My family and I just moved from New Jersey to Maryland. My oldest is 5 and will be starting K in the fall. My youngest is just 17 mos younger and 1 grade behind her and he will be starting K in fall of 2013. I plan to homeschool them both.
NJ was a very unregulated state from what I understand, not even requiring a letter of intent for homeschooling. MD is not. I need to notify the district within 15 days of the school year beginning. I also need to be reviewed 2-3 times/year by a district representative. Or, I can choose to go under a homeschool umbrella program and be reviewed by them.
Between this and curriculum choices, I'm very overwhelmed. I know that "school at home" is not very highly regarded in the HS online communities. MD law states: Parents must maintain a portfolio of "relevant materials such as instructional materials, reading materials, and examples of the child's writings, work sheets, workbooks, creative materials, and tests."
My portfolio needs to prove that I am providing "regular and thorough instruction."
How do you avoid "school at home" when your schooling is overseen by a school district?
I'm really nervous about having to prove ourselves. DH is supportive of my desire to give homeschooling a try but I'd be lying if I said he wasn't skeptical.
Even when we were in NJ, I had planned on being organized and detailed in my materials and my records because I am just that kind of person. Very Type-A, lists, spreadsheets, etc. It will also make teaching my 2nd child easier because he is just a year behind my oldest. I should have a great outline of his entire year already, each year.
Aside from all of that, I'd like to ask for secular curriculum suggestions. I've been reading about HSing for at least a year now and am familiar with some of the programs out there. I don't need a school-in-a-box program but I do need materials. I'm not anti-workbook. I do believe in lots of reading. My daughter LOVES to be read to. She's also reading a few of the BOB Books herself. She asks me questions about numbers and math and adding every single day. She's so ready to learn.
Although I am college educated, I do not have any education training. How do I know what type of learner my kids are? Can you recommend a book for new HSer?
I'm interested in the Math-U-See program. Anybody have a review of this?
In MD the required subjects are:
Language Arts (Language Arts does include reading instruction.)
Any suggestions would be very much appreciated!