What are the easiest/hardest states to homeschool in? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 54 Old 11-01-2004, 07:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The title says it all, really.
We will be moving in a few years, but it is still up in the air where. I want to take into consideration what the state will be like to live in concerning homeschooling laws, and also make a list of states to AVOID.
Can anyone help me figure this out?
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#2 of 54 Old 11-01-2004, 08:43 PM
 
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Well I just started homeschool today. So Florida's fresh in my mind.
I think they are pretty easy. Submit a note stating childs name and age and the homeschool parents name.
maintain a portfolio of work
have a teacher evaluation or test done at the end of the year.


There are no mandated, days, hours or curriculm guidelines.


Terrie
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#3 of 54 Old 11-01-2004, 08:44 PM
 
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Texas homeschoolers have a LOT of freedom! We are legally considered private schools. We don't have to test (but can if we want), don't have to report to anyone (but can report to umbrella schools if we want).

I've homeschooled from the start, and I haven't had to report to any agency, get permission, show them my curriculum, anything.

I highly recommend The Homeschooling Book of Answers by Linda Dobson. It has an easy to read chart that shows what each state's requirements are.

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#4 of 54 Old 11-01-2004, 08:47 PM
 
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I know Texas is easy (can't get easier than no requirements can you? ) and I think CA homeschoolers are considered private schools so that is easy too. I am in Oregon and it's not hard here, but we'd very much like to do away with the testing requirement.

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#5 of 54 Old 11-01-2004, 09:10 PM
 
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In Kentucky, we do not have to report or test except for sending in an intent to homeschool letter. We have to keep records, attendance and periodic evaluation of our own choice. But not submit to anyone. In the case of legal problems, the records could be an issue, though.

I think it is pretty easy to homeschool here.

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#6 of 54 Old 11-01-2004, 11:47 PM
 
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I personally think Georgia's not hard. Letter of intent, monthly (busywork) attendence sheets ("Nope, Johnny was missing that Wednesday, so we didn't have school"?? I don't know), and required testing every three years. Except you're not required to submit the results of the testing at all.

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and Brigid Eleanor (11/20/08)
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#7 of 54 Old 11-01-2004, 11:54 PM
 
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It's very easy to homeschool in Washington too! You have to be certified by taking a class or you can skip the class if you have a certain amount of college credits. After that you just send in a letter of intent to the school district every year and have a yearly evaluation. The evaluation results go to no one but the parent. That's it!
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#8 of 54 Old 11-02-2004, 12:07 AM
 
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Michigan is easy to so far at least. i just called up dd's school and told them we would be homeschooling them. That is all I had to do.
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#9 of 54 Old 11-02-2004, 12:25 AM
 
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NY is very bad. NJ is very good, one of the best states-- for now. They are trying to pass strict legislation of hsling in NJ but it is not law yet.
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#10 of 54 Old 11-02-2004, 12:46 AM
 
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In general, I've heard good things about New Jersey and Texas

And poor things about Pennsylvania and New York.

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#11 of 54 Old 11-02-2004, 01:00 AM
 
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NJ is very easy. We do nothing No testing, no educational requiremens for the parents, no portfolios. Nothing.

They are trying to pass regulations but if they succeed it will still be less than some of what I've read on this thread. What they are trying to do is to get homeschoolers tested when the public school kids are tested. Once in 3rd grade (?) and one other time. And they want to tack on mandatory physical exams every year. I would not be happy if this passed (understatement ) but it would still not be as involved as other states.

Everytime I hear of states that require "attendance" records from *homeschoolers* I crack up :LOL
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#12 of 54 Old 11-02-2004, 01:15 AM
 
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PA has a lot of rules and hoops to jump through, but in a way it seems good. If there are specific things you need to do, and you can prove that you do them, no one can come along and take your kid away and accuse you of educational neglect, KWIM? Then again, we don't have to declare that we are hs-ing til age 8, so I have it pretty easy so far.

One thing I have wondered- public school kids have to have 180 days a year, but kids have sick days. I have to have 180 days a year- are my kids allowed to have sick days?
Annette

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#13 of 54 Old 11-02-2004, 01:20 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mojomom
Michigan is easy to so far at least. i just called up dd's school and told them we would be homeschooling them. That is all I had to do.
I assume mojomom removed her dd from a school she had been attending, because if you homeschool from the start, you don't even have to do that in Michigan! A lot like Texas I guess -- no need to state intention, report, test, take attendance ( ) or anything. Gotta love it!

Stephanie mom to Brianna (6/00) , Alexander (6/02) , and Ethan (9/07) .
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#14 of 54 Old 11-02-2004, 02:07 AM
 
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Illinois is also a do nothing no requirements state - gets my thumbs up. It is the only state I have seen a public library create a hs curriculum section.

I don't think CA is that easy, that is where we are now, we have also hsed in Iowa and that was not fun to sort out the requirements.


The best states are the ones without letters of intent, required filing or testings or portfolios. If you have to do any of that junk it is not simple or easy IME and you are more likely to get hassled or hear for other hsers confusion over the law and requirements.

you can look at HSLDA.ORG site to see which ones are free of hoop jumping
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#15 of 54 Old 11-02-2004, 05:24 AM
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The only way California could be easier would be if they didn't require anything at all... filing a short form once a year seems pretty good to me, compared to portfolios and testing and that sort of garbage.

Arizona was similarly easy, just notify,but they got the kids' names... California doesn't even get those.

Florida is comparatively difficult, really. I would never submit to an annual testing or portfolio, anyway.

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#16 of 54 Old 11-02-2004, 05:27 AM
 
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I think WA and AK are easy.
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#17 of 54 Old 11-02-2004, 09:33 AM
 
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Last year I moved, also had the luxury of choosing exactly where. I chose rural GA, partly because of the homeschooling laws. What I hadn't taken into account was that all the local homeschooling groups would be strongly fundamentalist Christian. I am quite alone in my unschooling, socially it is tough for the kids and me both. Much is good about what we're doing here, but I fear I made a major mistake in some ways. My advice would be to research laws, narrow it down based on whatever other criteria are important to you, and then spend some time (maybe a month?) in each area if at all possible before committing yourself. I regret that I didn't have the opportunity to do that - my choise would definately have been different. Isn't it exciting to have all the world to choose from! Best of luck on your journey.

Rhu - mother,grandmother,daughter,sister,friend-foster,adoptive,and biological;not necessarily in that order. Some of it's magic, some of it's tragic, but I had a good life all the way (Jimmy Buffet)

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#18 of 54 Old 11-02-2004, 12:37 PM
 
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I'm surprised no one has mentioned Missouri. I don't have to file a letter with the public school (unless your child has previously been enrolled) , no teacher qualifications , no tests , no curriculum guidelines , nuthin'. According to MO law you have to log 1000 school hours per twelve month period....but those are for your own records. You also have to keep a portfolio of your child's papers.....but again , those are for your own records. You don't have to turn your papers into anyone. I keep strict records , but that's for my own purposes. (and to cover my hiney should 'something' happen).
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#19 of 54 Old 11-02-2004, 12:56 PM
 
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AZ has one of the best laws concerning HS. You just file a notice of intent once.

NV is also good, file notice of intent including what subjects you plan to cover that year.

MT- notice of intent, keep attendence records.

Personally, if you are having to keep a portfolio, submit to testing ect then it's too much to me. But I'm spoiled.
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#20 of 54 Old 11-02-2004, 01:27 PM
 
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BTW, our local public library also has a homeschooling information and curriculum section. They even purchase a lot of materials and books requested by homeschoolers, including some simple hands-on science kits you can check out. Often, homeschoolers are the only ones who show up for after school programs, so we get a lot of visibility there. They keep a reference folder of local homeschooling information and requirements, also.

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#21 of 54 Old 11-02-2004, 02:36 PM
 
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Oklahoma is another very easy state to HS in.

You can view all of the HS'ing laws at http://www.hslda.org


Quote:
One thing I have wondered- public school kids have to have 180 days a year, but kids have sick days. I have to have 180 days a year- are my kids allowed to have sick days?
Heck yes! Plus, how many times teachers show movies during school time?!?! There have been days where I needed to get things done so I had my girls play (puzzles, coloring, etc) and called it an "Educational Play Day".
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#22 of 54 Old 11-02-2004, 03:05 PM
 
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Idaho is very easy.
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#23 of 54 Old 11-02-2004, 03:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamarhu
Last year I moved, also had the luxury of choosing exactly where. I chose rural GA, partly because of the homeschooling laws. What I hadn't taken into account was that all the local homeschooling groups would be strongly fundamentalist Christian. I am quite alone in my unschooling, socially it is tough for the kids and me both. Much is good about what we're doing here, but I fear I made a major mistake in some ways. My advice would be to research laws, narrow it down based on whatever other criteria are important to you, and then spend some time (maybe a month?) in each area if at all possible before committing yourself. I regret that I didn't have the opportunity to do that - my choise would definately have been different. Isn't it exciting to have all the world to choose from! Best of luck on your journey.
This is EXACTLY my fear!! We are considering a move from MN to TX (Dallas/Ft. Worth). MN is a very liberal state, pretty easy for homeschoolers (letter of intent, optional testing). I know TX is really easy, easier, in fact but I'm terrified that everyone will be a fundamentalist Christian and we won't fit in :

Jenny
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#24 of 54 Old 11-02-2004, 05:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the leads so far, and also for the website and book recommendation.
I also have this fear that I will move and then the laws will change on me.
Now I want to compare how the homebirthing communities compare with the homeschooling laws.
I just wanna do what I want with my family without having to worry about the state interfering, is that to much to ask?
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#25 of 54 Old 11-02-2004, 05:20 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luv my 2 sweeties
I assume mojomom removed her dd from a school she had been attending, because if you homeschool from the start, you don't even have to do that in Michigan! A lot like Texas I guess -- no need to state intention, report, test, take attendance ( ) or anything. Gotta love it!

Yes I did take her out this year in 2nd grade. So that was THE only complication and it was still no big deal
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#26 of 54 Old 11-03-2004, 01:36 AM
 
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I'm in CA and personally think it's easy and non-intrusive. We're planning a move to AZ soon and even filing an intent form once kinda rubs me the wrong way--like now I'm in some database of hs'ers or something. Not that I want to avoid the system--not an issue for me. We hs in CA through a public charter ISP. Legally, it's as though we are public school students, which feels "safe" to me (as opposed to hs'ing "underground" or filing an R-4).

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#27 of 54 Old 11-03-2004, 02:45 AM
 
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Indiana is very easy.

Homesteading Mama to homeschoolin' kiddos London (10) ; Alexander (8) :; Holden (5) :; and Sergei born at home 8/18/08
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#28 of 54 Old 11-03-2004, 06:59 AM
 
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I'm in Oklahoma, my kids have attended school here and been withdrawn and I'd say it the easiest state we've been to (between Alabama, Florida, Maryland).

Even the administration said there was nothing to it...just withdraw them and be on your way. So that what we did! Gotta love that!
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#29 of 54 Old 11-03-2004, 07:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annettemarie
One thing I have wondered- public school kids have to have 180 days a year, but kids have sick days. I have to have 180 days a year- are my kids allowed to have sick days?
Annette
Don't know about PA but in GA home schooler's do not get any sick days. They must have 180 days of school.
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#30 of 54 Old 11-03-2004, 06:30 PM
 
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I'm spoiled because this is our first yr homeschooling and we live in Colorado. I only had to sign a form letting the SD know we were homeschooling. They say they want at least 4 hours of instruction a day for 172 days, but I don't have to report this to anyone.
We're going to be moving to PA and I'm not looking forward to all the work involved.
~Kelli
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