Homeschooling Requirements

Homeschooling requirements can be quite different depending on your location. Every State has it’s own set of regulations regarding homeschooling as does each County and school district.

They can vary from States like Arizona where you just have notify the County that you’re going to homeschool and get on with it, to States like Missouri where they tell you what you have to teach, how many hours to teach it and the student must undergo regular testing to verify it was taught.

With this said, if you’re considering homeschooling, the first step in your research should be to find out the requirements in your State and school district. You can probably find out the State requirements over the Internet. Instead of contacting your local school district office, I would try and find a local support group or forum for homeschooling in your area. Some school districts aren’t very happy about the whole idea of homeschooling and might not be very forthcoming with good information. The forums and support groups will have the correct information you need. Once you have it, you can decide if you want to go further in the process.

A good source to know about is the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA). They too have information on every State regarding homeschooling. They also have a page for used homeschool books and supplies.

After you have satisfied the local school board or County office regarding home school requirements, there’s a couple of other things to keep in mind before your start teaching. It’s a good idea to keep good records of the classes you teach and the performance of your student. You may be asked to present them at some point as proof of your teaching. In grades K-8, a portfolio of each subject would be a good idea. In grades 9-12, an actual transcript should be put together.

The grade school portfolios can be a somewhat informal record of your student’s work for each year. It could be in the form of a collection of his work bound into 3-ring binders with one for each subject and new ones being purchased for each new year of classes.

You can go onto the Internet to see what types of high school transcript forms are available and it might be good to check with your support group to see what they suggest. If you already know what college your child might attend, it would also be a good idea to check with their admissions department to understand what proof of education they need and in what form. Generally a high school transcript is a list of classes you have taught and the grade earned in each one.

You’ll need to know before you begin teaching high school what your local school board’s requirements are for graduation. It will normally be a list of subject areas with the minimum number of credits required for each. Traditionally 1 credit in high school equals 120 hours of class work. Typically 20 credits of various subjects are required for graduation. But if the student plans to attend college, others suggest additional study to the tune of 22-29 credits. The extra credits would be earned in subject areas relating to your student’s probable major or area of interest in college.

Meeting your local area’s homeschooling requirements is usually achievable, but before you spend any more time thinking or planning for one, be sure and check out exactly what your local regulations are.

The Law & Homeschooling?

Here is one fail-safe way to ensure you obey the law safely and your children get accepted into college.

Homeschooling carries various concerns, two being that of is homeschooling legal and are homeschoolers admitted into colleges.

Upon hearing the question of the legality of homeschooling, I though, well of course it is legal, but then again, is it? Do the states and the government control how individual families can educate their own children? They actually do.

I am not a lawyer, however, I want to share some information with you, so you know about your state laws, concerning homeschooling. For instance, which records to keep, what type of testing is required of your child and so on. You can find all this information and more concerning the laws of each state, by visiting:

homeschooling.about.com/od/legal/Staying_Legal_Homeschool_Laws_and_Requirements.htm

You should know your rights, you local homeschooling requirements, while keeping detailed records of everything.

Other essential issues to consider include, knowing the requirements for your homeschooled student to enroll in college. Various resources can assist you in finding the various types of secondary education requirements. For instance, the requirements of a university is much different from that of a community college. One wonderful resource of learning what is required and how to make sure your student gets into college is located here:

learninfreedom.org/colleges_4_hmsc.html

You can make life easier by making sure your child is getting the best education they can, while following all the homeschooling laws, when your student enrolls in an accredited program. Being homeschooled in an accredited distance learning school, such as Laurel Springs, enables them to have a school on their records, transcripts available and the record of prerequisites required for enrolling in a good college. In addition to receiving and education designed for their level of knowledge and learning style.

What you should look for in a Homeschooling Program

In the past few years, distance learning education has become an available option for families to provide a quality, student centered education. However, how do you know which is the best choice, with various schools offering their programs? Keep these ten questions in mind to ask of prospective schools, before you enroll your child.

1. Do the offer and individualized approach to education?

– Is each new student tested to determine their learning style?

This is one of the benefits of distance learning education. You should look for programs that take advantage of this distinctive relationship, whether it is a customized curriculum or self-paced, with a mastery based learning philosophy which accents wide ranging abilities at every stage of the process. Understanding the learning strengths and weaknesses of a student, as well as their specific learning style is an essential asset for efficient, long lasting learning.

2. Are their teacher services personalized?

– Are assignments as well as tests graded by the teacher?

Teacher services should always focus on the needs of the student. One of the keys of locating a good distance learning school, is asking about the assignment grading. When a teacher grades each assignment, they learn where a student is accelerating and where they have need of help.

3. Is the school accredited?

– Find out if they are accredited by a regional accreditation such as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges or the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

These associations each require schools to hold a meticulous set of practices which guarantee excellence in education. Accredited schools establish state-of-the-art learning goals, while tracking progress of their students, they are subject to periodic site visits as well as reporting. When colleges and universities require applicants come from accredited schools, it is essential, however, not all distance learning schools are accredited.

4. How do they offer their curriculum?

Distance learning schools teach in various ways, for instance their programs may be text based, project based, customized or online courses.

Search for programs that are correlated to national and state standards, to determine that the key skills and concepts are reinforced properly. The school should offer a wide range of honors, ad College Prep courses, advance placement, technology, academic electives as well as a set of art.

Beware of too much question and answer style, auto-generated courseware. Rather you should search for a program offering a quality curriculum, which highlights, higher level critical thinking skills, with various opportunities for their students to have complete access and the assistance of their teachers.

5 When was the school established?

The market has been flooded, what with the recent boom in online learning start up programs. Do not be taken it by appealing features and stunning graphics. Pay close attention to the actual track record of the school’s assessment and accountability.

You want qualified educators and long running programs, which are worth their expertise in the field, as are schools that offer the best practices, established by such organizations as NACOL.

6 What are their college placement statistics?

Distance learning focuses on many things, including the preparation of their students to enroll in a university or college of their choice. Due to the individualized, self-paced learning style taught through distance learning education, distance learning students tend to do well when applying to various colleges as well as achieving higher scores on standardized tests, such as the SAT. Remember to ask for their:

– Graduation Rates

– Percentages of students who enroll in two and four year post secondary schools

– The names of the schools accepting their students

For a reference of comparison, you will find here the college placement statistics from Laurel Springs School, a leading distance learning school.

– 85 % of seniors attending colleges

– 90% were accepted into the colleges of their choice

– 15 % of those who postponed college, were either elite, professional actors or athletes

They scored higher than the national and state average on their SAT.

7. What additional academic opportunities are offered?

A well rounded distance learning program provides a broad range of academic opportunities, while working closely with other educational institutions. For instance, the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the University of California pre-approves coursework as meting admission requirements. Community service and academic achievements among outstanding students is recognized when several of the schools participate in the National Honor Society.

8. What type of student support services are offered?

Extensive personalized care for students beyond teacher support, should be available. Leading schools offer many student support services, such as these:

– Guidance counselors, monitoring ongoing progress

– Advisers who assist in selecting courses

– College Counseling

– A registrar that issues transcripts and report cards

9. Is there a school community?

When students and teachers are located in various areas, a long distance learning program will strive to create a sense of community. Do they provide:

– Posted announcements

– Student newsletter

– Message boards and chat rooms

– An annual prom and graduation ceremony

10. Is parent training offered?

Since students do not maintain a standard face to face interaction with their teachers, the role of a parent is essential with distance learning education. Comprehensive parent training and support, should be offered by a well rounded distance learning program. Find out if they provide parent training courses. You should be able to log on, online and check the progress of your child’s work, while being in frequent communication with his or her teachers.

The task of finding a great school should never be overwhelming, with the abundance of distance learning programs available today. You can locate a school that is right for your child, when considering these 10 questions, which cover all the important aspects of locating a strong distance learning program.

Guide To Homeschooling – How To Start With Homeschooling

To homeschool or not to homeschool is a tough choice a parent has to decide on. And once the decision of homeschooling your child has been made, the next step is to start homeschooling and to start it right.

Let us say for example that given the advantages and disadvantages of homeschooling, after having considered the amount of work, creativity and patience it requires from the parent, you decide that homeschooling is, indeed, what your child needs, you ask the next question: What are the things you need to do and to find out once you have decided to homeschool your child?

First and foremost, prepare the home environment. Make the necessary physical re-arrangements and organization of areas where your child can study in. Set up a schedule for your lessons by day or by week. It is also important to start developing a record system for your child’s progress within the year, and for possible state requirements on homeschooling.

Next, find out these homeschooling requirements. Usually, different states have different homeschooling requirements. It is helpful to get in touch and join a homeschooling support group in your area to help you along with the necessary information on the state requirements for homeschooling. Homeschooling support groups is also advisable for when you need to expose your child to educational trips and tours to museums, libraries, zoos, as usually, parents from your homeschooling support group will plan these outings together for their children.

Choose a curriculum and homeschooling method for your child. At the beginning, a parent usually dabbles between different homeschooling methods for the child. But as the year progresses on, the parent may narrow the child’s homeschooling methods based on the child’s learning style and learning ability, and based on the child’s positive response to a method.

Know what resources you need for the year. As parents, the responsibility of knowing beforehand the books, materials and homeschooling supplies you might need for the entire year rests solely on your hands. But as mentioned, things become a lot easier with a homeschooling support group, with a sensible parental head between your shoulders, with a nurturing heart, and with time.