General FAQs

Financial aid

Oak Meadow is committed to doing everything possible to offer families an affordable independent education. While we do our best to keep our prices reasonable, we understand that the cost of tuition or curricular materials may be a financial burden for some families.

For families who enroll in Oak Meadow School, tuition assistance is available in the form of a payment plan that allows payments to be spread over time. We also offer a sibling discount for families enrolling more than one child, and a military discount for active service members and veterans (this military discount extends to curriculum purchases as well). Details about these programs are found on the tuition page. We also offer a couple of discount periods each year; typically, these are offered in February and May.

Families who plan to purchase curriculum to use independently may choose to spread out their purchases over time to make budgeting for curriculum easier, or use our new PayPal credit financing option. Books can be purchased one at a time through our online bookstore, and since books can be used year after year for siblings, the costs often average out to be very affordable. However, this does incur additional shipping charges. Used and “seconds” Oak Meadow books can often be found on eBay, as well online groups on Facebook and other platforms where you can buy and sell used Oak Meadow curriculum.

Military discount

Oak Meadow is pleased to offer a 10 percent discount to all active military service members and veterans. The military discount is valid for all curriculum and bookstore purchases, as well as enrollment tuition. Proof of military status is required.

In order to receive the discount for bookstore purchases, active service members must provide a current pay stub (with all financial information blacked out) and contact information for a commanding officer; veterans may submit form DD214. Please scan and email the documentation to info@oakmeadow.com. Once received, Oak Meadow will send you a coupon code (VALID FOR 14 DAYS). This military discount cannot be used in combination with sales or other discounts.

Secular or faith-based?

Oak Meadow is one of the few providers of secular (non-religious) homeschooling curriculum on the market. Many families come to us because they are looking for an alternative to the many faith-based programs that are available. Our curriculum is creative, hands-on, and rigorous, with many nature-based projects in the early grades, and a wide variety of engaging assignments and projects in every grade from K-12.

Families may choose to supplement our materials with additional lessons in order to incorporate spiritual education into their homeschooling day. Oak Meadow supports the freedom of parents to choose the best way to support their child’s religious and spiritual education.

Our science materials focus on a scientific and observational approach to phenomena, and encourage critical thinking and analysis. Our high school environmental science course covers natural selection, and the high school biology course covers natural selection and evolution. Some families skip the evolution studies, but most choose to present this information to help their students understand mainstream scientific theory, whether or not they agree with it.

Educational philosophy

Our educational philosophy is built on strong academic standards with an understanding of the needs of the developing individual. We focus on both developing a strong intellect, and on engaging students artistically and experientially. We ask them to reason and write, to paint, sing, build, act, and draw. Our lessons are designed to harness the imagination and challenge the mind. Oak Meadow understands that students learn in many different ways, some by doing, others by listening, still others by seeing or reading. Because our curriculum is designed to effectively address a variety of learning styles, children are able to engage fully with the materials, learn successfully, and enjoy the learning process. Our goal is not simply to provide factual information, but also to inspire your child to learn and thrive.

Oak Meadow’s approach to learning reflects and honors the developmental stages of childhood. Young children learn by doing, so our lessons in the early years place a great emphasis on experiential learning with activities that will involve the student through action and imagination. We actively engage student in the 2nd and 3rd grades by encouraging learning through the use of stories that unite fact with rich description and colorful detail, and that present inspiring role models through the study of noteworthy individuals. The middle school and high school years offer experiential learning while introducing even greater intellectual challenges as students learn to discern and integrate information, and eventually decide for themselves what resonates as truth. This careful approach helps our students develop into intelligent and capable life-long learners.

Our curriculum is developed around accredited academic guidelines and is written to cover the full range of subjects for each grade level. We have thoroughly studied state standards nationwide and have developed a curriculum that is in line with rigorous standards, while still maintaining our commitment to a creative, innovative and child-centered education. Our experienced faculty are involved with revising and updating our curriculum based on best practices in teaching, and we regularly add new high school courses to give students more varied educational choices. See our grade level pages for K-4, 5-8, and our high school course descriptions for more information.

No standardized testing

“Teaching to the test”–using curriculum for test preparation where the primary goal is getting a high score on a standardized test–is not a concept that Oak Meadow supports pedagogically. As professional educators, we question the value of curriculum that is aimed at preparing for a test rather than preparing for life. As a private school funded solely by tuition, Oak Meadow School is free from public funding constraints, which often require standardized testing. Thus, we can focus our energies on providing students a meaningful, appropriate education that is based on best practices, not on best test scores.

We respect and honor those parents who would like their children to take standardized tests, and suggest they contact their local school district to arrange test taking if desired (or required by their state). Most Oak Meadow high school students take college entrance exams, and these are arranged individually through the College Board. It is interesting to note that homeschoolers, many of whom have never taken a standardized test before, tend to score above their public school peers on these exams, despite the latter’s being regularly exposed to tests and test prep.

While test-taking skills are good to learn, we believe that allowing students to demonstrate their knowledge of curriculum material in a wide variety of ways leads to more meaningful and memorable learning. Since different regions of the country, and different countries, use different standardized tests, it would be impossible for Oak Meadow curriculum to cover all the material for tests nationwide in any given grade.

Technology and Oak Meadow

While Oak Meadow is primarily a print-based curriculum (you get a box of books in the mail), enrolled students and families utilize technology for communication, collaboration, creativity and community. We value the developmental growth that springs from the printed page, yet acknowledge the power of technology as a tool for connection.

Enrolled students in grades 7-12 work within the Oak Meadow domain, using Google Apps for Education. Teachers provide class syllabi via Google Docs, and students submit assignments, questions, and feedback on Docs and email.  Oak Meadow maintains some social media groupings for students to connect with one another, and there are non-Oak Meadow sponsored groups for families as well.

In the lower grades, faculty may convene sessions with parents, students, or groups interested in a particular topic. Most families submit work electronically, but other arrangements can be made, if necessary.

Print books vs. online learning

Oak Meadow is primarily a print-based curriculum for many reasons (read more). Print-based learning offers students the opportunity to develop solid study skills, such as active reading and careful note taking. With a book, students can easily underline important passages, highlight details, write notes in the margins, and flag the pages to make review and essay writing more efficient and effective. Working with printed materials also allows students screen-free time, and eliminates the distractions that so often come with online learning. Also, books are highly portable and our students can study anywhere, regardless of access to the internet or technology.

However, we also recognize the benefits that technology offers and the necessity of computer literacy, so we thoughtfully incorporate technology into our distance learning school. Students in grades 7-12 are assigned a secure Oak Meadow school email account which allows them to work within our domain, using Google Apps for Education. Students are able to share work online with their Oak Meadow teachers and receive comments and responses within the document. Students are able to connect with other Oak Meadow students through email forums, and share creative endeavors on our Student Arts Blog. Students are still learning from books but are also using technology to make connections with students and teachers, and further enhance their learning experience.

Independent use vs. enrollment?

Independent homeschool by purchasing the curriculum: You will be responsible for registering with your school district or state Department of Education (DOE) as a homeschooler and satisfying state requirements for reporting your progress. Every state is different, so we recommend you research guidelines in your state and district. You can see complete descriptions of our materials by visiting our online Bookstore. For those who are using our curriculum on their own but occasionally need some guidance, our Homeschool Support (available on our Bookstore) lets you consult with an experienced teacher when you need help.

Enrollment in our school: Students who enroll in our accredited distance learning school are still learning at home, but they earn official school credit while enjoying on-going support and guidance from an experienced teacher. Students often work with the same teacher over the course of many years, and students are motivated and inspired by this mentor relationship as they develop their skills. As the parent, you will also enjoy this support! Having someone to discuss your child’s progress with and evaluate your child’s work is helpful to many parents. You will have access to your teacher, via email, phone and video chat, whenever you have questions, concerns or just need some new ideas and inspiration. In addition, enrolling your children in Oak Meadow School may eliminate the need for you to file as a homeschooler with your state.

Upon enrollment, we provide you a dated Verification of Enrollment document. Please consult your local Department of Education or school district regarding local/state laws and distance learning regulations; they may require a copy of your Verification of Enrollment. You can view information about our tuition fees and payment options, as well as our enrollment withdrawal/refund and Bookstore return policies on our website. Enrolling in Oak Meadow is easy and our educational counselors will be happy to answer any questions you have about the process. Contact us to learn more.

How is Oak Meadow Waldorf-based?

Many of our families cite our Waldorf influence as a special strength of Oak Meadow. While our approach adopts many aspects of Waldorf, we do not strictly adhere to Waldorf methodology, practices, or content areas. Oak Meadow co-founder and president Lawrence Williams was a Waldorf class teacher, and there is still a strong Waldorf influence in our curriculum, especially in the early grades. Students use Main Lessons Books, learn to knit and play the recorder, and learn their letters and numbers through stories. However, our curriculum has evolved over the years in response to the need to provide a standards-based curriculum that will satisfy homeschooling regulations across the country. Our K-12 curricula provides a very creative, experiential curriculum that is playful in the early grades, rigorous in the upper grades, and engaging for all students.

Families looking for a curriculum that adheres more closely to Waldorf principles, content, and sequence may want to consider using Christopherus or Live Education.

Learning challenges & special needs

Homeschooling allows many opportunities for families to tailor their child’s education to his or her unique learning abilities and needs. Our curriculum is designed with multiple learning styles in mind, and offers a variety of projects and assignments to choose from in each lesson. This helps students find ways to successfully engage with the material, which can build confidence and overcome obstacles to learning. As a homeschooling parent, you have the freedom to adapt and modify lessons as needed to help your child get the most out of the material without being overwhelmed. If you are enrolled with us, ask your teacher about modifying lessons or activities.

While our curriculum does not have specific recommendations for students with special needs, many families have used it successfully for children with all types of learning challenges. With its imaginative, artistic approach, the curriculum often sparks the interest of those who have struggled with their schooling in the past, and allows them to express themselves creatively while developing academic skills.

If you have specific questions about your child’s needs, please contact us.

Does the curriculum cover everything?

Yes! Whether you’re enrolled or using the curriculum independently, our books cover the four core academic subjects for the full year.

Grades K-8 can be purchased in the Bookstore as complete grade-level packages; they include everything you need for a full year- English language arts, math, science and social studies, (plus music, movement, health and arts for grades K-3).  Each K-8 Curriculum Package includes a coursebook with 36 weekly lessons (including content and assignments) for all subject areas, and all of the reading books for the literature curriculum. Teacher Manuals are included for grade 4-8, including math and science answer keys. Craft kits are available with the materials needed to complete the craft projects in the K-7 curriculum. Craft items can also be purchased separately.

Our high school courses can also be purchased on the Bookstore. There are not grade-level packages, but rather each course is available separately. Courses vary, but each will have a Coursebook, with perhaps a textbook, literature books or lab kits for science. When possible, we have put together course packages. Teacher Manuals are available for most of our high school courses; these are only for families using the curriculum independently. Enrolled students should contact their Oak Meadow teachers directly with questions.

We invite you to view our curriculum samples and grade pages or course descriptions for more information about our curriculum. In addition to selling complete curriculum packages, we also offer single subject materials for sale individually for those families who do not need a full grade level, or who want to mix and match grade levels in order to customize their child’s education.

With Oak Meadow, you can feel confident that you are providing a comprehensive, well-rounded education as well as a meaningful and enjoyable learning experience.

Support for independent homeschooling families

Complete curriculum for grades K-12: By purchasing our curriculum to use on your own, you can feel confident that you are providing your children with a well-rounded and academically complete education. Our curriculum is organized into 36 weekly lessons across all subject areas and follows accredited academic standards while encouraging a variety of learning styles and authentic engagement. Our curriculum can be used by itself or in combination with other materials as best suits your family.

Accredited distance learning school: For families who want the support of a teacher and official school records, we offer a fully accredited K-12 distance learning school. Students complete their work at home, under the supervision of a parent (or “home teacher”), and send it into their Oak Meadow teacher regularly for assessment and grading. Our dedicated, responsive teachers are experienced in providing encouragement and support for both students and parents. By enrolling in Oak Meadow School, you have the freedom and flexibility which comes from learning at home combined with teacher support and full academic credit.

Homeschooling Support Service: For K-8 homeschooling families who are not enrolled in our distance learning school but would like to benefit from the guidance of an experienced teacher, we offer our Homeschooling Support Service. For an hourly fee, you can enjoy personalized phone consultations with an Oak Meadow teacher. These conversations, which can be divided into fifteen minute or half hour segments and used over the course of one year, can provide the inspiration and support you need to have a successful homeschooling experience.

Tutoring and Executive Function Coaching: Many Oak Meadow teachers are available for tutoring and coaching. These services are arranged privately with the teacher.

Facebook: Our online community, accessed through our Facebook page, shares homeschooling tips and ideas, and celebrates the joys and challenges of homeschooling together. Through this fun, supportive, informative forum Oak Meadow offers excellent links to online resources for homeschoolers around the world.

Instagram: Such a fun way to find inspiration, motivation, and validation through photos!

Pinterest: The Oak Meadow Pinterest boards cover an extensive array of topics on education and parenting, as well as arts and project ideas. Since we are continually pinning and adding new boards, we invite you to visit frequently.

Living Education Journal: Our free journal, Living Education, is published three times a year and has been a source of information and inspiration for homeschoolers for decades. Both experienced homeschoolers and those new to the journey will find articles, crafts, samples of student work, student and family profiles, and news designed to enlighten and entertain. Available online.

K-8 resources: Our K-4 and 5-8 grade pages include detailed curriculum descriptions and grade overviews that list of the content covered in each subject in each grade. These overviews are helpful in determining correct grade placement, particularly if you have a student working at different grade levels in different subjects. The overviews can also be used when submitting a Letter of Intent to Homeschool to your state Department of Education.

High school resources: Our high school page includes a suggested course schedule for each grade, based on the graduation requirements for students enrolled in Oak Meadow High School.  Full descriptions of our high school courses are searchable by subject or grade level. Information about dual-enrollment, and tips on how to use the homeschooling or distance learning experience to your advantage in the college admissions process can all be found here.

College Counseling: For high school students planning to attend college, check out our college counseling page. There you will resources and links to useful sits, like FAFSA. Oak Meadow also offers a free webinar series about the college admission process. See dates an sign up here. We also have a free college admission guide that gives information on what to expect. Choosing courses and extracurricular activities that will prepare you for college and career begins long before the college application process does. The Guide also includes information on creating a portfolio, the Common App, college admissions exams, and more.

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