Below is a testimonial by a homeschooling parent from the Education in Japan forum. Following the testimonial is a directory of homeschool support organisations sometimes a.k.a. homeschool umbrella organisations.
Q: What homeschooling umbrella school did you enroll in?
West River Academy – an accredited international school for all ages and all grade levels and that offers an unintrusive high school diploma program for homeschoolers and unschoolers. Enrollment is $325 per year for the whole family. A $50 new student fee applies for the first year only.
“We enrolled with West River Academy because it was cheap ($US55) and because we thought it would appease the BOE (Board of Education). As it turns out we didn’t need to do even that. The transcripts consist of you writing a letter to the director telling her what you did in the past year. One of the benefits of part-time enrollment is your child is still enrolled in the Japanese school and moves up to the next grade with the class albeit with a lot of absent marks.” — parent testimonial from our Edn-in-jpn discussion forum
Other organizations that have been used by homeschoolers in Japan are listed as follows:
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
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.
Founded in 1897, the American School of Correspondence is a nationally accredited distance education high school. A pioneer in the field of home study, the not-for-profit educational institution has over two million graduates and currently serves about 40,000 students. The American School is a non-public secondary school and offers its own diploma. It is not a GED program. High school students can complete four years’ worth of credits at their own pace, often taking less time than in a traditional high school. All exams in the more than 70 courses offered are hand graded by a qualified staff of full-time and part-time instructors. Students can choose between the general high school course program or the college prep course program. The American School was the first correspondence school to receive accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA) and has since earned additional accreditation through AdvancEd. The School also is fully recognized as a non-public secondary school by the Illinois Board of Education. These accreditations attest to the quality of instruction offered by the School and are central to the American School’s mission of providing students with quality high school courses at a reasonable cost. The American School’s not-for-profit status allows it to keep tuition costs to a minimum. Textbooks, study guides, grading of exams and access to the Online Student Center are all included, and the School has a number of flexible payment plans in place. College scholarships are awarded annually by the school.
Additionally, the school works with thousands of public, private, and parochial schools throughout the United States in offering individual courses to students who have fallen behind in credits, are working at an accelerated rate, distance learning or use the school as a summer school program. The students receive credits for these correspondence courses that are then transferred to their high school. In Japan, correspondence students can take their exams at the American Schools based in Japan.
Note however: Some colleges have stopped giving credit for courses done by certain correspondence programs – see correspondence courses take a hit
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.
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
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
Clonlara’s Home-based Program has long operated a Japanese Division that provides support to homeschoolers living in Japan.
“The services of the Japanese Division are carefully designed with respect to the Japanese educational system and culture. Additionally, the graduation requirements are appropriate and in accord with Japanese educational law.
The Clonlara School’s Distance Program is one of the few programs that allow Japanese students who learn in an alternative way to earn an American high school diploma. The Home Based Education Program enables Japanese students to make their learning experiences truly meaningful to maximize their potentials.”–Clonlara Japanese Division HP
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.
An accredited academic institution (incorporated in 1995) that customizes education programs to meet the needs of individual students. Eaton Academy focuses on the identification of learning styles, the use of state-of-the-art resources and technology, and the implementation of specific strategies. This approach enables students to earn the credits they need to graduate with a college prep diploma. Students may enroll in its Internet-based Virtual Academy’s K – 12 courses leading to graduation. These online courses are available virtually any time, anywhere. The flexibility of this program meets the varying academic and scheduling needs of traveling families, student athletes, aspiring actors, budding musicians, and independent homeschoolers. Students may enroll in a single class, or they may create a comprehensive program, with or without tutorial support. Affordable tuition. These programs are accredited by the Georgia Accrediting Commission (GAC) and by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS/CASI), a division of AdvancED. Contact via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
From their websites: ED Anywhere is an affordable middle school & high school educational program designed to help youth & adults build strong academic skills, effective personal and social problem-solving and critical thinking techniques, and productive pre-career and workplace skills. ED Anywhere provides youth & adults with the very best in on-campus programs, homeschooling online education, rigorous curriculum, and teacher support. ED Anywhere provides homeschoolers, private schools, and public schools with the opportunity to use the latest technology equipment to:
- Earn an accredited high school diploma with online classes—excellent for summer school, homeschooling, & credit recovery
- Attend accelerated classes that will allow students to quickly earn a High School Diploma in less than 18-24 months.
- Prepare for the GED online
- Prepare for a career pathway using the latest career assessment tools
- Prepare for SAT’s & ACT’s exams
- Build basic academic skills
- Develop positive choices & life skills
- Prepare for state standardized exams
- Enroll in K to 8th Technology Classes
The High School Diploma Track offers a complete, accredited high school curriculum that allows students to get back on track and graduate with a diploma, not a GED. ED Anywhere has two High School Track Options: NOVEL and STARS.
The NOVEL (New Options for Vocational & Educational Learning) program meets the educational requirements of students at all levels and abilities. Fully approved by the nationally recognized Distance Education and Training Council, the high school curriculum is designed to meet student’s needs in the manner that is most convenient to the student. Here’s how the program is different… and better.
Work primarily from the comfort of home (or wherever the student may have access to a PC and the Internet). This unique program has only minimal attendance requirements for supervised classroom events, such as major tests. Students who do not own a computer or have Internet connections can attend the program at our facility in Sterling, Viginia (additional nationwide locations coming soon!)
Students can study at their own speed. The NOVEL approach is a self-paced instructional environment, so students complete assigned studies at their own pace using methods that have proven successful when others have not worked as well.
Students can set their own study schedule. Since NOVEL is conducted almost entirely over the Internet, students can do their class work when it is best for them–days, nights or weekends. A major benefit of the NOVEL track is that it’s available to the student 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Students can communicate quickly and easily with their teachers. Students will complete assignments and submit them electronically to a regular teacher. The results will be returned to the student by secure electronic mail. When a student has questions or comments, they can communicate just as easily with their teachers through the “chat room” feature.
Earn a diploma, not a GED. Most alternative study programs result in only an equivalency diploma. That is not the case with the NOVEL track program. Here, you will earn a true high school diploma, through completion of a curriculum that is fully approved and recognized by every college and university.
ED Anywhere offers the easiest, most effective way for students to complete all of their high school graduation requirements.
STARS, (Student Testing, Assessment, and Remedial System) was designed as a pro-active educational system that automatically provides testing, assessment and remedial instruction for middle and high school core subjects. STARS will enable teachers, counselors, and administrators to measure student performance on an ad-hoc and routine basis to ensure that they have mastered course-based content and are prepared to take state mandated standardized tests. The programs system’s curriculum and instructional staff will be able to measure the programs performance at the student level, through STARS ability to provide individualized testing, assessment, and remedial instruction. It will enable teachers to intercede immediately in a student’s educational program when conditions indicate that help is needed.
The underlying basis of the STARS system is a unique relational data base and reporting system that contains more than 100,000 test questions covering approximately 1300 lessons in 31 subject areas. This content material has been integrated within a proprietary testing and assessment system that can generate remedial instruction based on a student’s individual needs. STARS provides predefined and customized tests for each subject that can be administered to students on a periodic basis during the year. Predefined tests include daily quizzes, two week tests, six week tests, midterms, and finals for each semester for more than 35 subjects in grades 7-12. Each of these tests and their assessments are correlated and linked to the learning standards to ensure that students are being tested and provided appropriate remedial instruction. The purpose of STARS is to provide teachers, counselors, and administrators with a flexible testing and performance measurement tool that can provide detailed documentation on a student’s progress in core subjects for grades 7-12.
The STARS module is used by the teaching staff to instantly generate a quiz, exam, midterm, or final exam for every core subject in middle and high school and to administer the resultant test at the student or class level. Upon completion of a test, STARS will instantly grade it and return a percentage based grade to the student. It will then automatically produce a student diagnostic report that will contain instruction correlated to state standards and to the student’s needs.
STARS enables the curriculum and assessment staff at the school administration level to modify the instructional lessons and test questions to conform to the school system’s unique learning standards and to produce diagnostic tests and reports for students, classes, or programs. It allows them to take a “snapshot” of the academic progress of individual students, classes and programs at any time during the year and then allow the system to automatically assign remedial instruction, if help is needed. It will also produce advisory notices for students in academic trouble.
All test data collected at the classroom level is instantly available to teachers, counselors, and the programs system’s administrative staff for reporting purposes. All of the raw academic data collected can be made available on an ad-hoc basis for use within other reporting systems.
The reporting system produces standard reports for use as diagnostic tools for system wide evaluation purposes. For example, if administrative personnel wish to produce a report that shows the progress of all 9th-grade Algebra I students for an eight-week period across all high schools, this report could be instantly produced by STARS. Similarly, customized reports containing unique mixes of data would be available from the relational data base employed within the STARS system.
School administrators have the capability to modify the existing instructional content and test question data base for each subject and then build standardized exams for each course. Teachers could be asked to administer these exams at specific times during the school year from which a wide range of data could be extracted that could identify problem areas at all levels. As STARS contains a multilevel reporting capability, teachers, counselors, and administrative personnel will be able to produce reports that are specific to their individual needs.
STARS contains all of the features currently provided within the NOVEL system including credit recovery, at-risk, and the mainstream module.
The Stanford University’s Education Program for Gifted Youth (EPGY) program is well-liked and has been used by some parents homeschooling in Japan, and particularly for gifted or accelerated learning students (students can complete an EPGY high school diploma in only three years). It is known to be a rigorous high school curriculum for gifted students, providing academically challenging courses, prep for advanced placement exams, access to some university-level classes, and college application counseling. About.com says: “In addition to traditional high school subjects, students must complete three challenging core classes: Democracy, Freedom, and the Rule of Law; Critical Reading and Argumentation; and History of Science and Culture. Students must also complete at least one advanced placement course in the humanities, social science, and natural science. In addition to their online work, students may attend an optional Summer Institute.” EPGY Online High School is also known for being pricey.
EPGY Online High School Accreditation: The EPGY Online High School is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. The EPGY online high school program is considered to be a highly rigorous program and admissions isn’ t easy either – students must submit transcripts, samples of their work, multiple application essays, test scores from standardized exams such as the SAT, evidence of past success in gifted programs and online classes, and letters of recommendation from former teachers. Both the student and one of his/her parents will be interviewed. Generally, students should be at least 14 years old by the time classes begin.
A private school where children learn through exploring their own interests, designing their own curriculum and establishing their own guidelines.
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 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.
The k12 international academy http://www.k12.com/int/ created by William Bennett and based on the Core Knowledge curriculum (see curriculum details here) – see The website says it offers a “Diverse high school catalog with more than 90 courses, including up to four levels of courses in Math, English, Science, and History”. The program is said to be very popular with the figure-skaters who find it hard to attend school.
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
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
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 UK offers courses which lead to Cambridge International Exams certification (which has currently more value for varsity entrance than the local equivalent – private schools prefer to have their students take the CiE).
On the ONLINE PARENT-LED PROGRAM, the NorthStar Homeschool & Independent Study offers detailed lesson plans, and other teaching resources to help in home schooling and daily or weekly schedules, research resources, and fun assignments. Note: Subjects are from a distinctive and authentic Christian worldview.
They have teacher-led programs too.
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 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.
Parent Testimonial from the edn-in-jpn forum:
“Our daughter has been attending this Willamsburg Academy this year. Their model involves virtual classrooms wherein the students interact real-time with “mentors”. It is an accredited high school that offers what we consider to be a much better alternative to self-paced non-interactive online classes.
Being in Japan she is unable to attend the classes in real-time; rather, she watches the classrooms off hours. I have spoken to the school and they have indicated that if there was enough interest in Japan, that they would arrange for classes to be held in the mornings Japan time.
The needs of teenagers as they enter high school is different than that of elementary aged children. The role of peers jumps to the forefront and the willingness to learn from and tolerate parents drops off the map (in some cases). Additionally, the learning model also shifts from one of receiving instruction to one of learning through interacting with peers.
From that perspective, we have found that having a real-time interactive classroom is about as close to being physically co-located as possible. Additionally, having someone other than a parent be the primary source of content (and prodding for assignment completion) helps to lessen the parent-child relationship strains.
At the start of the school year, our daughter was in the US and was able to attend the classes in real-time. Since she returned to Japan, she has not been able to attend in real-time; rather, she has been watching the recorded classes. Certainly not as effective as real-time.
Previously, this school had a “brick & mortar” presence, but they have since shifted to an all online model. In my profession as a project manager, I have used a variety of technologies to host online meetings and have been a follower of the technology for most of the last decade. I have also taught online and classroom classes at the University of Phoenix as well as online internal training classes involving people around the world with past companies. The technology they are using for their classroom is very good–better than any I have seen or used elsewhere–I myself have attended sessions for parents and find it to be quite useful.
Even with the recorded classes, it is the best option that we have going for us. We happen to like their approach to education, but admit it may not be for everyone.” – R.C. (end of parent testimonial)
You are invited to a free event with the intention of being an “open house” to Williamsburg Academy. You can register at the link below:
Online High School Profiles is a listing of regionally accredited virtual high schools reviewed by the editor of About.com
Online homeschool resources
Complete and Exclusive Website for online homeschool resources.
CrescentPrepHS.com Affordable Homeschooling – Tuition Promotion $799.00 Year. Grades 9-12. Accredited.
IES statistics on the no. of schools engaged in distance learning