Umbrella Schools and what you tell other people.... - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-29-2007, 12:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Here in Florida you can register with an umbrella school if you are homeschooling and you just have to report attendance and that is all. I'm registering with Florida Unschoolers so that should tell you how relaxed it is about everything. What I'm wondering is what to tell other people or even people that question if DS 1 is truant. Yes we are homeschooling but no we are not registered with the county (the other legal option). It is covered under 'private schools' but he is not attending a brick and mortar building.

Here we have a city law that doesn't allow anyone under 16 to be out in public without an adult. Well obviously that is fine because neither of my kids are old enough to go anywhere by themselves. They'll either be with me or with their grandmother on the two days I teach. Also, what should their grandmother tell her neighbors when they see the boys there all day on Tuesdays and Thursdays. So many people don't get "homeschooling" and don't understand DS 1 doesn't have to be locked in a building from 8-3 M-F to get and education. I'm just trying to cover all our bases and save ourselves from being hassled. Any thoughts or reassurances would be appreciated. This is our first year of "officially" homeschooling and not attending mandatory kindergarten.
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Old 07-29-2007, 12:56 PM
 
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First off...are you sure kindy is mandatory in Florida?

Next, I would simply say we are homeschooling and leave it at that. I can't imagine running into all that much trouble. For all anyone knows, you could do your other two days of schooling (for those who feel you need a 5 day week) on the weekends or something.

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Old 07-29-2007, 01:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah kindergarten is mandatory here. :-( You're right, I don't need to worry about all the explanations. I guess I"m just worried and paranoid because I know how some people are.....
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Old 07-29-2007, 01:34 PM
 
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We just tell people we do school at home and no one has ever said anything negative. Attitude has everything to do with it. I try to be positive and upbeat, a bright attitude has a lot to do with how people view my family.

I get a lot of "oh, my!" and "well, isn't that interesting!", but I just assume people are surprised that we are doing something a little different than most. And again, I have never had a negative comment while out in public.

I think my mom is the only person who gives me a hassle.

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Old 07-29-2007, 01:38 PM
 
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We are in FL and use FL Unschoolers also. We just tell people they homeschool and that satisfies most questions. If they persist I would say that they are homeschoolers enrolled in a private school designed for homeschooers and they receive all their instruction at home. Actually I would probably tell them to stick it somewhere but that isn't too helpful.
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Old 07-29-2007, 02:12 PM
 
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Can Florida Unschoolers provide you with a membership card of some sorts?
We're in the UK, just starting out. I'm getting a home education card from Education Otherwise, in case we run into any police doing truancy sweeps. I think it just has some basic information about homeed laws on it.
In any case, 'no, we're homeschooling' should be a sufficient answer to the question, whether the child is truant, as some people already said.
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Old 07-29-2007, 07:34 PM
 
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This is something I have thought about too. I didn't want to be under our draconian homeschooling laws so we joined an umbrella. An over seas umbrella. I just don't know how it flies legally over here in reality if you kwim. Our law isn't very precise, there is one line about privet school students. basically "Or be enrolled in a privet school" as an option for the schooling laws. It doesn't say it has to be in our town, state or country so I figured that is a loop hole I could use.

So far no one has asked me anything, which is how I like it. I do worry about our neighbours though. But if they ask here is the answer I prepared earlier "We homeschool through a privet school" I figure that will take them long enough for them to work out that I can either leave or bean dip. I figure the words 'privet school' will halt them.
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Old 07-29-2007, 08:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by joandsarah77 View Post
"We homeschool through a privet school" I figure that will take them long enough for them to work out that I can either leave or bean dip. I figure the words 'privet school' will halt them.

I do like this answer. If they seem to inquisitive I might say something like that.
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Old 07-30-2007, 02:12 AM
 
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Yeah kindergarten is mandatory here. :-( You're right, I don't need to worry about all the explanations. I guess I"m just worried and paranoid because I know how some people are.....

I also live in FL. Kindergarten is not mandatory. You do not have to report your child as a homeschooler until the academic year that they will be six entering first grade. If you'd like I can send you a link to the info. I just gotta dig it up. First grade is the official year of homeschooling. Kinder is a freebie. We just finished our Kinder year and my DS will be "official" first grade next month.

I don't know about Jacksonville but where I live homeschool is pretty normal.
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Old 07-30-2007, 10:25 AM
 
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Originally Posted by lauracd View Post
Also, what should their grandmother tell her neighbors when they see the boys there all day on Tuesdays and Thursdays. So many people don't get "homeschooling" and don't understand DS 1 doesn't have to be locked in a building from 8-3 M-F to get and education.
Just that they are homeschooled and that they do their work at other times.

You don't need to justify the way you homeschool to random strangers. IMHO, getting into conversations about *how* you homeschool (i.e. -- we uneschool that that is legal) with strangers is pointless. They won't understand and you don't need their approval anyway. Stick with short, easy answers and then change the subject.

Most people don't have clue what the state laws are regarding homeschooling anyway and have never heard of an umbrella school. You'll only confuse them if you give them more information.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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Old 07-30-2007, 12:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I also live in FL. Kindergarten is not mandatory. You do not have to report your child as a homeschooler until the academic year that they will be six entering first grade. If you'd like I can send you a link to the info. I just gotta dig it up. First grade is the official year of homeschooling. Kinder is a freebie. We just finished our Kinder year and my DS will be "official" first grade next month.

I don't know about Jacksonville but where I live homeschool is pretty normal.
I have not heard this at all and was under the impression it was mandatory. DS 1 will be turning 6 during this acadmic year anyway. When I signed him up for the umbrella school I just said he was in the K-6 range.
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Old 07-30-2007, 12:28 PM
 
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If he is 5 in August (of the academic year) starting Kindergarten he is not of mandatory age. If he is 6 by August then he would be starting 1st grade and then he is of mandatory age. Let me find the link for you....

Here is a good place to start. http://www.learningis4everyone.org/c...iew/94/39/1/2/

Believe me, I drilled many people about this as my son turned 6 last Jan and I wanted to know if I had to report him as homeschooled for 2006/07 or if I could wait until 2007/08. Everyone concurred that he was not mandatory age until 2007/08 school year. Even the school district.

I have not looked into umbrella schools much as an option.
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Old 07-30-2007, 12:37 PM
 
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Florida laws.....http://www.hslda.org/laws/default.asp?State=FL

Amy, USCG wife and homeschooling, ebfing, homebirthing Mama to M (8), L (6), L (2.5)
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Old 07-30-2007, 12:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I read the Florida Law homeschooling board too and what I understood is that I would have to sign him up by his birthday (12-24) when he would be 6 but wouldn't have to do it beforehand. I am however opting to go ahead and start him in this acadmic year because the umbrella school is so much easier than registering with the county. No tests, no portfolios, no "certified" teachers quizzing my kid. I just have to report attendance every quarter and since we learn everyday that will not be a problem.
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Old 07-30-2007, 12:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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"attained the age of 6 years by February 1 . . . but have not attained the age of 16 years"

I guess to me that means that this is the year I sign him up because he will be 6 by December......
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Old 07-30-2007, 12:55 PM
 
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I'm lurking.

We're in FL too and not ready to do anything "legal" yet (dd1 will be only 4 in Oct.) but I'm beginning to look into all the legalities here for homeschooling.

Will you please link to Florida Unschoolers? What is it?

Thanks!
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Old 07-30-2007, 01:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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She doesn't have a website but I can send you her email address.

Here are some websites that might also help explain:

http://www.floridaschoolchoice.org/I...hoolreport.asp

http://www.parentdirectededucation.o...eschoolers.htm


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Originally Posted by Annikate View Post
I'm lurking.

We're in FL too and not ready to do anything "legal" yet (dd1 will be only 4 in Oct.) but I'm beginning to look into all the legalities here for homeschooling.

Will you please link to Florida Unschoolers? What is it?

Thanks!
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Old 07-30-2007, 02:02 PM
 
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"attained the age of 6 years by February 1 . . . but have not attained the age of 16 years"

I guess to me that means that this is the year I sign him up because he will be 6 by December......
Here's how it was explained to me. As it says above 6 by Feb 1st and that is the year the student is mandatory. So for 2006 my son turned 5 in Jan...he was not 6 by Feb of 2006. He turned 6 in Jan of 2007 (obviously before Feb 1st )...so he is mandatory for 2007. That means report him as a homeschool student in the year 2007.

Clear as mud? : Basically, the school district said to make it easy to figure out...just know what grade your child would be enrolled in for that academic year. So my DS would have started K in August 2006 and that is not mandatory. He would be starting first grade next month and that is mandatory so now I have to claim homeschool status. If your DS would be starting K next month he is not mandatory yet.

Either way, it doesn't much matter for you because you've signed him up with the umbrella school this year. Now, I'm trying to decide if I want to go that route. Why did you choose Unschooling Florida?
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Old 07-30-2007, 02:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ha! Yeah, all these laws and subtleties are clear as mud! :

I signed up with Florida Unschoolers because basically I'll be left alone to do what I want to do. She runs it free as a service (she homeschools her own two kids as well) for homeschoolers. My son wouldn't be interested in sports or other school programs (like band) at this point which is the only reason that I can see for registering with the county and having to keep a portfolio or be tested every year. I have met other people here and locally that use this and other umbrella schools for all these reasons. I don't like what the schools have to offer so I don't think I should have to validate myself every year to a state certified teacher. I'm not interested in what the state has to offer or particularly what it thinks.


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Originally Posted by Kleine Hexe View Post
Here's how it was explained to me. As it says above 6 by Feb 1st and that is the year the student is mandatory. So for 2006 my son turned 5 in Jan...he was not 6 by Feb of 2006. He turned 6 in Jan of 2007 (obviously before Feb 1st )...so he is mandatory for 2007. That means report him as a homeschool student in the year 2007.

Clear as mud? : Basically, the school district said to make it easy to figure out...just know what grade your child would be enrolled in for that academic year. So my DS would have started K in August 2006 and that is not mandatory. He would be starting first grade next month and that is mandatory so now I have to claim homeschool status. If your DS would be starting K next month he is not mandatory yet.

Either way, it doesn't much matter for you because you've signed him up with the umbrella school this year. Now, I'm trying to decide if I want to go that route. Why did you choose Unschooling Florida?
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Old 07-31-2007, 05:04 PM
 
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She doesn't have a website but I can send you her email address.

Here are some websites that might also help explain:

http://www.floridaschoolchoice.org/I...hoolreport.asp

http://www.parentdirectededucation.o...eschoolers.htm
Thank you Laura! When I get some time, I'm going to check these out.
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