NDSP: Home Study/Private Instruction

Authorization

To qualify for financial assistance for Home Study/Private Instruction, dependents must be NDSP eligible. Generally speaking, in areas/circumstances where dependents are authorized to attend private schools (which includes individuals detailed to Personnel Exchange Program (PEP) billets and Department of State billets in English-speaking countries), families will have the option to receive financial assistance for Home Study or Private Instruction through the NDSP. In lieu of the “At Post” rate, sponsors can visit the Department of State Standardized Regulations (DSSR) website for current Home Study/Private Instruction allowances.

If the local school/grade is adequate, reimbursement is limited to the school “at post” rate if it is lower than the Home Study/Private Instruction rate.

Non-authorization

Homeschooling is not an authorized educational option for NDSP financial assistance in the following circumstances:

  1. K-5 in the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Australia
  2. K-12 in Canada
  3. Areas served by a DoDEA school

Procedures:

  1. Become aware of and comply with the country requirements for home-based education. Some countries do not allow home-based education. The sponsor can contact the Jag office or legal counsel for more information.
  2. Select a Home Study/Private Instruction educational program that is “adequate.” Adequate is defined as a complete academic-year program approved by a competent authority using a correspondence course and/or other appropriate materials in the home, and/or using private instruction, not private lessons.
  3. Complete the Home Study/Private Instruction Education Plan template and submit when initially registering  with NDSP or re-registering in NDSP. The Home Study/Private Instruction Education Plan is proof of adequacy of the educational curriculum. The plan should contain the name or names of all curricula/programs used. If the sponsor is blending a variety of curricula, the sponsor needs to certify that he is using programs that are in compliance with a state or territory. If outside group lessons are being used for art, music, foreign language, or P.E., the sponsor should also note “group lesson” on the plan.
  4. Enroll in NDSP by registering online through Student Online Registration (SOR) and submit your Home Study/Private Instruction Education Plan.

Curriculum and Courses

General

Parents can elect to work with one total curriculum or can blend a variety of curricula to meet individual needs. Parents should be cognizant of purchasing only one program to meet educational requirements for a particular content area. (Example – to address a foreign language, the sponsor could choose an online interactive program OR local group classes OR hard cover resource materials, but not all three)

Correspondence/online courses including DoDEA Virtual School can be used as a stand-alone curriculum or in conjunction with other programs to create a blended curriculum.

Electives

For art, music, foreign language and P.E., parents may seek out group lessons in the community. Group lessons are lessons already established in the community for groups of children. No private lessons are authorized. The standard guideline for elementary grade elective class times is 60 minutes per week for kindergarten through 8th grade.

Allowable Expenses

  1. Traditional curriculum and other supplemental materials as may be appropriate (textbooks and other pertinent instructional materials) for math, science, language arts, social studies, and electives
  2. Expendable supplies which are normally provided free of charge in U.S. public schools
  3. Fees charged for access to libraries, recreation facilities, schools for education-related curriculum activities, or participation on school athletic or extracurricular teams which are normally free of charge in U.S. public schools
  4. Fees for curriculum-related on-line internet services such as study programs, library services and distance learning
  5. Rental of curriculum-related equipment such as microscopes or very large band instruments (such as a tuba) which would normally be provided by U.S. public schools
  6. Required testing materials by either the formal home study course or other authorized program
  7. Tuition charges, shipping costs, lesson postage, on-line internet and facsimile charges associated with a formal recognized home study course
  8. Instructional CDs/software, curriculum guides, manipulative materials for math, etc.

Non-allowable Expenses:

  1. Purchase or rental of items which have broader use than the course being studied (computer equipment, furniture, band instruments and other items not ordinarily provided free of charge by public schools in the United States)
  2. Parental training in Home Study/Private Instruction
  3. Any form of compensation to the parent: nanny, childcare or supervisory costs
  4. Travel and transportation costs at post or away from post
  5. Personal telephone, internet, satellite, cable or other communication services
  6. Fees for museums, cultural events, or performances that would normally be paid by parents of children in the U.S.
  7. Equipment such as computer, keyboard, printer, television, fax/ scanner machine, furniture
  8. Non-course specific software programs, CDs, videos, DVDs
  9. General reading materials, reference materials (dictionaries, encyclopedias, globes)
  10. Expendable supplies that are normally purchased by parent in the U.S. (paper, pencils, markers)
  11. Private lessons
  12. Membership in gymnasiums, cultural clubs, spas, and other private clubs.
  13. Textbooks, Bibles, workbooks, daily devotionals, or any material primarily for religious instruction
  14. Insurance associated with shipping charges (Do not elect the optional insurance)
  15. Fees to an independent agency for posting credits and issuing transcripts.