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Education

Making decisions for your child’s educational needs can be challenging. The information in this section is designed to help you learn about the schooling options available to your family, create a long-range educational plan, and provide valuable resources regarding your child’s education.

Click here to download a printable PDF of the full ISMK Education Resource.

Education Plan Preliminary Questionnaire

  • What schooling options will be available during our term of service?
  • How will I prepare for my child’s schooling overseas, including budget, curriculum, materials, records, and testing?
  • What is my plan A?
  • If plan A doesn’t work out, what is my plan B?
  • Do I think my child will come back to the U.S. for college?
  • What does returning to the U.S. involve academically for my child?
  • Will my child’s education involve an all-English-based educational system, or will it be a dual or national educational system?
  • If we use national schools, what is the philosophy of the national educational system for achievement (child-centered or system-centered)?
  • If my child has been in a national school and speaks another language, how does that affect/change his/her college preparation?
  • If my child has special education needs (i.e., an IEP or 504 plan), can I find needed services at a school in my country of assignment?
  • If my child takes medication for education/behavioral purposes, can I obtain that medication in my country of assignment?

Schooling Options Defined

This resource provides information about the variety of schooling options that may be available for your child. Individual sections for each schooling type defined below include questions to consider and resources to assist you in making the best education decision for your family.

National Schools: refers to local schools in the nation in which you live (similar to a U.S. public or private school). Most teach in the national language. They can provide deep linguistic and cultural understanding and would be a good option if your child is planning on pursuing further education overseas rather than returning to the U.S. for college/university.

International Schools: private schools that may be secular or faith-based and primarily enroll children of expatriates (including Career Personnel, military, and business families) and some nationals. The curriculum is usually American or British, and the schools often provide extracurricular activities.

TCK Schools: are usually managed by one or more faith-based organization. The curriculum is often American and from a faith-based worldview. They can range in size from very small to large and often provide a “family” feeling among students and faculty.

Boarding Schools: offer living accommodations to students whose families live a long way from the school. You may choose this option if you do not have access to a local school and feel your child would benefit from a classroom setting.

Home/Internet/Correspondence Schools: involve one-on-one instruction from parent to child; may also include internet classes. Curriculum is usually purchased from the U.S. and can include online courses. Families may choose this option out of necessity, family values, special education services, or the variety of options it provides.

Post-Secondary & International Baccalaureate (IB) Education Plan: This section will help you think through critical information to help prepare your child for transitions to college/university, attending a technical school, selecting a career, or taking a gap year after high school graduation before going on to pursue additional education or a career.

The IB Program Offers high-quality international education programs to a worldwide community of schools. Students will receive a diploma that allows them to enter a university in their country of birth or give them access to virtually any university they might choose around the world.

Language Schools: If you are required to attend language school before working full-time in your country of service, your Regional Office will most likely assign the school you will attend. It is standard for TCKs to attend a school nearby. Your Regional Office will be able to give you information about your TCK’s education during your language school training. Schooling for your children in this setting can assist with language acquisition and cultural adjustments.

Article: Making an Educational Plan

Parents Teaching Overseas (June 1996) by Sharon Haag

Parents Teaching Overseas is a publication of the CHED Family Services Department. Permission is granted to copy. www.iched.org

 

Family Education Plan

We believe when parents with dependent children are called to serve, the Father calls the whole family. The model of healthy family relationships can communicate solid principles even when language barriers prevent verbal communication. Children can enhance your work—and your work can enhance the development and growth of your children.

 

Schooling Options

The schooling options you choose for your children play a major role in who they become, “educating” them in areas far beyond academics. Each option has unique strengths and benefits, and the choices you make require as much thought and wisdom as any other work-related decision.

At different times in a family’s work responsibilities and at different ages or transition periods, different schooling options may be more helpful in a child’s development. Remaining open to reevaluating options and never saying “Never!” can result in a more comprehensive preparation for life.

Home teaching is strong in opportunity to impart family values and in flexibility to meet individual learning and family needs. National schools help children quickly learn the local language and build relationships in the community. Small, multi-grade, faith-based schools provide homey atmospheres for developing strong friendships and learning to be productive members of groups.

Larger school settings often provide instruction or mentorship in special ability areas as well as “halfway steps” to cultural adjustment in the passport country. Attending a secular school can develop strength for standing firm and can be a training ground for becoming “salt and light” in the world. Any school setting helps children learn to relate to authority figures other than their parents—a key skill in the world of work.

Every schooling option provides richness in ways others cannot. No one schooling option is broad enough to encourage development of all the skills, abilities, and attitudes you will want your children to acquire to be ready to live independently when that time comes. This is especially true if your children spend most of their growing years in an isolated setting overseas and you want them to be prepared to live successfully one day in your home country. Above all, look for comprehensiveness and balance over your children’s total school career.

Planning Ahead

Many families facing schooling choices have been challenged and encouraged by developing a “family educational plan.” This helps them focus on their long-term values and goals for their children. It helps them to be aware and take advantage of the different schooling options that will support them in fostering this broad range of skills, attitudes, and values.

Getting caught up in day-to-day “survival” and just getting through the current year can make it easy to lose sight of long-term goals and miss out on addressing some of the most important areas in which children need to develop. The family educational plan can help keep broad, long-term goals in view.

First, list goals you have for your children. List which skills, attitudes, and abilities you want your children to develop, both to live richly in the overseas setting and to take with them when they graduate and move out on their own. These are some of the values/goals parents have listed:

Academic

  • Make good academic progress, to extent of abilities
  • Develop independent study skills and lifelong learning skills
  • Develop competence and ethics in use of technology
  • Be exposed to a variety of career options
  • Develop areas of giftedness

Cross-Cultural

  • Make national friends
  • Learn host-country language
  • Develop culture adaptation skills
  • Value host culture
  • Value passport culture
  • Have strong ties to people and places in passport country

Relational

  • Develop strong family relationships (including extended family)
  • Have good relationships with other members of the Body
  • Use personal gifts of service to the Body
  • Trust the Father in personal hardship; display perseverance

Work-Related

  • Be prepared for higher education institutions of choice
  • Be able to work under authorities who do not share the same values
  • Be able to work in groups (i.e., leadership skills and teamwork)
  • Develop good work habits

Life

  • Develop independent living skills for passport country
  • Be emotionally mature and stable; be resilient
  • Take advantage of unique host-country learning opportunities

Second, ask yourself how different schooling options might be particularly strong or weak in encouraging growth toward the goals you’ve listed.

Third, use a chart to plot what you anticipate the circumstances of your lives might be during your children’s schooling years.

Directions for Completing the Chart

  1. Write your children’s names in boxes on the left side of the chart.
  2. Across the top, list the school years (2018–19, 2019–20, 2020–21, etc.) from now through the time your youngest will graduate from high school.
  3. In the “Location” row, jot down what you anticipate your work situation to be during each of those years (i.e., itineration, language school, field assignment).
  4. In the row beside each child’s name, enter grade or level he/she will be in each year.
  5. Examine the columns under each year on the chart. What might your life look like that year in regard to work, living, and schooling responsibilities? What schooling options do you think you can handle, and which might best meet the needs of each child and your goals for him/her that year? Keeping the answers to these questions in mind, write the options you think you might choose each year in the row beside each child’s name.
  6. Discuss the chart as a couple. Be open to reevaluate and make adjustments as circumstances and needs change.

Sample Educational Planning Chart

School Year2018–20192019–20202020–20212021–2022
LocationItinerationLanguage SchoolOn FieldOn Field
ChildGradeSchoolGradeSchoolGradeSchoolGradeSchool
John11Public12Homeschool    
Sue10Public11Homeschool12TCK School  
Mary9Public10Homeschool11TCK School12TCK School

 

Issues to Consider

The early years of your work overseas are the best time for your children to learn the national language and build relationships in the culture. Also, if they will be living away from you later on, it helps them feel more involved in the work if they know the people you are serving and understand what their lives are like.

Relationships

Research on hundreds of adult TCKs from many outreach entities showed that those who felt they were involved in their parents’ work had better life satisfaction as adults. Further, the research showed that living at boarding schools was not a significant factor in relation to later life satisfaction. Of far more significance was the quality of a child’s relationship with his/her parents.

Identity

The teen years are key in the process of identity development. Many parents find that when their child attends a national school or is isolated from home-country peers during teen years, that child does not want to identify himself or herself as a citizen of the passport country as an adult. Building close relationships with a variety of adults helps teens “separate” from their parents and encourages them to claim the family’s beliefs and values as their own as they see them modeled in other adults they admire.

Itineration

Make careful notes when your itineration will fall in each child’s schooling timeline. List goals that need to be addressed during itineration. What goals cannot be addressed nearly as well in the overseas setting? Many TCKs find the middle school/junior high years the most difficult for adjustment in U.S. school settings. What can be done to improve those difficulties (i.e. Help children build strong friendships in that setting and a history of successful adjustments during earlier itineration cycles; select the school setting or option with special care; time the itineration differently for more vulnerable children, etc.)

Transitions

Pay special attention to the last year of high school and first year of college. Most TCKs want to spend their last year where their friends are and graduate with them. They also seem to need easy access to strong parental support during the first year of college. It may not be possible for families to time itineration to meet these needs/desires for each of their children.

What can be done to prepare TCKs to make this transition without your physical presence?

  • Build strong relationships during earlier itineration cycles with families whose values you share and who could “adopt” your children if you’re not there.
  • Allow your child to spend the summer before their final high school year living with a family in your home country where he/she could hold a job, open a bank account, live on a budget, and get a driver’s license.
  • Practice many of the independent-living skills needed for that transition.

Every situation is different, and every child is different. What one family chooses may not be best for another family. Thank Father that you have Him to guide you in the overwhelming task of raising children to honor Him! What a comfort to know He promises wisdom but doesn’t expect perfection. He can take both good and bad decisions and use them to help you grow as a family so you may also more effectively serve Him as a family.

List goals for your child under each heading below.

  • Academic Goals
  • Cross-Cultural Goals
  • Relational Goals
  • Work/Career Goals
  • Life Goals

Educational Planning Chart

Use the blank chart below to fill in each of your children’s names and grades and what type of schooling you anticipate using for each school year.

 School Year    
 Location    
 Child Grade School Grade School Grade School Grade School
         
         
         
         
         
School Year    
 Location    
 Child Grade School Grade School Grade School Grade School
         
         
         
         
         
School Year    
 Location    
 Child Grade School Grade School Grade School Grade School
         
         
         
         
         

TCKI Long-Range Educational Plan

This chart is used during Orientation and Summer Renewal during TCKI Education Consultant meetings. Your consultant will discuss this plan with you and help you fill in this information during your meeting.

Family Name:                                                                                   Date:                                     

Host Country:                                                                                    Term Length:                       

Child’s Name:                                                                                   Age:                 Grade:          

Child’s Name:                                                                                   Age:                 Grade:          

Child’s Name:                                                                                   Age:                 Grade:          

Child’s Name:                                                                                   Age:                 Grade:          

Child’s Name:                                                                                   Age:                 Grade:          

Which type of schooling options will be employed?

____ Homeschool with parent as teacher

Curriculum:                                                                                                                          

____ Homeschool co-op or “one-room schoolhouse” (teacher)

Curriculum:                                                                                                                          

____  International school

School name:                                                                                                                      

____ National school

School name:                                                                                                                      

Boarding school

School name:                                                                                                                      

____ Combination of                                                                                                                 

Description:                                                                                                                          

____ Home-based distance learning (internet, correspondence, other)

Description:                                                                                                                          

In the space provided below, write in each child’s educational plan, including type of schooling, location, and educational goals.

Elementary Years

____ Elementary to middle school transition plan:                                                               ________________________________

Middle School Years

____ Middle to high school transition plan:                                                               ______________________________________

High School Years

____ High school to college transition plan:                                                    __________________________________________ 

Postsecondary Years (i.e., gap year, college, career)

                                                                                                                                                           

Questions for Parents to Consider

____ Family Educational Values/On-Field Work Involvement

____ Bilingual/Multilingual Education

____ Yearly Basic Skills Assessment

____ Portfolio/Educational History

____ Personality/Character

____ Special Needs (attention span [ADD/ADHD], delayed speech, language difficulties [dyslexia], gifted/talented, and autism)

A portfolio is a collection of your child’s schoolwork, test scores, and school calendars. It is very important for you to create a portfolio for each child, even if he/she is not homeschooled. If school records are lost, if a school closes, if you are forced to evacuate a country, or if you are relocated, it will be critical to keep the information listed below.

Your child’s portfolio will be used for multiple purposes, including assessment for grade placement in a U.S. school, college application, and work application to show experience. When you return to the U.S. and the public-school system assesses your child, a portfolio will give them a complete picture of your child’s strengths and weaknesses.

Why do I need an education portfolio for my child?

  • Current trends in U.S. education
    • Complete, accurate assessment
    • Demonstrates an understanding of content
    • Shows multiple areas of strength/intelligence
  • Provides a true picture of child’s overall performance
    • Shows more than percentages and test scores
    • Shows child’s unique personality beyond academics
  • Provides growth comparison
    • Evaluation tools: Where am I? Where have I been?
    • Builds self-worth and confidence/promotes personal growth
    • Highlights personal strengths
  • Records child’s work/builds and preserves memories
    • Assists homeschooling parents with planning
    • Bridges the gap for national schooling families
    • Helps parents be a stronger advocate for their child

How can I use my child’s portfolio?

  • During itineration
    • Assists in school placement of children
    • Helps school understand child’s educational background
  • During reentry
    • College admission
    • Placement—helps college advisors and guidance personnel
  • In applying for jobs
    • Demonstrates skills and experiences
    • Required by some professions

How do I start building my child’s portfolio?

  • Start by keeping general information about each school your child attends. This information should be kept in a safe place with other important documents like passports and birth certificates. We also recommend you save this information electronically and give a backup copy to a family member in the U.S.
    • Name of school
    • Address
    • Phone and/or website contact
    • Dates your child attended that school

If you choose to homeschool and do not have a report card or school transcript, this is a sample chart of the type of information to track for your child’s portfolio. Be sure to list all curriculum pieces used and the final grade in that level or if it was completed.

NameCurriculumAddressWebsitePublisherName of BookGrade/Level CompletedFinal Grade
JaneHorizons  Alpha/OmegaMath 1Grade 1A
JohnA Beka  A BekaEnglish Lang/ArtsGrade 6B
  • Items to keep in your child’s portfolio:
    • Official yearly transcripts and report cards. Copies should also be stored with other important family documents.
    • Samples of your child’s schoolwork (yearly) to keep in their portfolio:
      • 4–5 samples of math worksheets
      • 4–5 writing samples from English and/or other language classes
      • Photo or documentation of science fair projects
      • Samples of projects or writing samples from history, government, civic classes
      • Examples of extracurricular activities (awards, photos, etc.)
      • Samples of artwork or creative projects

It is not necessary to keep large quantities of each child’s work. You should keep a sampling each year showing the child’s growth and progress and the classes and activities in which he/she was involved. You only need to keep the final report card/grades for each year of school. Be sure to develop your plan for how you will store each child’s portfolio and transport that content when you travel to and from the U.S. or other countries.

See the Article: Placement Testing (pg. 44) for more details about portfolio content.

Your Education Budget

As you plan your work budget, it is important that you do some research for your child’s education costs. Once you have chosen a schooling type for your child, your Area Director should be able to provide a rough amount for schooling costs. We recommend that you add extra funds in your budget in addition to tuition costs to fully cover your child’s education costs. For example, there may be additional costs for things like extracurricular activities, field trips, school fees, language study, and application fees. Your child should be able to obtain an education comparable to what they would receive in the U.S.

Most cost information should be readily available on the school’s internet site or by emailing the school directly. Our minimum recommendation for education costs is $3,000 per child, per year. This amount may be greater depending on tuition costs per school, but we do not recommend you budget below this amount.

Homeschooling costs can be different from traditional school options. It is important that you communicate with your Area and/or Regional Director about what education supplies are covered in your budget. Some costs that may be approved to include in your homeschooling budget include curriculum and shipping costs, customs/import duty charges, computer, DVD player, extracurricular activities, and internet for online schooling. You want to make sure you budget enough for each child and all the costs associated with homeschooling. Keep in mind that even if you homeschooled in the U.S., your costs teaching in the same format overseas will most likely be higher.

Education During Itineration

Before returning to the U.S., it is important that you plan for your child’s education during itineration or any long-term stay in the U.S.

If you have been homeschooling your child while living overseas, you may choose to continue homeschooling during itineration. However, you may be responsible for homeschooling costs out-of-pocket while residing in the U.S. Check your Company Handbook for TCK education policies.

If your child has been attending a national school, it will be important to prepare them for the transition to a U.S. public school if you choose that option. Your child will need to be able to read, write, and speak fluent English to enroll in the U.S. public school system.

Consult your Company Handbook and Regional Office for the most up-to-date policies on education expenses while on itineration. Several months before your return to the U.S., you should plan what type of schooling option you will choose for your child and research needed information to enroll him/her in school either prior to or upon your return.

Some organizations provide educational planning seminars to help you understand your child’s special learning style and needs and help you determine the best direction for your child’s education. Costs for some seminars may be a (00)-approved expense. Check with your Regional Office or Financial Services Regional Accountant for details about what is approved.

 

AERC (Asia Education Resource Consortium)

www.asiaerc.org

Provides services and support to Christian worker families in Asia, especially those using home, national, or online schools. Hosts education conferences in Chiang Mai, Thailand and other Asian cities. Conferences include workshops, personal consultations, testing services, and resource centers.

 

Interaction International

www.interactionintl.org

Hosts two pre-field educational planning seminars annually. Designed to help parents make decisions about education overseas including: options, national schools, creating a workable educational plan, homeschooling, selecting curriculum, and helping children with transitions.

 

National Institute for Learning Development

nild.org

Provides conferences, testing, articles, and support for families of children with special educational needs.

SHARE Education Services

www.shareeducation.org

Helps English-speaking families living in Europe, Russia, Central Asia, and the Middle East with their children’s educational needs. Offers conferences throughout the year. Conferences include workshops, resources, private consultations, and educational assessments for children using achievement or diagnostic testing.

General Education Resources

ACSI

www.acsi.org

Association of Christian Schools International provides leadership and oversight for country/region schools around the world. These offices support the national Christian school movement in their areas and maintain school membership within each country.

 

Anchor

www.anchoreducation.org

Provides a comprehensive package of educational consultancy services within Africa and the Middle East. Services include Africa/Middle East regional conferences, educational testing and evaluation, career/university preparation, and services for students with special needs. More information is available on their website.

 

Graebel International

www.graebel.com/insights/

An international relocation company which provides full services for member relocations around the world. The “Insights” page provides articles and helpful information about transitioning your family overseas.

 

Homeschool Legal Defense

www.hslda.org

Search by your state of residence to learn state education standards/homeschooling laws. Each state offers contact information to answer your homeschool legal questions and connects you to your state education website for more details.

 

Military Child Education Coalition

www.MilitaryChild.org

Goal is to ensure that every military-connected child is college, workforce, and life-ready. The site provides many articles and resources on a variety of education topics for download.

  • What is special education? A form of learning provided to students with exceptional needs, such as learning disabilities, mental or emotional challenges, or physical problems.
  • What is a 504 plan? A plan to provide services and changes to the learning environment in a school classroom to meet the needs of the child as adequately as other students. This plan is created by the parent(s), special education teacher, and school principal and is implemented by the teacher in the classroom.
  • What is an IEP (Individualized Education Plan)? A plan for a child’s special education experience at school. Provides individualized special education and related services to meet the unique needs of the child. This plan is created by the parent(s), general education teacher, special education teacher, school psychologist or other specialist, and a school district representative. The plan is implemented with support from special education services and regular classroom teachers.

Our Company has families living all over the world whose children have special educational needs. You and your special needs child can succeed on the field. Be sure to communicate your child’s special educational needs to your Regional Office. With support from your Regional Office, the TCKI Education Team has resources and education specialists to help your family. We can recommend resources for diagnostic testing if your child is having difficulties and additional resources to help with continuing evaluation. Please feel free to call the TCKI Education Team if you have questions about a child with special needs.

Some of the organizations listed in this resource provide testing, training, and resources to help families living overseas with children who have special needs.

Schools/Resources to provide support for students with special needs:

 

Questions to Ask if Considering a National School

  • What is my purpose in choosing a national school? (National schools provide a broader strong educational base.)
  • Is the school committed to individualized education and a child-centered philosophy?
  • What is the education philosophy of that country (i.e., politics, holidays, discipline)?
  • How will I parent my child through the national school process and make sure he/she learns appropriately?
  • How are the discipline procedures different in the national school than what my child is acquainted with already?
  • How will I make adjustments prior to enrollment so my child understands these differences?
  • Is the school system a shame-based system of educational motivation, or is it encouragement-based motivation?
  • Am I willing to stay involved with my child attending national schools to assure a positive school experience for him/her?
  • How long do I plan to use the national school?
  • Do I plan for my child to complete college in the national school system?
  • If my children complete their education in a national school only, will it limit them to colleges and higher education only in that country?
  • How will I prepare my child to transition to U.S. schools on itineration?
  • How do the national school grade levels and U.S. school grade levels differ?
  • What type of curriculum is taught, and how is it used? How does this compare to U.S. curriculum?

Article: Benefits of Attending a National School

You may be asking yourself, “What are the benefits to my child in attending a national school?” You know your child better than anyone else. As you consider the option of enrolling your child in a national school, think about his/her needs, personality, and future goals. Do some research online about the national school system in your country.

Here are a couple segments from an article listing 10 benefits for attending a national school abroad.

Excerpts from: 10 Reasons Why You Should Study Abroad in High School, By Elen Turner

www.gooverseas.com/blog/10-reasons-study-abroad-while-youre-still-in-high-school

#3. You’ll Become More than just a Tourist

Going to classes, learning a new language or dialect of English, and fitting in with everyday life in a foreign place is far different from being a tourist. And it’s just as exciting, if not more so, because you learn about a place much more deeply than if you’re just touring the must-see sights.

 

#4. You’ll Narrow Down Your College Major

There are so many exciting things you could major in at college, and it can be hard to narrow down your options. One way of doing so is to study abroad and see what you enjoy.

Perhaps you excel at Spanish or are really fascinated by different styles of architecture; maybe you love how math and science break through language barriers; or learn about new environmental conservation practices abroad. Your future major—and career path—may reveal itself in unexpected ways while studying abroad during high school.

 

#5. You Can Learn a New Language

Knowing a second language is a great skill and can be useful in so many ways that you can’t even imagine right now. It’s best to learn languages while you’re still young and your mind is flexible, and immersion through studying abroad is a great way to improve language skills—or to pick up new ones.

 

#9. You’ll Experience a Different Culture & New Ways of Life

You’ve no doubt heard that travel broadens your mind. But studying abroad while you’re still young, in high school, exposes you to much more than just surface differences. You’ll see how young people in other countries live and study, you’ll learn about their interests and priorities, and you’ll realize that, while life throughout the world certainly is different, there are also many similarities that unite people.

 

#10. You’ll Add Impressive Experiences to Your Resume

Maybe you haven’t given your resume much thought yet, but you’ll increasingly be asked about it as you grow up and go to college, and then move into the workforce. Rather than be impressed by which school you went to or your individual subject grades, many colleges and would-be employers are impressed by experiences that set you apart and show that you have initiative.

It doesn’t matter whether you study abroad in Japan or Ireland, being able to demonstrate that you are flexible, open-minded, adventurous, and creative is a major plus. Studying abroad in high school shows that you have these desirable qualities.

National School Comparison Charts

The charts below are designed to help you compare the grade level system in the U.S. with several other countries’ education systems. This is not a comprehensive list, but most countries pattern their grade levels after one of these systems. If you have specific questions about the country to which you are assigned, please contact the TCKI Education Team.

AgeUSAEngland/WalesScotlandFranceKorea
4Pre-KReception Maternelle 3-6yrs old 
5KinderYear1Primary1 Optional Kinder
61stYear2 (KS1 Test)Primary2Cours Preparatoires (CP)Institute of Music/Art
72ndYear3Primary3Cours Elementaire1Must be able to read
83rdYear4Primary4CE2Primary1
94thYear5Primary5Cours Moyen1Primary2
105thYear6 (KS2 Test)Primary6CM2Primary3
116thYear7 (KS2 Test)Primary76emePrimary4
127thYear8Secondary15emePrimary5
138thYear9 (KS3 Test)Secondary24emePrimary6
149thYear10 (O Level Exam)Secondary33emeMiddle School1
1510thYear11 (O Level Exam)Secondary42ondeMiddle School2
1611thYear12Secondary51ereMiddle School3
1712thYear13 (A Level Exam)Secondary6Terminale (BAC examins)High School1
18CollegeUniversityUniversityUniversityHigh School2
19    High School3
20    University
AgeUSAMexicoSpainRussia
4Pre-KPrimary/ PreescolarEducacion Infantil (Ages 3-5)Kinder or Nursery
5KinderPrimary1/ BasicaPrimaria1Primary1
61stPrimary2/ BasicaPrimaria2Primary2
72ndPrimary3/ BasicaPrimaria3Primary3
83rdPrimary4/ BasicaPrimaria4Primary4
94thPrimary5/ BasicaPrimaria5Middle School5
105thPrimary6/ BasicaPrimaria6Middle School6
116thSecundaria1/MiddleSecundaria ObligatoriaMiddle School7
127thSecundaria2/Middle Middle School8
138thSecundaria3/Middle Middle School9
149thSuperior1/SecondarySecundaria Obligatoria 2nd CycleHigh School10
1510thSuperior2/Secondary High School11
1611thSuperior3/SecondaryBachillerato 1 (College Prep)University
1712thSenior Tech/ BachelorBachillerato 2 (College Prep) 
18CollegeSenior Tech/ BachelorUniversity 

National School Resources

Some of the resources below will help you find a national school in your country of assignment. Others provide general information and resources for attending national school. Most of the resources available for national schools are found in Europe or parts of Asia. There are few resources for national schools in other parts of the world as the schooling systems are not comparable or compatible with a U.S.-based educational system.

Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI)

www.acsi.org

ACSI is the world’s largest association of Protestant schools, representing more than 5,300 schools in 100 countries. ACSI lists some national schools in its database. Click “Find a School” to begin. The search engine can pull up available schools by location. The national schools usually have names in a language other than English.

Comparative & International Education Society

www.cies.us/

CIES is a scholarly association dedicated to increasing the understanding of educational issues, trends and policies through comparative, cross-cultural and international perspectives. Its nearly 2,500 individual members—researchers, analysts, practitioners and students—use different conceptual frameworks to explore topics related to education. These include a focus on schools, students, teachers and administrators, and on issues spanning early childhood and basic education to secondary and higher education, as well as non-formal education and life-long learning.

Eurydice Network

https://eacea.ec.europa.eu/sites/2007-2013_en

Eurydice Network provides information on and analyses of European educational systems and policies. It consists of 35 national units based in all 31 countries participating in the European Union’s Lifelong Learning program and is coordinated and managed by the EU Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency in Brussels.

UNESCO

https://en.unesco.org/

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization seeks to build peace through international cooperation in Education, the Sciences and Culture. UNESCO’s programs contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals defined in Agenda 2030, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2015. You can search general education information about your country of assignment.

United Nations

www.un.org/en/sections/issues-depth/education/index.html

Education is a right, like the right to have proper food or a roof over your head…The ultimate aim of Education for All (EFA) is sustainable development. In the year 2000, the world’s governments adopted the six EFA goals and the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the two most important frameworks in the field of education. The education priorities of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) are shaped by these objectives.

Questions to Ask if Considering an International School

  • What is my purpose in choosing an international school?
  • Is the school committed to individualized education and a child-centered philosophy?
  • What is the school’s global education philosophy (i.e., politics, holidays, discipline, combining cultures in the classroom, etc.)?
  • How will I parent my child through the international school process and make sure he/she learns appropriately?
  • How are the discipline procedures different in the international school than what my child is acquainted with already?
  • How will I make adjustments prior to enrollment so my child understands these differences?
  • Is the school system a shame-based system of educational motivation or is it encouragement-based motivation?
  • Am I willing to stay involved with my child attending international schools to assure a positive school experience for him/her?
  • How long do I plan to use the international school?
  • Do I plan for my child to complete college in the international school system?
  • How will I prepare my child to transition to U.S. schools on itineration?
  • What are the differences between the international school grade levels and U.S. school system levels?
  • What type of curriculum is taught and how is it used? How does this compare to U.S. curriculum?

 

Article: Benefits of attending an International School

www.acs-schools.com/Benefits-of-International-Schooling

What effect does attending an international school have on students?

The key findings of a recent survey of ACS alumni show that students who receive an international education leave school very well-prepared for further study and work. In particular, the survey reveals that international school students develop a better range of ‘soft’ skills such as time management, critical analysis and independent thinking than their peers who have followed national qualification programs.

Almost all respondents felt that their international education had prepared them well for their career, and the top quality highlighted was an appreciation of different cultures – named by 76 per cent of respondents. 57 per cent said their education helped them develop an inquiring mind, 58 per cent named communication skills and 60 per cent named self-management skills.

“Studying in an international setting, with students from around the world, provided me with the environment to develop communication skills with people from a wide variety of backgrounds. The company I work for has offices all around the world and I’m frequently asked to work across borders. Given my experiences in the past, I’m comfortable when dealing with multiple cultures.” Sam Hariton, ACS Cobham, Class of 2001

“I would not trade my international education for anything. In fact, I believe it has shaped who I am today. My future hope is that my husband and I will have the opportunity to live internationally, so that our children will also be able to make lifelong friends with people of all nationalities.” Alexa Glaser, ACS Hillingdon, Class of 1991

International School Resources

The Council of International Schools

portal.cois.org/wcm/cis/

A not-for-profit organization of a worldwide international education community comprising over 650-member schools and 450 colleges/universities. with experience in K–12 education in more than 100 countries. The central purpose of CIS is to enable member organizations to achieve and deliver the highest standards in international education and continually improve the outcome of student learning. The home page has a search engine for associated schools.

 

Directory of International/English Schools Worldwide

www.english-schools.org/

Online directory of International schools, English schools, and American schools in Europe and throughout the world that offer an education in English, or a language foreign to the native country. Content is supplied from the schools themselves either directly or from their websites. The list of schools is a side menu on each page.

 

European Council of International Schools (ECIS)

www.ecis.org

Founded in 1965, the ECIS is a global service membership organization that provides professional development opportunities to member schools. ECIS is committed to the promotion of an international outlook among its members. For a list of ECIS schools, on their website click Search and Find Member School. The site provides details about each member and links to school websites.

 

International School Services (ISS)

www.iss.edu

Since 1955 ISS has planned, designed, and managed schools around the world. In addition, they provide support activities to existing independent overseas schools. They currently work with over 300 schools. For details click “Explore Schools.”

 

Network of International Christian Schools

www.nics.org

Click on “Explore NICS Schools” for a list of their 19 schools across 16 different countries on 4 continents.

 

Quality Schools International (QSI)

www.qsi.org

A nonprofit group of international schools in Europe, Asia, and Eurasia. They have 35 schools in 25 countries and serve diplomatic, development, and business families. QSI schools are established to provide a quality education in the English language for students in the cities they serve.

 

U.S. Department of State

www.state.gov/m/a/os/c1684.htm

The U.S. Department of State provides an international school listing for countries all over the world. This is an excellent resource for families. After selecting a region of the world, this website lists all the countries in which they have a recognized international school. Click on the country and find a list of schools with specific information for each.

International Schools by Region

Africa

(Kenya) Rift Valley Academy (K–12)

www.rva.org

RVA is a Christian boarding school located in central Kenya. The academy, a branch of Africa Inland Mission International, exists to provide a quality education in a nurturing environment for the children of faith-based workers serving in Africa. The school is divided into two parts, the elementary portion, called Titchie Swot, and the high school. Utilizing an American curriculum, and accredited by the Middle States Association, RVA is designed to prepare the children of faith-based workers for higher education.

(Kenya) Rosslyn Academy (K–12)

www.rosslynacademy.com

Rosslyn Academy provides a North American and Christian-oriented educational program for children of faith-based workers. In 1976 and 1988 respectively, the Baptist Mission of Kenya and Our Company became co-owners and sponsoring agencies. Rosslyn was first accredited in 1992 by Middle States Association (MSA) and ACSI.

(Senegal) Dakar Academy (PreK–12)

www.dakar-academy.org

Fully accredited college preparatory, co-educational day and boarding school serving grades Pre-K through 12. Provides quality education from a faith-based perspective utilizing a U.S.-based curriculum. Oncampus living program accepts students in grade 6 and up. Instruction is in English with daily French classes for all levels.

Asia Pacific

(Guam) Trinity Christian School (PreK–12)

www.trinitychristianschoolguam.com

Founded in 1980 by International Christian, Trinity Christian School is committed to providing an educational program that develops excellence in students academically, socially, physically, and spiritually. With approximately 380 students, TCS offers a high-quality education to children in a faith-based environment.

(Malaysia) Dalat International School (PreK–12)

www.dalat.org/web/

Provides an education for life founded on a faith-based worldview to children from age three to high school graduation. The school’s academic and boarding programs quality care for children are well known around the world. Dalat is a non-for-profit school community located on the shores of Penang, Malaysia.

(Philippines) Faith Academy (PreK–12)

faith.edu.ph/

Founded in 1957, FA is an international faith-based school offering Pre K-12th grade education for the children of faith-based workers as well as other national and international students.

Eurasia

(Turkey) Oasis International School (1–12)

www.oisankara.org

OIS provides a small-school environment with school spirit and family involvement. OIS utilizes an American-based curriculum that has been refined to reflect the Turkish environment in which they are located. Core subjects include English/language arts, math, science, and social studies. Other subjects include art, music, computers, library, Turkish language, religious instruction, and physical education.

Europe

(Germany) Black Forest Academy (1–2 bilingual, 3–12 English)

www.bfacademy.com

BFA was founded in 1956. It is an international faith-based school providing an English language education for grades 3 through 12 (grades 1 and 2 are bilingual). It serves the children of international faith-based workers and business families who want a North American curriculum that incorporates a faith-based worldview. BFA has an enrollment of approximately 325 students, which include roughly 150 students in the residential boarding program for grades 7 to 12.

Latin America Caribbean

(Brazil) Pan American Christian Academy (PreK–12)

www.paca.com.br

PACA is a Christian, American international school located in the city of São Paulo, working with 350 students from different parts of the world with an American-style pre-school through high school education (offering a dual diploma for American and Brazilian universities).

(Costa Rica) Sojourn Academy (PreK–12)

www.sojournacademycostarica.com

Sojourn Academy and Rayitos del Sol exist to support world-wide missions. Sojourn provides quality education to TCKs while their parents attend the Spanish Language Institute (ILE ) in preparation to begin work on the field.

(Ecuador) Alliance Academy International (K–12)

www.alliance.k12.ec

A private, co-educational school located in Quito, Ecuador. Founded in 1929 to provide an extensive U.S. curriculum for the children of faith-based workers. There are 440 students in grades K–12. Alliance Academy International holds full accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and ACSI.

(Haiti) Quisqueya Christian School (PreK–12)

www.quisqueyahaiti.com/

QCS is open to English speaking students interested in securing a faith-based education, from PreK – 12th grade providing an excellent education which encompasses spiritual, social, and academic development.

Northern Asia

International Academy of Beijing (K–12)

www.iabchina.net

IAB is a faith-based school located in the heart of Beijing, serving the expatriate community. Many students’ parents are involved in faith-based nonprofit work in China, but others are diplomats, businesspeople, and educators. IAB is licensed by the Chinese government to enroll only students whose parents hold foreign passports. Current enrollment, as of fall 2008, is approximately 260 in grades K-11. In March 2007 IAB was granted accreditation by ACSI and in June 2008 was accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

Xi’An International School (K–12)

www3.xianinternationalschool.com

XIS has been licensed and operating as an international school in Xi’an since 1996. Offering a complete American curriculum to grades K – 12th, each class/grade level is taught by a qualified university trained native English speaker from North America, many have masters degrees.

Questions to Ask if Considering a TCK School

  • What is my purpose in choosing a TCK school?
  • Is the school committed to individualized education and a child-centered philosophy?
  • How will I parent my child through the TCK school process and make sure he/she learns appropriately?
  • Am I willing to stay involved with my child attending a TCK school to assure a positive school experience for my child?
  • How long do I plan to use a TCK school?
  • How will I prepare my child to transition to U.S. schools on itineration?
  • Is my child’s TCK school education adequate for him/her to attend a U.S. college/university?
  • Is this TCK school accredited? If so, what organization is it accredited with?
  • What type of curriculum is taught and how is it used? How does this compare to U.S. curriculum?

TCK School Resources 

The Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI)

www.acsi.org

ACSI represents more than 5,300 protestant schools worldwide in 100 countries. ACSI has 3,800 U.S. member schools, with a total student population of approximately 690,000. Its mission is to enable faith-based schools and educators to effectively prepare students for life. ACSI strives to enable and equip faith-based educators and schools worldwide to effectively educate children and young people with the mind of the Father. The many programs and services offered are intended to enrich the teaching of truth—Father’s Word revealed through His Word as well as creation. The people of ACSI, in its Colorado Springs headquarters and 17 regional offices around the world, are eager to assist educators and schools in guiding their students to reach their full potential in Him.

Network of International Christian Schools (NICS)

www.nics.org

The mission of NICS is to establish a worldwide network of international faith-based schools staffed by qualified faith-based educators, instilling in each student a faith-based worldview in an environment of academic excellence and respect for people of all cultures and religions. NICS has 20 schools in 16 countries and a growing number of students and locations. The website provides a search engine of NICS schools.

International School Services (ISS)

www.iss.edu

Since 1955 ISS has planned, designed, and managed schools around the world. In addition, they provide support activities to existing independent overseas schools, ISS is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to excellence for children attending overseas schools worldwide. ISS currently provides services to over 300 international schools. Independent international schools rely on ISS for teacher and administrator recruitment, supply procurement, financial management, publications, and consulting. ISS school lists have several larger TCK schools in its directory of international schools.

TCK Schools by Region

Africa

(Kenya) Rift Valley Academy (K–12)

www.rva.org

RVA is a Christian boarding school located in central Kenya. The academy, a branch of Africa Inland Mission International, exists to provide a quality education in a nurturing environment for the children of faith-based workers serving in Africa. The school is divided into two parts, the elementary portion, called Titchie Swot, and the high school. Utilizing an American curriculum, and accredited by the Middle States Association, RVA is designed to prepare the children of faith-based workers for higher education.

(Kenya) Rosslyn Academy (K–12)

www.rosslynacademy.com

Rosslyn Academy provides a North American and Christian-oriented educational program for children of faith-based workers. In 1976 and 1988 respectively, the Baptist Mission of Kenya and Our Company became co-owners and sponsoring agencies. Rosslyn was first accredited in 1992 by Middle States Association (MSA) and ACSI.

(Senegal) Dakar Academy (PreK–12)

www.dakar-academy.org

Fully accredited college preparatory, co-educational day and boarding school serving grades Pre-K through 12. Provides quality education from a faith-based perspective utilizing a U.S.-based curriculum. Oncampus living program accepts students in grade 6 and up. Instruction is in English with daily French classes for all levels.

Asia Pacific

(Guam) Trinity Christian School (PreK–12)

www.trinitychristianschoolguam.com

Founded in 1980 by International Christian, Trinity Christian School is committed to providing an educational program that develops excellence in students academically, socially, physically, and spiritually. With approximately 380 students, TCS offers a high-quality education to children in a faith-based environment.

(Malaysia) Dalat International School (PreK–12)

www.dalat.org/web/

Provides an education for life founded on a faith-based worldview to children from age three to high school graduation. The school’s academic and boarding programs quality care for children are well known around the world. Dalat is a non-for-profit school community located on the shores of Penang, Malaysia.

(Philippines) Faith Academy (PreK–12)

faith.edu.ph/

Founded in 1957, FA is an international faith-based school offering Pre K-12th grade education for the children of faith-based workers as well as other national and international students.

Eurasia

(Turkey) Oasis International School (1–12)

www.oisankara.org

OIS provides a small-school environment with school spirit and family involvement. OIS utilizes an American-based curriculum that has been refined to reflect the Turkish environment in which they are located. Core subjects include English/language arts, math, science, and social studies. Other subjects include art, music, computers, library, Turkish language, religious instruction, and physical education.

Europe

(Germany) Black Forest Academy (1–2 bilingual, 3–12 English)

www.bfacademy.com

BFA was founded in 1956. It is an international faith-based school providing an English language education for grades 3 through 12 (grades 1 and 2 are bilingual). It serves the children of international faith-based workers and business families who want a North American curriculum that incorporates a faith-based worldview. BFA has an enrollment of approximately 325 students, which include roughly 150 students in the residential boarding program for grades 7 to 12.

Latin America Caribbean

(Brazil) Pan American Christian Academy (PreK–12)

www.paca.com.br

PACA is a Christian, American international school located in the city of São Paulo, working with 350 students from different parts of the world with an American-style pre-school through high school education (offering a dual diploma for American and Brazilian universities).

(Costa Rica) Sojourn Academy (PreK–12)

www.sojournacademycostarica.com

Sojourn Academy and Rayitos del Sol exist to support world-wide missions. Sojourn provides quality education to TCKs while their parents attend the Spanish Language Institute (ILE ) in preparation to begin work on the field.

(Ecuador) Alliance Academy International (K–12)

www.alliance.k12.ec

A private, co-educational school located in Quito, Ecuador. Founded in 1929 to provide an extensive U.S. curriculum for the children of faith-based workers. There are 440 students in grades K–12. Alliance Academy International holds full accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and ACSI.

(Haiti) Quisqueya Christian School (PreK–12)

www.quisqueyahaiti.com/

QCS is open to English speaking students interested in securing a faith-based education, from PreK – 12th grade providing an excellent education which encompasses spiritual, social, and academic development.

Northern Asia

International Academy of Beijing (K–12)

www.iabchina.net

IAB is a faith-based school located in the heart of Beijing, serving the expatriate community. Many students’ parents are involved in faith-based nonprofit work in China, but others are diplomats, businesspeople, and educators. IAB is licensed by the Chinese government to enroll only students whose parents hold foreign passports. Current enrollment, as of fall 2008, is approximately 260 in grades K-11. In March 2007 IAB was granted accreditation by ACSI and in June 2008 was accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

Xi’An International School (K–12)

www3.xianinternationalschool.com

XIS has been licensed and operating as an international school in Xi’an since 1996. Offering a complete American curriculum to grades K – 12th, each class/grade level is taught by a qualified university trained native English speaker from North America, many have masters degrees.

Questions to Ask if Considering a Boarding School

  • What is my purpose in choosing a boarding school?
  • Is the school committed to individualized education and a child-centered philosophy?
  • What is the school’s global education philosophy (politics, holidays, discipline, combining of cultures in the classroom, teacher interaction, etc.)?
  • How will I parent my child through the boarding school process and make sure he/she learns appropriately?
  • How are the disciplinary procedures different in the boarding school than what my child is acquainted with already?
  • How will I make adjustments prior to enrollment so my child understands these differences?
  • Am I willing to stay involved with my child attending boarding school to assure a positive school experience for him/her?
  • How long do I plan to use the boarding school?
  • How will I prepare my child to transition to U.S. schools on itineration?
  • What are the differences between boarding school education grade levels and U.S. school system grade levels?
  • What type of curriculum is taught, and how is it used? How does this compare to U.S. curriculum?
  • How is the school calendar developed (breaks, holidays, etc.)? What is a sample of a daily schedule (classroom time, home time, meal time, study time, etc.)?
  • Will my child thrive in a setting away from home and family?
  • What are the social/emotional benefits and concerns for my child attending a boarding school?

Article: The Benefits of Attending a Boarding School

By Allison Miller (From boardingschoolwizard.com—no longer active site)

Whether you’re exploring boarding schools out of an interest in a different type of educational environment, or because it’s a family tradition to attend school away from home, there are many benefits to boarding school life. Some of the biggest boarding school benefits include:

Academic Challenge

Boarding schools provide much more than an academically rigorous curriculum, although high academic standards and challenging courses are frequently the hallmark of a boarding school education. To be admitted, students need to demonstrate they can meet the high standards the schools set. But once in, they are often privy to an impressive selection of course offerings.

Round-the-Clock Learning

Unlike in traditional public or private schools where teaching ends at 3:00, the learning in boarding schools continues long after the afternoon bell rings. The school day does not start and stop as it does in other scholastic settings. Whether during afternoon study sessions, in discussions over dinner, or as part of practice for the school play, students are constantly exposed to new information about the people and world around them.

Small Class Size

The personal attention that is possible in a class with fewer students is another major benefit of a boarding school education. Teachers get to know their students extremely well, making it possible to provide one-on-one support and encouragement when needed. Likewise, students form close personal bonds, too.

Rich Extracurricular Activities

While parents may worry about the supervision their child receives outside of the classroom, the truth is that boarding schools offer a wide range of activities to engage students during free time. From sports to art, music, special interest clubs and volunteer opportunities, students are kept busy from morning to night.

Family Atmosphere

When students and teachers live and study together 24/7, close personal relationships are formed unlike any other at a traditional day school. Your roommates and classmates typically become life-long friends.

Supported Independence

Although students who attend boarding school are generally more independent, almost out of necessity, they are rarely unsupervised. Learning to make smart decisions, in a safe environment, is another major benefit of the boarding school experience.

Relationships with Colleges

Some, but not all, boarding schools have well-established relationships with college admissions offices, which may provide an advantage to boarding school students who choose to apply. This is more likely to be the case at college preparatory boarding schools, however. Boarding schools provide a wealth of opportunities for academic learning and personal growth. Students who enter excited about the chance to be part of the close-knit community are those most likely to succeed.

Boarding School Resources

Boarding Schools Information

www.boardingschoolreview.com/find-schools

The Boarding Schools Directory is a large online index of boarding schools. Parents can search for boarding schools by categories such as by state, region, or type. It includes a comprehensive guide to schools in the U.S. and a growing directory for Canada, the U.K., and other parts of the world.

Boarding School Finder

www.boarding-school-finder.com

Boarding School Finder has over 3,000 boarding schools in 50 countries. Find boarding schools worldwide on the Internet Course Finders, your first information source online for boarding schools, hotel schools, language schools, and other international study programs.

Boarding Schools

(Ecuador) Alliance Academy International (K–12)

www.alliance.k12.ec

A private, co-educational school located in Quito. Founded in 1929 to provide an extensive U.S. curriculum for the children of faith-based workers. There are 440 students in grades K–12. Alliance Academy International holds full accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and ACSI. The Alliance Academy International offers a residential program on the school’s campus for secondary-school students.

(Germany) Black Forest Academy (1–2 bilingual, 3–12 English)

www.bfacademy.com

BFA was founded in 1956 by TeachBeyond. It is an international faith-based school providing an English language education for grades 3 through 12 (grades 1 and 2 are bilingual). It serves the children of international faith-based workers and business families who want a North American curriculum that incorporates a faith-based worldview. BFA has an enrollment of approximately 325 students, which include roughly 150 students in the residential boarding program for grades 7 to 12.

(Senegal) Dakar Academy (PreK–12)

www.dakar-academy.org

Fully accredited college preparatory, co-educational day and boarding school serving grades Pre-K through 12. Provides quality education from a faith-based perspective utilizing a U.S.-based curriculum. Oncampus living program accepts students in grade 6 and up. Instruction is in English with daily French classes for all levels. Has approximately 250 students in its academic program and over 40 students in boarding.

(Philippines) Faith Academy (PreK–12)

faith.edu.ph/

Founded in 1957, FA is an international faith-based school offering Pre K-12th grade education for the children of faith-based workers serving in the Philippines and throughout Asia. The school has two campuses, one just east of Metro Manila and the second in the southern Philippines city of Davao. FA is accredited through the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). FA boarding supports families serving by providing quality care and nurturing in the school’s boarding homes.

(Kenya) Rift Valley Academy (K–12)

www.rva.org

RVA is a Christian boarding school located in central Kenya. The academy, a branch of Africa Inland Mission International, exists to provide a quality education in a nurturing environment for the children of faith-based workers serving in Africa. The school is divided into two parts, the elementary portion, called Titchie Swot, and the high school. Utilizing an American curriculum, and accredited by the Middle States Association, RVA is designed to prepare the children of faith-based workers for higher education.

Questions to Ask if Considering Attending a Home/Internet School

  • What curriculum will you use for homeschooling? (Appropriate for each grade level.)
  • Is the curriculum you choose accredited? How will the accreditation level affect your child’s long-term education goals?
  • What kinds of records will you need to maintain?
  • What ideas do you have on structuring or schedules for doing homeschooling?
  • How do you plan on networking for social and emotional development?
  • How will you help your child adapt cross-culturally?
  • Will your child thrive/adapt to a daily environment where social interaction with peers is limited?
  • List questions or ideas you have for more help on homeschooling.
  • How do you plan to stay connected to the laws/state standards of the U.S. for your transitions back to the States?
  • What type of assessment or testing do you plan to do for your child in homeschool?

Article: Homeschooling Guide

By Ann Zeise and Carol Moxley

www.homeschooling.gomilpitas.com/index.htm

Note: This article is from a secular perspective and focuses on homeschooling in the U.S., but it offers good information.

Definition

Homeschooling is a viable education alternative to institutional schooling. In compliance with state laws regarding this type of education, children learn under the general supervision of their parents. Parents and children, conferring with each other, assume control of the content of their learning. It is a complete substitute for institutional schooling.

There are other forms of alternative education that, though they may be called “homeschooling,” fall directly under the supervision of school personnel. Examples are independent study programs (ISPs) or some kinds of “visiting teacher” programs for the infirm. In contrast, while these plans may be called “homeschooling” or “home education” and involve the student learning at home, neither the students nor the parents have much control over the content. “Home Study” is often confused with homeschooling. Such programs are offered by school districts so that children confined to home or hospital because of illness or injury may keep up with their classmates in school.

Who homeschools?

People from all walks of life homeschool. Homeschoolers live in large cities, small towns, on farms and ranches, in mountains and deserts; homeschoolers live in families where mom stays home and dad works or vice versa; homeschoolers are blended families, two-parent families, single parent families, families that work from their homes or where both parents work and a grandparent takes an active role in the education process; families that are religious and those that aren’t; families who have been in their country for generations and those that have recently immigrated; people who enjoy good health and those who live with disabilities. We are homeschoolers. We are your neighbors.

Why do families homeschool?

Ask ten homeschooling families why they homeschool and you might get a variety of reasons. Usually it is the positive ways homeschooling benefits their families that keep them going. Here are just a few of those benefits:

  • Continuing the parent-child relationship that has developed since birth. There is no reason to end this just because the child has reached compulsory school age.
  • Better supervision over the content of their children’s education—school can be questionable
  • Better ability to meet the special needs or learning style of their children
  • Concerns about the safety of local schools or the long bus rides to the schools
  • The wonderful flexibility! Homeschooling allows for more frequent travel and for long periods of time.

How many people homeschool?

Because not all homeschoolers are required to register, it is nearly impossible to get an accurate count. About 350,000 children were being homeschooled. That estimate is now closer to 2,000,000. That’s roughly 2 percent of the school-aged population of our country! A dramatic increase in applications from homeschoolers are being reported by colleges and universities as well. There is no question; homeschooling is growing.

Legal Options

Is homeschooling legal?

Homeschooling is legal in all 50 U.S. states. The laws vary from state to state. It is also legal or becoming more acceptable in all provinces in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Puerto Rico, Japan, South Africa, and other countries. In some countries, it is practiced illegally as homeschoolers work to change the laws.

What is the law where I live?

In some places, there are requirements that you inform the government of your intent to homeschool in order to avoid truancy questions. In some areas, you may declare your home a private school and thereby be exempt from government interference. In other areas, you must be supervised by a cover school.

You only need to concern yourself with the law if your child falls within the age range for compulsory education in your state. You may certainly live the homeschooling lifestyle if your child is younger or older; you can just ignore any registration or reporting requirements.

Do I have to have a degree or special training?

Not usually, but credentialed teachers have it easy in some places: they may tutor their own children without any supervision in areas that require such oversight of non-credentialed homeschool parents. Most states don’t even require a parent to have a high school diploma. One state requires a “How to Homeschool” course. Requirements vary from state to state.

What’s the best source of legal information?

The people in your area. Local homeschooling groups have experienced homeschoolers who will prove to be the best sources of information on how to meet the legal requirements in your school district. Be sure you have an experienced, reliable source for information. And remember: these people are not lawyers! It is up to you to read the law for yourself. After all, you are the one ultimately responsible for compliance.

Article: Tips for Successful Homeschooling

There are several issues that you should be aware of when considering homeschool as an educational option for your children.

Experts say that among TCKs, correspondence/homeschool works best if it is used as a temporary schooling solution, because the child needs more socialization opportunities than the correspondence or homeschool environment offers. Academically, TCKs do fine in the correspondence/homeschool setting.

Studies indicate that children who have been in correspondence/homeschool for long periods of time have greater socialization problems than those in day schools or boarding schools. Social adjustments tend to be the most difficult adjustments TCKs face already, especially when they return to the U.S. for college and career.

To counteract the socialization problems, parents should provide daily and weekly social settings for their children. They can do such things as:

  • Play host to the neighborhood children so that their children can have neighborhood children in and around the home.
  • Take their children’s peers with them on outings and field trips.
  • Take their children to other children’s homes to visit and play.
  • Get their children involved in a place of worship where they can have social interaction with their peers.
  • Join clubs where their children will have social opportunities.
  • Get their children involved in local sports, extracurricular activities, and summer camps thorough schools, places of worship, or clubs.

Learning disabilities are much more difficult to detect in children who are in correspondence/homeschool. It is important to discover learning disabilities and get help while the child is younger, preferably in kindergarten and first grade. Parents should have their children periodically tested in an overseas TCK school, an American international school, or if they are in the U.S., at a U.S. public school, university, or private learning institution. If a parent suspects development issues related to a child’s speech/ language, the child should be evaluated by the child’s pediatrician.

Testing Resources for Homeschool Students

While living overseas you are not held to state laws. However, when you return to the U.S., you will need to show your child’s portfolio to prospective schools so they will be able to place your child.

While living in the U.S., homeschool laws in most states require assessment of basic skills. You will need to check state laws in the state which you are registered. We recommend yearly testing for your children and that you keep test results in your child’s portfolio (see Building Your Child’s Education Portfolio, pg. 12).

Homeschooling State Laws:

https://hslda.org/content/laws/

General Testing Information:

a2zhomeschooling.com/thoughts_opinions_home_school/testing_services/

Resources for Aptitude Testing:

www.kidtest.com

sat.collegeboard.com/home

www.act.org

Sample of State Standardized Tests:

Article: Placement Testing

Parents Teaching Overseas, June 1993
By Sharon Haag

Parents Teaching Overseas is a publication of the CHED Family Services Department. Permission is granted to copy. www.iched.org

What tests should I give my children?

Most important in determining which tests to give your child is knowing the purpose you want to accomplish by the testing. Testing can be helpful toward several goals:

  • Evaluating student progress in a particular academic area and keeping assessment records (progress reports, samples of work)
  • Determining strengths and weaknesses so curriculum can be adapted to meet individual needs
  • Understanding approximately how a child will fit in academically according to home country standards
  • Obtaining a measure of achievement that is understood and respected by home-country educators

Various kinds of assessments can be used to accomplish these purposes. To evaluate academic progress and understand strengths and weaknesses so that you can plan appropriate curriculum, it is most helpful to use informal inventories/evaluations and the kinds of tests that are included with the curriculum materials you are using.

Informal reading inventories are a valuable tool. Listening to a child read aloud helps determine if the selection is an appropriate reading level for him/her.

  • Misreading five words per page (three for younger children) indicates the material is too difficult.
  • Reading with fluency and appropriate expression is a good indicator that the student comprehends the material.
  • Noticing the kinds of errors made gives direction regarding what kinds of skills need work.

The “formal” tests at the end of chapters and units in textbooks can be used before material is studied to develop a more appropriate study plan. Not spending time on what the child already knows allows for much more effective use of the time available.

Take care to understand all the learning goals of a unit before skipping sections. For example, many children who can read selections from their reading program with comprehension need to read the selection anyway if a learning goal is to focus on elements of literature or writing with which they are not familiar.

At the same time, it may be possible to skip the word attack and comprehension exercises that go along with the lesson. Sections of practice problems in math may be skipped if the child clearly knows how to do them, but the word problems on those pages may need to be done to increase problem-solving skills.

Achievement Tests

If you wonder how your children compare to home country peers and you plan to return to your home country and enroll them in school, it is helpful to have them periodically take the type of achievement test typical in your home country. Some countries have a schedule for testing at particular ages, and you should follow that.

For countries that do not have assigned ages for testing, give a standardized achievement test the year before furlough. Doing it at the beginning of the school year gives opportunity to strengthen areas of weakness you discover (ones that perhaps have not been covered in the curriculum you are using, but are typically covered in schools in your home country).

Another reason for giving standardized achievement tests is that it helps your children to learn the typical kinds of test-taking skills they will experience in your home country. Also, national standardized achievement test scores are readily understood by educational personnel in home countries, so acceptance in schools is facilitated.

Portfolios

Formalized testing may not always be necessary. Even in Canada and the U.S., schools are increasingly looking with favor on “portfolios”—samples of student work. Even if formal test scores are desired, it is nevertheless helpful to maintain a portfolio because it provides a teacher or school with so much more information than mere grades and test scores.

An important item to include in a portfolio is a writing sample. To provide useful information, the sample should show the process the student went through, not just the final product. First draft and revisions should be attached to the final copy to show the student’s progression through the writing process. If possible, have a sample from the beginning, middle, and the end of the school year so development of writing skills can be noted.

To show student comprehension of written material and the ability to respond in writing, include in the portfolio an essay test in any subject area. A research report or description and pictures of a student-planned and executed project gives good indication of ability to plan, research, organize, and present information in a clear and interesting manner.

These kinds of skills are increasingly being recognized as important. They provide information that cannot be ascertained if only objective, multiple-choice types of assessment are given and if “grades” or test scores are the only kinds of records available.

Home, Correspondence, and Internet School Resources

ACSI

www.acsi.org

Associate of Christian Schools International provides leadership and oversight for country/region schools around the world. These offices support the national Christian school movement in their areas and maintain school membership within each country.

A to Z Home’s Cool

a2zhomeschooling.com/

Home education hub for information about curriculum, testing, and laws. Provides worldwide and regional support for homeschooling families. Also provides international homeschool legality issues.

Anchor

www.anchoreducation.org

Provides a comprehensive package of educational consultancy services within Africa and the Middle East. Services include Africa/Middle East regional conferences, educational testing and evaluation, career/university preparation, and services for students with special needs. More information is available on their website.

Asia Education Resource Consortium (AERC)

www.asiaerc.org

Created to provide educational services to faith-based worker families in Asia, particularly those using homeschooling, national schools, or online schooling to educate their children. Provides qualified and experienced staff in major cities throughout Asia; resource centers with lending libraries; Family Education Conferences; personal consultation; testing services; and secure members-only website and forum.

GoNoodle

www.gonoodle.com

A fun site to help you maximize movement, instructional time, and fun! Provides videos to download, interactive games for content review, and informal assessment tools for student progress. Also provides a blog with helpful links and resources.

Homeschool Legal Defense (By SIL Ministries)

www.hslda.org

Search by your state of residence to learn state education standards and homeschooling laws. Click your state on the map. You can pay to be a member or use free resource links. Each state offers contact information to answer your homeschool legal questions.

HomeLife Academy

homelifeacademy.com/

Private school offering homeschool families academic counseling, support, official transcripts and diplomas, full-service records department, online reporting, and account access.

Interaction International

www.interactionintl.org

The mission of Interaction International is to be a catalyst and a resource working cooperatively in the development of programs, services, and publications to provide and contribute to an ongoing flow of care that meets the needs of TCKs and internationally mobile families.

International Children’s Education

www.iched.org

iCHED is an online resource providing homeschool helps including articles, curriculum, and related links.

North Atlantic Regional High School

www.narhs.com

The mission of NARHS is to strengthen home-based education by providing consultation and tools to support course planning, student work assessment, quality academic learning, and goal setting leading to a high school transcript and diploma that have far-reaching transferability and acceptance.

SHARE Education Services

www.shareeducation.org

Their purpose is to assist parents with children’s education while they serve cross-culturally in Europe, Russia, Central Asia, and the Middle East. Helps English-speaking families through conferences, workshops, resources, private consultations with educators, and educational assessments for children using achievement or diagnostic testing.

102 Top Picks for Homeschooling, By Cathy Duffy

cathyduffyreviews.com/102-top-picks-for-homeschool-curriculum

Guide to help faith-based homeschool families. It is going out of print, but e-books will still be available. A new version of the book will give the tools to figure out which curricula will work best for individual families. The site is creating an advanced search feature which will help homeschoolers narrow down their choices.

Home, Correspondence, and Internet Schools

A Beka Academy (PreK—12)

www.abeka.com

Approach to faith-based education keeps learning lively, interesting, and memorable. Over 800 textbooks and teaching aids available for nursery through Grade 12. Can order complete child and parent kits, subject kits, or individual items. Many homeschool curriculum/lesson plans are available to help plan day-by-day.

Alpha Omega Academy (K—12)

www.aoacademy.com/index.php

An accredited, full service distance learning program for faith-based homeschoolers K through 12th grade. Part of Alpha Omega Publications.

  • Horizons is the homeschool curriculum branch of Alpha Omega Publishing. With print-based, computer-based, and online formats.
    aop.com/curriculum/horizons

American School (Grades 9–12)

www.americanschoolofcorr.com

Since 1897 American School has helped 3 million-plus students around the world earn a high school diploma at home or from an accredited school. Offers high school correspondence and online courses and online middle school courses. Curriculum will soon include middle school correspondence courses, honors courses for students in Grades 6–12, and high school AP courses.

BJU Press (K—12)

www.bjupresshomeschool.com

BJU Press is a publisher of textbooks and video lessons for homeschool families. Committed to creating materials that help parents deliver an education that is based on sound educational principles, inspires a joy in learning, and is rooted in a solid faith-based worldview.

Bridgeway Academy

www.homeschoolacademy.com

Started 1989 in response to the need for more freedom in education and the protection that accreditation offers. Offers secular and faith-based options for homeschoolers, charter schools, state organizations, and others who seek home education options for their families.

Calvert Education (Grades 9–12)

www.calverteducation.com/curriculum/calvert-academy-online-private-school

Accredited, online private school for high school students. This complete, diploma-granting program combines the flexibility of at-home learning with a rigorous academic curriculum.

Calvert Curriculum (PreK-12)

www.calverteducation.com/homeschool

Time-Tested curriculum options for PreK – 12 available through Calvert Education. Also provides tools and support and free downloadable resources.

Laurel Springs School (K–12)

www.laurelsprings.com

Accredited, independent study for grades K–12. Focuses on children with special education needs and provides custom classes as well as honors, UC, and NCAA approved courses. Course credits are transferable, and students may enroll in programs at any time of year. They provide a yearbook, prom, and graduation ceremony.

Liberty University Online Academy (K—12)

LibertyOnlineAcademy.com

LUOA offers strong academics, taught by certified teachers, from a solid worldview. Offers K–12 classes and dual enrollment classes, as well as electives such as guitar, public speaking, creative writing, and more. The curriculum allows flexible due dates so students can take time needed in order to complete assignments.

My Father’s World (PreK—12)   

www.mfwbooks.com

Combining the best of Charlotte Mason, classical education, and unit studies with a faith-based worldview.

North Dakota Center for Distance Education (Grades 6–12)

www.ndcde.org/

Variety of courses available for online, independent study for students in Grades 6–12. Accreditation and course requirements for graduation differ from state to state.

NorthStar (6—12)

www.northstar-academy.org

NorthStar Homeschool and Independent Study (HIS) provides strong, researched, multimedia-rich, academically challenging, thorough, and detailed lessons and lesson resources that have all been created by veteran teachers.

RightStart for Home School (math curriculum by levels)

rightstartmath.com/

Hands-on program deemphasizes counting and uses visualization of quantities. Primary learning tool is the AL Abacus, a specially designed two-sided abacus that is both kinesthetic and visual.

School of Tomorrow (K—12)

www.aceministries.com/homeschool-options

Families are offered two ways to homeschool—Lighthouse Christian Academy (LCA) or Independent Homeschool. LCA is the official K-12 distance-learning provider for Accelerated Christian Education Ministries (ACEM) and exclusively uses the A.C.E. curriculum. A.C.E. also offers support for independent homeschool families. Whether switching from a different curriculum or homeschooling for the first time, A.C.E’s complete K-12 program can help your homeschool succeed.

Singapore Math (Pre-K–12, specific subjects)

www.singaporemath.com

Provides curriculum for the following subjects: mathematics, science, English, Chinese, and art for pre-K students. Singapore math books use the Primary Mathematics Series, first published in 1982.

Sonlight (PreK—12)

www.sonlight.com

Faith-based company specializing in literature-based homeschool curriculum programs. Provide complete curriculum packages and individual resources/materials so you can build the preschool or K-12 homeschool curriculum that best meets your family’s needs. Based in Littleton, CO and serves customers in over 150 countries worldwide.

TCK International Academy (K—12)

www.TCKIAcademy.com

TCKIA opened in 2017 with the goal to prepare Third Culture Kids (TCKs) academically, spiritually, and emotionally for postsecondary academics and careers. TCKIA is not a homeschool program, but an accredited distance-education school with a faith-based worldview providing an educational center that simultaneously connects students with other TCKs and certified faculty.

The Potter’s School (4—12)

at-tps.org/

TPS provides complete academic support from grades 4 through graduation, including college dual credit. Has live online core academic courses with high academic standards, a thoroughly integrated faith-based worldview, and timely and effective feedback.

University of Nebraska High School (Grades 9–12)

highschool.nebraska.edu/

UNHS is a college-prep high school offering quality education and academic services to students online.

Questions to Ask in Preparation for College and Beyond

  • What does my child want to do after high school?
  • If college is the best fit for my child, what type of school should he/she attend (faith-based, state, community, etc.)?
  • Do I have an opportunity to visit or get college information when we are in the U.S. on itineration or vacation?
  • Do I want my child to enroll in dual-credit or advanced-placement courses or an IB program in high school to advance him/her for college?
  • Has my child completed his/her high school graduation requirements to apply for college?
  • Has my child taken the PSAT, SAT, ACT, or other testing in preparation for college application?
  • Have we discussed with our child how we will pay for college?
  • Have we explored and applied for loans, scholarships, grants, and other financial support (FAFSA, TCK Scholarships, state discounts, etc.)?
    Important Things to Remember about your FAFSA application:
    • Information is for the 2018 – 2019 school year.
    • The Federal Aid Deadline for the 2018 – 2019 academic year is midnight Central Time June 30, 2019 – no matter what state you live in. This includes online FAFSA applications.
    • State deadlines may be earlier than the federal deadline and do not replace filling out the FAFSA. You must fill out the FAFSA to receive federal student aid. In all cases, it’s best to apply early before funds run out.
  • Have we discussed vocational or technical school options?
  • Have we created a workforce plan?
  • Have we discussed a gap-year plan before starting college? How would a gap-year affect college costs, application timing, and career options?
  • How will I prepare my child to transition to a U.S. college after living overseas?
  • How will I prepare my child for living in the U.S. (driver’s license, acquiring a job, opening a bank account, etc.), knowing this transition can affect his/her education?
  • Is my child adequately prepared for the style of study required in college (week-long class schedules, essay-style assignments, being responsible to attend classes regularly, etc.)?

College Preparation

There are several issues to consider if your child is reaching the end of his/her high school years as you prepare to move overseas. The purpose of this section is to encourage you to think about preparing your child for the college transition and challenges you may encounter.

Once you are on the field, the TCK Office sends a resource packet at the beginning of each calendar year to junior/senior high school students. The packet provides detailed information about college prep, financial aid, choosing a college, and leaving your country well.

This section provides a suggested college-prep timeline for high school students. If your child is close to 11th or 12th grade as you prepare to go overseas, try to do as many of these things in the U.S. before you leave for the field. No matter where you live, you want to be sure your TCK has enough credits and electives to apply to the college of his/her choice (see sample credit requirements). The goal is to finish high school well so your child is prepared for a college or work transition.

Sample of High School Graduation Requirements

 

Missouri Graduation Requirements by Units of Credit

Missouri Dept of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Minimum Graduation RequirementsTwo Institutions-One Goal:
Prepare Students for Success
MO Coordinating Board for Higher Education’s Recommended
High School Course Work
SubjectUnits of CreditAdditional RequirementsAdditional Guidance for Successful PreparationSubjectUnits of Credit
English Language Arts4 credits  English Language Arts4 credits
Mathematics3 credits Students who take a 4th yr of math are often more successful in completing college-level math (MDHE).Mathematics4 credits
Social Studies3 credits*Passing of the U.S. and MO Constitutions
*Passing of an American Civics exam
Social Studies coursework should emphasize American history, MO government, and MO history as a required state statute.Social Studies3 credits
Science3 credits Biology, Chemistry, and Physics with at least one lab class is strongly recommended.Science3 credits
Fine Arts1 credit  Fine Arts1 credit
Physical Education1 credit*30 minutes of cardio-pulmonary resuscitation instruction and training in proper performance of Heimlich maneuver or other first aid for choking. Physical Education**1 credit
Practical Arts1 credit  Practical Arts**1 credit
Health1/2 credit  Health**1/2 credit
Personal Finance1/2 credit  Personal Finance**1/2 credit
Electives7 credits MDHE strongly recommends two units of credit in a single foreign language.Electives6 credits
TOTAL:24 credits  Total:24 credits

*See Appendix A for Statutory Requirements

**These are additional DESE requirements

Go to this website for additional MO Graduation Requirements and Info:

https://dese.mo.gov/content/graduation-requirements-how-many-credits-does-student-need-graduate

Freshman Year:

  • Investigate graduation plans
  • 4-year plan course work
  • Investigate colleges/universities – majors, location, size, cost, etc.
  • Volunteer or do community work or extra-curricular activities for college resume
  • Participate in Athletics/intramural, team sports for college resume
  • Memorize social security number
  • Check transcript for high school courses needed to graduate

Sophomore Year:

  • Get a part-time job if possible
  • Take the PSAT in October for practice
  • Review your 4-year plan, increase challenges if necessary (GPA, rank-check, extra-curricular activities, etc.)
  • Review finances with parents
  • Narrow down potential colleges/universities
  • Attend college days/open houses at potential college/university whenever possible
  • Look at potential college websites, request catalogues/information
  • Arrange for summer visits to college financial aid offices
  • Increase participation in extra-curricular activities and community work, especially during summer
  • Visit your school counselor to discuss college/career options

Junior Year:

  • Attend college days at potential college/university, visit Financial Aid office
  • Review your 4-year plan and coursework, increase challenges if necessary, investigate AP classes, GPA ranking, and dual credit options
  • Research scholarship opportunities
  • Visit your school counselor to discuss college/career options

Summer–October

  • Get a part-time job if possible
  • Self-evaluation: consider your personality, interests, values, abilities, spiritual direction
  • Discuss college options with parents/teachers, visit colleges if possible
  • Take the PSAT in October for scholarship monies
  • Begin driver’s ed classes or work part-time job to save money for college

September–November

  • Begin college search
  • Prepare for SAT or ACT
  • Check admissions requirements of potential colleges; know which test they accept (most accept either SAT or ACT)
  • Study SAT/ACT prep material to determine which testing format you prefer
  • Improve weak areas in the PSAT to prepare for the SAT/ACT
  • Register for May or June SAT/ACT

December

  • Request information/applications from potential colleges
  • Narrow down college preference list
  • Study admissions standards of preferred colleges

March–May

  • Select difficult courses for your high school senior year
  • Take SAT I, II (if required by college), ACT in Spring

Summer

  • Visit preferred colleges if possible
  • Prepare resume of accomplishments, activities, work experience, etc.
  • Prepare essay of life-long learning intentions and why these are your goals

Senior Year:

  • Continue job
  • Research/apply for all applicable scholarships and turn in by required deadlines
  • Parents: Save income tax information in December, apply for FAFSA on January 1
  • Parents: Should receive SAR report by March, if not, contact FAFSA center
  • Order/send 2nd trimester transcript to send to prospective college(s)
  • Register for any summer classes needed and transfer credits

September

  • Attend college fairs online or in person
  • Narrow down list of preferred colleges
  • Investigate scholarship opportunities
  • Perfect and update college essays
  • Ask counselor/teachers for recommendation letters, order transcripts
  • Register online for the October and November SAT I and II or ACT

October

  • Fill out college applications, concentrating on essays. Note deadlines for essays.
  • Turn in all college applications/essays by November 1
  • Request letters of recommendation from teachers and others.
  • Send SAT/ACT test scores to at least four or more preferred colleges

November

  • Talk about college financing, i.e. work-study, grants, parent plus loans, etc.

December

  • Complete applications to meet January 1 deadlines. Keep copies of each college application.

January-February

  • Complete and submit college applications to meet February 1 deadlines.
  • Submit FASFA as soon as possible after January 1, but before the June 30 deadline. Keep copies of everything submitted to colleges.
  • Continue scholarship searches

March-April

  • Most colleges notify students of admissions decisions during these months.
  • Make decisions between colleges to which you’ve been accepted—weigh annual cost of college and scholarships offered for different colleges
  • Respond by letter to all schools accepting or declining their offer(s)

May-June

  • Graduate high school
  • Prepare for the transition to college life away from your parents

Information from www.ibo.org.

History

The International Baccalaureate® (IB) was founded in Geneva, Switzerland in 1968 as a nonprofit educational foundation. A group of talented, forward-thinking teachers at the International School of Geneva, with assistance from several other international schools, created the IB Diploma Program. What started life as a single program for internationally mobile students preparing for university, has today grown into three programs for students aged 3 to 19.

The program in the early days consisted of a common pre-university curriculum and a common set of external examinations for students in schools throughout the world, seeking to provide students with a truly international education. Although the first IB schools were predominantly private international schools, they included a very small number of private national institutions and schools belonging to state education departments. This has changed over the years and today over half of all IB World Schools (authorized to offer one or more of our programs) are state schools.

Although the first IB schools were predominantly private international schools, today over half of all IB World Schools are state schools. Carrying forward the ideals and dreams of the IB founders, the organization exists to provide high quality education for a better world, as expressed in our mission statement. IB programs continue to encourage this international-mindedness in students and educators through the IB learner profile—a set of values that represent our mission and principles.

About IB

The International Baccalaureate® (IB) offers high quality programs of international education to a worldwide community of schools. Our three programs for students aged 3 to 19 help develop the intellectual, personal, emotional, and social skills to live, learn, and work in a rapidly globalizing world. There are more than 854,000 IB students at 3,033 schools in 139 countries.

Mission and Strategy

The International Baccalaureate® (IB) is more than its three educational programs. At our heart, we are motivated by a mission to create a better world through education. We value our hard-earned reputation for quality, for high standards and for pedagogical leadership. We achieve our goals by working with partners and by actively involving our stakeholders, particularly teachers. We promote intercultural understanding and respect, not as an alternative to a sense of cultural and national identity, but as an essential part of life in the 21st century. All of this is captured in our mission statement.

The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable, and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. To this end the organization works with schools, governments, and international organizations to develop challenging programs of international education and rigorous assessment. These programs encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate, and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.

www.princetonreview.com/college-advice/ap-classes

Why take an Advanced Placement class? After all, high school is a pressure cooker. You already have to take the SAT, apply to college, and keep up with your extracurriculars. The last thing you may want to do is take a very demanding course, especially one that’s not mandatory. But we recommend you consider it. Here are five ways AP classes can be a smart choice.

  1. Prep for college

AP classes can be as challenging as introductory college courses. They are fast-paced, cover more material than regular classes, and require independent work like research and analysis. Getting a dose of a college-level curriculum early on could ease your transition from high school senior to first-year college student.

  1. Rise to the top of the pile

Advanced Placement classes show admissions officers that you’re ready for college-level work. Admissions counselors consistently tell us that good grades and academic rigor are the most important factors when schools evaluate applications. Even over standardized test scores!

  1. Strengthen your transcript

Many high schools give extra weight to AP grades when calculating your GPA. Taking an AP class and getting a B is often a better choice than getting an A in a regular course.

  1. Study what you love

There are 38 AP subjects from computer science to Japanese language and culture, although your high school may only offer some of these. If you’re a science whiz, AP Biology or AP Chemistry may give you the extra challenge you crave. If you’re the next Ernest Hemingway, head to AP English. Choosing a subject you’re interested in, or have had previous success in, will help you commit to the workload.

  1. Get a head start on college reqs (and save some tuition dollars)

Taking an AP class is great prep for the acing the corresponding AP test. Held every May, AP tests are scored on a scale from 1–5. If your college offers AP credit, a score of a 4 or higher could allow you to earn college credits without paying college tuition. Some students are able to skip the entire first year of college this way, thus cutting the entire cost of their college education by one quarter.

AP Classes: The Bottom Line

AP classes can boost your GPA and strengthen your college application. But the number of advanced courses you choose to take should depend on your academic interests and your schedule.

AP and Advanced Placement Program are trademarks registered and owned by the College Board, which is not affiliated with, and does not endorse, this product.

10 Reasons You Should Take A Gap Year

By Suzy Strutner Lifestyle Editor, HuffPost

Original Posting 1/30/2013, Updated May 24, 2016

www.huffingtonpost.com/2016/05/01/gap-year_n_4325969.html

With the recent news that Malia Obama will take a gap year before her freshman year at Harvard, the world will surely watch with anticipation to learn how she will spend the 365 days between high school and college.

While it’s not common in the U.S., taking a gap year is considered the norm in some countries all over the world, including the United Kingdom and Australia. Many colleges and universities in the U.S. not only accept applicants who choose to take gap years, but also actively encourage enrolled students to study abroad during their college tenures. According to study abroad organization CIEE, Harvard College has seen a 33 percent increase in the number of their incoming students taking gap years.

That might be due, in part, to the school’s acceptance letters. According to U.S. News & World Report, acceptance letters from Harvard even suggest that students might want to take time off before they enroll.

Taking a gap year between high school and college can be tremendously beneficial to one’s personal growth, whether one decides on enrolling in a structured gap year program, spend time volunteering abroad or simply traveling the world. Regardless, taking a gap year means that you’re living life to the fullest. Here are 10 reasons why.

  1. You’ll perform better in college.
    Students might worry that college admissions officials or professors will look down on them for taking a gap year. This isn’t true: many schools report that gap year students have higher GPAs and are more involved on campus, so their attitudes toward gap years are far from unfavorable.
  1. You’ll realize what you love before you start studying.
    More often than not, college students commit themselves to one area of study, realize it’s not for them, and then swap to a completely different major…often two or three times. You’ll cut down on coursework, tuition bills and stress if you take time before college to decide how you want to spend your academic experience before you get there.
  1. You’ll get to adventure at your prime.
    When else are you going to be 18 years old with no job, no mortgage payments, no significant other, no kids, no homework and no worries? Never. The answer is never.
  1. You’ll know what’s important in life before most people do.
    College is ridiculously fun, but it’s easy to get so caught up that you begin to believe your fraternity or friend group is the absolute center of the universe. As such, any small crisis might seem like the end of the world. However, if you’ve traveled the wider world in all its complexity and glory, you’ll understand there are bigger issues for humanity than a failed date night or lost game.
  1. You’ll be an expert at adapting to new places.
    On a gap year, you’ll be forced to integrate into a new society, a new group of friends, and maybe even new languages or cultural norms. College requires similar adaptation skills, and you’ll be much more prepared to handle it if you’ve already shifted societies once before.
  1. You’ll have something to talk about.
    Skip the same old “Where are you from?” and “What’s your major?” chitchat, and nail the “What’d you do this summer?” question with stories from your gap year. You’ll have first-hand opinions to share about people, places and ideas that your peers might have never even heard of.
  1. You’ll have a shinier resume.
    Oftentimes, a gap year involves staying in one spot and soaking up its culture, part of which means getting a job. No matter where you work — a sandwich stand in India or the embassy in London — you’ll have valuable (international!) experience for your resume and can explain your ability to do business with customers from different cultures. If you travel on the cheap, you might even have some earnings left to use on college tuition.
  1. You’ll pick up the pieces you missed in high school.
    Slept through every Spanish class? Head to Argentina for your gap year, where you’ll be forced to speak the language every day. Wish you knew more history? Spend time touring government buildings in Europe. A gap year is your time to refine the specific skills you feel like you’re lacking and sharpen them up for college.
  1. You’ll have time to think.
    Life feels like it’s unfolding fast right now, and in college, things only move faster. Give yourself room to think and breathe and be on long train rides from country to country or in days spent strolling through new towns. You’ll be surprised where your mind wanders when you give it free rein.
  1. You’ll make new friends.
    How cool would it be to go through life knowing you have a best friend in Italy or a pen pal in New Zealand? Their unique perspectives on life will hugely enrich yours as you compare all the major events that happen in your 20s and beyond. Plus, you’ll have crazy awesome places to visit during college breaks.

Excerpts Taken From: The Top 10 Benefits of Earning Dual Credit this Year

By Becky Muldrow & the Dual Credit at Home Team

dualcreditathome.com/2016/08/top-10-benefits-earning-dual-credit-year/

Wondering if earning dual credit should be part of your educational plan this year? Dual credit programs are a great way for high school students to get a head start on their college education, enabling them to earn high school and college credits at the same time.

  1. Dual credit options provide a significant cost savings over a traditional college education. The cost of a college education has skyrocketed in recent years, making it harder and harder for students and families to afford the tuition of a four-year college program. Dual credit options offer a huge savings, enabling students to earn college credits without enrolling in a full-time college degree program.
  1. High school students can begin their college education earlier. Many students who complete dual credit programs in high school are able to earn a college degree while they are still teenagers.
  1. Students study high school subjects at a more advanced, college level. Instead of studying general education subjects in high school and then studying them again in college, students can earn college credits for studying high school subjects at a more advanced level.
  1. The transition from high school to college is easier for most students who earn dual credit. Dual credit students learn valuable skills that help them transition from high school to college. They work independently, learn important research and test-taking skills, and become expert note-takers.
  1. Students can explore their academic interests in-depth before entering college. Exploring college-level classes while still in high school will give students an opportunity to discover new academic interests before entering college.
  1. Earn college credits without exposure to some of the negative aspects of life on campus. College life isn’t for everyone—at least not all aspects of college life. For many, the typical antics that take place on a college campus are a huge turn-off. Dual Credit at Home allows students to avoid some of these aspects of college life and focus entirely on their studies.
  1. If you choose to enter college after completing a dual credit program you can take advantage of freshmen scholarships. It’s no secret that the majority of college scholarships are available to incoming freshmen, not transfer students. By choosing the dual credit option while still in high school, you can earn college credits, but still be classified as a freshman for scholarships and financial aid.

Created by Bethanie Skipper, M.Ed.

These exams are general prerequisites in applying for college/university in the U.S. It is important early on in high school to familiarize yourself with the differences. Typically, students take the practice in their sophomore year and then start the spring of their junior year with administration. Here is a breakdown of both exams.

Highest Score160036
National Average106021
How long does it take to complete entire test?

3 hours plus

50-minute essay (optional)

2 hours and 55 minutes plus

40-minute essay (optional)

What subjects are included in the test?

Reading: 65 mins

Writing and Language: 35 mins

Math No Calculator: 25 mins

Math Calculator: 55 mins

Essay (optional): 50 mins

English: 45 mins

Math: 60 mins

Reading: 35 mins

Science: 35 mins

Writing (optional): 40 mins

What is the total # of questions?154215
What is different between two tests?

Vocabulary, Reason, and Logic.

Science section is not included.

Based on courses taught in school.

Science section is included.

Where can I get more information?

 

www.collegeboard.orgwww.act.org
When are the tests offered?August, October, November, December, March, May, and JuneSeptember, October, December, February, April, June, and July
When should I register?At least 4 weeks before the test dateAt least 5 weeks before the test date

SAT College Board

sat.collegeboard.com
Provides information about locations and registration for the SAT. Also provides test taking tips and other resources regarding the SAT.

 

ACT

www.act.org/
Information on the ACT test, registration, test prep, scores, etc.

Most families are not able to pay fully for a TCK’s college education. However, there are a lot of resources available for financial aid for college students. The following information is provided to help you make financial decisions regarding college education.

Private Sources

  • Funds awarded through corporations, unions, religious or civic groups, etc.
  • There are many organizations who give financial aid specifically to the international community. A quick search on the internet can lead to many scholarships that an TCK may be eligible for.

Colleges/ Universities

  • Some colleges give discounts to TCKs. Nearly all AG Institutions offer some discount to TCKs (see AG Colleges below), and many other non-AG schools may give discounts as well.
  • Academic, athletic, and music scholarships are also available – contact the school to learn how to qualify.
  • Work opportunities on campus can be used to fund education.
  • Some schools even offer their own low-interest loans

State Government

  • Most state aid is available through merit scholarships, grants, or work study.
  • Contact the college’s financial aid office, public libraries, or the state’s department of higher education office for more information.

Federal Government

The Federal government has several different types of financial aid programs.

Scholarships & Grants (see FAFSA below)

  • Grants are a type of financial aid that does not have to be repaid. The amount of the grant is based on need, cost of attendance, and enrollment status.
  • Pell Grant offers a maximum of $5,500 each year
  • The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) for undergraduate students offers $100 to $4,000 a year possible grant. Pell Grant recipients with the lowest expected family contributions (EFCs) will be considered first for the FSEOG.
  • The Hope Scholarship and Lifetime Learning Credit are tax credits rather than scholarships, but they can save tax money each year for attending college.

Loans

Loans are borrowed money that must be repaid with interest. Parents may also borrow to pay education expenses for dependent students.

  • Federal Perkins Loan Program
    • Undergraduate students can receive up to $4,000 a year
    • Repayment of the loan begins nine months after graduation or change of school schedule to part-time student. Some post-graduation occupations may reduce or cancel the repayment (such as teachers in low income areas.)
  • Parent’s Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)
  • PLUS loans can be taken out by parents of students
  • Repayment begins within 60 days of final loan disbursement for the year.
  • Stafford Loan – Used to make up any remaining need for tuition costs
  • Government pays the interest while the student is in school full-time
  • Repayment begins six months after graduation
  • Both PLUS and Stafford loans can be subsidized (no interest charged until repayment begins) or unsubsidized (interest charged immediately)

Student Employment – Federal Work-study Program

The Federal Work-Study Program pays an hourly wage for on-campus work during the school year to help pay for education expenses. Eligibility is determined by financial need.

AG COLLEGES

ag.org/Higher-Education
Links to all AG colleges. Request a free college guide, answer questions about why a student should attend an AG school, and more. Most AG colleges/universities offer discounts or grants for AG TCKs. Check with individual schools for the discounts/grants offered.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

www.fafsa.ed.gov
To apply for federal student financial aid, and state student aid programs, students must complete a FAFSA. The FAFSA will determine if student is eligible for financial aid. Important Things to Remember about your FAFSA application:

  • Information is for the 2018 – 2019 school year.
  • The Federal Aid Deadline for the 2018 – 2019 academic year is midnight Central Time June 30, 2019 – no matter what state you live in. This includes online FAFSA applications.
  • State deadlines may be earlier than the federal deadline and do not replace filling out the FAFSA. You must fill out the FAFSA to receive federal student aid. In all cases, it’s best to apply early before funds run out.

Scholarship Search Engines


Additional Scholarship Sites/Application Essay Helps/Career Inventories:

International Baccalaureate (IB)

www.ibo.org/
IB offers three programs of international education from early childhood to pre-university age. Site offers search engine for each program and schools who offer IB programs in countries around the world.

 

Newsweek Education

www.newsweek.com/education
Current articles, links, and resources on education topics from around the world.

 

The Princeton Review

www.princetonreview.com
For more than 35 years, students and their families have trusted The Princeton Review to help them get into their dream schools. Mission is to provide personalized, innovative, best-in-class private tutoring, test prep, and admission products and services to help students knock down barriers and achieve their academic goals.