Homeschooling Question

United States
February 23, 2010 12:35pm CST
Does anyone here home school their kids? Lately I have been considering removing my children from public school and home schooling them. I am wondering exactly how this process works. I understand that the laws for homeschooling vary from state to state. I am also aware that the method of teaching most likely varies greatly from one family to another. Specifically, what I am wondering about is, when a child is home schooled, how is their progress verified? Let's say your home schooled child is at the 3rd grade level. How is this established or proved for public record? Do you take your kids some place where they are tested and the results recorded on some sort of public record every so often or what? I mean how is the school records of a child taught at home verified for purposes of entering college later on, or even re-entering public school, while still at the middle or high school level, later on, so that there is no question about what achievement/grade level, that child is at?
1 person likes this
10 responses
@Mady2791 (547)
• United States
24 Feb 10
I don't, and I don't plan to for various reasons. 1) Homeschooling would mean staying home for a very long period of time and possibly not making any income which is hard for families now days putting your life under a lot of stress. Meaning also you would have to cook almost every single day..TOO MUCH WORK. 2) Kids need time away from their parents for a while so socialize and learn to be a little more independent(emotionally, physically) so that by the time they go into the "real life" it's not a shock for them. Overprotecting your kids can have some drawbacks too. 3) Children tend to behave different with parents versus a teacher(which is not parent) when it comes learning. They are smart; they know their boundaries. They know that their teacher won't put up with their misbehavior as the parent would.
• United States
24 Feb 10
That's all well and good. Every family is different and what is right for one family is not right for all families. However, in my case: I am home all day anyway. I am a WAHM. I freelance write from home and make decent income at it. [i]"Meaning also you would have to cook almost every single day..TOO MUCH WORK." [/i].....I'm not sure I see your point there. I would have to cook everyday regardless. I don't overprotect my kids; the consideration of homeschooling has nothing to do with being overprotective, at least not for me. It has to do with the fact that 1. My youngest child learns differently than most children and where at school they can not use a different method from what they use to teach the rest of the class for him, if he was to be home schooled, this could be arranged. 2. I am not all impressed with most public schools lately as public education is not nearly at its best lately. '
• United States
24 Feb 10
Oh, and school is not the only place that children socialize and why would you assume that just because a child is home schooled that they don't get any time away from their parents, just wondering?
@Mady2791 (547)
• United States
24 Feb 10
Betsyraeduke: Your answer says it all: "I am a WAHM. I freelance write from home and make decent income at it. 1)You have some type of peace of mind money wise (I don't mean you are rich, we all need money regardless of working or not) so that's something less you have to worry about and you can focus on your stay at home parenting. 2)Now.. the 'cooking part' hehehe You are telling me that after a day of a) homeschooling your kids b) working your freelance writing job and c) doing miscellaneous housework/running errands etc...you STILL cook and WANT to cook everyday?? heheh You must be pulling my leg or something. 3) I know you mean well and you are not trying to overprotect your kids. I think it's important to be there everyday when they are still little(not school age). It's a time to be with mom to teach them things, build that special bond. When they reach school years I think we need to start cutting the umbilical cord little by little so that they can learn to be their own person. Facing the "real world" when you reach adulthood can be a little scary sometimes so I think it would be a little overwhelming for a child that has at home most of the time all her/his younger years. Also, in today's world success is not based only academically anymore, but also on your social skills and how you deal with all aspects of your life.
@jewels49 (1784)
• United States
24 Feb 10
In the state of Michigan you only need to file a form with the state that says you are homeschooling. There are alot of resources available to those of us that choose to do it. Everything can be found from lesson plans to materials, many of them free or low cost. As for testing for re-entry into middle or high school that varies state to state.
• United States
24 Feb 10
It's not that I want to know about testing solely for the purpose of re-entering public school, I was only using that as an example. I was wondering if home schooled children needed to be officially tested outside of the home each year in order to mark their progress for public record. Technically, parents could all claim that their child is doing great and that their progress is remarkable, rather or not that is the case, so I was wondering how the home schooled child's progress was officially verified.
@jewels49 (1784)
• United States
25 Feb 10
There are standardized tests for progress and for graduations.
• United States
21 Jul 10
I homeschool my children and have done so for 7 years. The homeschool laws vary from state to state. Here, all I have to do is turn in attendance and have my children tested every 3 years. I also have to keep school work in case it is needed and a progress report. I find that it is easier to homeschool because if your child is ready for the next level of one subject but not the others you can move them ahead. Likewise, if they are struggling with a subject you can spend more time in that area. My 3rd grader would just be starting 3rd grade this school term but has already started so is ahead. However, my 6th grader has trouble in math so is behind in that subject but right on track with the others.
• United States
21 Jul 10
I do know that the exact laws vary from state to state. But, to quote you, you said: "My 3rd grader would just be starting 3rd grade" and "my 6th grader has....." Now look at your first three words in each of those statements. My 3rd grader...My 6th grader...that is what my question has to do with specifically. When you home school, how do you know when they are in 3rd grade or 6th grade or 4th grade or whatever? How do you determine the grade level? Is that what is determined when you take them for testing every 3 years, or this determined in some other way?
• United States
25 Feb 10
I am in Ohio and my kids are in ECOT {electronic classroom of tomorrow} its a home based public school my kids have been in it since Aug. of 2009 and my kids love it. They even have programs where if your child needs special help due to learning problems they will even send someone to work with your child one on one. I have a child with ADD and he has alot of learning problems and ECOT and I are in the process of getting a home tutor and a speech therapist that comes to our home to work with him. Everything is recorded online over the net and their computer's. The child has to be logged into their computer for 5 hours aday. They will print out their work from the computer and do it online its about 50/50 on their work. ECOT supplies everything the computer's, the printer, the ink, all you have to get is the printer paper. But for 500 sheets is only like $3-$4. And if your printers run outta ink all you have to do is call them and tell them you need ink and your in a tight bind with money and they will order it all free of charge and send it to you. Or if you do have the money you can order right from your child's computer. ECOT has a contract with a ink company {i cant remember the name} and everything is like 1/2 off so you can get all the ink you need for your child's computer for like $30-$40 dollars for all 4 ink cartriage's. The ones my kids computer takes is like $7 a piece. I took my children outta of public school due to the teachers was mean and just really rude and they let my youngest one with the problems run away from school they found him almost 2 blocks later. Talk about giving a parent a heart attack. They even pay for the internet for their school. Cause they want you to have high speed internet. They pay for it also and its all free. And the best part is that its all certified teachers on the other end of the computers with your child. They have meetings and everything so you can meet the teachers and all. Kinda like a parent teachers conference. I would highly recommend ECOT to anyone that is fed up with regular schools.
• United States
26 Feb 10
My youngest also has ADHD and has much trouble concentrating and focusing in the classroom because of this. He does great in a one on one situation when it comes to learning, but not so well in the classroom. That is one of the reasons that I am considering homeschooling. I was not aware of this ECOT option. Thank you for bringing that to my attention. I am going to do a search around and see if there is anything like that near us. I do not know if I would go that route or not, but I have to do something and I like to know about all of my options.
@Ravenladyj (22992)
• United States
23 Feb 10
how is their progress verified? Let's say your home schooled child is at the 3rd grade level. How is this established or proved for public record? Do you take your kids some place where they are tested and the results recorded on some sort of public record every so often or what? I would look into the laws in your particular state actually..I homeschooled my kids for 2 yrs back in Ontario before moving here and they didnt have ANY regulations which was perfect for us because I UNschooled..When we moved here to the U.S (New York) I gave the kids the option of going back into school or continue homeschooling..they decided to try public again which was for the best since the laws here in NY are VERY strict and IMO ridiculous HOWEVER they DO periodically test if I remember correctly...ALSO I know that back in Ontario the school I pulled my kids from did offer testing should I want it... I would also look into joining the Home Schooler Legal Association I believe it was called (I'll have to look that up for you cause it might have ONLY been in Canada but I'm sure there is something similar in the U.S).....Yahoo groups has been mentioned and its actually a great idea..I was a member of two different groups for homeschoolers on Yahoo and alot of times there would be "play dates" and "field trips" etc which was awesome for those who COULD join in plus you can talk to others about your concerns and so on....ALSO talk to your local bookstore...i ended up getting a "teachers discount" at Chapters Books becuase I was in fact a "teacher" which was awesome when it came to buying supplies... Oh man..its been a few yrs so its hard remembering but there are SO MANY other things I want to suggest LOL I just need to remember them all..Let me get back to ya..if you want me to of course
• United States
23 Feb 10
Hi Ravenlady! I am researching this subject and looking for all the information I can get on it because I want to figure out if this is something I can do with my children, especially since I have been less than impressed with the public schools lately. Anyway, I went to public school myself and the only people I have ever known that home schooled their kids are a few cyberbuddies, but never anyone I knew in real life. Therefore I know very little about the process at this time and welcome all the information I can get on the subject. I am already in the process of looking up all the laws I can find on the subject and I am going to research and find out more about those home schooling co-ops that Irish mentioned and check out the yahoo groups that she and you suggested as well. Thanks and feel free to get back to me with any information you have on the subject any time.
• United States
5 Jun 10
It depends on the state. We live in MS and the laws here are great. All we have to do is sign each child up with the school attendance officer by Sept 15 of each year. We do not have to do any testing. We are members of a very large Christian homeschool group in our area. My son graduated last year. While he was in 12th grade he was also attending our local community college full time. He had 40 college hours by the time he finished high school. I used teascript.com to do his transcript. When he applied to college we took the transcript I had done and they accepted it with no questions asked. He also received an academic and leadership scholarship.
@SViswan (12095)
• India
21 Apr 10
We are in India and unlike the western countries, we do not have any laws to govern homeschooling. A few of us homeschoolers have started the process of forming an association in those line. So, technically there isn't anything that would test our children at each level (and it defeats the purpose for some parents here who are homeschooling to get out of the examinations...and pressures of tests and exams) We are presently homeschooling our 9 year old and we test him at home. My husband and I are educationists...so we have an idea of the capabilities of children at each level and we test it ourselves. We do not believe in the competition among children (at least for our older child) because he was doing pretty well at school without much effort and he wasn't challenged to work to his maximum potential (one of the main reasons for homeschooling).
• United States
27 Feb 10
I am a mom of ten, and have homeschooled for nineteen years. I live in Texas, where the homeschool laws are VERY friendly. You don't have to report to anyone, you don't have to file letters of intent, you just keep your kiddos home and school them! The mother herself decides when the child is ready to move on to the next level. In our homeschool, we don't worry a whole lot about what grade we are in, if a child is having trouble in one subject, we just stay there longer, or if they are dong great, we might advance, which means we can be in several different grades in one year. When the children are around 17 or 18, they take the GED, and that is their diploma. To get into college, they must take the Sat. I have a daughter who is a paralegal - she did spend time in public and Christian schools before we began to homeschool. I have a totally homeschooled son who is in his second year of law school in one of the best schools around. Another son in college, too, another son who works in an organic butcher shop, and another daughter who is a stay at home mom to her five children. The other five are sixteen and younger, and we are still homeschooling! We are members of local co ops off and on, active in church and have lots of family, so my children are well socialized. And I do cook every day. In fact, I cook several times a day. I clean house too. I love my life!!
• United States
23 Feb 10
I would love to also home school my children but I do not think that I could do the job with out being so harsh on them. At school the teachers have patience, At home when my daughter does do something I know darn well that she can do it is very frustrating. However I do believe that there are workers that come to your home to make sure that your children are at the correct level for the age and that your activities are grade level appropriate. Good Luck and hopefully it will work for your family.
@pandaeyes (2068)
23 Feb 10
We are in the UK but as far as checking progress,our kids were met with yearly at home by an ofsted school inspector who looked at the kind of things we did and spoke about after school activities. He was a psychologist and not at all judgmental. We used books from many sources and test books very occasionally just to make sure they were keeping up with things. We did have some penfriends in Texas who used a set curriculum for their home lessons. I believe in some states the parent must meet a standard but I can't say for sure that ,that is the case. We have several charities here that support homeschooling and I am sure there are some where you live that will have people who can give firm facts about your circumstances.