Homeschooling Styles and Methods: Correspondence schools/distance learning

Correspondence schools/distance learning

For over 100 years correspondence schools have served homeschooling families. Correspondence schools usually have specific lesson-plans, lessons are usually sent to the school, tests are either submitted, graded and returned, or are proctored by a certified teacher.  A reputable school will maintain the student’s records, provide a transcript of studies, and issue a diploma upon completion of high school studies.  Fees vary, as do materials provided.

Some correspondence school materials are ‘teacher-proofed’ so that all the parent need do is read from a manual, while other programs offer more flexibility. Many religious or philosophical viewpoints are represented among correspondence schools so if this style appeals to you, it pays to search around for one most to your liking.

If you have any concerns about the reliability of a school, you may check with the consumer affairs division of the school’s state’s attorney general office, or the Better Business Bureau.

The following list is representative, not comprehensive.


“K – 12” indicates that the company or school offers its own programs from Kindergarten up through 12th grade.  The “K – 12” designation does not indicate a K12, Inc.  provider, affiliate, or virtual public-school-at-home program.

Umbrella schools are a different ‘star’ within the correspondence/distance learning/umbrella school ‘constellation’ of nonresident schools available to homeschooling families.


Alpha Omega Academy  (Christian) 

American School of Correspondence 
9 – 12  General high school; college preparatory

Calvert School
K – 8 

Cambridge Academy
K – 8 

Indiana University High School
9 -12, online courses

International Baccalaureate
majority of U.S. providers limited to ages 3 – 12 (P – 7); a few programs that include high school level programs are listed at the page on American IBO affiliates

Kolbe Academy (Catholic)
K – 12 

Laurel Springs School
elementary, middle and college prep programs

North Dakota Center for Distance Education
6 – 12, diploma service available

Oak Meadow
K – 8, high school courses online 

Penn Foster Career School
career training; high school diploma program available

Royal Academy
K – 12 

St. Thomas Aquinas Academy (Catholic)
K – 12 

Seton Home Study School (Catholic)
K -12 

University of Missouri Center for Distance Learning & Independent Study
3rd – high school (general and college prep diplomas) 

University of Nebraska Lincoln Independent Study High School
high school

University of Oklahoma Center for Independent and Distance Learning
high school


Copyright 2006, 2009 Valerie Bonham Moon

This work may be copied and freely distributed as long as the copyright and this notice are included.

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