hsing in VA v. MD - Mothering Forums
Learning at Home and Beyond > hsing in VA v. MD
Dov'sMom's Avatar Dov'sMom 10:06 PM 03-14-2007
So... We will both be working in D.C. in the coming months and we'll be moving to either VA or MD. Now ease of homeschooling is not by far our most important consideration (our son is 4 months old) but it is a factor (for me at least ) .

Any comparisons?

Butter's Avatar Butter 10:16 PM 03-14-2007
I was homeschooled in MD (and thought I would be homeschooling my kids there but we moved). I homeschool my kids in VA. I personally think VA is easier when it comes down to actually jumping through the hoops.

In MD there is a list of subjects you have to teach. Basically the subjects they teach in public school. You have to keep a portfolio of work done and they can come review it every quarter (pretty sure it's up to 4 times a year). In practice they usually review it once or twice a year, sometimes more, at first and then about once a year or not at all once you've been doing it a while and they "know" you. You still have to keep the portfolio current, though, because like one friend found out even if they didn't come for 3 years it doesn't mean they won't the fourth year. I am pretty sure you have to file annually saying you are homeschooling.

In VA we file a notice of intent annually by 8/15. Most people file under one of two options, option 4 for those who do not have a high school diploma (or higher) or option 1 for those who do. We only are required to teach language arts and math. If you file under option 4 you have to tell (very, very briefly) how you will cover the SOLs for LA/math and the superintendent gets to make a "judgement" of your curriculum (never heard of a legitimite complaint though). Option 1 you just (very, very briefly) describe your LA/math curriculum. We have to prove progress starting the school year the child is 6 by September 30th. That can be done with the CAT-E Survey ($25 currently from http://www.setontesting.com and administered at home by the parents) or independent portfolio review.
Pinky Tuscadero's Avatar Pinky Tuscadero 11:56 PM 03-14-2007
I live in MD and I think it's pretty easy here. They review your portfolio twice a year in my county. They can't ask for progress or comment on your content. All they want is "evidence of instruction", a few pieces of evidence for each subject. I don't think I'd want to deal with testing for progress. That leaves you open to not "progressing" enough and them giving you a hard time. I'm sure you'll hear from other locals with more experience. We've only been homeschooling 6 months as DS is in Kindergarten.
Dov'sMom's Avatar Dov'sMom 10:39 AM 03-15-2007
Thank you!

Happy to hear any more input...
reeseccup's Avatar reeseccup 10:45 AM 03-15-2007
We came from NC and had to make the choice between MD and VA. We decided that VA would be more suited for us and easier for our very relaxed eclectic style. I'm glad we did. It was super easy in our county, course almost half the children in our county (small) are hs'd, so that makes it easier I think. I didn't even go into detail about our SOL objectives, just a breif statement about how our we belive we are capable, use eclectic resources and how we've read and understand the SOL for our childrens age levels. We choose to do an annual standardized test (easier for our family) to turn in as proof of progress.


The only real strong objective I have is that I can't graduate dc before they are 18 unless I have them take the GED at 16.
ksera05's Avatar ksera05 10:45 AM 03-15-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinky Tuscadero View Post
I live in MD and I think it's pretty easy here. They review your portfolio twice a year in my county. They can't ask for progress or comment on your content. All they want is "evidence of instruction", a few pieces of evidence for each subject. I don't think I'd want to deal with testing for progress. That leaves you open to not "progressing" enough and them giving you a hard time. I'm sure you'll hear from other locals with more experience. We've only been homeschooling 6 months as DS is in Kindergarten.
My parents have HSed in both Maryland and Virginia. I know in Maryland my mom got plenty of comments on her "evidence of instruction" - maybe she had a bad reviewer but she hated the process because they always seemed to find something wrong with what she'd done. And my mom is an incredibly academic home schooler, trust me we did it all I can't even imagine hs'ing in a more laid back style in MD after some of the stuff seh went through.

Virginia has been much easier for them.
Butter's Avatar Butter 01:02 PM 03-15-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by reeseccup View Post
The only real strong objective I have is that I can't graduate dc before they are 18 unless I have them take the GED at 16.
This came up on VAEclecticHS yahoogroups a couple months ago and it turns out that is a misconception. You can choose to graduate your child whenever they are done. You can skip them grades or hold them back as needed.
Butter's Avatar Butter 01:07 PM 03-15-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinky Tuscadero View Post
I live in MD and I think it's pretty easy here. They review your portfolio twice a year in my county. They can't ask for progress or comment on your content. All they want is "evidence of instruction", a few pieces of evidence for each subject. I don't think I'd want to deal with testing for progress. That leaves you open to not "progressing" enough and them giving you a hard time. I'm sure you'll hear from other locals with more experience. We've only been homeschooling 6 months as DS is in Kindergarten.
I know plenty of people in MD who have gotten comments and been told they absolutely needed to prove progress not just evidence of instruction with their portfolio (my parents included).

The testing in VA is rather objective while portfolio review can be very subjective. They simply have to score above the fourth stanine. Period. That's something like only the 23rd percentile. If a child doesn't score that high you can always do the fall back of an independent portfolio review or prove that it IS progress even if it is under the fourth stanine (for example, a child who was pulled out of PS had been getting in the single digits for her standardized test scores while in school so the 16th percentile she got her first year of homeschooling most definitely was progress even though it was below the desired threshhold). If you don't prove progress for a year here the worst they can do is give you another year to pull back up and prove progress. They cannot force the child immediately back into the public school system.
reeseccup's Avatar reeseccup 08:07 AM 03-16-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Butter View Post
This came up on VAEclecticHS yahoogroups a couple months ago and it turns out that is a misconception. You can choose to graduate your child whenever they are done. You can skip them grades or hold them back as needed.

Really? Ok heading back to re-read the law. If our children wish to "graduate" sooner than 18, I'd love to have that option open, without having to take the GED.
Pinky Tuscadero's Avatar Pinky Tuscadero 08:52 AM 03-16-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Butter View Post
I know plenty of people in MD who have gotten comments and been told they absolutely needed to prove progress not just evidence of instruction with their portfolio (my parents included).
Then they need to complain to the School Board because that is not what the law allows. We met with the head of homeschooling for the Board and he was very easy going and friendly. I went in prepared for a fight but it didn't happen. It was super easy.
ustasmom's Avatar ustasmom 02:10 PM 03-16-2007
I graduated one at 17 and she never took the GED. In fact, I officially graduated her when she earned her Associate's Degree with a 4.0 GPA. When we went in the high school guidance office to look through the scholarship book, the only thing that the counselor could say was "Whoa!"
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