I absolutely HATE the idea of registering...but I'd be worried about some of the more negative things that could happen if caught. Just because some people got off lenient does not mean you will. I understand your intentions, but I feel it is a bit of playing with fire (with kids).
unregistered homeschooling families? - Page 2
I agree that the risk for me, too, seems too great. But I'm still unclear what the risks are, in our state. I also think that now that homeschooling is a recognized right in every state, that the need to go underground iunnecessary. I was hoping to see if anyone reading this forum actually did do it without registering and why. Because, on the off chance that the first response is merely a warning, I might want to just ignore it for a while. If the usual response is to call CPS, well, yeah, I wouldn't want to risk that, not in a million years. (My hats off to those homeschooling families decades ago who in some states risked everything to educate their own!)
True, our state has few and easy requirements and is accepting of homeshooling families. My desire for complete freedom in educating my kids-- just as it is for myself-- is deep enough that IF the first reaction authorities have is a warning, then I would really appreciate just not bothering for as long as I can. I'm probably still overreacting, not looking forward to tests or assessments however easy. I have always preferred trusting my own judgement, and it irritates me when others don't trust it, too (yes, to a fault, I am sure, but I also think that I am worthy of that trust, and feel slighted when others don't.)
For now, a year or so away from needing to being "official", I'm just putting out the feelers, collecting information about ALL aspects of homeschooling from every source I can: my state, our state HS organizations, homeschooling parents, everybody. I'm not about ready to ask anyone official "what happens if I don't register?" That's why I post, to see if anyone stills does and why.
If you're really curious, call your school district and ask. Maybe from a pay phone. :)
WA is just so, relatively, easy. It's not even registering, just declaring. And we don't have to turn in assessments or tests to anyone, unless, I imagine, there was something else happening and they wanted to see what ELSE was or was not happening in the home. I'm cool with that.
Am I *looking forward* to declaring him once he's 8? (well, probably the August after that, because his b'day is so close to the end of the school year) No, not really. But then, if I do NOT declare him, and then he wants to take a class or in the future join a sport, at a school, he won't be able to do so, as he would simply be truant, and not enrolled in school or homeschool.
Let me tell you a story about what I am dealing with at the moment.
My ex-wife decided to home school my two daughters "under the radar" in Ohio. Ohio requires registration with a school, annual reports, etc. She did none of this.
Fast forward to present. My youngest daughter, now 21, tried to go to college. They asked for her high school transcripts which her mother printed up, signed, and mailed to her. The school then asked for a certifying letter form the registered state school district, as required by law. There is no record of her ever being registered at any school in Ohio.
My daughter not only cannot get into the college, she has no high school diploma.So, now at 21 she has to either get a GED or go back to school to get her high school diploma (at $150 per class).
If you want to home school your kids, fine, but don't do it in a way that will hurt the kids in the long run. Do it the right way, your kid's lives may turn out different than you think.
SS sorry can't help you on washington, just picking up on the original thread, ignore me if its way too OT at this stage.
In the UK we don't have to do ANYTHING. Unless you are withdrawing a child from school, when you normally write a dereg letter, you don't have to tell anyone. More than that, the law is incredibly loose. You have to provide an education suitable to the age and aptitude of the child and any SEN. Have a ten year old obsessed by horses? That's aptitude. Really. Prosecutions for educational neglect are basically non existent except where there are existing CPS concerns (and so be fair the CPS don't seem to use educational welfare to prosecute on-they don't need to really as their laws are stronger than the education ones) or custody disputes. One of the great debates among HSers is whether to contact the education authority or remain "under the radar" in order to preserve freedom for all.
The reason I say all this is not to make you wildly jealous but to talk about the psychological impact. I think the big thing is that, a. autonomy (increasingly we call it unschooling) is much, much more common, pretty much the norm. b. because most people are pretty autonomous there are no factions along educational lines. RUers rub along with Christian fundamentalists. I actually know several fundamentalist unschoolers. Finally there is less of the schoolifying of life, you know, when you do baking rather than calling it making a nice cake calling it chemistry, CDT, etc. There is NO need to compartmentalise our kids in that way so generally, people don't. I think its very conducive to a wider sense that these years are about having a great childhood, and that learning is one part of it but not the measure of our kids. That a cake is a good cake regardless of whether it also demonstrated an acid-base reaction in its making.
I am in WA and I do register. To be honest, I don't know what the 'penalty' is if you don't register. However, I don't feel like I am being told what to do at all. The only requirement is that I test them annually, but I can pick from a variety of tests. I don't even submit the score to anyone, I just keep them with my records. I have decided that the testing has one benefit. . . that my kids get used to a "standardized" test because they will likely encounter them at some point. I like that they get used to them in their own home, in a low stress environment, given by a mother that doesn't care what they score.
This is one of the first threads I ever posted on the Homeschooling forum. Fun to see it dredged up again!
Update: I did decide to turn in A Declaration of Intent, which covers any possible charges of truancy, but with our state hs laws and with where I live, this probably wouldn't even be a concern. (I live on a dead end road at the edge of nowhere, and my nearest neighbor who couldn't care less is nearly 1/2 mile away, etc.) Like Fillyjonk stated, these are usually only an issue in contentious divorces, custody battles, CPS. If you've already enrolled in school, they do look for a DOI so they can be content that withdrawal is legal, and not some other issue. The DOI consists of your signature stating that X and Y children (8 and over) are being homeschooled. That's it. But because it was that simple, I chose to file, but not for any fearful reasons. Just that this simple act completely removes any question of truancy.
Also, to address heavyink's experience in another state, school districts in WA only keep the DOI. All other records-- including any testing, etc-- are kept by the parent and are for the parent's eyes only. So, that's your records here. The DOI is pointless for college admissions, really, in WA. The school district keeps nothing alse, keeps track of no one else. I'm sure there are real hard-ass types who despise our current system here, but, well, that's the way it is.
So, in WA anyway "Under the Radar" simply means not filing the DOI.
I've since met entire families who have never declared their kids without any trouble here. I imagine it must be much more difficult in other states, and possibly with greater consequences, but I look back on this thread and I think that I was worrying too much-- worrying about *filing* a DOI, worrying about *not filing*. I really shouldn't have worried either way, not for myself for my kids. I was just nearing that point where I was going to have to decide, and I did decide. No big deal that I did, but here, it would have been no big deal if I didn't either. Well, only a scofflaw would say something technically illegal is "No Big Deal" . My family and my kids would have been, will be fine either way.
I have decided that the testing has one benefit. . . that my kids get used to a "standardized" test because they will likely encounter them at some point. I like that they get used to them in their own home, in a low stress environment, given by a mother that doesn't care what they score.
Yes, we just completed an assessment test. I almost didn't do one this year, not really worrying about it, but DD1 was eager for a "real math test". It had never occurred to me back when I started the thread that testing could be administered by the parent.
So, ultimately I decided that would be the least intrusive.
Yes, the trick was the format, getting her used to it, to multiple choice, etc. The prompts often stated "Do you understand what to do?" and I took this quite liberally. I helped her understand what was being asked, and while I didn't tell her the answers, I made sure she read over every option, and she caught herself many times in a hasty response. The test seemed like an old one, and it seemed rather too easy for 2nd grade, but like you, I didn't get caught up in it. All in all it was a positive experience, a good first introduction to school formats.
We used the CAT5 Survey from the Family Learning Organization, what have you used and liked?
This last year I used the CAT survey from Seton for my oldest. I used the PASS test from Hewitt Homeschooling Resources for my middle child. The PASS doesn't have a time limit. It also had a placement test for each subtest. This was great because she was able to take a test that was challenging but not too hard. It also helped her get used to the types of questions that would be asked. She has test anxiety (perhaps from her brief public school experience?) and we are working on helping her through that. Not having a timer was particularly beneficial for her. With my oldest, I set the timer and administered it as closely to a "classroom" administered test as possible. She was grade 7 last year so the SAT isn't too far away. I want her used to a time limit. The CAT was definitely WAY too easy for her. Made me feel good, but it would have been nice to identify any weak areas. In that way the PASS was better. Since she took the placement test first, the results showed her areas of strength and weakness. It also showed her score compared to public school students and compared to homeschool students. That was just interesting to me.