We are going to be relocating to the Scranton areal and are looking for homeschooling groups in the Scranton area. Specifically we are hoping to find some group classes in things like foreign language and the sciences.
What is required to home school in Pennsylvania-do we have to register? How difficult is that process?
Is there a Pennsylvania virtual academy? Has anyone had any experience with it-good or bad?
Is it legal in Pennsylvania to enroll a child in a public school for just a select subject or two?
I think most PA homeschoolers connect over yahoo groups, but I'm not finding any searching for the Scranton or Wilkes-Barre area... I'm closer to Philadelphia, myself. This is a statewide yahoo group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/PA-HomeEducators/ Not real happening at the moment. There is also PA Unschoolers which can be a good source of info even if you don't unschool (just don't ask for cyber school or curriculum advice there): http://groups.yahoo.com/group/PA-Unschoolers/
Definitely check out Pauline's website. It's an invaluable resource for homeschooling in PA. http://home.comcast.net/~askpauline/index.html
OK, so the gist of it is you don't have to register until your child is 8 at the beginning of the school year, unless your child has been enrolled in 1st grade or above, in which case you have to register them even if they are younger than 8.
There are several cyber schools, public school done at home via the internet. Some people like them because they feel assured they are being legal and they don't want to take risks. But homeschooling independently is really not as hard as it seems at first review (this is where the unschool group is particularly helpful with how to be legal without imposing a curriculum on your kids).
Although public schools are supposed to allow homeschooled students to participate in certain activities (music and sports, I think), it varies by school district. I'm not sure why. Maybe some don't allow students who aren't enrolled on school premises during school hours so only after school things are allowed? I''m not sure...
Gotta go help ds with something... I'l check back and see if I have anything else to add.