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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm homeschooling my two kids, currently age 3 and 5, and just when I've gotten homeschooling in British Columbia, Canada figured out we're considering a move back to california (I'm originally from chico, ca, lots of family and friends there) and I'm wondering if there is a strong homeschooling community in the SF bay area (if so, where?) and what the legalities are.<br>
Thanks!
 

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*raises hand*<br>
We used to live north of the north bay, and I am sure you woudl find a lareg homeschoolign community in the Sf bay area. Actually, everywhere we have lived we have found lots of homeschoolers.<br>
Legally there are several options-<br>
a. public charter or private Independat Study Program<br>
b. if you have a teaching credential you can legally tutor your child, or hire a tutor- but I don't know anyone who does that<br>
c.file a privare school affidavit with the dept of ed and become your own private school. This is what most families I know do- it's just paperwork<br>
Do a search for homeschooling+California and you will find tons of information. There are two major statewide organizations that can give you legal info and local contacts as well
 

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There are tons of hsing groups in the bay area... I know of 5 just within the east bay, each with a particular flavor...<br><br>
I file the PSA (private school affadavit) once a year and note any day my child is absent... that's it.<br><br><a href="http://www.hsc.org" target="_blank">www.hsc.org</a> is having a conference in August...<br><br>
dar
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thanks so much for the responses! we're currently weighing the pros and cons of moving back to CA, and I was thinking how great we have it here in BC, where you can get reimbursed by the gov. up to $1000 for educational materials/classes/etc if you enroll with an independent school who also provides a bit of "teacher" assistance with designing and meeting your own goals--very loose though, very child-led (with the one particular ind. school we're using), 3X a year reporting to them what you've been doing. A small hoop I'd rather not have to jump through at all, but for $1000 it's worth it--I'm hoping to really enjoy the "teacher's" input, rather than seeing him/her as a burden on our unschoolingish ways...we'll see.<br>
Are there any programs like this in CA? How funny that you report when your child is "absent" from your private school. ah, beurocracy... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"><br>
thanks again!<br>
tiffani
 

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I know of one charter program in the Santa Cruz, CA area which gives families quite a bit of money ($1,000 or so) to take classes, purchase materials, etc. I don't know how loose or strict it is.<br><br>
Here in Santa Cruz most homeschoolers seem to sign up for ISPs/Charters - though I recently met with several families who are going independent, and I'm looking into starting an independent homeschooling resource center. The bay area, though, is different. From what I can gather, most people homeschool independently there (filing the R-4 as Dar discussed above - easy!), and there are quite a few active groups.<br><br>
A great contact for bay area homeschooling is:<br><br><a href="http://www.homefires.com" target="_blank">www.homefires.com</a><br><br>
Diane Flynn Keith is the owner of the website, and she has a very nice moderated e-list you can join to ask specific questions about the who, what, wheres, whens, hows of homeschooling.<br><br><br>
Another Bay Area based list:<br><br><a href="http://www.homeschool.gomilpitas.com" target="_blank">www.homeschool.gomilpitas.com</a><br><br>
The list/website owner is Anne Zeise. Though her website and list reach out to people all over the world, the listowner lives in the bay area and has tons of info.<br><br>
HTH<br>
Laura
 

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If you enroll your child in one fo the public programs for in dependant learning you will be able to purchase some materials and have them fund lessons/classes/events. How much and what kind depends on the individual program, it seems like the actual amount gets less each year. If you don't mind having to work within the public school system (which sounds like what you're already doing) it can be a good option. Be aware that choosing that option could automatically keep you out of certain homeschooling communities, though- they don't see charter school users as "real" homeschoolers.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>khrisday</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Be aware that choosing that option could automatically keep you out of certain homeschooling communities, though- they don't see charter school users as "real" homeschoolers.</div>
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Did you really experience this where you lived before? That is such a shame and it amazes me that homeschoolers are not more openminded about individual choice. Makes me feel lucky that we don't have that kind of division in our local homeschool group.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>BrandyMama</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Did you really experience this where you lived before? That is such a shame and it amazes me that homeschoolers are not more openminded about individual choice. Makes me feel lucky that we don't have that kind of division in our local homeschool group.</div>
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While I'm not the person you asked this of...I can tell you that I've seen it quite a bit!<br><br>
We didn't really have a problem personally with it but that may be because we are often one of the families that has been homeschooling the longest in any given group. I think it often depends on people's agendas. There are those that are very politically motivated about the whole idea of homeschooling...different people have different reasons for doing what they do and sometimes that will really show up.<br><br>
I think there are also often divisions in homeschooling philosophy. There are those that are school at home types and those that aren't and sometimes that can be difficult if one is wanting a group type situation. Although, our children have always been involved in different activities with children that go to private school, public school, do school at home, unschool and any other possibility and they seem to do well together. I think it's usually the parents rather than the children.<br><br>
We used to be in a Charter program in Northern California and just recently left the program. We're on our own and I prefer it that way. It just really depends on what you are wanting to deal with.<br><br>
I'm not sure that we will file a PSA or maybe go with WRA or something like that at this point.<br><br>
Tiffani - I would say that several of the charters are similar to what you have described with around $1000 a year for approved materials/classes. Some offer more funding (especially for high school) some may offer less. I think that most do require monthly meetings/reports though. Some will say they require testing but the truth is that there is no required testing in California.<br><br>
Unfortuantely...I found it near impossible to be unschooling and involved in the charter...unless I wanted to lie. Over the years the hoops have become more and more. I have found that they often talk a good game and appear to be willing to work with whatever the learning philosophy is but when it comes down to it...it really doesn't support unschooling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/banghead.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="banghead"><br>
I've been trying for 30 minutes to <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/blahblah.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="blah blah"> about the politics of "registering" vs "enrolling" here in BC, the hot point being that when you enroll with an approved program you're not considered HS'ers by the gov, and many fear this will eventually lead to HS'ing being outlawed once again...<br>
I also wanted to clarify that the program we're utilizing is a "self-design" program through a wonderful organization that believes strongly in child-directed learning, so I trust that they'll put their money (the aforementioned $1000 in reimbursement $) where their mouth is and let us "unschool" with 3X yearly reporting (very minimal, according to my sources) and no interference or judgement....we'll see...if not, we'll bail out.<br>
Thanks for your input on CA HS'ing...<br>
Now let's see if this goes...
 

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I am not homeschooling now, but I have in the past.<br><br>
I may begin again in two years.<br><br>
I am keeping my options wide open!<br><br>
Everything is subject to change.
 
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