Umbrella/Cover Schools
An umbrella or cover school provides an alternative way for parents to fulfill governmental educational guidelines and requirements. Most offer a variety of services, which can include curricula, social activities, field trips, standardized testing, portfolio reviews, evaluations, and graduation materials, including diplomas. While umbrella schools do tend to the needs of homeschoolers, they are considered a type of private school in most states.
What is an Umbrella or Cover School?
Why an Umbrella School?

This forum discussion gives reasons why some families choose the option of a homeschool umbrella school. 

Umbrella Schools - Pros and Cons

This forum discussion goes over the pros and cons of using an umbrella school. In some states, there is a requirement for homeschoolers to register with an organization, and umbrella or cover schools offer this. 

What Are Homeschool Umbrella Schools?

An umbrella school is a homeschooling “school” that oversees the high schoolers’ education. Different states have different names for umbrella schools.

What is an Umbrella School?

An umbrella school is an entity, typically considered a private school, which serves to oversee homeschooling families and help them meet the requirements of their state’s homeschooling laws. Sometimes the umbrella school is an actual physical private school with which homeschooling families can partner. In other cases, an umbrella school is more of an organization established to help homeschoolers comply with the law.

Umbrella School: Why You Should Homeschool with an Umbrella School

An umbrella school is generally a private school which has an option available for homeschooling. An umbrella school has students which actually attend the private school, as well as students who are registered as homeschoolers.

What is an Umbrella School?

There is no universal definition for an umbrella (or cover) school because home education laws vary from state to state. In some states, homeschoolers can get some level of support and legal protection for their home education program. Umbrella schools typically provide legal legitimacy to a family's home education program, maintain attendance records, host field trips and activities, and more. 

The Perks of an Umbrella School vs. Remaining Independent

At one time or another, many homeschool families examine the possibility of enrolling in an umbrella or cyber school. An umbrella school is a homeschool program operated by public charter schools or directly by regular public schools. 

Learn How a Homeschool Umbrella School Works: Is It Right For You?

A homeschool umbrella school is an independent school that offers enrolled families a way to comply with state laws. In most circumstances, these schools offer families a chance to homeschool under private school laws, where they may find much more freedom from intervention than following homeschooling regulations individually. These types of schools can be set up as a local organization, or as a distance or online school. In some states, legal homeschooling may only be done through an umbrella or cover school, while in other states, umbrella schools can offer benefits to homeschooling families, but are not required by state law.

Umbrella and Cover Schools in Oregon
West River Academy
West River Academy is a fully accredited independent private school in Colorado designed for families who desire the benefits of private school enrollment but minimal oversight over their educational activities. Families may follow the curriculum and/or learning style of their choice, or may receive assistance from us in designing or choosing a program that fits their needs. Grading of students is optional and if desired, it is done by the parents. West River Academy enrolls students of all ages, including adults who would like to earn their high school diplomas. They are fully accredited by the National Association for the Legal Support of Alternative Schools (NALSAS). Note that West River Academy caters to unschoolers.
Looking for Another State?
Featured Resources

As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links on this site.

For the Good of the Earth and Sun: Teaching Poetry
For the Good of the Earth and Sun is for teachers at all levels, especially for those teachers who feel anxious about introducing poetry to students. Georgia Heard offers a method of teaching poetry that respects the intelligence of students and teachers and that can build upon their basic originality. She explores poetry from the inside as it is: a powerful and necessary way of looking at the world, and one of mankind's most durable inventions. Her book provides detailed, organized information ...
Pocketful of Pinecones: Nature Study With the Gentle Art of Learning : A Story for Mother Culture
Karen Andreola, renowned interpreter of the Charlotte Mason method of education, has written a unique sort of book in the homeschool world. Pocketful of Pinecones is a teacher s guide the nature study cleverly disguised as a heartwarming story written in the form of a mother s diary. Woven into the story are: More than 100 examples of what to look for on a nature walk, Latin names for the living things to observed by the characters, study questions, nature poems and verses. Other features includ...
A Little Way of Homeschooling
This book is a compilation of the experiences of 13 different homeschoolers and how they incorporated an unschooling style of teaching in their homes. This book addresses the question of whether a Catholic can happily and successfully unschool. This home education approach is presented as a sensible way to access the mystery of learning, in which it operates not as an ideology in competition with the Catholic faith, but rather a flexible and individual homeschooling path. 
Dr. Montessori's Own Handbook
A short, illustrated guide to the use of Montessori classroom materials. Describes how to set up a "children's house" - an environment for learning where children can be their own masters.
Montessori Life
Designed to provoke thought, professional growth and provide a forum for discussion of major issues & ideas in education.