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I am so new to all this. And so very lost in a sea full of websites, advice and of course so many places that want money to answer all my questions and guide my way.


In short...my two oldest boys are very near high school age and have no interest in homeschooling. I'm fine with that. My first grader after a year and a half of public schooling-hates it. So do I. I don't know how to explain it other than he just does so much better at home-he's on fire here and I swear much of what he learns is us actually expanding on homework or class lessons that he discusses at home with me. He learned to tell time last year simply because he was interested and grasped the concepts so quickly. Now finally the school is teaching the skill of telling time and my DS is bored as heck with it all. He spends more time tutoring other students. In addition the environment of the schools in our area is bad. He gets bullied frequently and more than once I've been mad as a hornet and found myself at the school demanding the principle pull his head out of his...
I want to homeschool him. I want to have him here-and meet other homeschool kids, I want to teach him, I know his passions and how his mind clicks and works. And that's what he wants too. And now that DH is on board we will likely HS the two children younger than him until high school (or longer if they like) at least that's the plan for now.

What I need to know specifically is how to? I can google lesson plans and information all day long about the "teaching" part, the various methods, how to homeschool for free etc...what I mean by how to is this: Being in the State of California-what am I required to do by law? Is there paperwork I need to fill out to tell the state I'm home schooling? Are there tests he will have to take to show that he is keeping up with grade standards-when, where, how? Is there legal accountability for me anywhere? Where can I find this information? How will we transfer back to public schooling IF we so choose in the future...including High School or College (do homeschooled children earn a diploma somehow)? How do I know what subjects are required and at what levels?

I guess as you can see, I'm really worried about getting the legal ducks in a row as far as exactly what I'm required to do/keep track of and where to turn it all in. I cannot for the life of me seem to find detailed information about this and would be SO grateful for any advice in this department. It seems like the only information I can find is either a place looking for money or is aimed at families who already homeschool and are looking for lesson plans/ideas. I looked through the stickies above and only found curriculum review type posts. I see tons of book suggestions on what methods to teach and why they are all so wonderful but do any of them actually discuss exactly "how to" for my particular state?

Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer or direction to point my scattered overwhelmed mind. I love MDC mamas
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Crispie View Post
Being in the State of California-what am I required to do by law? Is there paperwork I need to fill out to tell the state I'm home schooling? Are there tests he will have to take to show that he is keeping up with grade standards-when, where, how? Is there legal accountability for me anywhere? Where can I find this information?
It's a piece o' cake here in California
. Go to the HomeSchool Assn. of California website, HSC, and just start reading the Legal 101 section from the beginning. If you want to homeschool independently, you can easily have your own private school established in no time, and you'd just send in a form to tell them you've done so. Many people do this, and it's not a "loophole," but just an option that the state knows lots of people use - I did it for years and years - you wont' have hassles. There are no tests or reports to deal with - private schools are on their own. There's also a huge email group you can join - look at their website for the link - and you can straighten out any lingering questions you may have after you've read through everything. It's really, really, really not complicated at all, and you can have incredible freedom. - Lillian
 

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I did exactly what PP said about filing as a private school. I actually had someone from the assoc call me on the phone and answer my questions. There website has an option for that. There are particular subjects you are required to teach but are not required to teach them in any particular way. Also nobody follows up with you to see that you are meeting any requirements. You are also required to keep attendance but again nobody looks at your records. To file as a private school you have to apply within a certain window of time. It's in October. I think there is a way around that though? My best advice as a second step is go to meetup or yahoo groups and find a local homeschool group. I went to my first homeschool group before I took my DD out of PS. I had real tangible families supporting my decision and helped me take that leap of faith into the homeschool adventure. Good Luck! You are not going to believe the freedom and empowerment your family will create.
 

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Originally Posted by trekkingirl View Post
To file as a private school you have to apply within a certain window of time. It's in October. I think there is a way around that though?
Except that you're not applying for anything - you're just informing them that you have a private school. Here's a page on withdrawing from school mid-year, and it has a link to discussion on the question of whether to go ahead and file the affidavit after the 15th of October - the department of education feels it's unnecessary to file outside of that period each year, since the filing of it isn't what creates the school and is only a ministerial thing - but HSC's volunteer attorney team feels it's a good idea to go ahead and file it because "the CDE isn't the only government agency that has a reason to think about whether a particular private school is "legal," we are a little worried that some other government official might interpret the requirements of Section 33190 differently." So it would be good to read that whole section. - Lillian
 

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another side note that when they ask for "course of study' you do not have to be specific simply stating math,science,lang. arts,PE kinda broad subjects suffice. You dont need to explain or provide a scope/sequence.

I have a brightly colored folder marked that I keep all the information in. I printed off a year calender online for each child (the kind that fits all on one page-online free) and marked on any circled days were absent. Signed the back of the immunization waiver. I also put a old copy of my resume (although you dont need a "resume" per say I had one saved already)

The only thing I didnt see on the HSA website was about the minimum # of days required by CA state law for students to be in attendence. I *believe* that is 180 days but im not sure if thats law statewide or a county thing for me but definately worth checking into.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by luv-my-boys View Post
another side note that when they ask for "course of study' you do not have to be specific simply stating math,science,lang. arts,PE kinda broad subjects suffice. You dont need to explain or provide a scope/sequence.

I have a brightly colored folder marked that I keep all the information in. I printed off a year calender online for each child (the kind that fits all on one page-online free) and marked on any circled days were absent. Signed the back of the immunization waiver. I also put a old copy of my resume (although you dont need a "resume" per say I had one saved already)

The only thing I didnt see on the HSA website was about the minimum # of days required by CA state law for students to be in attendence. I *believe* that is 180 days but im not sure if thats law statewide or a county thing for me but definately worth checking into.
The only requirements for number of days is within the Tutor option, but not within the private school option. HSC recommends keeping two different folders, so that the few things an attendance officer would be entitled to see (in the very rare case of a visit from one) are separate. From their page on the private school option:
"The first binder should hold the records that a government official, such as an attendance officer, is legally entitled to see without a warrant or
  • a copy of the filed private school affidavit,
  • your attendance records [and only "days absent" need to be marked]
  • and a letter verifying that the children are enrolled in and attending the school.
The second binder should hold all of the other required records identified in the list above: courses of study offered, faculty qualifications, criminal record summaries, and immunizations records or waivers. Although you are required to keep these, no public official is entitled to see them without a subpoena. In fact, we believe that many of these records cannot even be seen with a subpoena. However, the law requires you to have them, and you are signing, under penalty of perjury, that you do have them."
Lillian
 
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