How do you like homeschooling in your state? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 54 Old 02-05-2010, 02:05 PM
 
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Kentucky is very easy. We send a letter of intent with our children's names and ages to our school district at the beginning of their school year (within 14 days). Then we are required to keep attendence for 176 instructional days (plus 6 or 8 planning days).

I'm always amazed when I hear of HS's in our state that don't bother to send in their letter of intent. Our requirements are minimal!
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#32 of 54 Old 02-05-2010, 04:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all so much for the many replies. Ironically, ALL the states that my DH has given me as places he would consider and could reasonably find work are red or orange on the map. We visit the finger lakes region of upstate New York often and we absolutely LOVE it there. It would be my first choice but it sounds like hell both for homeschool and vaccination laws. Since we intend to unschool and never vaccinate I'd strongly prefer to live somewhere that we aren't constantly harassed about it.
The others are North Dakota, North Carolina, Minnesota, Vermont and Pennsylvania. I love Alaska and we are cold weather people but it's not practical since we are ethical vegans and both of our families are on the east coast.
Any more advice/info on these would be really appreciated.

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#33 of 54 Old 02-05-2010, 05:16 PM
 
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I live in one of the easy states, New Jersey. It works out really well for us. No reporting and no state tests.
Nj is the easiest and there is so many fun, educational trips to do around here. Almost all parks offer homeschool classes or days and the museums do the same.
NJ, however has lots of other issues including being in the top 3 states with THE highest income/property tax. We also have a zillion "feel good " laws on the books and our government is so corrupt there is an actual book written about it, "The Soprano state"
So as far homeschooling, sneezily breezily but as far as actual living, it is too expensive and corrupt...that being said, i still love Nj for all it's culture and variety of everything including land..beach down here , mountains over there, some gorgeous farmland and of course cities. We are diverse but we pay dearly for it.

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#34 of 54 Old 02-05-2010, 05:49 PM
 
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We're in New York now. I thought it would be a pain before we moved here, but it's just a bunch of paperwork.

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#35 of 54 Old 02-05-2010, 06:36 PM
 
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I'm in Vermont, and I haven't found the regulations here to be a big deal so far. I was surprised to learn that this is considered one of the more difficult states for homeschooling. They recently changed the rules so that now you only have to submit a curriculum plan at the start of the year for your first two years; after that, you can just do the end-of-year assessment. The curriculum plan doesn't have to be very detailed, and the assessment is no big deal either. It's easy to put together a portfolio - just save some work samples, take some pictures of your kid doing things, keep book lists, and write up a few descriptions of what you did. You also have the option of having a licensed teacher do an assessment, or using standardized tests. I agree with the PP who said Vermont is a very homeschool-friendly state. There seem to be lots of homeschoolers and activities for homeschoolers in our area, and I have yet to meet anyone who thinks homeschooling is weird or surprising.
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#36 of 54 Old 02-05-2010, 09:46 PM
 
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Thank you all so much for the many replies. Ironically, ALL the states that my DH has given me as places he would consider and could reasonably find work are red or orange on the map. We visit the finger lakes region of upstate New York often and we absolutely LOVE it there. It would be my first choice but it sounds like hell both for homeschool and vaccination laws. Since we intend to unschool and never vaccinate I'd strongly prefer to live somewhere that we aren't constantly harassed about it.
The others are North Dakota, North Carolina, Minnesota, Vermont and Pennsylvania. I love Alaska and we are cold weather people but it's not practical since we are ethical vegans and both of our families are on the east coast.
Any more advice/info on these would be really appreciated.
You could absolutely unschool and never vaccinate in Minnesota and be within the law. You would need to submit quarterly reports, but I know people who unschool and submit quarterly reports without any problems. I imagine the first one might be a hassle, but after that it would be easy.
http://homeschoolers.org/minnesota_law_and_forms
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#37 of 54 Old 02-05-2010, 11:08 PM
 
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Also, if you're thinking Minnesota, I assume you mean near the Twin Cities as far as DH getting a job. You could live just across the border in Wisconsin and be in an even easier state for unschooling/no vax. Many, many people live just across the border in Hudson, River Falls, etc... for that smaller town environment but still very close to hang out and work in the Cities.
Good info on homeschooling in WI - http://homeschooling-wpa.org/

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#38 of 54 Old 02-06-2010, 06:52 PM
 
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We live in VA and operate under the Religious Exemption clause which exempts us from any government interference.
So, if you claim you are homeschooling for religious reasons (we aren't, but we are Christian and we homeschool, so it isn't a complete fabrication), you don't have to be under an umbrella school or anything? Do you know if it changes if your student is special needs?

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#39 of 54 Old 02-06-2010, 11:01 PM
 
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Kansas would be green on that map except that you have to register your homeschool ONE time, and can do it online. It takes about 3 minutes...you tell the the "name of the school" (which you make up) and the names and ages of the students. Every time you have a kid hit compulsory age (7yo for regular ed students, 3yo for SpEd students), you add them to the student list (a minute or so on the computer). Once you have spent a few minutes on the computer, you never have to do anything again EVER, for the life your student. No testing, nothing.

So 3-5 minutes over a lifetime is all the "oversight" you have here.

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#40 of 54 Old 02-07-2010, 12:17 PM
 
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Connecticut's a good state in which to homeschool. No registering with the state, no mandatory standardized testing or portfolio review, you only have to file a letter if you've enrolled in the school system and are withdrawing, and even then, that's all you're legally required to do.
Yup.

Unfortunately we just moved from CT to RI and it is a PITA to homeschool here from what I've heard around the RI homeschool community.
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#41 of 54 Old 02-07-2010, 01:04 PM
 
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We are in Colorado, which is an orange state. So far we have had no problems. We have the option of reporting to a private umbrella school and do not report anything to the state. I pay the umbrella school a small fee each year and they ask for a plan at the beginning of the year of potential days/hours and the materials we are going to be using. Then they just want a follow up record of the actual hours/days at the end of the year.

We do have to test starting in 3rd grade and every odd year after that. This can be done with Iowa Basic or personnel evaluation. This will be our first year but we are going with the evaluation. Also, you don't have to test your child at grade level. They can be tested at different levels for each subject as well.

The subjects we are required to teach, but not necessarily every year, include The US Constitution, Civics, History, Science, Reading, Writing, Math, Literature, and Speech.

We had a change in law a couple of years ago regarding compulsory attendance, so that if you are going to homeschool you must report that by age 6, but you don't have to start formal homeschooling until age 7.
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#42 of 54 Old 02-07-2010, 01:29 PM
 
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Arkansas is pretty easy. We file notice of intent before school starts. It's this paper work about the subjects, schedules, etc. And they test from 3rd-9th grades. The parents are the only ones who know the testing scores. They're mailed to us. Other than that, that's about it. Pretty simple, thank goodness.

I'm a single, self-employed, homeschooling mom of 2 great kids. Girl 9/95 and Boy 3/99.
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#43 of 54 Old 02-07-2010, 01:38 PM
 
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We're in Texas. I have issues with it in a lot of ways, but as far as homeschooling, homebirthing, etc. it's awesome. Total freedom and support.

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#44 of 54 Old 02-07-2010, 02:38 PM
 
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We are in Colorado, which is an orange state. So far we have had no problems. We have the option of reporting to a private umbrella school and do not report anything to the state. I pay the umbrella school a small fee each year and they ask for a plan at the beginning of the year of potential days/hours and the materials we are going to be using. Then they just want a follow up record of the actual hours/days at the end of the year.

We do have to test starting in 3rd grade and every odd year after that. This can be done with Iowa Basic or personnel evaluation. This will be our first year but we are going with the evaluation. Also, you don't have to test your child at grade level. They can be tested at different levels for each subject as well.

The subjects we are required to teach, but not necessarily every year, include The US Constitution, Civics, History, Science, Reading, Writing, Math, Literature, and Speech.

We had a change in law a couple of years ago regarding compulsory attendance, so that if you are going to homeschool you must report that by age 6, but you don't have to start formal homeschooling until age 7.
It's interesting that Colorado is orange on that map, and Vermont is red, because this description of what's required in Colorado makes it sound like a lot more hassle than Vermont. No testing is required here - testing or an evaluation by a teacher are options for the end-of-year assessment, but parents can also just send in a portfolio showing progress. We also don't have to keep any record of time spent. (Though maybe that and the plan you have to send in at the beginning of the year are just requirements of the umbrella school and not the state.) The required subjects for elementary kids in Vermont are language arts, math, social studies, P.E./health, literature, science, and fine arts.

I'm not sure I agree with the way HSLDA categorizes the states. It looks like Vermont is considered high-regulation mainly because it requires curriculum approval by the state, but the curriculum requirements are really minimal and I don't think anyone actually has to worry about their curriculum not being approved. Having to send in that minimal plan (which isn't even required every year) seems like less of a burden than having to do testing or other formal evaluation, as required in some of the orange states.
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#45 of 54 Old 02-16-2010, 04:35 PM
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Yup.

Unfortunately we just moved from CT to RI and it is a PITA to homeschool here from what I've heard around the RI homeschool community.
It's annoying, but it's not really as bad as it sounds. The districts have their hands full with trying to run the schools decently. They don't really have the time or inclination to bother homeschoolers as long as you send them the bare minimum.

I used to stress about what to put in my "proof of progress" letter at the end of the year. I've come to realize that they don't really care what it says, as long as it looks reasonably well done. They just want a piece of paper to stick in their files in case someone comes looking.

They also need to be reminded that school policy is not law. Frequently. My favorite standard line is "If you could please point out the portion of the statute that requires ________, I'll be happy to comply."

The people who have the hardest time homeschooling here are usually the ones who don't know the laws and don't know their rights. Then they wind up playing doormat to the school committees and set terrible precedents for the rest of us.

Anyway, with a 13% unemployment rate, I doubt the OP will be relocating here.
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#46 of 54 Old 02-16-2010, 04:41 PM
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So, if you claim you are homeschooling for religious reasons (we aren't, but we are Christian and we homeschool, so it isn't a complete fabrication), you don't have to be under an umbrella school or anything? Do you know if it changes if your student is special needs?
We used to live in Virginia.

Unless things have changed (we left in 2004), in order to get the religious exemption, you have to "prove" that your faith bars you from sending your child to school. I don't know if they still do this, but a friend of mine had to speak before a panel or committee of some sort. Basically, you have to be Christian, because no other religion (AFAIK) has any sort of scripture that implies that you should keep your kids out of school. Philosophical objections to school do not count; it has to be a "bona fide religious belief." The educrats get to decide whose beliefs are bona fide.

I have a beef with the religious exemption, but that's another can of worms.

I don't know what you mean about special needs changing anything. If you are utilizing the school system to help with your child's special needs, it might blow your faith-based argument out of the water.
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#47 of 54 Old 02-16-2010, 09:53 PM
 
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AZ is easy. You file an intent to HS the yr your child would enter K and if you like can submit that you won't begin academics til 8 yrs old. That's IT.
I know many people enjoy HSing whatever state they choose, but I really like the freedom from restrictions, testing, or the constant hassle of proving myself in compliance.
HS laws would be something to research if we ever moved, for sure. GL!

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#48 of 54 Old 02-17-2010, 10:07 AM
 
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I'm in MA and it's VERY easy. I've heard that it differs in each town/city, though.

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#49 of 54 Old 02-17-2010, 10:28 AM
 
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Thank you all so much for the many replies. Ironically, ALL the states that my DH has given me as places he would consider and could reasonably find work are red or orange on the map. We visit the finger lakes region of upstate New York often and we absolutely LOVE it there. It would be my first choice but it sounds like hell both for homeschool and vaccination laws. Since we intend to unschool and never vaccinate I'd strongly prefer to live somewhere that we aren't constantly harassed about it.
The others are North Dakota, North Carolina, Minnesota, Vermont and Pennsylvania. I love Alaska and we are cold weather people but it's not practical since we are ethical vegans and both of our families are on the east coast.
Any more advice/info on these would be really appreciated.


I live in way northern NY (right near the Canadian border) and we homeschool as well as delay/skip vaccinations. This is the only state I've ever lived in, so I don't know what it's like to homeschool any where else.

Here are my thoughts and experiences:
- It depends largely on your school district and homeschool support groups. We have a very large enrichment program that has been in place for 25 years. The school districts in our area know, for the most part, that if a family is involved with our group they are doing alright. Our group administrator keeps copies of our IHIP's, Letter of Intent and quarterlies for us. She also mails them into the school district for us, as long as we turn them in on time. I totally know that not every group is like this but my point is that with an experienced support group, the regulations don't seem so difficult. We are an organization that is based around a church but there is another secular homeschool group in our area.

- In your IHIP, you tell the school district when you will be sending in your quarterly reports. You do not have to go by their schedule.

- The end-of-the-year evaluation can be done at home, by you. A friend of mine buys a test, gives it to her kids at home and then mails it back to the company to be evaluated. It's very low stress and she's never had a problem. She used to be in the Corning, NY area and homeschooled for 13 years there with no issues.

- As for the vaccinations, I don't even know what the state regulations are. My two older girls stopped vaccines at age 18 mos. and my younger dd at 6 mos. Apart from a snotty remark in the ER made by a nurse with a chip on her shoulder, we've never had a problem. We participate in swimming classes at a local college, library programs, Girl Scouts, etc. with no issue. Maybe it's just my area - we live in a very unique little bubble up here! - but there are lots of parents who choose to delay/skip vaccines. Power in numbers maybe?

So all that to say that NY really isn't that bad. It is such a beautiful area once you get "upstate" but gets a bad rap sometimes. The taxes are high but there are trade-offs where ever you go, right? Hope this helps

Jackie, wife to the Hubster, homeschooling mom to 4 girls: Lala (9) , Lissie (7) and Lauren (3) and our newest arrival Addie Jane born 10-1-10!
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#50 of 54 Old 03-04-2010, 02:53 PM
 
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I think Ga is pretty easy - just submit a letter of intent to HS to the local BOE and standardized tests every 3 years after 3rd grade. I'm pretty sure that is all that is required.
that rocks as we may be up for a move in teh next 18 months to GA

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#51 of 54 Old 03-04-2010, 02:57 PM
 
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what is required for attadence in GA?

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#52 of 54 Old 03-05-2010, 10:01 AM
 
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We live in Ohio, and although it's labelled as a moderately difficult state by the HSLDA I don't really think it is. (but you need to remember I use a virtual academy so MY rules are different, although I'm familiar with the state HSing laws) When your child starts 1st grade you send in notification each year in the fall (or summer if you like to do things early) and then when you send notification for the next school year you submit your reporting (standardized test scores or a letter from an evaluator that says you made sufficient progress) The evaluation is what MOST hs'ers do around my area from what I've seen, there is one lady who does them here and has requirements of what she wants to see and there are people a bit further away that just discuss with you what all your children did and they talk to the kids then fire off a letter (they are for the radical unschoolers and those who don't actually use a lot of workbooks for learning, or for me if we go independent since we wouldn't focus so much on history and science until they are each reading well) They say you need to do 900 hours of learning, but you don't have to keep attendance and log hours. Just be able to prove that you are doing something for schoolwork. There are a LOT of unschoolers around here too.

Ohio really is easier than it sounds, I had a friend of mine who hs'es explain it to me and help me with my letter. It is much easier than you think, and when you list your curriculum materials that your using , the words "internet" and "local library" are perfectly acceptable as main components on your list. (and if the district doesn't send your letter in 14 days you are approved automatically but you need to get on them for your letter as proof if CPS is called in, when I filed mine for this year before we decided on the virtual school instead it took the district 5 days from my putting it in the mailbox here to get my letter to me)

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#53 of 54 Old 03-05-2010, 12:59 PM
 
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Reading the requirements other states require makes me glad I live in Michigan! We have no requirements at all. No reporting, tesing, or other notifications. Basically just do what you want. Awesome.
 

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#54 of 54 Old 03-05-2010, 03:14 PM
 
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Indiana doesn't require anything either. Technically, is a superintendant of schools asks you for attendance records, you have to provide them, and that is all.(many homschooles buy a $1 calander and put a check mark on days they homeschool to fulfill this, lol) no testing, no notification, nada.

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