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Parents naturally have questions as they explore educational options. With so many choices available and so many different reasons to homeschool, it can be challenging to determine what will be the right fit for your child and where, exactly, to start. Families have been turning to Oak Meadow for information, guidance, and resources for decades, so we’ve gathered the most frequently asked questions and put the answers at your fingertips.
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General FAQs | Curriculum and Grade Placement | Homeschooling Basics | Enrollment and Distance Learning | High School | International Students
What is Oak Meadow's educational philosophy?
Our educational philosophy is built on strong academic standards and an understanding of the needs of the developing individual. We focus on fostering students’ intellect while engaging them artistically and experientially. We ask them to reason and write, to paint, sing, build, act, and draw. Our lessons are designed to harness the imagination and challenge the mind.
Oak Meadow understands that students learn in many different ways: some by doing, others by listening, still others by seeing or reading. Because our curriculum is designed to address a variety of learning styles, children are able to engage fully with the materials, learn successfully, and enjoy the learning process.
Oak Meadow’s approach to learning reflects and honors the developmental stages of childhood. Lessons in the early years place emphasis on experiential learning with activities that involve the student through action and imagination. In second and third grade, we present stories that unite fact with rich description and colorful detail and depict inspiring role models based on noteworthy individuals.
The middle school and high school years offer experiential learning while introducing greater intellectual challenges as students learn to integrate information and discern for themselves what resonates as truth and what requires further investigation. This thoughtful approach helps our students develop into intelligent and capable lifelong learners.
Our curriculum is developed following accredited academic guidelines and is written to cover the full range of subjects for each grade level. We keep abreast of state academic standards across the U.S. to assure our curriculum is in line with rigorous standards while maintaining our commitment to a creative, innovative, and child-centered education. Our experienced faculty assists in revising and updating our curriculum based on best practices in teaching, and we regularly add new high school courses to give students varied and timely educational choices.
See our grade level pages for K-4, 5-8, and our high school course descriptions for more information.
Is Oak Meadow secular or faith-based?
Oak Meadow is one of the few providers of secular (non-religious) homeschooling curriculum on the market. Many families come to us because they are looking for an alternative to the many faith-based programs that are available. Our curriculum is creative, hands-on, and rigorous, with many nature-based projects in the early grades and a wide variety of engaging assignments and projects in every grade from K-12.
Our science materials focus on a scientific and observational approach to phenomena and encourage critical thinking and analysis. Our high school environmental science course covers natural selection, and the high school biology course covers natural selection and evolution. Some families skip the evolution studies, but most choose to present this information to help their students understand mainstream scientific theory, whether or not they agree with it.
Families can choose to supplement our materials with faith-based lessons in order to incorporate spiritual education into their homeschooling day. Oak Meadow supports the freedom of parents to choose the best way to support their child’s religious and spiritual education.
Is Oak Meadow Waldorf?
Many of our families cite our Waldorf influence as a special strength of Oak Meadow. While our approach adopts many aspects of Waldorf, we do not strictly adhere to Waldorf methodology, practices, or content areas. Oak Meadow cofounder Lawrence Williams was a Waldorf class teacher, and there is still a strong Waldorf influence in our curriculum, especially in the early grades. Students use Main Lessons Books, learn to knit and play the recorder, and learn their letters and numbers through stories.
However, our curriculum has evolved over the years to provide a standards-based curriculum that will satisfy homeschooling regulations across the country. Our K-12 curriculum provides a very creative, experiential curriculum that is playful in the early grades, rigorous in the upper grades, and engaging for all students.
Families looking for a curriculum that adheres more closely to Waldorf principles, content, and sequence may want to consider using Christopherus or Live Education.
What is the difference between using Oak Meadow independently and enrolling?
Using Oak Meadow Independently:
This option is for families who want to purchase our curriculum and homeschool on their own. Flexibility is written into the lesson plans so you can pick and choose assignments to appeal to your student’s interests and skill level and schedule your homeschooling days to fit your family’s lifestyle.
- The curriculum includes weekly lesson plans for a full year of study (note: single semester courses are available for middle and high school students). For more details, see K-4, 5-8, High School.
- Parents are responsible for submitting documentation as required by their State Department of Education (see the next FAQ for more information) or their country’s Ministry of Education.
- We offer a homeschool support consultation service, and several Oak Meadow teachers offer private tutoring and coaching.
Enrolling with Oak Meadow:
This option is for families who want the structure and teacher guidance provided through enrollment in our accredited distance learning school. Students work at home with the guidance of their parents in the early grades and with increasingly more independence as they progress through the grades. Oak Meadow teachers support and communicate with students and their families via email, phone, and/or video conferencing. There are no scheduled online class periods.
- Tuition includes both print and digital versions of all curriculum materials for a full year of study.
- Your assigned teacher(s) provides written feedback, assessments, and semester- and year-end narrative evaluations.
- The Oak Meadow office maintains official cumulative records and provides a certificate of completion. High school students who meet our graduation requirements receive a diploma.
Does your curriculum satisfy my state's education requirements?
You are responsible for registering with your school district or state Department of Education as a homeschooler and satisfying state requirements for reporting your progress.
- Every state is different, so we recommend you research guidelines for your locality before purchasing our curriculum. Several states/districts require families to submit some form of documentation. Many have templates families can use.
- For grades K-8, your state may accept the scope and sequence charts available on our website (for a PDF download, go to K-4 or 5-8 and scroll down to Curriculum Overview) or the coursebook table of contents, which you can find on our curriculum samples page.
- Many states require families to document the minutes or hours per day the student devotes to schoolwork. Our general recommendation is to plan on one hour per day per subject, five days a week. Along with instruction and desk work, this time can include reading, going for walks, helping with household chores, playing games, and conversations about what the student is learning.
- We also recommend researching homeschool associations in your state. These associations can often provide information about state requirements as well as tips and suggestions on how to fill out required forms.
Oak Meadow does not submit documentation on behalf of the enrolled student; parents are responsible for submitting any required forms and paperwork to their public school, district, or state.
Upon enrollment, we provide a dated Verification of Enrollment document. Please consult your local Department of Education or school district regarding state/local laws and distance learning regulations; they may require a copy of your Verification of Enrollment. Because Oak Meadow is fully accredited, enrolling your children in Oak Meadow School may eliminate the need for you to file as a homeschooler with your state.
Does the curriculum cover everything?
Yes! Whether you are enrolled or using the curriculum independently, our coursebooks cover the four core academic subjects—language arts, math, science, and social studies—for a full year.
- The full-year, integrated curriculum includes 36 weekly lesson plans for all subjects (plus art, music, movement, and health in grades K-3). In Grade 4, math is separated from the other subjects and presented in a separate coursebook.
- Coursebooks include assignment checklists, planning pages, materials lists, and learning assessment sheets. Parents are the primary teachers at this level.
- For independent users, the K-3 Essentials Package is optional but strongly recommended as material in this package helps guide the parent teacher and is often referenced in the K-3 coursebooks. It is a one-time purchase. (Enrolled families of students in K-3 receive this package as part of their tuition.)
- Craft kits are available for separate purchase.
- Curriculum for the four core subjects is offered in full grade packages or separately by subject.
- Coursebooks include assignment checklists, planning pages, materials lists, and learning assessment sheets. The curriculum is written directly to the student.
- Teacher Manuals are offered for independent users and included in the course packages.
- Craft kits are available for separate purchase.
- High school courses are available individually so families and students can create their own course of study. View our suggested course trajectory.
- Course packages vary: each has a coursebook with, perhaps, a textbook, literature books, or science lab kit and lab manual. All materials can be purchased separately.
- Teacher Editions are offered for independent users and are available for separate purchase.
- Single semester courses are available.
We invite you to view our curriculum samples for more information about our curriculum. With Oak Meadow, you can feel confident that you are providing a comprehensive, well-rounded education as well as a meaningful and enjoyable learning experience.
Do you offer financial aid, discounts, or payment plans?
Oak Meadow is committed to doing everything possible to offer families an affordable independent education. While we do our best to keep our prices reasonable, we understand that the cost of tuition or curriculum may be a financial burden for some families. For families with multiple children, the curriculum can be reused as our coursebooks do not contain consumable worksheets.
Families who purchase curriculum to use independently can spread out their purchases over time to make budgeting for curriculum easier.
We typically offer a couple of discount periods each year, usually in February and May. Used and “seconds” Oak Meadow books can often be found on BST (buy, sell, trade) sites such as eBay, as well on Facebook and other platforms where families buy and sell used Oak Meadow curriculum.
For families who enroll in Oak Meadow School, tuition assistance is available in the form of a payment plan that allows payments to be spread over time. We also offer a sibling discount for each additional sibling who enrolls in Oak Meadow, and a military discount for active service members and veterans (this military discount extends to curriculum purchases as well). Details about these programs are found on the tuition page.
Do you offer a military discount?
Oak Meadow is pleased to offer a 10% discount to all active U.S. military service members and veterans. The military discount is valid for all curriculum and bookstore purchases, as well as enrollment tuition. Proof of military status is required.
In order to receive the discount for bookstore purchases, active service members must provide a current pay stub (with all financial information blacked out) and contact information for a commanding officer; veterans may submit form DD214. Please scan and email the documentation to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once received, Oak Meadow will send you a coupon code in 1-2 business days (VALID FOR 14 DAYS). This military discount cannot be used in combination with sales or other discounts.
How does Oak Meadow approach standardized testing?
“Teaching to the test”–using curriculum for test preparation where the primary goal is getting a high score on a standardized test–is not a concept that Oak Meadow supports pedagogically. As professional educators, we question the value of curriculum that is aimed at preparing for a test rather than preparing for life. As a private school funded solely by tuition, Oak Meadow School is free from public funding constraints, which often require standardized testing. Thus, we can focus our energies on providing students a meaningful, appropriate education that is based on best practices, not on best test scores.
We respect and honor those parents who would like their children to take standardized tests, and suggest they contact their local school district to arrange test taking if desired (or required by their state). Most Oak Meadow high school students take college entrance exams, and these are arranged individually through the College Board. It is interesting to note that homeschoolers, many of whom have never taken a standardized test before, tend to score above their public school peers on these exams, despite the latter’s being regularly exposed to tests and test prep.
While test-taking skills are good to learn, we believe that allowing students to demonstrate their knowledge of curriculum material in a wide variety of ways leads to more meaningful and memorable learning. Since different regions of the country, and different countries, use different standardized tests, it would be impossible for Oak Meadow curriculum to cover all the material for tests nationwide in any given grade.
Why does Oak Meadow use print materials?
Oak Meadow is primarily a print-based curriculum for many reasons, first and foremost because we believe that reading on paper encourages more effective comprehension skills than reading on a digital screen (read more about what makes our curriculum different).
Leading research on learning and cognitive development shows that:
- Reading printed materials encourages active reading skills such as writing margin notes; highlighting key phrases and vocabulary; and noting questions, thoughts, and personal responses.
- Reading on screens drains mental resources and diminishes the brain’s ability to integrate information in the context of an entire text, thereby decreasing overall comprehension.
- Excessive screen time during adolescence reduces attention span, lowers executive functioning skills, and impairs relationship with adults and peers.
Working with print materials promotes more screen-free time during a student’s day and eliminates the distractions that so often come with online learning.
Our K-3 curriculum can be taught entirely without electronic devices. However, we recognize the necessity of computer literacy in a well-rounded 21st-Century education; therefore, we introduce and incorporate technology into our curriculum in a thoughtful and appropriate manner through the grades.
What is the difference between the print and digital versions of your curriculum?
Our K-8 print and digital coursebooks are identical; however, non-Oak Meadow publications, such as trade literature and textbooks, are not included in digital format due to copyright laws. Families who purchase our digital curriculum will need to buy these materials separately.
Once purchased, you have access to the Oak Meadow digital curriculum for four years. Internet access is required (a high-speed or broadband internet connection is recommended). For more information, see About Our Digital Curriculum.
Is your curriculum appropriate for children with learning challenges and special needs?
Homeschooling allows many opportunities for families to tailor their child’s education to their unique learning abilities and needs. Our curriculum is designed with multiple learning styles in mind, and it offers a variety of projects and assignments to choose from in each lesson. This encourages students to successfully engage with the material, which can build their confidence and help them overcome obstacles to learning. As a homeschooling parent, you have the freedom to adapt and modify lessons as needed to help your child get the most out of the material without being overwhelmed. If you are enrolled with us, you can ask your teacher about modifying lessons or activities.
While our curriculum does not have specific recommendations for students with special needs, many families have used it successfully for children with all types of learning challenges. With its imaginative, artistic approach, the curriculum often sparks the interest of students who have struggled with their schooling in the past, allowing them to express themselves creatively while developing academic skills.
If you have specific questions about how our curriculum can meet your child’s needs, please contact us.
What support do you offer to independent homeschooling families?
Homeschool Support: For K-8 homeschooling families who are not enrolled in our distance learning school but would like to benefit from the guidance of an experienced teacher, we offer our Homeschool Support program. For an hourly fee, you can enjoy personalized phone consultations with an Oak Meadow teacher. These conversations, which can be divided into fifteen-minute or half-hour segments and used over the course of one year, can provide the inspiration and support you need to have a successful homeschooling experience.
Tutoring and executive function coaching: Many Oak Meadow teachers are available for tutoring and coaching. These services are arranged privately with the teacher.
Facebook: Our online community, accessed through our Facebook page, shares homeschooling tips and ideas, and celebrates the joys and challenges of homeschooling together.
Instagram: A fun way to find inspiration, motivation, and validation through photos!
Pinterest: The Oak Meadow Pinterest boards cover an extensive array of topics on education and parenting, as well as arts and project ideas.
Living Education Journal: Our free journal, Living Education, is published twice a year and has been a source of information and inspiration for homeschoolers for decades. Both experienced homeschoolers and those new to the journey will find articles, crafts, and news designed to enlighten and entertain.
K-8 resources: Our K-4 and 5-8 grade pages include detailed curriculum descriptions and grade overviews that list the scope and sequence of learning for each grade. The overviews can be used when submitting a Letter of Intent to Homeschool to your state Department of Education.
High school resources: Our high school page includes full descriptions of our high school courses, which are searchable by subject or grade level. You can view our suggested course trajectory to help guide you with course selection.
College Counseling: For high school students planning to attend college, check out our college counseling page, where you will find resources and links to useful sites, like FAFSA. Oak Meadow also offers a free webinar series about the college admission process.
Curriculum and Grade Placement
Is your curriculum accredited?
Accreditation is only offered to institutions. Oak Meadow’s distance learning school is accredited, which means our school has met and is maintaining a high level of standards set by an accrediting agency. These standards address academic rigor, the processing of academic records, business practices, and long-term goals for continued improvement.
As academic content is just one, albeit critical, component considered in accreditation, curriculum alone is not accredited.
How do I choose a grade level for my child?
Oak Meadow believes parents are in the best position to determine what grade level to choose for their child. Instead of requiring placement tests, we encourage parents to study our grade overviews and comprehensive curriculum samples to make an informed judgment based on their knowledge of their child.
Because our curriculum is designed to be developmentally and academically appropriate, we suggest starting with age when reviewing our sample lessons:
- 5-6 yrs. for Kindergarten
- 6-7 yrs. for 1st
- 7-8 yrs. for 2nd
- 8-9 yrs. for 3rd
- 9-10 yrs. for 4th
- 10-11 yrs. for 5th
- 11-12 yrs. for 6th
- 12-13 yrs. for 7th
- 13-14 yrs. for 8th
- 14+ for high school
We know that many students work at different grade levels in different subjects; therefore Oak Meadow curriculum is designed to be easy to modify and adapt so you can customize your child’s education to serve their particular strengths, challenges, and needs.
If you have questions after reviewing our materials, please contact us or call our educational counselors at (802) 251-7250 for assistance.
Can my child start Oak Meadow anytime, even if we’ve never used Oak Meadow before?
You can jump into Oak Meadow at any time in grades K-12. There is no need to have been using our curriculum from the very beginning in order to be successful at any other grade level.
Although our approach is unique and creative, our academic benchmarks align with national standards. Families typically have no issue moving into and out of Oak Meadow curriculum from other curricula, or from brick and mortar schools.
This means, for example, that a child who uses Oak Meadow for 4th grade should be able to enter public school the next year in 5th grade without being held back. Of course, this is always at the discretion of the school, and how thoroughly the family works through the curriculum will make a difference in the child’s readiness for the next grade.
Can we start using your curriculum mid-year?
You can start using the Oak Meadow curriculum at any time of the year. Each coursebook provides 36 weekly lessons, any of which can be skipped or supplemented, depending on what material your child has already covered at their former school. You may find that our lessons approach some of the same topics in a very different way, so you might enjoy revisiting the material.
View our curriculum samples for the grades/courses you’re interested in. The comprehensive table of contents in each coursebook allows you to browse the entire year’s content so you can get a better idea of what your student has or has not covered.
Does Oak Meadow's curriculum align with Common Core standards?
While our curriculum does not teach per Common Core methodology, it does already address the vast majority of these standards in our own way. We recognize the value of using widely accepted standards as a framework, while at the same time acknowledging that no single set of guidelines can serve the needs of all children. For those wishing or needing to be aligned to the Common Core, we have created Common Core Alignment Overviews to help you see where you may need to supplement.
Our coursebooks revised from 2015 forward include a list of lesson objectives at the beginning of each lesson to clarify the educational goals for all home teachers, and comprehensive assessments at the end of each lesson.
It is of great benefit to many homeschoolers to know that by using Oak Meadow they can easily comply with their state’s standards-based homeschooling regulations while providing their child with a truly unique, engaging, and child-centered approach to learning. We also understand that there is a large portion of homeschoolers who are unconcerned with standards, preferring to follow their own educational guidelines or interest-led approach. Many of them find Oak Meadow’s flexible, creative approach to be a good fit, as well.
How can I use your curriculum with multiple children at different grade levels?
The task of homeschooling multiple children may sometimes feel daunting, but the rewards can be wonderful. Our curriculum is designed to be easy to adapt to all sorts of family situations, including having children at different grade levels. There are as many approaches as there are unique families, so we recommend studying our comprehensive curriculum samples as a first step.
If you have children close in age, you may find they can share a grade level, adding more challenge or less for the difference in age or ability.
If working with multiple grade level curricula, you may find that some students can work together in certain subjects, like science, together but at their own level, or can tutor each other in math, or read aloud to younger siblings. The curriculum samples will provide you with a good sense of which subject areas will best suit your children for working individually and together.
Since every family dynamic is different and you know your children best, we encourage you to experiment to find what works well for your family, and know it may take a little time and patience to fall into your best rhythm! You also might enjoy perusing many useful articles on our resource links page like Homeschooling with Larger Families and Homeschooling Multiple Children, and from our seasonal journal, Living Education, which is full of homeschool tips.
When is my child ready for your preschool materials?
Our preschool program is primarily aimed at three- and four-year-old children and can be used for children from two to five years old.
Because it is play-based, it supports the child’s need to learn through exploration, imagination, and self-directed play. It also helps you create a predictable routine, which is both comforting and supportive to young children. Our preschool program is designed to support parents as well by providing guidance around routines, transitions, art activities, play spaces, and more. Many families may choose to use the preschool program over multiple years, adding challenge and complexity to the games and activities as their children grow.
You can view a preschool curriculum sample to learn what it has to offer and how it might work for you and your children.
Do we need to wait until age 5 to start Kindergarten?
Our curriculum is designed to be developmentally appropriate on all levels (physical, social, emotional, and intellectual), and, in general, our kindergarten curriculum correlates developmentally with ages 5 – 6 and grade 1 with ages 6 – 7. Therefore, we encourage families to wait until age 5 or 5 ½ before beginning kindergarten.
However, every child’s development is unique, so there really is no one-size-fits-all recommendation.
Read a more detailed explanation of this recommendation here.
How does Oak Meadow introduce reading and writing?
Oak Meadow’s curriculum and philosophy encourages parents to follow their child’s individual pace when introducing reading and writing. The development of literacy is a complex task that involves two primary skills: decoding (forming a sound according to the printed symbol, i.e., reading) and encoding (creating the symbol that corresponds to the sound, i.e., writing).
The acquisition of these complex skills takes time and should not be rushed. When children are allowed to come into reading and writing in a relaxed way, they often seem to acquire the skills magically, as though there is an innate ability that is waiting for the right moment to emerge.
Read a more detailed description of how Oak Meadow introduces reading and writing here.
My child reads beyond grade level. Should we skip a grade?
Choosing a grade level for your child is an important decision, and we generally recommend a placement based on age, regardless of the reading level. Most often, a child who is already learning or comfortable with reading by kindergarten or first grade, for example, is not developmentally ready for the next grade level curriculum across the full range of subjects. We feel it is better to add supplementary activities and assignments to keep your child excited and feeling challenged than to skip a grade.
Additionally, while we are eager for our children to advance along the continuum of academic skills, there are several points to consider when choosing the right grade level for a child.
The first is the importance of a thorough and creative exposure to the sound/symbol connection of our alphabetic system. A solid review of the sounds and shapes of letters, especially with the artistic, imaginative methods used in our curriculum, can be enjoyable for children already reading. Each letter is introduced first through a story, and then is “played with” in nature, art, crafts, rhyming, and song. This method of learning letters is probably very different from anything they have experienced before, and we find that many children who are already reading take delight in the creative exploration of each letter and sound.
A second consideration is one of balanced development. Early reading is certainly a noteworthy accomplishment, but parents should remain mindful that to read a book is primarily an intellectual experience, and a solitary one. At Oak Meadow, we seek to foster a healthy balance with all skills—academic, social, physical, artistic, imaginative—and we encourage young children to be involved in a wide range of activities. If our kindergarten and first grade curricula represent a more relaxed pace with reading for your child, this may offer a good opportunity to reinforce acquired skills while exploring new abilities in other areas.
How is math presented in the early grades?
Oak Meadow’s math program is modeled on Waldorf pedagogy, which supports learning through the body and imagination in the early grades. Drawing activities (especially form drawing), finding shapes in nature, creating and dividing groupings of objects, and physical explorations of lines, curves, and angles are just a few of the many ways that students come to a concrete understanding of mathematical constructs.
Key principles, such as the four processes, quantitative relationships, the properties of lines and angles, and three-dimensional objects are experienced first in creative and experiential ways without being named. For instance, in playing with shapes in kindergarten and first grade, a child experiences geometric solids, relative size, and rotations and reflections in geometry—these concepts are explored fully to create a foundation for later abstract work with numbers, measurements, and calculations. For example, a star or triangle drawn inside a circle lays a foundation for geometry work later on.
The relationships between the four processes are introduced in story form and internalized on a practical level through manipulatives before being distilled into abstract number form.
In later grades, students are well prepared for translating this concrete understanding into an intellectual analysis of more complex applications.
What if my child is working below grade level in math?
It is not uncommon for a student coming to Oak Meadow after studying elsewhere to find gaps in content or skills that need to be addressed. Many children are uneven in their acquisition of academic skills, which is one reason homeschooling is so wonderful.
When you come upon material that assumes prior knowledge that your child does not yet have, simply stop the lesson, and take as much time as needed to go over the new skills or information. Once your student is comfortable, you can resume with the Oak Meadow lessons. With adaptations like these, each student can feel successful with the material.
In grades 5-12, you can easily allow your child to work at a lower grade level in math, if necessary, since we print math as a separate coursebook beginning in 4th grade.
How is art presented in the curriculum?
Artistic expression is a very important part of the Oak Meadow curriculum because we believe it is an important element of the human experience, as well as a powerful tool in cognitive and fine motor skill development.
Form drawing, for example, is introduced as part of the math curriculum in the early grades. Its form and symmetry is an excellent foundation for geometry and spatial awareness. In addition, form drawing leads nicely into cursive handwriting in the third grade.
The primary media used throughout grades K-3 are crayons, watercolor paints, beeswax, and clay. Crayon drawing is used extensively as children create their own main lesson books. Watercolor painting offers a unique expression of flowing color and form, and it helps to develop an understanding of the subjective value of colors. Modeling with beeswax and clay gives children the opportunity to create three-dimensional forms with their hands, pairing artistry and imagination with practicality.
You do not need to be an artist in order to use Oak Meadow! Our Guide to Teaching the Early Grades provides detailed instruction on how to work with all of these materials and discover your own artistic process.
As students move up into the middle grades and beyond, art projects with a broader spectrum of media and opportunities for creative expression are interwoven into core subject studies, rather than being a standalone subject in itself.
Do we need to play the recorder?
The musical instrument that we use in the Oak Meadow curriculum (grades 1-4) is the recorder, but you are welcome to substitute any musical instrument you like. We suggest the recorder because it is an excellent instrument for children to begin with. It is inexpensive, portable, and relatively simple to play, and, as the child becomes more proficient, it can be used to play quite sophisticated compositions alone or with other instruments.
The type of recorder we recommend is a soprano recorder with Baroque fingering. It is small enough to fit comfortably in a child’s hand, and its tonal range encompasses two octaves from middle C to high C, the range within which a child’s singing voice normally falls. We have them available in our bookstore in either the grade level craft kits or individually.
What if I'm not skilled at handcrafts?
There are many hands-on creative projects throughout the curriculum. In the early grades, especially, they serve an important function in cognitive development, as well as in integrating thoughts, feelings, and actions. We offer detailed, easy-to-follow instructions for many handcraft skills in our Guide to Teaching the Early Grades so you can learn alongside your child. Because our curriculum is flexible and adaptable to your needs, you are always welcome to substitute handcrafts you are more familiar with or find more enjoyable to learn and/or teach.
Oak Meadow’s Pinterest boards and Youtube are also excellent resources for craft ideas and how-to instructions.
How can I add challenge to the coursework?
It is such a pleasure to see a child eager to learn! While it is never a good idea to pressure a student to learn more quickly, for students who are ready for more challenges, there are many ways to offer complexity within the context of the Oak Meadow curriculum.
With a little creative thinking, you can come up with new ways to expand each lesson. One great idea is to expand the assignment into another subject area. Making connections across the curriculum adds relevance, encourages skills in practical applications, and helps develop a flexibility of thought that allows creative problem solving.
For example, if there is a science assignment to research the discovery of electricity, your student might also write (and perform!) a speech or write (and illustrate?) an advertisement announcing Nikola Tesla’s AC current. What about the clothing people wore in that time period, or the ways in which electricity changed life in the late 1800s? Another idea is to have your child see if they can find out which of their ancestors would have been alive when electricity became widespread, and what that was like for them. You could work math into the lesson by having your child calculate the additional number of hours worked per year after electric lighting lengthened the work day, or estimate the increase in factory output with longer hours versus the additional expense of electricity.
That is just one example, but any lesson or topic can be expanded upon in this way, and it can be fun to come up with lesson extensions that challenge and intrigue your student. In fact, your child will probably also come up with interesting ideas, and can be encouraged to explore those ideas exponentially. That’s the benefit and joy of homeschooling!
How can I adapt Oak Meadow to block-style learning?
In the middle grades and up, the core subjects are separated into their own coursebooks, so you can choose how you would like to schedule your learning time. Typically, weekly lessons are done over the course of a week, about an hour per day per subject. To adapt for blocks, you would simply work from one coursebook at a time, doing several of the weekly lessons over the course of a week or two, depending on the course material, and then moving on to rotate through the other subjects in the same manner.
In grades K-4, the subjects are integrated into one coursebook. You can still adapt this to block-style learning by searching through the coursebook’s table of contents for logical unit breaks. For example, in grade 2, the first four lessons of social studies could be done as a block, and then the first four lessons of science. We suggest math and language arts be done continuously, but you could also pull out sections of math that make sense as block studies (like form drawing). Health and music can also be done in alternating blocks. Because you will be working forward and back within the same coursebook, a planner will be an essential tool to ensure you stay on track over the course of the year.
Are older versions of the curriculum just as good as the latest publications?
Oak Meadow has been publishing curriculum for homeschooling families for over 45 years, so there are many previous editions out there in family libraries and sometimes for sale privately.
You will find that, over the years, our content has evolved in carefully considered response to the needs of families and to be in alignment with current national standards (like NGSS standards in our middle school science, for example), while maintaining the heart of our child-led, project-based approach to education. We are in a continual process of evaluation, revising, and updating, and all publications in our bookstore are the most recent version.
That said, we stand by our previous editions as they have all come from the same heartful mission, and were created to be a complete curriculum developed to nurture lifelong learners. If you have questions about older versions, please contact us. You will find comprehensive curriculum samples of current publications here.
What about socialization?
This is a very common concern we hear from families new to homeschooling, and it is a question homeschoolers hear from other people on a regular basis. Experience has shown that most children who homeschool spend plenty of time interacting with others. Since homeschoolers generally have more free time to be involved in community activities than children who attend “regular” school, there is no end to socialization opportunities.
Homeschooled children learn how to navigate and enjoy the company of peers, elders, younger children, parents, and grandparents while going to art and music classes, scout troop activities, volunteering, participating in sports, and playing with neighborhood kids. Most homeschooling families take advantage of the flexibility of homeschooling to include field trips and travel as well.
Many homeschooling families report that their children become better socialized than their school-going peers because they are not limited to peer-group interactions, which are not always healthy, but are surrounded by people who model positive ways to communicate, problem solve, and resolve conflicts.
Do I need a teacher manual or teacher edition?
Most families find they need the teacher manuals and editions because otherwise they would need to read all of the lesson material in order to assess their student’s work. In addition to having factual answers and information, these books include other tips on evaluating and supporting your student.
Teacher manuals are included with the full grade packages in grades 4-8 and available as an optional purchase for individual courses in high school. Enrolled students and families should contact their Oak Meadow teacher directly for questions regarding course work.
Grades K-3: Teacher guides The Heart of Learning and the Oak Meadow Guide to Teaching in the Early Grades can be purchased individually or as part of the K-3 Essentials package. The resources in the package are used in kindergarten through third grade; therefore it is a one-time purchase. Please note: while the K-3 Essentials Package is not required to teach our curriculum, there are frequent references to it in the K-3 coursebooks. However, families can use any book or online resource they prefer to complete the activities mentioned in the weekly lesson plans.
Teacher editions are available for high school. High school students usually work very independently, so teachers and parents may not have easy access to the student coursebook to find out what the student is learning. For the home teacher’s convenience, the teacher editions include all of the material in the student coursebook as well as specific answers to questions, guidance on assessing student work, ways to track student progress, and information on evaluating student responses to open-ended assignments.
How much time per day should homeschooling take?
This varies for each student and each family, and will change as the child gets older. In the early grades, the parent is completely involved in the learning process, but as the child moves through the grades, more and more work is done independently.
Grades K-3: roughly 3-4 hours per day
In first grade, you might begin the day with a 15 minute circle time followed by 45 minutes of reading and writing. In the afternoon, a one hour session is suggested: 45 minutes of either math or science and 15 minutes of reading. In the early grades, much of the learning time is spent actively engaged in hands-on projects, and you might expect another hour or so to be spent on projects, bringing the total up to three hours a day. As the student progresses, more time is spent doing more focused “desk work”: reading, writing, and researching.
Grades 4-8: roughly 4-6 hours
By the time students are in middle school, they should expect to work at least one hour per day, per subject. Of course, some students will need more time to do their work well, and others may be quicker in certain subjects. Every student is different but this gives you a general idea of what to expect.
High school: roughly 1 hour per course per day
In general most students work best when a specific time of the day is dedicated to doing school work, and there is a healthy mix of focused book work and artistic, experiential projects. Including an element of physical activity during each school day is also vital to a healthy, happy student.
Most families and students quickly discover a rhythm to their school day and week that works well for them.
Here are more tips:
How do I set up a learning environment at home?
There are many ways for families to set up their homes to create a learning environment that encourages effective, enjoyable learning. One important aspect of Waldorf philosophy is to honor childhood by respecting each developmental stage and allowing your child time and space to mature at their own pace.
With this in mind, here are some helpful suggestions.
I've received my books. Now what?
Receiving a box full of curriculum materials is exciting but can be a bit overwhelming if you are new to homeschooling. Look over each book to familiarize yourself with what you have, and give yourself a day or so to read through everything before you begin your schoolwork.
Read the introduction to the coursebook(s), scan any supplemental books, and get oriented to the amount of work presented in a single lesson (which is designed to be completed in one week). If you are using K-3 material, begin reading your teacher guides, The Heart of Learning and Guide to Teaching in the Early Grades, before you begin your school year. This way, you will feel more prepared to begin your homeschooling journey.
Most families find their stride after the first few weeks of adjusting to homeschooling. The Oak Meadow office staff is happy to answer any questions, so please feel free to contact us.
Enrollment and Distance Learning
Is Oak Meadow School accredited?
Our distance learning school is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Through this accreditation, Oak Meadow School is recognized by the five other regional accrediting agencies in the US. It is common practice for major accrediting associations to share reciprocity across international lines.
While Oak Meadow cannot guarantee that an individual school or country will accept our credits, our transcripts carry the seal of our accrediting organizations and have been widely accepted by schools and universities around the world. Of course, each country is different in how they view distance learning, so you’ll want to research this on your own. There are times when a family may need to provide additional documentation or progress reports.
Oak Meadow is happy to assist you with this process in whatever way we can. Contact your educational counselor for support.
What is your class schedule? Do students sit in front of a computer all day?
Enrollment in Oak Meadow is not like attending an online school. Students work with the Oak Meadow curriculum materials on their own with parental oversight as needed, and they submit lessons to and communicate with their assigned Oak Meadow teacher via email, phone, and video conferencing.
There are no online classroom periods nor is there a regular schedule. Each student/family sets up their own daily/weekly schedule. Students and their teachers develop a wonderful, supportive relationship through the year, but they usually are not in communication on a daily basis.
What is the role of the Oak Meadow teacher?
When you enroll with Oak Meadow, your teacher is there to help you by providing explanations, guidance, feedback, and resources. They are available to answer any questions the student has about the process, directions, assignments, or content. Once lessons are completed the teacher reviews and gives feedback on work submitted, indicating areas of strength, and corrections, and/or what to work on going forward.
Parents and students can contact their teacher at any time through email or phone calls and can request a Zoom meeting when needed. While teachers work with each student, they do not take on the role of tutor. Most of the teaching comes from our print-based materials, and your Oak Meadow teacher is available to guide progress through the feedback they provide. If your student would benefit from in-person or one-to-one assistance, we suggest hiring a tutor in addition to your Oak Meadow teacher.
Here are some ways teachers interact with students and families:
K-4: Teachers provide guidance and support to the home teacher by helping with questions about the curriculum, expectations, and homeschooling. Lessons are submitted once a month. Teachers provide feedback and suggestions to parents as well as motivating and encouraging comments to students. Many students love sharing their work with their Oak Meadow teachers, and home teachers appreciate the accountability and support that the Oak Meadow teacher provides. Through the curriculum assignments, feedback on lessons, and regular communication, students and parents develop a productive relationship with their teacher.
5-8: Teachers work with both students and parents. Lessons are submitted every two weeks with feedback and suggestions provided to the student. Teachers encourage students in these grades to take responsibility and ownership to connect with the teacher when they have questions or need support. Through biweekly feedback and communication, students develop a working relationship with their teacher and learn time management and organizational skills.
High School: Teachers communicate directly with the student. Students are expected to check their emails on a regular basis, ask questions when needed, and take responsibility for their learning. Lessons are submitted on a regular basis (weekly, biweekly, or monthly depending on the teacher’s instructions). Each lesson is graded, and the teacher provides feedback and suggestions. Students can reach out to their teachers by email or phone call and when needed request a Zoom meeting. It is through the regular submission of work and communication with the teacher that a student develops strong communication skills, time management, organization, and self-advocacy skills.
All students received a narrative evaluation at the end of each semester. Students in grades K-8 will receive an accredited certificate of completion at the end of the year. High school students will receive an official accredited transcript.
What is my role as a parent?
As in any school environment, a child’s success depends largely upon the support and encouragement they receive from their parents or home teachers. Good communication is key.
- In the early grades, it is the parent’s responsibility to maintain contact with the teacher and to make sure student work is submitted in a timely manner. Parents of younger students are considered the home teacher, and they organize their child’s school day and implement the lessons. While parents are the main line of communication with the teacher, students increasingly participate in email and video conversations with their teacher as they become more independent learners.
- High School students work directly with their teachers, and parents help their students by providing structure and guidance. For example, they may assist by writing out a weekly schedule to help their child get organized and budget their time wisely, or ask questions about what the student is learning and offer help as needed. It is important for parents to check their student’s progress through the Oak Meadow parent portal on a regular basis to make sure work is submitted and to view general comments from the teacher.
Depending on your child’s age and temperament, you may need to be a very strong presence during the homeschooling hours. We encourage you to check your child’s work as it is completed, help him or her to focus on the assignments, and answer questions or assist with research as needed. Some families use extended family or hire a tutor to help students who need more one to one attention to complete lesson assignments.
How do students and families communicate with their teacher(s)?
Parents and students can communicate with their teachers by email, phone call or by requesting a Zoom meeting. Teachers respond to emails within 24-48 hours during business hours (M-F). Each teacher has weekly “office hours” where students or parents can call and ask questions. When needed parents and students can email a teacher and arrange a specific time to talk over the phone or set up a video call.
Do I need a tutor in addition to my Oak Meadow teacher?
Your Oak Meadow teacher will provide support when needed and will grade and assess work submitted. However, they do not do any live classroom teaching and are generally not available for daily communication. If a student requires one-to-one support that you as the home teacher cannot provide, we suggest hiring a tutor.
If you find you need a tutor, it is best to first identify what you need and how often. Is the tutor needed for specific content instruction or support such as a math or writing tutor? Does your student require support in identifying what needs to be done and help with getting started and completing work? Does your student have specific learning challenges that may need a tutor with specific skills or special education background to help your student learn strategies and or help to identify strengths and weaknesses? Depending on the type of tutor you are looking for you may also want to determine how often the tutor is needed: daily, bi-weekly, weekly, or every other week. Sometimes a tutor is only needed for a few months while others may be needed all year.
There are many ways to find tutors: word of mouth, asking at your local library, posting a request for a tutor at a local high school or college career center. There are also many websites that help families find tutors such as wyzant.com. You can also ask how to find tutors on homeschool Facebook groups or contact a homeschool association near you.
What are the options for enrollment?
Our accredited distance learning school begins in kindergarten and goes through 12th grade. We have rolling admissions, and families can set their start date for anytime during the year. Please note: since we offer rolling admission, there is not a firm cut-off date for applications; however, our distance learning school usually fills up by the end of August.
- Enrollment options begin in Kindergarten. We encourage families to wait until their child is 5 or 5 ½ before beginning kindergarten (see our Curriculum and Grade Placement FAQs).
- Full-year enrollment consists of 36 weekly lessons, to be completed in 10 months.
- Single-semester enrollment consists of 18 weekly lessons, to be completed in 5 months.
- In grades K-4, the subjects are integrated in one coursebook, so it is not possible to enroll in a single subject (exception: Grade 4 Math is presented in a separate coursebook).
- In grades 5-12, students can enroll in a full course load or a single subject.
- With approval, 7th and 8th grade students can enroll in high school courses and earn high school credit.
- Students who begin their school year in another setting may transition to enrollment in Oak Meadow to complete their grade level.
- While challenging, we do offer a selection of single-semester high school courses that can be completed over the summer. A student must be highly motivated to successfully complete a summer course.
Because our weekly lessons are self-paced, our teachers can accommodate fluctuations in your family’s schedule due to illness, travel, or athletic/performance training and competition. For students needing more than ten months to complete their lessons, two-month extensions are available for a flat fee. If more time is needed beyond the two month extension, the student must re-enroll for an additional semester in order to finish the course and receive credit.
How do I submit lessons?
Email is the primary method of communication between Oak Meadow teachers, parents, and students. Parents of students in K-6 are given a Gmail address in the Oak Meadow domain. Students in grades 7-12 receive their own Oak Meadow gmail address. This secure email is used for lesson submissions and school communication.
Oak Meadow uses Google Apps for Education; detailed instructions on how to submit assignments are provided with other orientation materials. Using digital submission prevents lost work, improves organization, and allows teachers to provide feedback more efficiently. (If necessary, other methods of submission can be arranged with your teacher.) At the beginning of the semester, the teacher will provide information about lessons submission. In general:
- K-4: Once per month, parents submit four lessons that demonstrate a progression of skill development. The teacher provides examples of the kind of work they’d like to see.
- 5-8: Every two weeks, parents or students submit two complete lessons in each discipline-specific course: English, math, social studies, and science.
- High School: Each Oak Meadow teacher establishes a submission schedule for their course. Their submission schedules may vary from each other and from the ones printed in the coursebooks. Teachers will provide students with a submission schedule at the beginning of the course.
Do I need to have internet access?
Yes and no. While students primarily use our print-based materials, they use technology for communication, collaboration, creativity, and community. We value the developmental growth that springs from the printed page, yet acknowledge the power of technology as a tool for connection and research.
Parents of students in all grades have access to our parent portal, OM Gateway, where they can track their student’s progress. Students in grades 7 to 12 work within the Oak Meadow domain using Google Apps for Education and receive a school email address through which they communicate with their teachers and submit lessons. Some of our newest, enrollment-only courses are delivered on a website platform as opposed to in a printed coursebook.
Students who live in areas where online access is limited will need to problem-solve in order to access their email, submit lessons, and (if necessary) connect with their classes for our selection of discussion-based synchronous courses.
How do you evaluate student's work? Do you give grades?
Teachers distribute grades (letter or pass/fail) and lesson comments for each lesson a student submits. Additionally, they write comprehensive semester- and year-end narrative evaluations for each subject area, which provide a cumulative and informative compendium of a student’s progress, achievements, and challenge areas.
- In K-4, students receive a pass/fail grade for each lesson.
- In grades 5-8, students receive letter grades; however, they can choose to continue with the pass/fail system.
- In high school, students receive letter grades. Grades are not shared with the student until the course is completed, as the lesson comments from the teacher are more indicative of the student’s progress. Parents, however, can view grades through the parent portal.
What type of documentation will I receive once we enroll?
Upon enrollment, we provide a Provisional Certificate of Enrollment that states your child is enrolled in our accredited distance learning school. This will be replaced with an Official Certificate of Enrollment within 90 days of the student’s start date, pending the receipt of all required forms, the submission of student work, and teacher verification that the student is submitting work of sufficient quality to be considered “in good standing.”
At year’s end, students in grades K-8 receive a Certificate of Completion once they complete a grade level. High school students will receive an official transcript and a diploma if they fulfill our graduation requirements.
Most states recognize Oak Meadow as an independent school, so you may not need to file as a homeschooler. Each state has its own regulations, so we encourage families to do their due diligence and contact their local Department of Education (DOE) to make sure they are adhering to their state’s requirements. Oak Meadow does not deal directly with any local or state bodies related to enrollment.
How does enrollment support students with learning challenges?
We offer learning plans for students who have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), 504 Plan, or any learning differences. Learning plans at Oak Meadow are accommodation plans that we develop based on your child’s individual profile.
After completing the Oak Meadow application, we will request any former IEPs, 504s, or psychoeducational testing for your student. A neuropsych evaluation is preferable. Our Learning Plan Committee reviews all documentation to determine if enrollment appears to be a good fit and to help determine whether an Oak Meadow Learning Plan is necessary.
The level of support Oak Meadow is equipped to provide for students with specific learning needs differs between our grade divisions. As a small distance learning school, our overall support for learning challenges is limited. If a student needs a lot of additional support, we might recommend hiring a coach/tutor/learning specialist to work with the student one-to-one in addition to the assigned Oak Meadow teacher. As our goal is to set students up for a joyful and successful experience, we might recommend using the curriculum independently as a traditional homeschooler to allow for the utmost flexibility and customization.
Can students interact with each other?
Even though students are learning at home, they are still part of a school community. Our teachers occasionally lead online workshops, hold book club chats, and facilitate pen pal programs to bring together students who would like to meet their peers and share similar interests.
Online Google forums for middle and high schoolers provide a safe way for students to connect socially; while these forums are student-led and student-moderated, teachers are invited to participate in the conversations. We also have art blogs for students in grades 7 and 8 and in high school who would like to share their creative work. We also send out a newsletter for our enrolled families only to share school and student news.
Do colleges accept an Oak Meadow diploma?
Homeschool and distance-learning school diplomas are accepted at most colleges and universities; in fact, many colleges actively seek out homeschooled students as they tend to be excellent college students. Oak Meadow graduates have been accepted by a wide array of U.S. colleges and universities: College Acceptance List.
Our High School tuition includes college counseling. Our college counselor helps you navigate the college admission process as you look for schools that will be a great fit for you after Oak Meadow.
For more information about graduating with Oak Meadow, see our High School FAQs.
What does your high school curriculum cover?
Our high school curriculum includes a traditional range of college-prep subjects (math, science, English, social studies), as well as art, health, and, for enrolled students only, world languages. Courses focus heavily on reading, writing, critical thinking, projects, and reflection. Quizzes and tests are used only in math and science.
How do I know which courses to take?
We recommend a distribution of academic subjects to provide a comprehensive education and a well-rounded transcript for college entrance requirements.
- Students who use our curriculum independently can refer to the suggested course schedule we recommend to our enrolled students as a guide. Please note that we do not offer World Languages to independent users; however, independent students are welcome to apply to our distance learning school to take individual courses, including World Languages.
- Enrolled students work with an educational counselor (EC) throughout their high school experience. Assigned at the beginning of the enrollment process, your EC helps with correct grade placement and course selection. If your goal is to earn an Oak Meadow diploma, the EC will help you stay on track to meet our graduation requirements.
Find more information about high school course selection here >
Will Oak Meadow prepare me for college?
Oak Meadow’s high school curriculum offers rigorous, college-prep level courses. With careful course selection across the traditional range of subjects, Oak Meadow students are academically well-prepared for college or other post-secondary school learning.
Our experienced college counselor offers a free college counseling webinar series to all families and students. These interactive, online presentations include several College Counseling 101 sessions, as well as other topical issues relevant to the college admission timeline throughout the year. Each webinar is followed by a question-and-answer session.
- Independent students: We offer a fee-based college counseling service to all homeschoolers, whether they use Oak Meadow’s curriculum or not. Families are welcome to consult our high school suggested course schedule and Academic Planning Sheet, as well as the resources listed on our college counseling page.
- Enrolled students: College counseling is included in tuition for enrolled high school students. With extensive experience in college admissions, our counselor guides and assists students in making the most of their Oak Meadow experience on college application materials. Students receive an annual transcript review each spring to make sure they are on track to achieve their academic goals.
How much writing is required for your courses?
The Oak Meadow curriculum focuses on strong reading and writing skills, and students are given a wide variety of assignments across the subjects, including science and math, to help them develop these skills.
Students learn to write well thought-out essays and opinion pieces, conduct in-depth research, craft fiction and poetry, work with many styles of nonfiction writing, and produce cohesive, persuasive writing. The amount of writing each week varies. In general, students can expect to spend approximately one hour per day per subject, or five hours per week per subject. Of course, every student is different and some may need more time with particular assignments or subjects.
Students who would like extra writing practice might consider taking our Composition I: The Writer’s Craft course or purchasing our guide 100 Ways to Improve Your Composition and Creative Writing.
What is a textbook independent course?
Oak Meadow offers several textbook-independent high school courses. Along with our coursebook (syllabus), a student can use any textbook or other research materials to learn about the lesson topics. While there is no specific text associated with these courses, we offer a suggested option for each textbook-independent course in our bookstore for your convenience.
- Our textbook-independent courses are organized around important central questions that challenge students to think critically about subject matter and help them engage with key knowledge by making it relevant to the world in which they live. We achieve this by both freeing our courses from simply following the content of any one textbook and, simultaneously, challenging students to answer questions and complete their lessons by consulting one or more sources.
- Textbooks are not courses; they are essentially a tool students use to find condensed information. The skills and perspectives a student gains by seeking out other sources and evaluating information can lead to more meaningful learning than simply turning to a textbook for answers.
- Students can use ANY relevant textbook or other research materials to learn about the topics listed in each lesson. Ideally, students will use a wide variety of print and online sources, such as non-fiction books, educational websites, films, textbooks, journals, novels, artwork, news archives, and podcasts. Students may need adult guidance in the first few lessons. The introduction to each course includes tips on how to read research materials and evaluate internet sources.
- Here’s where to find additional links to resources that are referenced in our coursebooks: curriculum links.
What are your graduation requirements? (for enrolled students)
All enrolled students earn an accredited transcript for any classes completed at Oak Meadow. In order to graduate with a diploma from Oak Meadow, a student must meet our graduation requirements.
Transcript reviews are conducted each spring (or any time by request) to ensure every enrolled student who wishes to receive an Oak Meadow diploma is on track.
Please note that courses completed independently using Oak Meadow’s curriculum do not count toward our graduation requirements.
Along with taking Oak Meadow courses, are there other ways to earn credit towards my diploma? (for enrolled students)
Absolutely! Oak Meadow offers several avenues for high school students to broaden their education and earn credit.
- Dual enrollment: Oak Meadow encourages dual enrollment to support students who wish to pursue academic interests beyond the Oak Meadow course offerings. Courses taken at other accredited schools can be included, with approval of our high school program director and registrar, on the student’s Oak Meadow transcript. Conversely, Oak Meadow course credits are transferable to most U.S. public and private schools.
- Life Experience Credit: Oak Meadow encourages students to pursue their passions and to integrate fully into their communities, as well as to explore the world through travel and other experiences. Through our Life Experience Credit (LEC), students can earn up to one full elective credit per year (for four total during high school) for these activities. Work/community service experience, music lessons, theater involvement, sports activities, visual and fine arts classes, dance, martial arts, and more can earn LEC.
- Advanced Study Project: Enrolled juniors and seniors are required to participate in a self-directed Advanced Study Project (ASP). An ASP is similar to an independent study; with the guidance of a local mentor and an Oak Meadow faculty advisor each student designs his or her own project in the academic or professional field of their choosing.
- Physical Education: Students choose how to fulfill our physical education requirement. Examples include gym membership, sports lessons, community team participation, personal training, or keeping a log of their weekly physical activities.
Can I use Oak Meadow if I live outside of the United States?
Yes! The Oak Meadow community includes families from around the world. Students from over 40 countries are currently enrolled in our accredited distance learning school, and hundreds more use our curriculum independently. International families can adapt the curriculum based on their country’s history, culture, and climate.
- In the grades K-4, it is very easy to adapt the curriculum as needed to suit your unique living environment and life situation. Supplementing our materials with language lessons, a traditional art or craft, or any other cultural enrichment is encouraged.
- In grades 5-8, the two most U.S.-centric courses are social studies in grades 5 (U.S. history) and 8 (civics), but it is possible to adapt them to your country. For example, a lesson about U.S. colonial history can be modified to focus on your country’s early history (or when it first became settled by non-indigenous people). A lesson on the US Constitution can be replaced with one in which students research and report on the founding governing documents of their country.
- If your country uses the metric system, the math curriculum only needs adaptations when working with weights and measures. Families can easily change these problems from feet or inches to centimeters, from yards to meters, etc. Most of the math work is solely numeric (with no unit measurements) and will not need modifications.
You’ll find you can usually use the Oak Meadow lesson framework and make modifications as needed. It may take some time to locate resource materials specific to your country for your child to use; try asking your local school district, teachers, ministry of education, or other homeschoolers for ideas.
Enrolled students, however, must follow the curriculum or arrange adaptations individually with their teacher. Families can substitute assignments in the older grades, but not lesson materials. For instance, all 8th graders will learn about the U.S. Articles of Confederation, but when asked to do research, they can learn more about their own country’s historical documents.
International families often choose to use the digital version of our curriculum in order to avoid paying high shipping costs.
Do I need to be fluent in English to use Oak Meadow curriculum or enroll in your school?
Students need to be fairly fluent in English in order to use our curriculum successfully. Since our curriculum is very dependent upon reading and writing skills, it is sometimes not the best fit for children who are not experienced in English language skills. Families wishing to use Oak Meadow are advised to allow time for their child to develop English writing and spelling skills before using the curriculum or enrolling.
How does shipping Oak Meadow materials work for international families?
Shipping time for international orders can vary greatly depending on the method of shipping and the destination country. While we do our best to ship orders promptly, packages can get held up in transit or delayed at customs in the importing country. When your order ships, you will receive an email notification with a tracking number so you can monitor its progress. We suggest that you become familiar with the importing procedures in your country before you place your order with us.
If you enroll in Oak Meadow School, your curriculum materials will be shipped soon after we have received payment and your enrollment is finalized. We encourage families living outside the U.S. to complete the enrollment process well in advance of their start date to ensure the materials arrive in time. If there is a shipping or other delay that will necessitate a change in the enrollment start date, please contact our office as soon as possible. In addition to the print materials, enrolled families receive access to the digital version of their Oak Meadow coursebooks shortly after the enrollment is finalized.
Is your school accredited internationally?
Oak Meadow School is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Through this accreditation, Oak Meadow School is recognized by the five other regional accrediting agencies in the US. It is common practice for major accrediting associations to share reciprocity across international lines.
While Oak Meadow cannot guarantee that an individual school or country will accept our credits, our transcripts carry the seal of our accrediting organizations and have been widely accepted by schools and universities around the world. Of course, each country is different in how they view distance learning, so you’ll want to research this on your own. There are times when a family may need to provide additional documentation or progress reports. Oak Meadow is happy to assist you with this process in whatever way we can. Contact your educational counselor for support.
How do enrolled students outside the U.S. communicate with their teacher?
Oak Meadow teachers are used to working with students around the globe. Since most of the communication between teachers and families is handled via email or online, students can send their comments, ask questions, and submit work at any time. Our teachers (almost all of whom live in the Eastern Standard time zone) will respond during their work day hours, likely no more than 24 hours later. Phone calls and online video chat communication can also be arranged based on the schedule of the teacher and family.
Please reach out to your teacher if you have any questions about your course, your assignments, or any issues you are having.
If you are not sure which form you need, please contact us.
For enrolled students
- FERPA Consent
- Release of Records
- Request a transcript
- Physical Education Credit
- Life Experience Credit (LEC) Application
- Advanced Study Project (ASP) Application
- Academic planning worksheet
- Sample lessons
- Curriculum Links
- Homeschool Requirements by State
- Curriculum Reviews
- K-12 Scope and Sequence
- Common Core Alignment Overviews
- Effectively Assessing Your Student’s Work (PDF)
- Academic Planning Worksheet for high school (PDF)
- How to use Main Lesson Books
Oak Meadow support programs for home teachers
Homeschool Support/Hourly: A fee-based consultation service for both new and veteran homeschoolers who use our curriculum independently.
Portfolio Evaluation Program for K-4: For families who would like support creating a homeschool portfolio from an Oak Meadow teacher without enrollment.
Tutoring and Coaching Services: Several Oak Meadow teachers offer private tutoring to assist students with specific subject areas, executive function skills, or learning challenges.
Learning Assessments Packets (K-8): Grade-specific learning assessments are designed to help parents and teachers track student learning for support and reporting purposes. These assessments are incorporated into our coursebooks.
Foundations in Independent Learning: An online parent-teacher certification course for those new to teaching at home or new to Oak Meadow.
Foundations in Social Justice: This online course helps parents and teachers bring social justice principles and action into their communities and classrooms.
Oak Meadow articles, newsletters, and journals
- Oak Meadow blog posts: supportive articles and resources on common homeschooling topics
- Living Education: Oak Meadow’s free biannual educational magazine
- Oak Meadow newsletters: Grade-level topics, published monthly
Organization and preparation:
- Study Skills Toolkit (PDF)
- Time Management Tips for Students (PDF)
- Creating an Effective Learning Environment (PDF)
- Guidelines for Home Teachers
- Rhythms, Routines, and Rituals and Homeschool Rhythms
- Organizing Your Homeschool Day and Organizational Tips from a Homeschool Parent (PDF)
- Using a Weekly Planner to Find the Rhythm in Your Homeschooling Life
Common homeschooling topics
- What About Socialization? and The Socialization Myth (PDF)
- Challenging the Advanced Student (PDF)
- Homeschooling with Large Families (PDF) and Homeschooling Multiple Children
- Addressing Concerns about Homeschooling
- Finding Community as a Homeschooler
Take a deep breath: You can do it!
- Yes, You Can!
- “Three Things I Do to Make Me a Calm Mom”
- 10 Ways to Create and Maintain Balance as a Homeschooling Parent
- “What I Wished I’d Known Before Two Decades of Homeschooling”
- 10 Reasons Why Oak Meadow May Be the Perfect Fit for You
The Heart of Oak Meadow
- What makes Oak Meadow different? 12 characteristics that define the heart, soul, and pedagogy of the Oak Meadow curriculum.
- Oak Meadow and Waldorf
- The Heart of Learning, by Lawrence Williams: “A beautiful book to read. The most valuable resource I have for understanding and enjoying my time with my children.” ~ OM parent
Curriculum reviews and articles
Please note: Some materials may have been updated since a review was posted, but our curriculum scope and sequence remain the same. Visit our grade web pages or our bookstore for current information.
- Youtube – OM Curriculum Reviews & Overviews – Playlist
- Flexible, Student-Centered Homeschool Curriculum from Oak Meadow
- Oak Meadow: Overall Review
- Distance Learning with Oak Meadow
- Green Child Talks with Oak Meadow Homeschoolers: The Kluver Family
- Green Child Talks with Oak Meadow Homeschoolers: The Doughty Family
- A Few of My Favorite Things – Review of Homeschooling Resources
- Cathy Duffy – Preschool Review
- Oak Meadow Preschool: Homeschooling centered around nature and play
- Preschool: Learning with the Head, Heart, and Hands
- Oak Meadow Kindergarten Review
- Our Grade 1 Homeschool Year at-a-Glance
- Oak Meadow Curriculum Review: 1st Grade (video)
- Oak Meadow Homeschooling Second Grade Review
- A Week in the Life of Oak Meadow Third Grade
- Oak Meadow 4th Grade Review
- The Heart of Learning
- Healthy Living from the Start (K-3)
- Learning to Read with Word Families
- Middle Schoolers and Independence in Learning with Oak Meadow
- Oak Meadow Grade 5 Review
- Oak Meadow Grade 6 Review
- Review of the Oak Meadow Sixth Grade Curriculum
- Oak Meadow Review: A Complete Curriculum (Grade 6)
- Oak Meadow Grade 7 Review
- Oak Meadow Grade 8 Box Day
- Oak Meadow Grade 8 Overview
- Oak Meadow Grade 8 A Week in the Life
- Oak Meadow Middle School English
- Oak Meadow Grade 8 Civics
- What About Socializing (and Grade 8 Civics)