Enrolled or Independent? A guest blog post from Oak Meadow.
Many families who are interested in using Oak Meadow curriculum wonder whether their family’s needs would best be met through using the materials independently or enrolling in Oak Meadow’s distance learning program.
For some families, Oak Meadow enrollment is a bargain compared to local or distant alternative and private school options. For others, the cost of enrollment is out of reach, even with our tuition payment plan. In cases where enrollment is not pursued, our curriculum for each grade level can be purchased as a whole package or as individual books and used independently
Some families appreciate the simple and consistent structure that enrollment provides. Enrolled students must submit completed work in all subjects according to a predetermined schedule. Within this schedule, there is room for a measured amount of flexibility, but families are expected to follow the general schedule and communicate promptly with their teacher if circumstances warrant an exception. This ensures that student work is completed and teacher feedback is consistently provided throughout the school year.
Enrolled students have an ongoing relationship with an Oak Meadow teacher in addition to their home teacher (who is usually but not always their parent). Some parents find it very reassuring to have the support of an educational professional who can help guide their child’s progress through the year.
Sometimes a relationship of accountability with an Oak Meadow teacher can be the critical factor in helping a homeschooling family stay on track with their learning. Enrolled students, particularly in the younger grades, often work with the same teacher over the course of several years. This relationship can be motivating and inspiring for students as they develop skills over time. Teachers may be able to easily recommend supplements or other helpful resources to support the student’s learning. Some students respond better to feedback from someone other than a parent.
Oak Meadow is an accredited, private distance-learning school, and as such, enrollment alone may satisfy your state’s school registration requirements and bypass the need to register as a homeschooler. In some states, this may greatly simplify your legal obligation. It may even make homeschooling possible where it might not otherwise be allowed. In some states, funds or vouchers may be available to help families purchase approved curriculum.
As an accredited school, students enrolled in Oak Meadow high school earn official school credit toward graduation. Enrolled students who complete a full course of accredited study receive a high school diploma from Oak Meadow School. Enrolled high school students receive an official transcript and free college counseling.
Because homeschooling requirements vary so much from region to region, we recommend consulting your local Department of Education, your school district, or the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) to be fully informed about local laws and regulations relating to homeschooling in your area.
Some families need or want more flexibility than enrollment allows. Families who use Oak Meadow curriculum independently can fashion their own schedule and timetable for learning. Some independent families organize their learning in blocks, focusing on only one subject for weeks at a time before switching gears. Others pick and choose, using Oak Meadow curriculum alongside other materials to meet their children’s unique learning needs.
Using Oak Meadow curriculum independently allows families to homeschool their own way and on their own terms. Some parents team up and work together using the curriculum independently in a co-op arrangement, where multiple families help each other meet common goals within an agreed-upon schedule. Other families use a focused at-home approach to academics. Oak Meadow curriculum is designed to be adaptable to a wide variety of homeschooling situations.
For those who are using our curriculum on their own but occasionally need some guidance, our Homeschool Support service lets you consult with an experienced teacher when you need extra help.
Every family is different; you are the best expert on your own children and their unique needs. Enrollment will be the perfect fit for some students and parents, and independent use of the curriculum will work best for others.
For more information about enrollment vs. independent Oak Meadow learning, contact our educational counselors at the office (802-251-7250 or [email protected]). This is one of the most common questions that parents ask, and we are happy to help you sort out which scenario is best for you and your child.
Amanda Witman is Oak Meadow’s social media coordinator as well as a musician, gardener, lifelong learner, and homeschooling mother of four. Oak Meadow provides flexible, creative homeschooling curriculum for grades K-12.