a kind of cram school supplementing distance learning programs). Although students may aim for a high school diploma by studying at home through a distance learning high school, some students have difficulties keeping up with or completing their distance learning program (particularly students who lagged in their junior high academic studies). Such Distance Learning support schools have sprung up to provide additional support for struggling students with the strange result that students may enrol at a nationally recognised Distance Learning high school, but carry out their studies supported by the services of the non-recognised Distance Learning support institution.

In the US, home-educating families or afterschooling families may have recourse to a whole range of educational services depending on what their needs are. There are those homeschooling full-time who seek full services including quality instruction programs complete with curriculum materials and texts, grading and testing services leading up to full transcripts and a diploma for college admission purposes. Other families seek partial services of “umbrella schools”, perhaps with self-customised studies these need only the fluid guidance of tutors, record-keeping, transcript and/or high school diploma services. Some families need only distance learning courses to supplement their needs, advanced placement courses or other challenging distance learning courses for their academically gifted child. For a list of all the educational institutions and services available largely in the US that homeschoolers might resort to, click on this link
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(As far as I know this is ONLY online list that has the individual credentials of the various schools and programs checked out)

For DLPs of UK origin, Alan Rigg (Osaka Parent’s Citizens Ombudsman) started a local agency Cambridge International Learning Center that will for a small fee help arrange Distance Learning packages from the UK. Although I wrote repeatedly to Mr Riggs for info on his establishment, unfortunately he has not replied. I am thus not able to endorse his outfit.
Contact directly:

Cambridge international Learning Center
#201 Kanda Building, 2-7-6 Jounan, Ikeda-city, Osaka 563-0025
Phone: 0210-079-777 Email

For DLPs of UK origin, Alan Rigg (Osaka Parent’s Citizens Ombudsman) started a local agency Cambridge International Learning Center that will for a small fee help arrange Distance Learning packages from the UK. Although I wrote repeatedly to Mr Riggs for info on his establishment, unfortunately he has not replied. I am thus not able to endorse his outfit, however please feel free to contact directly:

Across the Atlantic, if your children have been pursuing the UK National Curriculum, here is a website that details the resources needed to homeschool through to the Cambridge GCE examinations. Especially useful for UK curriculum homeschoolers may be the hardcopy newsletter as well as the listed distance learning and correspondence courses listed on the webpage.

NorthStar Academy provides distance learning options in the UK, US or Canada. See

See also theHome Education support webpage for the UK at

VI.ONLINE CORRESPONDENCE SCHOOLS & SUPPORT SCHOOLS (Accredited and unaccredited)
Abbington Hill School

A full service, computer-based CD Roms, textbooks or or video iPODs learning, virtual school offering students 1-12 a superior education catering to serious performers and athletes. Counselor, grading and testing online. Complete administrative support including records, report cards and transcripts and high school and grammar school diploma offered. No info available on their website on accreditation.

ABBINGTON HILL SCHOOL PMB152 /2140-6, Rt. 88 /Bricktown, NJ 08742 Phone: 732 -295-4144 or Email
Alpha-Omega Academy Online (aka Bridgeway Academy)

K-12 Christian curriculum that offers several options including Switched-On Schoolhouse CD-ROM Curriculum & Program Grades 9-12; LIFEPAC; Horizons; Weaver Curriculum; Power-Glide. The online school uses the Switched-On Schoolhouse multimedia curriculum with students completing their studies at home on the computer. Daily, they link up to our internet site and transfer their work to our teachers. Simultaneously, any grading and/or comments made by our teachers is transferred back to your students. The Multimedia-enhanced CD-ROM program offers a wide variety of interactive problems, learning is taught and reinforced with the “Focus Learning” system. Quizzes and tests are given to prove what students have learned. An e-mail messaging system is built right into the curriculum so that students and teachers can easily communicate. Using electronic “sticky notes” students can attach questions or comments directly to specific problems. Qualified teachers and teaching assistants personally grade all subjective problems and reports, and monitoring their progress. Placement testing helps to customize the program for your student’s educational needs. Lesson plans built around your own personalized school calendar set the due dates. Progress reports and report cards are issued. Permanent records are kept and official transcripts provided. High school students can earn graduation credits and their high school diplomas.

Alpha Omega Academy OnLine 300 North McKemy Ave. Chandler, AZ 85226-2618
(877) 688-2652 online@aopub.com

Apex Learning

Not a school but an independent accredited educational service provider of advanced placement courses via the internet for high-achieving students: Calculus, Statistics, Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, and U.S. Government and Politics. History and English Language and Composition in fall 2000. Apex features: Comprehensive material, immediate support, and universal accessibility; High-quality curricula and instructional materials in sync with College Board AP curriculum guidelines; Instant online instructor support for improved communication and individualized study; Self-paced learning made accessible anytime, anywhere; Award-winning AP Online Courses; Individualized AP Exam Review study tools; ClassTools AP curricula for the classroom; Summer Institute training seminars for AP teachers. History: The program was launched by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. The APEX program, which stands for AP Excellence, is an effort to give more students an opportunity to get involved in the courses. To obtain college credit, you must take the AP* Exam offered by ETS and The College Board. The majority of colleges and universities in the U.S. accept AP Exam scores, but they do have different standards. But you need to check with the college or university of interest to you to see if they’ll accept these APs for college credit. The Advanced Placement program, started in the 1950s and operated by The College Board, offers college-level courses for high school students. At the end of the course, students can take an exam administered by The College Board and, if they score high enough, earn college credit. APEX described on its Web site, an “independent educational-services company,” is a branch of Vulcan Northwest, the management company for Paul Allen’s various enterprises. The program is aimed at students who are home-schooled, studying for the AP exam independently or whose school does not offer AP courses.

Apex Learning 110 – 110th Avenue NE, Suite 210 Bellevue, WA 98004
Fax: (425) 468-6501 Phone: 1-800-453-1454 or email

Arbor Academy Online*

You can choose its online curriculum only option, or curriculum plus school enrollment. The K-6 curriculum uses core knowledge series. curriculum Arbor Academy is partners with Apex Learning. The school is registered with the State of California.

Calvert School *

A private Day School that has a branch offering homeschoolers its pre-K through grade 8 packaged curriculum. It also offers the option of homeschool support services and accreditation. This is an established private school and very trusted homeschool program, with a history of long use (100 years) by overseas missionary families in the past, due to its complete packages and ease of use.


Christa McAuliffe Academy*

CMA offers self-paced, mentor-assisted program (parent-directed at K level), as well as online distance learning classes and CDs and individualized instruction using computer courseware delivered over the internet. Grade 3-12 Internet Delivered Curriculum / Primary Program (K-2) / Grade K-2 CD Delivered Curriculum). Student success is measured by demonstrating competence in the various disciplines through mastery tests and a combination of written assessments and lab/practical learning activities. On-line Delivered Program (3-12). Computer-based lessons, record-keeping, virtual communications and realtime meetings are offered — note: for students in Japan time difference is a likely problem. Students are assigned mentors, all of whom are certified teachers in their local jurisdictions. Each student chooses a mentor and determines his/her own pace and style of learning but mastery of each lesson is required to progress. Approved as a private school every year since its inception in 1985 by the Washington State Board of Education. The on-site Challenger Lab is also accredited through the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges. CMA’s distance learning program is accredited through CITA (the Commission on International and Trans-regional Accreditation). This body is a new organization created as an outgrowth of the “Big Six” regional accrediting associations to address the unique needs of schools which operate nationwide and worldwide. CMA is listed in the ICSAC registry.

3601 W. Washington Ave, Yakima, WA 98903; 877-256-4213 Phone: 509-575-4989 FAX: 509-575-4976 Email

CLASS homeschools (Christian Liberty Academy School System)

Choose from K-12 full service correspondence CLASS Program, or the CLASS program, Independent Services to evaluate your students and determining appropriate curriculum. CLASS is not accredited – its stated policy regarding accreditation is: Christian Liberty does not seek accreditation. Given the state of public education in America, our academy sincerely believes that it is responsible to promote education reform by setting a higher standard—to lead, rather than to follow the crowd. There are many different agencies all with different standards. Each school decides what it will accept and will not accept. Most schools accept our credits. Those who do not immediately accept our credits will do so after administering an achievement test, receiving information about our course requirements, and seeing the quality of the child’s education. The school board of the Christian Liberty Academy School System refuses to follow the standards of state licensed schools when such schools have proven themselves to be incapable of maintaining academic excellence.

502 W. Euclid Ave., Arlington Heights, IL 60004; Phone: 800 348-0899

Clonlara School and Compuhigh

Offered by Clonlara School, a fully-functioning K-12 day school that enrols homeschoolers into their high school program or online courses from the Compuhigh school (the first online high school in the world). Clonlara School provides a comprehensive program for early-, middle-, and upper-elementary, and secondary students. As in traditional schools, Clonlara High School students earn credits called Carnegie Credit Units. No canned curriculum, no textbooks and no tests, so that not only academic learning, but all other learning and activities can count for credit. Tuition includes: maintenance of all student records; issuance of private school diploma ; a binder of materials for student and parent each; report cards and student transcripts; a private school diploma upon graduation (same as that received by Clonlara’s campus graduates.); a curriculum; guidebook with performance objectives showing what a student in conventional schools would be doing at a given age/grade level from K-9; other guidance and advice on what has worked successfully in Clonlara’s day school for thirty years, lots of hands-on activities, lots of ideas, resources; The Learning Edge Newsletter; a copy of “Clonlara Resources” Catalog (containing books and materials available for sale); an assigned contact teacher shepherds the student files, responds to parent letters or e-mail, and offers as much counseling and guidance as necessary. Unique strengths: Clonlara School’s Director has over 40 years of teaching experience and will handle the contacts between the public school officials and the homeschool family, and every such administrative matter is handled with and for the family, including attention to legalities. Achievement Tests are available every year for an extra fee. Course content past offerings included: Algebra I /Algebra II / American Government / Collaborative Writing / Computer Networking /Geography /Earth Science /World Geography. Clonlara has a history of working with homeschooled students in Japan and has a Japanese division that deals with Japanese families.

1289 Jewett St., Ann Arbor, MI 48104 Phone: 734-769-4515, 313 769-4515

Connections Academy

This is a new free public K-10 public school (in Arizona, Colorado, Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvannia) that operates from home offering curriculum, personalized instruction and flexibility. Parents provide day-to-day involvement as in a home school.

Dennison Academy or Dennison Online Internet School

Accredited middle-high school program for grades 7-12. The curriculum includes over thirty subjects including English, humanities & the arts, mathematics, science & technology, and recreation & health, plus foreign language and other electives. An expanded program prepares students for college admission. Students can take individual courses or an integrated program to earn their high school diplomas. Within defined boundaries, students research topics of their choice, at their own pace, using multimedia software, the internet, and other resources. They report to faculty online daily and live internet chat as needed. This is a natural and proven way to learn. We record classes, grades, and credits on conventional transcripts. IBM-compatible computer required and purchase of their software. For those who want full curriculum on CD-roms. Dennison Academy has been granted accreditation by the Accreditation Commission for International Internet Education, for a period of five years (1999-2004). DENNISON tuition not including materials is $3600/year (twelve months access). DENNISON ACADEMY ™ is a private secondary school in Los Angeles, California, USA, est. 1981. DENNISON ONLINE is the Academy’s Distance Learning Division. DENNISON is known for Personal Schooling ™ and for pioneering alternative high school diploma programs (Diploma by Exam program or High School Final Exam). Note: The diploma offered is an alternative high school diploma — many universities may require a more traditional high school diploma.

PO Box 29781, Los Angeles, CA 90029-0781 Phone: 323 662-3226

E-Tutor

You have a choice of independent study using their internet lesson modules OR guided study via the e-Tutor. K-12, harness the resources of the Internet to increase learning: includes over 400 teacher-written lessons in language arts, mathematics, science and social studies. Internet resources are integrated into each lesson, reinforcing skills being taught and expanding concepts beyond traditional teaching.

1524 South Prospect Ave., Park Ridge, IL 60068, Phone: 847-318-7110

Eagle Christian School

Grades 7-12 (jr high-sr high) distance learning ministry of Valley Christian School. Assignments for a class are posted on the internet on a weekly basis with due dates so there’s no need for parents to plan the curriculum or lessons. Students may work at their own pace but have to plan their lessons around the deadlines. Teachers can be contacted “live” through chat software or through email, and voice email. Occasionally, a teacher will schedule an activity where all the students “meet together” for a discussion or activity, subject to the different time zones of their students. Accreditation by Montana Federation of Independent Schools.

2526 Sunset Lane, Missoula, MT 59804; 888 EAGLE4U Phone: 888-324-5348

The Grace Academy

A Christian curriculum homeschool provider of multimedia interactive bibilical based courses and learning resource center for homeschoolers; and teacher-led academic support that includes grading and record keeping, customized homeschooling, unlimited live tutoring. Accredited by the National Private Schools Accreditation Alliance.

Heritage Home School Academy

The Academy based in Kansas uses the School of Tomorrow curriculum and upon completion of its courses offers a high school diploma. A mastery based concept upon concept education. International shipping is offered but the package for the first half of the year is first shipped and the second half is only shipped only after work assigned is returned and grading is done.

Internet Academy

Washington’s first online school is 10 years old. Offers K-12 classes to full-time and part-time students; Credits earned at the IA may be transferred toward graduation at a local high school but it is the student’s responsibility to verify that their home high school accepts IA credits towards graduation. Internet Academy does not issue diplomas. Note: Students may be outside Washington State or taking IA courses in addition to a full load of courses at another school.

32020 1st Ave S., Federal Way, WA 98003 Phone: 253 945-2004

James Madison High School Online
*

James Madison offers an accredited 16 credit core course for high school or 22 credit more rigorous college-prep high school program.

Keystone National High School

Keystone delivers General High School, College Prep or Individual Courses (you can chooses from introductory, core, AP, high school electives or honors subjects). Both online iSchool courses as well as traditional correspondence school courses are offered. Record-keeping, transcripts and teacher support are provided. Accredited by Northwest Association of Accredited Schools and Distance Education and Training Council.

Laurel Springs Kindergarten – High School

Accredited online homeschooling resource and accredited curriculum for long distance learning for grades K-12. Parents may choose from “choice-based” experiential approach or project-based(literature plus hands-on approach), textbooks, or online, web-oriented, courses of independent study available. Courses meet the University of California’s a-f requirements. Offers mentoring with personalized attention of a private school but with the flexibility of a home school. Standard, customized, online, honors, and special-needs curricula, elective credit for travel, athletics, art, music, drama, research, etc. is possible, packages K-8, 9-12, Learn Online! complete K-12 program available. Fees for all-inclusive program includes enrollment, course materials and teacher services.

1002 E. Ojai Avenue, Ojai, CA 93024-1440 Phone: 800 377-5890

Richard Milburn High School

Offers a traditional distance learning program as well as on-line high school classes (WISE).

Available internationally for armed forces families. High school program features: Academic curriculum consisting of language arts, social studies, mathematics, science and electives; Academic core curriculum focusing on skill improvement for reading, writing, spelling and mathematics; Transition to Work Program; College Placement Counseling and Preparation Program; SAT/ACT Preparation; Monitored Study Program that is personalized, monitored and evaluated
Portfolio and Experiential Learning; Low Pupil /Teacher Ratios; Block and Modular Schedules to meet students’ personal and academic needs.
North Dakota Division of Independent Study*

The Division of Independent Study, a division of the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction, was established in 1935 by the North Dakota legislature. Supervised distance education courses that are free of time and place constraints are offered for students in elementary, middle and high school grades. The Division of Independent Study is accredited with commendation through the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction and is also regionally accredited through the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA). It is a high school diploma program and has 171 one-semester course offerings for grades 5-12; Offers online courses and has a resident staff of licensed instructors. Homeschooled students may apply to receive credit for independent work. Non-Dakota residents are also accepted. The costs of textbooks and course materials are stated in the course descriptions. It has both paper-based options as well as an online delivery options.
Northstar Academy*

North Star offers a USA, Canadian program or a UK program (GCSE and IGCSE support). A well-conceived online grades 7-12 program. Defines itself as a “community of learners in an online school”. It uses the internet to link students with other students and accredited teachers who provide 100% of the students’ instruction and marking. Through the conferencing software called FirstClass, teachers send their lessons and assignments over the internet, lead group discussions, evaluate students’ assignments, and engage in most of the same teacher-student interactions that occur in traditional classrooms. Students complete their assigned work using printed material and software provided by the school. Completed assignments and exams are sent back to teachers for marking and then returned to the students via e-mail. Parent(s) have to proctor school quizzes and tests and help the student(s) develop a daily schedule for learning and completing work, and to hold the student(s) accountable to this schedule. NorthStar Academy uses the curriculum guide and program of studies as established by the Richardson Independent School District of Texas. NorthStar Academy offers the core classes of English, Math, Science, Social Studies, and P.E./Health while offering elective courses such as Spanish, Computer Applications, and Christian Foundations. NorthStar Academy uses textbooks from publishers such as Saxon, Prentice Hall, Heath, Zumdahl, and A Beka. Policy promotes flexibility within reason. Instead of “due dates” suggested turn-in dates which are offered to students to help them gauge their pace so that they may finish their course within the traditional 10-month schedule. However, if the student needs more time than the 10-month schedule affords, we will make allowances for time extensions with no “penalty” for any work done after the 10-month mark. NorthStar is currently a member of the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI). Currently pursuing accreditation through the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships. NorthStar students may earn university credits for certain high school classes due to the concurrent accreditation program with a number of universities.

22571 Wye Road, Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada T8C 1H9; Phone: 888 464-6280

OSU K-12 Online

Oregon State University offers a flexible learning program that currently includes more than 30 high school and some middle school classes. Curriculum includes subject areas like English, math, science, social science, arts, health, technology, foreign language and career learning. It was traditionally known to offer “distance learning” college classes for high-achieving high school students. Delivery methods for classes include the Web, videotape, interactive television, independent study, and face-to-face instruction. Accredited by Northwest Association of Accredited Schools.

Our Lady of The Rosary

Internationally recognized Catholic correspondence or online school for children in pre-K-12, Full service, cooperative curriculum program or course curriculum program options. Full curriculum services offered include complete teacher services, i.e. more teacher input, quarterly exams, unlimited counseling and support either by e-mail or phone, book reports, and any creative work corrected and returned, report cards, full transcript services, diplomas awarded for completion of Kindergarten, eighth grade and high school, leasing of all books necessary is also included (no need to shop for books which were provided on a book list.), college preparation assistance, and shipping included. Cooperative Curriculum Program offers Limited Teacher Services, i.e. teacher input, unlimited counseling and support either by e-mail or phone (some of our teachers even take calls on nights and weekends). Book reports, quarterly exams, and creative work are graded by the Parents, then submitted to our teachers for review. Parents are provided with quarterly tests and keys. All other services are also included, such as report cards, full transcript services, diplomas awarded for completion of Kindergarten and eighth grade, leasing of all necessary books and shipping are also included (no need to shop for books which were provided on a booklists). Course Curriculum Program – Designed for the independent student and adult student in mind, this program offers some of the greatest flexibility in designing a custom curriculum. It offers all the services of our Full Curriculum but at one course at time. High School courses earn high school credits. No info on accreditation on the website. Students can also take courses at the online school. Courses, tests, grading, counseling and tutoring are all delivered on-line.

10-10 Withrow Court, Bardstown, KY 40004 Phone: 502-348-1338

Trent Academy and Trent Schools

Trent lays claim to being the oldest and largest provider of Internet structured home school lessons in the world. Trent takes full advantage of the inexhaustible learning resources available on the Internet. Experiential education is the emphasis of all Trent curricula. There are no books to buy. Correspondence with Trent’s Online Teachers is done by e-mail and tests are done by computer. Trent students rely on Trent’s lesson links to the Internet. Trent maintains student records and makes grade transcripts available to schools, colleges, and universities. Trent will also as an option provide Online Teachers to assist students and at-home teachers in all aspects of teaching and learning.Trent lessons are logically integrated, week by week, year after year. Individual Gifted Child and Professional Child Programs available. Trent Academy Diploma offered by Examination and Evaluation.

Quantum Educational Solutions

Online science and algebra courses, serving Homeschooling Students; 6-12th Grade Students; AP Science/Math Students; College and Continuing Education Students. Provides one-on-one tutoring or mentoring support, full year, start anytime, flexible schedule, email, chat, telephone tutoring. Courses specialise in business-specific educational needs: SCIENCE: Physics, Chemistry, Biology (emphasis on environmental biology and genetics), Earth and Space Science, Specialty, timely offerings (Integrated Science of Mars or Sun-Earth Connections, etc.) / MATHEMATICS: Algebra 1 with emphasis on applications, Algebra 2 with emphasis on applications / BUSINESS: Personal Finance – How Money Works, Entrepreneurism – Motivation and Leadership. No info on accreditation.

403 Commerce St, Centreville, MD 21617, Phone: 410-480-0791
Summit Christian Online Academy

Offers accredited, computer based education for parents who are wanting to home school, yet are looking for the teaching and accreditation of a private school. Students complete their studies at home on the computer. Daily, they link up to our internet site and transfer their work to our teachers. Simultaneously, any grading and/or comments made by the teachers is transferred back to the student. Summit uses the Switched-On Schoolhouse multimedia curriculum, a multimedia-enhanced CD-ROM program offering a wide variety of interactive problems.

Material is thoroughly taught and reinforced with the “Focus Learning” system. Quizzes and tests then give students the opportunity to prove what they have learned. An e-mail messaging system is built right into the curriculum so that students and teachers can easily communicate. Using electronic “sticky notes” students can attach questions or comments directly to specific problems.

University of Miami Online High School

U of M offers high school diploma-seeking, fulltime or part time students several high school program options – AP courses or project-activity based courses; or Independent Study program.

University of Missouri-Columbia High School (aka MU High School)

MU High School offers a large variety of distance learning high school courses through various methods including online courses leading to an online diploma. It is an an accredited diploma program for adults and other students with a need for an alternative to traditional high school attendance. A complete high school experience is offered – the specific credits required to receive a diploma from MU high school meet the minimum requirements established by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for public schools in the state. The aim is for graduates of University of Missouri-Columbia High School to be fully prepared for whatever endeavors they may want to pursue after graduation. Accredited by the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement.

136 Clark Hall, Columbia, MO 65211-4200; 573 884-2620
Willoway Cyberschool

Willoway boasts of having the first and only 3D virtual classroom or campus. It is a full-time 5-12th grade College Prep., private school with a technology centered program online. that offers accredited high school diplomas (grades 7-12), advanced internet based school, full program with emphasis on technology, and writing and communications skills, extensive use of internet connectivity for classes (grades 7-12.) Students can videoconference. The school has a special needs program. Willoway is fully accredited by the Accreditation Commission for International Internet Education effective October 29, 1999 for a period of five years. Accredited by CITA.

267 Mountain Top Rd, Reinholds, PA 217569. Phone: 610-678-0214

ONLINE /INTERNET SCHOOLS IN JAPAN:

For the past decade, electronic technology and multimedia has transformed the “traditional” habits of distance learning into a more global, dynamic and interactive learning methods using a diverse array of home computers connected to the Internet, video devices, CD-ROMs, etc. Several online schools have sprung up locally in recent years offering US high school diplomas, representing the latest trend of the private sector using the new medium of the Internet to attract students. Atmark Inter High School’s services promoted at the earlier-mentioned Symposium is one such school. Often such schools also sell themselves as fostering creativity through flexible, self-customised, experiential curriculum as opposed to the rote-learning oriented public school system. A comparison of the few internet schools and their offerings shows a great unevenness in the level of services and support provided by the various schools.

The key selling point and common factor of all the online schools appears to be the offering of a US high school diploma. One should question the value of a locally obtained US diploma, since studies for virtually the entire curriculum are conducted in Japanese. Secondly, parents should carefully consider their objectives in obtaining such a US diploma, the route to college whether local or foreign, require more than the mere paper qualification of a US high school diploma offered by online schools in Japan. The requirements for the college admission process are reviewed below.

There is a paucity of published information online otherwise, to be found on Japanese institutions. I would urge parents seeking local educational services, to research all schools thoroughly, even visit the “schools”. And since newer alternative educational services appear to modelled on US ones, it would be useful to make comparisons with the many other equivalent accredited schools in other countries that they might assess what kind of support services should be given for the fees asked for. (For comparative purposes, see list of distance learning schools in the US, UK and Canada at alted.html)

There are currently four existing online school options in Japan:

A. IKOH Web International School

Program highlights: Effectively a kind of “free school” with an academic focus, it is affiliated to Laurel Springs High School (a private Internet high school near LA in the US) for the purpose of issuing its graduates a US high school diploma from California State. High school and junior high school programs are offered with originally prepared Japanese course materials based on public school curricula as well as translated ones from Laurel Springs’ textbooks. In the case of the junior high school program, as junior high education is compulsory here in Japan, students have to enter their local junior high school first, then ask their principals if they will accept the Eikoh studies as substitutes for formal studies and thereby grant Eikoh’s students a junior high school diploma.

Background: Set up by the nation’s third-largest cram school operator, Eikoh Seminar. Services: The fee includes original audio, visual, real-time-audio materials and computer graphics. Students can dissect a virtual frog in biology class, or get real-time checks on their pronunciation in the foreign language class.The Eikoh Internet High School course offers the option of prep support towards the Daigaku Kentei (since the school is not recognised by Monbusho, students have to take Daiken (see explanation below) if they desire to apply for entrance to Japanese universities. They are purportedly negotiating a partnership with a local Distance Learning high school in Japan, which if successful, will enable Eikoh students to apply to Japanese universities without taking the Daiken. Students have the flexibility of customising their own course of study in consultation with their enrolment counsellor. For required subjects students will follow the set curriculum and are expected to put in an average of 3-4 hours of work to complete one lesson per week in each subject. Students submit an assignment upon completing a lesson and assigned support teachers will mark the assignments and return them to the students via email. Internet classes are handled by four resident teachers and seven specially recruited telecommuters. Note: The school does not consider teaching credentials to be necessary.No. of students currently enrolled: Jr High – 1(total capacity: 90 ; High school – 4 (total capacity :150)

Tuition and entrance fees for the high school program: 1,000,000 yen in the first year (and 850,000 yen for the Jr high school program).

B. Atmark Inter-High School

Program and services: The most press-savvy and aggressively marketed internet school of all, Atmark enrols students who have completed junior high school. Like its Seattle-based affiliate Alger Independent High School, its main point of distinction from the other schools is that it supports “unschoolers” and the unschooling philosophy. Atmark Inter-Highschool has represented itself in many press statements as offering an American high school curriculum to be taught entirely over the internet and materials made available via the Atmark website. But upon phone calls made to Atmark, we were told there was no prepared curriculum or course materials from the school itself except for social studies (History of America and History of Washington units) which were materials translated into Japanese from Alger Independent High School’s social studies materials. References to online materials essentially mean students will research the World Wide Web using search engines for their studies and essays. If you understand the unschooling philosophy you will know that Unschoolers “use the world as their classroom” and an assortment of materials, books and resources for their own independent learning. Atmark’s staff told us over the phone, that “walking your dog could be counted towards credits” (towards physical education I suppose). Atmark’s affiliate Alger Independent High says “students earn physical education credits by snowboarding, cross country skiing, kayaking, rock climbing, backpacking, or competitive sports…students earn fine arts credits by independent art or craft projects of their choice, such as wood carving, painting, playing a musical instrument, or art appreciation. Home economics and independent living credits are earned by preparing meals at home, and other home maintenance projects. For core classes, such as English, math, science, and history students use a wide variety of educational resources such as a local library, World Wide Web, new and used book stores, computer software, educational videos, apprenticeships with professionals, etc.” Atmark requires its students to study 180 50-minute study periods per year. Credits are given based on the reported hours studied and submit essays but students grade their own work. Support teachers recognise that grade and send that grade to Alger which will issue the transcript. But because of the very unstructured nature of learning style of unschoolers, the responsibility for learning falls entirely upon the student which also implies that the services that a support school could render to unschoolers would be at best minimal. Towards the Daiken preparation, Atmark provides lectures about the Daiken, Q&A, guidance, keyword search, online diagnostic testing and grading, general support. According to Alger Independence High School’s reply to my queries about accreditation, it is a Washington State private school, with national accreditation, that issues official high school diplomas and transcripts.

No. of Atmark students: 20 enrolled since April) (total capacity:100 for academic year 2000). Annual tuition fee: 1,150,000 yen for its US high school diploma plus Daiken prep course and 1,050,000 yen for just the US high school diploma course.

Editor’s Comments: Affiliate Alger Independent High’s fee schedule for their Distance Education course was $50 enrollment and setup fee, and a tuition fee of $125 payable monthly. Atmark’s charges are more than US$9,000 compared to Alger Independent High’s US$1,550!!! (Compare Atmark with equivalent private schools in the US such as Trent Academy, NAHRS and Clonlara and you will notice that Atmark’s fees are over the top yet provide considerably fewer services) My beef is not that unschoolers do not need or want such a support school (clearly they do), but that for the fees paid to Atmark, the unschoolers enrolled deserve much more by way of services.

Comments: Atmark gave out handouts, application forms and press clippings at the symposium I attended, and flaunted its affiliate school’s glossy brochure despite the fact its “unschooling students” will do most of their unschooled learning at home and never set foot in Alger Independent High School. The promo video we received from Atmark similarly featured the US school but did not show Atmark’s local facilities or staff. Atmark’s President and Director Hino does not have a background in education, except having set up a internet business section on education at a computer networking company.

Address: 3F Sato-Jitsugyo Ebisu Building, 1-11-2 Ebisu, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0013
Phone: 03-5423-9636 Fax: 03-5423-2813 Email

C. Internet High School Kaze Based in Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture Internet Kaze would not talk to us on the phone, nor would they send us their brochure when they heard we were doing research. Fishy indeed. So the information obtained below is based mainly on press reports and info available from the Kaze website.
Background and services: This was the first of the internet schools to be established (1997). It offers a US diploma from a well-known homeschooling support school called Clonlara High School in Michigan, US. From Internet High School Kaze school students get to choose between two courses: the Liberal course (distance learning option) whereby students study independently at home and submit monthly study reports to the school (via the Internet); and the Technical course that requires 3-times-a-week school attendance, with a set requirement for the study of selected subjects. There are exams to be taken before completion of high school Liberal course; Technical students also have to attend fieldwork and take year-end exams every year. The school’s first batch of 10 students graduated this spring (note the school accepts no more than 10 students for each grade in each of its courses.) Kaze would not give us info on the kind of materials used or whether teachers mark and grade the students’ work.

Address: 2-11-21 Hase, Kamakura-city, Kanagawa 248-0016 Phone: 0467-24
9425 Fax: 0467-22-5477 Email
D. Chuo Gakuin Daigaku, the sole Monbusho-recognised one was reviewed above under Distance Learning High Schools.

VII. HOMESCHOOLING SUPPORT SERVICES OR UMBRELLA SCHOOLS

Active Learning Academy

ALA provides a 3rd party source from an accredited source of documentation of transcripts and a diploma. For high school age this is very important. Credits are issued according to State requirements allowing for graduation, a diploma, and college entrance. We are required by law to keep daily attendance, health and immunization, standardized testing records, and other documentation for and about your child. This is the foundation for a transcript.Parents assume the primary responsibility for the education of your children, but the homeschool becomes a satellite school, by contract with Active Learning Academy and an extension of the ALA campus. Parents are required to provide adult supervision for enrolled students during your chosen school hours; keep a record of attendance, daily activities, courses, grades etc.; turn in attendance, grades and all required records mentioned in the contract. Tuition cost: between $30 (3rd grade) – $120 (high school) annually. Tuition includes: Curriculum Discounts, A.L.A. Trivia Giveaways, Semi-monthly Newsletters, School Transfers, Attendance & Record Keeping, Cumulative Transcript, Student/Teacher Card. All other services, such as standardized testing, are on a fee schedule basis.


Alger Learning Center
Independence High School

A Washington State approved private school for K-12 homeschoolers that issues official high school diplomas and transcripts. Issues official high school diplomas and transcripts. Emphasises lifelong independent learning and encourages Unschooling. Features individualized learning programs based on each student’s learning gifts, learning differences, or both. The school says “students earn physical education credits by snowboarding, cross country skiing, kayaking, rock climbing, backpacking, or competitive sports…students earn fine arts credits by independent art or craft projects of their choice, such as wood carving, painting, playing a musical instrument, or art appreciation. Home economics and independent living credits are earned by preparing meals at home, and other home maintenance projects. For core classes, such as English, math, science, and history students use a wide variety of educational resources such as a local library, World Wide Web, new and used book stores, computer software, educational videos, apprenticeships with professionals, etc.” Alger Learning Center’s teachers and staff assist students and parents in identifying and defining learning goals, and design learning contracts to meet them, based on personal interests, background, and aptitudes. Services, from distance learning programs to homeschooling assistance, diagnostic testing and credit analysis, credit retrieval, and high school completion and adult education programs. Willing to work with public school districts, accept dual schoolers, and issue Washington State approved transcripts and high school diplomas. Not attendance-based, students may enroll at anytime. Tuition is $125 per month, plus a one-time enrollment/registration fee of $50, which includes diagnostic testing. No textbooks are provided. Staff will monitor the student’s progress. Students will submit their work, whether tests, reviews, responses to materials, or projects, for evaluation as part of the agreed goals of the learning contract. When terms of the learning contract have been met, the student is given a grade that is entered on an official transcript.

121 Alder Dr, Sedro Wooley, WA 98284 Phone: 1-800-595-2630

Calvert School *

Calvert School is a private Day School that has a branch offering homeschoolers its pre-K through grade 8 packaged curriculum. It also offers the option of homeschool support services and accreditation. This is an established private school and very trusted homeschool program, with a history of long use (100 years) by overseas missionary families in the past, due to its complete packages and ease of use.


CLASS homeschools (Christian Liberty Academy School System)

Choose from K-12 full service correspondence CLASS Program, or the CLASS program, Independent Services to evaluate your students and determining appropriate curriculum. CLASS is not accredited – its stated policy regarding accreditation is: Christian Liberty does not seek accreditation. Given the state of public education in America, our academy sincerely believes that it is responsible to promote education reform by setting a higher standard—to lead, rather than to follow the crowd. There are many different agencies all with different standards. Each school decides what it will accept and will not accept. Most schools accept our credits. Those who do not immediately accept our credits will do so after administering an achievement test, receiving information about our course requirements, and seeing the quality of the child’s education. The school board of the Christian Liberty Academy School System refuses to follow the standards of state licensed schools when such schools have proven themselves to be incapable of maintaining academic excellence.

502 W. Euclid Ave., Arlington Heights, IL 60004; Phone: 800 348-0899

Christa McAuliffe Academy*

CMA offers self-paced, mentor-assisted program (parent-directed at K level), as well as online distance learning classes and CDs and individualized instruction using computer courseware delivered over the internet. Grade 3-12 Internet Delivered Curriculum / Primary Program (K-2) / Grade K-2 CD Delivered Curriculum). Student success is measured by demonstrating competence in the various disciplines through mastery tests and a combination of written assessments and lab/practical learning activities. On-line Delivered Program (3-12). Computer-based lessons, record-keeping, virtual communications and realtime meetings are offered — note: for students in Japan time difference is a likely problem. Students are assigned mentors, all of whom are certified teachers in their local jurisdictions. Each student chooses a mentor and determines his/her own pace and style of learning but mastery of each lesson is required to progress. Approved as a private school every year since its inception in 1985 by the Washington State Board of Education. The on-site Challenger Lab is also accredited through the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges. CMA’s distance learning program is accredited through CITA (the Commission on International and Trans-regional Accreditation). This body is a new organization created as an outgrowth of the “Big Six” regional accrediting associations to address the unique needs of schools which operate nationwide and worldwide. CMA is listed in the ICSAC registry.

3601 W. Washington Ave, Yakima, WA 98903; 877-256-4213 Phone: 509-575-4989 FAX: 509-575-4976 Email


Crossroads Christian School

Crossroads is an international K-12 private school registered and fully recognized by the Florida Department of Education.  Crossroads Christian School offers an umbrella/satellite program to those who home-educate their children.  In order to provide a more affordable schooling option, we give parents the freedom to choose the best curriculum and teaching method for their children. Crossroads Christian School provides services to families throughout the United States and overseas.  Currently, the school has students in all fifty states** and thirteen countries overseas*.  For Florida residents, full legal coverage to all counties in the state is provided.

Laurel Springs Kindergarten – High School

Accredited online homeschooling resource and accredited curriculum for long distance learning for grades K-12. Parents may choose from “choice-based” experiential approach or project-based(literature plus hands-on approach), textbooks, or online, web-oriented, courses of independent study available. Courses meet the University of California’s a-f requirements. Offers mentoring with personalized attention of a private school but with the flexibility of a home school. Standard, customized, online, honors, and special-needs curricula, elective credit for travel, athletics, art, music, drama, research, etc. is possible, packages K-8, 9-12, Learn Online! complete K-12 program available. Fees for all-inclusive program includes enrollment, course materials and teacher services.

1002 E. Ojai Avenue, Ojai, CA 93024-1440 Phone: 800 377-5890

North Dakota Division of Independent Study*

The Division of Independent Study, a division of the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction, was established in 1935 by the North Dakota legislature. Supervised distance education courses that are free of time and place constraints are offered for students in elementary, middle and high school grades. The Division of Independent Study is accredited with commendation through the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction and is also regionally accredited through the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA). It is a high school diploma program and has 171 one-semester course offerings for grades 5-12; Offers online courses and has a resident staff of licensed instructors. Homeschooled students may apply to receive credit for independent work. Non-Dakota residents are also accepted. The costs of textbooks and course materials are stated in the course descriptions. It has both paper-based options as well as an online delivery options.

The Grace Academy

A Christian curriculum homeschool provider of multimedia interactive bibilical based courses and learning resource center for homeschoolers; and teacher-led academic support that includes grading and record keeping, customized homeschooling, unlimited live tutoring. Accredited by the National Private Schools Accreditation Alliance.

Hewitt’s Homeschool Resource

Hewitt’s provides K-12 programs but its most popular one is its high school service program in which it provides four evaluations a year, two hours of counseling time on our toll-free number, a transcript, and a diploma (once all requirements have been fulfilled). Evaluations include letter grades and narrative feedback, so you’ll get specific comments on your student’s strengths and weaknesses. Evaluations average 2 to 4 pages in length, depending on the number and type of classes. Its junior high school service program is a package including two evaluations a year, teacher counseling, PASS tests, and a Certificate of Completion with letter grades. Its Junior High (7-8) program prepares students for the high school years (9-12). Hewitts uses the PASS Test was developed specifically for home schoolers. It has certain similarities to other achievement tests in that it estimates student achievement in the subjects of reading, language, and math. But is has important differences in that the tests are standardized (can be compared with national and homeschool populations), untimed, administered at home and not necessarily by a certified teacher. Grades and transcripts from an external source are invaluable for college admissions. Hewitts has a reputation for all-rounded students and for its accommodation of dyslexic students.

Lighthouse Christian Academy

LCA is a full service homeschool academy that uses the A.C.E. Accelerated Education curriculum and offers services include that include: Experienced Academic Advisors; diagnostic testing; projected course of study; report card; enrollment verification; transcripts; End-of-Year Standardized Testing; High School Diploma; Graduation Ceremony. Accredited by CITA and SACS.

Royal Academy

A custom-designed program is ‘mapped out’ at the beginning of the year for the unique needs of K-12 students. All students receive an interview and consultation session during which a program is designed to fit the student. Textbooks and other learning materials are recommended from a wide variety of fine resources. Curriculum design also includes project learning, specially designed unit studies, independent study, field trips and community activities. Organizational goals and an estimated timeline is determined which allows the student to move at his/her own pace through the year. The program remains dynamic and flexible as progress is discussed and reviewed quarterly. In addition, high school seniors may graduate from Royal Academy upon successful completion of their program. Services include college and career counseling. Royal Academy is located in Gray, Maine and is recognized by the State of Maine Department of Education. Note: I could not obtain any info regarding accreditation by a regional accrediting agency.

Home Education & Family Services; P.O. Box Box 1056, 51 West Gray Rd, Gray, MA 04039 Phone: 207-657-2800

Trent Academy and Trent Schools

Trent lays claim to being the oldest and largest provider of Internet structured home school lessons in the world. Trent takes full advantage of the inexhaustible learning resources available on the Internet. Experiential education is the emphasis of all Trent curricula. There are no books to buy. Correspondence with Trent’s Online Teachers is done by e-mail and tests are done by computer. Trent students rely on Trent’s lesson links to the Internet. Trent maintains student records and makes grade transcripts available to schools, colleges, and universities. Trent will also as an option provide Online Teachers to assist students and at-home teachers in all aspects of teaching and learning.Trent lessons are logically integrated, week by week, year after year. Individual Gifted Child and Professional Child Programs available. Trent Academy Diploma offered by Examination and Evaluation.

West River Academy

West River Academy is a private school in California (with a location in Colorado) that provides Independent Study Program (K-12) leading to a high school diploma from an accredited private school. West River offers an umbrella school for those families who want maximum freedom and minimum oversight over their homeschooling program–no tedious documenting or coursework approval. Students submit a year-end report on their activities, studies and progress over the year and can receive official private school transcripts for grade promotion. The fee for a year in the High School Diploma Program is $250 and includes 6-month supervision of program, diploma and final high school transcript. Enrollment fee is additional. Other than the high school diploma program, enrollment of students is at $245 per year plus $50 and services include processing application, immunization records, keeping a file on the family including attendance records, sending a letter of confirmation of enrollement and reviewing year-end reports. Note: West River Academy has a history of working with Japanese students, and can provide consultations in Japanese.

FREE SCHOOLS

There are over 240 free schools listed as members of the Japan Association of Free Schools. To find out more about these schools and for a listing, click here.