I'm really hoping to avoid testing him with standard achievement tests. I don't mind portfolio type evaluations.
Should I homeschool him officially or homeschool him under an umbrella school? And can the umbrella school be located anywhere in the nation? Do I have to let the public school district or the ESD know he is doing a private school if I do that? Also, any non-invasive umbrella recommendations if I go that route?
He could also probably fit under the IEP category (so no testing could be required) or get a privately developed plan as per Oregon law.
Wayyyyyy too much that I don't know about here. Advice? Direction? Also I'm not sure if I should consider seeing if the school would be willing to provide some special Ed services still (the law seems to indicate they should if they can but don't really have to).
He is 8 years old and just finishing 3rd grade next week. He wouldn't be required to be tested or evaluated until the end of 5th.
"Do I have to let the public school district or the ESD know he is doing a private school if I do that?"
Yes, you have to let the ESD know.
We're in Oregon too, and I want to point out that the standardized testing isn't something to be afraid of. When our kids did it, we told them it wasn't a big deal, to just fill in the bubble for what they thought the answer was and move on. He may not do well on their test, bu really, so what? It's just a hoop we jump through.
Midwife (CPM, LDM) and homeschooling mama to:
14yo ds 11yo dd 9yo ds and 7yo ds and 2yo ds
Testing is more for the school than the child. Based on test scores, the district is eligible for state and federal funds. While homeschooled children are usually not exempt, it generally has no impact on eligibility for continued homeschooling.
For next year, a non-test year, make sure you know what you need to do, and otherwise do what you think is best. Then find out what tests are allowed for meeting the testing requirements in your state. You can even have him take a test, just so it becomes a part of usual end of year stuff, if you can afford to do so. Otherwise, relax next year and focus on the transition. When it is time that testing is required, try not to worry. What will be, will be. And you know what's important -- what your child actually *knows*. Good luck.
You need to know your states laws, but here in Colorado we use an umbrella school so we have zero contact with the state or school district. Our umbrella school offers classes for a charge but we don't use them. Basically we send them in our fees and plans for the year, not extensive, just a tenative calendar and curriculum list. Then at the end of the year we send them the actual dates/hours we did. Also we do personal evaluations in lew of standardized tests, every odd year starting in 3rd grade.