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#1 of 8 Old 02-03-2011, 07:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I now have a school-aged child again so had to send my notice of intent to homeschool in to the powers that be. I don't like it. I don't like having my name on a list somewhere and knowing that someone could show up at my house to "inspect" my school. I know it's very unlikely to happen but I still don't like it.

This also means that I have to give my 7yo a standardized test sometime this spring or summer. Ugh! He really doesn't write much, his name, numbers sometimes. That's about it. He doesn't write sentences. He doesn't read stories or books on his own yet but he does read words and phrases here and there. He doesn't do math problems. He sure can do quick math in his head without even thinking about it, though. So cool!

Sometimes he tells me that I have to do "school" for him. I pull out some workbooks and/or print some worksheets off the internet. He might do one or two pages and then he's done.

I have to admit that being an official homeschooling unschooler in the US state I'm in does have me a bit stressed. There isn't really any oversight. I have to keep attendance (seems like a no-brainer but whatever), keep vax records on file (we don't vax) and administer a nationally standardized test (that don't even have to be submitted to anyone). I just don't like someone else telling me what I have to do with myself or my own kids.

I don't know why this came out so negative. That was not my intention when I thought of posting this. I guess I didn't realize how much I really dislike the idea of having to report someone else.

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#2 of 8 Old 02-04-2011, 07:14 AM
 
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Yeah, it's an odd thing.  There you are having parented your ds for 7 years and suddenly someone is theoretically looking over your shoulder. But it's a heck of a lot less weird than dropping your dc off at a school with a bunch of strangers and being told "We'll take him from here."


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#3 of 8 Old 02-04-2011, 10:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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That is true. The laws in this state have got me all worked up and I'm not sure why. In Hawaii, all I had to do was tell the school my ds would have attended that we were homeschooling and that was that. No record keeping. No reporting. No worries about being inspected.

I think just the idea of having to register as either a private or religious "school" is weird. I don't know how we're going to do the test. My ds has never had to sit down for any length of time and do work like that. And, it seems so pointless since I don't even have to submit the results of the test to anyone. I just keep them on file for a year. The laws don't make any sense. Oh well. Hopefully, it won't disrupt anything.

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#4 of 8 Old 02-04-2011, 10:42 AM
 
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I hear you loud and clear. It sucks.

 

Our testing laws were at the ends of grades 3, 5, 8 and 10 but due to an oversight/error on the part of the district that worked in my favor I only had to test each kid once over the years. (Well, I was supposed to test Dd again last year, but I couldn't afford it. By the time the ESD showed up to complain and threaten me, she was already in GED classes and halfway done with the thing. Almost got fined and arrested though. Wouldn't that have been just great? lol)

 

How likely is it that the powers that be will ever ask for your test results? Are you aware of it ever having happened there? It's not for everyone, but often in the folks in those states just don't test. What are the consequences for not testing if you get busted? Pro/con thing I guess. Are parents allowed to administer the test? If so, score! Just help him with the thing lol. Here we have to have a non related tester.

 

Dd got kinda wierded out about her first one. We just told her that we didn't care at all, tests like these are stupid, and we're just doing to make people leave us alone the rest of the time. We showed her what it would look like, etc etc. 


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#5 of 8 Old 02-04-2011, 01:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by UnschoolnMa View Post


How likely is it that the powers that be will ever ask for your test results? Are you aware of it ever having happened there? It's not for everyone, but often in the folks in those states just don't test. What are the consequences for not testing if you get busted? Pro/con thing I guess. Are parents allowed to administer the test? If so, score! Just help him with the thing lol. Here we have to have a non related tester.



 



We have to test every year. I think it's virtually unheard of for anyone to be inspected. There are only 6 homeschool inspectors, or whatever they are called, for the entire state. They are all in the capitol, which is a 2 1/2 hour drive from me. I get the sense that we would only get inspected if we were reported for some problem. I've been told that, if they do come, I don't have to let them in. I do have to show them my paperwork, though.

As far as I know, parents are allowed to administer the test. We are allowed to pick any nationally standardized test and can pick any grade. So, I could administer a kindergarten level test to my 7yo. I have thought about just not testing and also not keeping records. I mean, how dumb is it that I have to keep attendance records? Isn't it a given that if we homeschool and our kids are home, they are in attendance? We will most likely only be in this state for another 2 years at the most and I can always leave if anyone starts giving me a hard time. The only problem with that is that we may move to a state that is even more restrictive.

I don't know what the consequences are for not complying. I'm a little afraid to ask because I don't want to alert anyone to the fact that I might be considering it. I asked some questions along those line on a Yahoo group once but got responses that were pretty much telling me I should just comply because it's not a big deal. I tried sending in my own notice of intent with only the 3 things explicitly required by the law but got a notice back that I needed to submit their form. The form isn't really a big deal except that they ask for more info that the law seems to require, depending on how you interpret it.

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#6 of 8 Old 02-04-2011, 05:26 PM
 
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If you can do any nationally normed standardized test, then don't worry about it too much.  My ds did the CAT, last spring.  In PA, we have a choice of about 6 acceptable tests.  The CAT was absolutely no writing, just fill in the bubble multiple choice.  It cost about $25.  Although each section of the test is timed, it is broken down into many sections, some just a few questions.  And you can take as long of a break as you want in between sections.  Ds took it over the course of about a week.  I wasn't even sure how well he could read (and this was the 3rd grade test).  But he did average or above average in everything except "language mechanics" in which he scored slightly below average (he didn't know when to use commas or apostrophes, missed a few capitalizations but understood when to use periods, exclamation marks and question marks).  It's a hoop to jump through but don't turn it into a bigger deal than necessary. 

 

Yeah, taking attendance is silly.  I just print out a graph with 180 boxes and make a bunch of check marks, lol.  

 

I'd be inclined not to use their form or to not fill out the parts that aren't required by law if I felt comfortable that I was interpreting the law correctly...  Around here, people sometimes actually include quotes from the law with their affidavit/letter of intent to make it very clear that they are complying with the law.  Are there any state unschool yahoo groups that you can ask?  I'm all about minimal compliance so we don't unwittingly raise the bar for ourselves as a group.  But my SD wanted an actual letter from a doctor saying ds had the mandatory physical rather than accepting my notarized statement.  I did do that although it isn't in the law because I didn't want to seem paranoid or anything in my initial interactions with them.  But I did remove the actual unnecessary info that the doctor added.  Since the SD is at no time in custody of my ds, they have no need of his medical info.


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#7 of 8 Old 02-05-2011, 11:17 AM
 
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All we are required to send in is the total percentile ranking (presumably because it's the only number they use to determine if we've "passed" or not). So I would always photocopy the score results sheet but block out all but our contact info and names, testers name, and percentile ranking. No way was I going to give them any more info than I had to. :)nono02.gif


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#8 of 8 Old 02-05-2011, 11:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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That's how I feel, no more info than is required by law.

I am on a state unschooling Yahoo group but it's not very active. There are no other unschoolers that I know of close to me. Most seem to be on the other side of the state with the rest of the progressives. I'm in the ultra-conservative military area. There are several homeschool groups but only one that isn't Christian. I joined that one but have not done anything with them yet. I'm not much of a joiner and they don't do much that interests me or my kids.

I am very excited that one of the libraries is starting a Lego club. We will be there as much as possible. My house is overrun by legos.

None of that has to do with registering and state laws and requirements but anyway...

knit.gifSAHM to 3 boys and 1 man; 22 jammin.gif, 9REPlaySkateboard04HL.gif, 5 FIREdevil.gifand now 1 year oldtoddler.gif!

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