We are moving to the buffalo ny area this summer and was wondering if there are any homeschoolers from there? I have tons of questions
I have three kids Layli (10 this week) Blaise (7) and Kiara (almost 5) and one n the bun that should arrive this winter. We haven't bought a house yet were debating on south of buffalo vs.north buffalo any suggestions which are has more homeschoolers? Were in VA right now and homeschooling here is a breeze. I have a masters so that was enough for me to take the kids out to teach and at the end of the year I just needed to send them test scores from a standardize test we did California achievement, I was able to give it to them. I've just started looking into the rules in NY and am shocked how much harder it looks,quarterly reports they give me a LIST of what I have to teach and then I have to pay someone to give them their year end test-is this right??
That's too funny - I have a five year old named Kiara too. =P
If you're not familiar with Buffalo, do yourself a favor and really check things out before you decide on an area. There's lots of good to be found there but there is so much that you want to avoid, especially if you have kids. My recommendation would be to live slightly outside of the city - I would venture to say that to the northeast area is the best, towards the UB north campuses - Amherst, Clarence, that way. There are pockets of other nicer areas but there is a lot of crime in other parts.
I don't know about Buffalo proper but there are plenty of homeschoolers around here and while reporting is a bit of an annoyance, they really make it sound harder than it is. We haven't gotten to the standardized testing parts but as far as reporting, there are plenty of websites that just have forms for you to fill out. You send the school district a letter saying you're going to homeschool, they send back a letter asking about the curriculum, you fill out what you're going to do (like if you're going to do a textbook per subject or whatever), then you just do a "report card" quarterly showing attendance records and whether or not you're progressing in each subject. I would also keep a portfolio (a blog in my case) taking photos of field trips or projects or whatever. As long as you're progressing, that's about it. Looks more daunting on paper (which I'm sure is on purpose, heh) than in practice. You do have to do some sort of testing, it's true, but that I'm not really sure about yet, as we're still on the younger grades.
ETA: They give you a list of what to teach in that you need to teach all the basic subjects. You also have to cover some things like health and New York state history, fire safety, etc. We went to Disney World last year and our fire safety component was covered by a presentation a firefighter did at Epcot, heh. Some libraries also have fire days, etc.
Many YMCA's here have a home-schoolers program that covers phys ed, health, art, and music components, and it's a good way to meet other homeschooling families. We're going to do that starting in the fall.
But as far as the curriculum, you're free to choose what will work for your family as long as the kids are up to the core curriculum levels - which most kids are. It remains to be seen how the new Core standards are going to affect homeschooling (and schooling in general) in the coming years. I think the teachers who have less leeway with their classrooms have more to worry about meeting standards, but I think with homeschooling there's enough freedom to pick and choose how to teach the subjects...