NDSP: Home-based Education

To qualify for financial assistance for homeschooling, 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), families will have the option to receive financial assistance for homeschool through the NDSP. 

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

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

Parents electing to provide home-schooling instruction rather than enrolling their child in a local school must follow the procedures, guidelines, and steps included here.

  1. Become aware of and comply with the Host Nation requirements for home schooling
    Enroll your dependent in NDSP.
  2. Select a home-based educational program  and complete the Home Study - Private Instruction Education Plan.
  3. Enroll in NDSP by registering online.

The maximum allowable school-year rate for home-based educational programming which includes homeschooling and Virtual Schools is $10,600 for grades kindergarten through eight and $18,200 for grades nine through twelve. If the local school/grade is adequate, according to the Department of State Standardized Regulations (DSSR), reimbursement is limited to the school at post rate if it is lower than the home based instruction rate.
Note: This guidance does not apply to families who choose to home-school in overseas locations where DoD schools exist.

Reasonable materials may only be ordered for the current grade in which the dependent will be enrolled (grade/age appropriate basis). Materials may not be ordered for two academic years in one school year.

Allowable home-based educational programming expenses include:

  1. Traditional curriculum textbooks and other supplemental materials as may be appropriate for math, science, language arts, social studies, and other subjects on a grade/age appropriate basis.
  2. Instructional CDs/software, curriculum guides, and manipulative materials for math, etc.
  3. Fees charged for access to libraries and group participation in athletic, extracurricular, or music activities that are normally free of charge in U.S. public schools. Group participation is defined as a lesson or activity with enrollment open to the public, not a lesson provided exclusively for a family group (see Non-Allowable item h).
  4. Travel and transportation costs at post or away from post associated with these activities are not allowable.
  5. Fees for curriculum-related on-line Internet services such as study programs, library services, and distance.
  6. Required testing materials by either the formal home-study course or other authorized program.
  7. Advisory teaching service affiliated with the selected formally recognized home-study course.
  8. Tuition charges, shipping costs, lesson postage, on-line Internet and facsimile charges associated with formal recognized home-study course or other authorized program.

Non-allowable home-based educational programming expenses include:

  1. Equipment such as: computers, keyboards, printers, televisions, facsimile and scanning machines, and furniture.
  2. Non-course specific CDs, videos, DVDs;
  3. General reading materials, reference materials (dictionaries, encyclopedias, globes), etc.
  4. Purchase or rental of items that have broader use than the course being studied (i.e. computers/laptops, computer hardware, calculators, band instruments except noted above).
  5. Expendable supplies (paper, pencils, markers) that are normally purchased by parents in the U.S.
  6. Parental training in home-study private instruction.
  7. Any form of compensation to the parent such as childcare or supervisory costs.
  8. Travel and transportation costs at post or away from post.
  9. Personal telephone, Internet, satellite, cable or other available communication subscription fees.
  10. Fees for museums, cultural events, or performances that would normally be paid by parents in the U.S.
  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.

Documentation for Reimbursement of Educational Allowances

Sponsors who elect to purchase educational curriculum materials for home-schooling purposes must submit the Home Based Education Reimbursement worksheet along with receipts to the NDSP. Review the NDSP Required Documents for Reimbursement for specific details on the reimbursement process. Sponsors are responsible for out of pocket expenses until the purchase is approved and reimbursement are processed.

Responsibility for documentation rests with the sponsor. Receipts must be legible. Itemized lists of educational texts or materials must clearly indicate relevance to curriculum areas.