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!
I'm not in MD, but I am a part of a HSing umbrella type school in our area, where I report weekly and meet with a learning consultant 3x a year. We did K this year, and my DS is 1 grade behind, so k-age next year.
FWIW, it really isn't hard to show you are learning stuff if you have a couple of books you use. So if you use Math-U-See for math, you can just photocopy the table of contents and highlight how far you have gotten each term. Maybe give a sample page. Keep a list of the books you use to cover social studies/health (we do use a non-secular cirriculum for that, so that's really easy for me too, but I won't reccomend it for you ;)).
They aren't out to get you. They just want to make sure you aren't neglecting your kid. So if your kid is learning stuff and you're a Type-A organized person I have a really hard time thinking of any way you would have problems. Even if you aren't that organized, it is Kindergarten and they will be nice and tell you things you are missing if you need to do better for the next meeting if the first doesn't go well.
Also, with my 1 grade younger son (K next fall), he joins us for most stuff. I *could* repeat the socials/science/health stuff next year with him and he probably wouldn't be angry, but he really has done it already. So my plan is for them to be together on those "core" type things. For math and handwriting/printing they will have their own stuff to do, but most of it will be/is together.
portfolios are great for kindy. keep a few samples of each subject and anything that doesn't 'produce' something take photos and put those in.
Ak Hippie mama Yamia DSD '03 DS '07 DS2 '09 & DS3 '12
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