What is Distance Learning?

Student in an airstream on the beach working on Oak Meadow school

Oak Meadow has been a resource for independent homeschooling families for over 45 years. But did you know that Oak Meadow is also an accredited distance learning school?

About Our Accredited Distance Learning Program

Oak Meadow is an internationally accredited distance learning institution that provides full academic credit to enrolled students. We have a full-time registrar who ensures that all records are complete and meet current standards. Our students receive academic transcripts and can earn a high school diploma from Oak Meadow School. The thorough documentation we provide has helped many students make the transition to more traditional secondary and/or post-secondary schools.

The Role of Oak Meadow Teachers

Distance Learning at Oak Meadow means that enrolled students (and parents) have an ongoing relationship with one or more experienced Oak Meadow teachers, who guide them through the year. On a regular basis, students submit academic work to their teacher, who provides feedback, evaluation, and support for their progress through the year’s lessons.

In the elementary grades, students work with one teacher for all subjects. Often, it is possible to remain with the same teacher for multiple years. In high school, Oak Meadow teachers specialize by subject but often collaborate to understand the most effective approach for students they have in common.

Most teachers and students do not meet in person, but they get to know each other well through letters, photos, emails, phone conversations, and video calls. Distance learning allows teachers to work easily with students around the world.

Oak Meadow distance learning students studying abroad in Peru

The Role of the Home Teacher

Oak Meadow encourages independent thinking through supported learning. Oak Meadow parents (and sometimes other caregivers) are essential in their role as home teachers. Being successful with Oak Meadow requires the loving involvement of a home teacher. Students may work independently according to their ability. However, the home teacher should always be present and available to help support the student in their learning.

The home teacher is also the critical link between Oak Meadow teachers and their students, especially in the elementary grades. It is essential for parents to communicate well with the Oak Meadow teacher about the student’s needs throughout the year. With good communication that fosters a clear understanding of the student’s needs, Oak Meadow teachers can adapt curriculum and assignment expectations to better fit an individual student’s strengths and weaknesses.

It is the home teacher’s responsibility to maintain an ongoing connection with the Oak Meadow teacher. Home teachers work closely with their children to help them stay organized, understand their lessons, and complete work within the expected time frame. They also help their students understand and incorporate their Oak Meadow teacher’s feedback.

Benefits of Distance Learning

An Effective, Book-Based Education

Oak Meadow believes in delivering a dynamic, engaging, and well-rounded education to all students. In order to achieve this, we’ve made a deliberate choice not to be an ‘online school’ in the traditional sense.  Research shows that learning from screens can diminish overall comprehension, reduce attention span, and lower executive functioning skills. While students and teachers connect virtually and use online resources to supplement learning, students generally work with book-based curriculum materials to help students engage more effectively with the course material.

Satisfying State Requirements

In some areas, homeschoolers struggle to satisfy strict state requirements regarding the content and/or delivery of education. But generally, departments of education accept enrollment in an accredited distance learning school as the educational equivalent of independent or private school enrollment. This makes it much easier to file the necessary documentation for homeschooling. (Check with your local school district or Department of Education for more information on the requirements that apply to your situation.)

Counseling Services

Oak Meadow’s faculty and staff meet regularly and work together to meet the needs of enrolled families. Our enrolled high school students enjoy the benefits of our staff guidance counselor, Keri Arsenault, who is available for support services. We also have a college counseling program for students who are interested in pursuing post-secondary education.

The Oak Meadow Community

Building a community while schooling at home can take a lot of effort. But when you enroll in Oak Meadow distance learning school, you gain access to other families who share your experiences. Parents and students connect with one another through attending teacher-led workshops, book clubs, and art classes. Our staff also hosts monthly gatherings on topics relevant to distance learning families.

The structure, connection, and support provided by Oak Meadow’s distance learning program make learning at home possible for some students and families who might not otherwise homeschool. Distance learning with Oak Meadow allows families to enjoy a highly-regarded, accredited education with the help of supportive teachers — at home or on the road.

Keep Learning…