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Hi! I'm new to MDC (though I've lurked a bit). We live in PA (and won't be moving anytime soon, if ever). DD (our oldest) recently turned 5, and if she was going to attend a traditional school, she'd be starting kindergarten this September. We've intended to homeschool since before we had kids, and that hasn't changed. (Probably somewhere between unschooling and relaxed, Charlotte Mason-type schooling. At least that seems to fit us now, though it's not terribly relevant to my questions.)

Question 1: Am I correct in my assumption that I don't have to do anything at all yet, with regards to informing the state about our intention to homeschool? From what I've read, I don't have to do a darn thing until the semester in which DD would turn 8, which for us, since she's got an early spring birthday, would be January of 2010. Until then, I don't have to sign up with anyone, talk to anyone about our plans, or do anything at all formal and recorded (though I'll keep a journal or something for our own records)? Do I have that right? If not, please let me know what I do need to do by this fall to make sure we're legal.

Question 2: Thinking ahead a bit. We have to have an evaluator, but we can choose that evaluator, and pretty much anyone with a PA teaching license qualifies, right? We have a close relative who no longer lives in PA, but who obtained a teaching license there years ago; that relative would be more than happy to serve as my evaluator if it would be legal to do so. (The relative does not share our last name, so it wouldn't be immediately obvious that it's a relative, and if some additional certification was required, I think the relative would be willing to do that for us.)

Question 3: In addition to, or in lieu of, an evaluator, we have another close relative who is a former hs'er and who currently is listed as a private school in a different state because she helps other hs'ing families make sure they have all of their paperwork/diploma requirements/etc. together. (Yeah, we're blessed to have very pro-hs'ing relatives -- they rock.) This relative would be more than willing to enroll our child(ren) in her school to cover us, like a correspondence school, I guess. Ideally, I'd like to find a good umbrella group here, but if I don't find one that fits the bill, can I enroll my kids in her school and be okay with PA? (She'd make sure we met whatever requirements PA has, especially for high school, but beyond that, she'd let us do our own thing; she trusts our judgment.)

I think that's it for now. Sorry this is so long! I look forward to getting to know you all more!
 

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Hi. I'm in PA, so I'll try to answer your questions. First read the law. And reread it. Over and over and over again! LOL! It's a little complex and very vague. In PA you don't have to notify the school district until the year your child is 8 during the first 2 weeks of the school year. My ds was born 8/10/01 so we don't have to file anything until the September 09 school year. So you wouldn't have to file until the year your dd turns 8 within the first 2 weeks of the school year. School usually starts the first week of September so if your dd doesn't turn 8 by (roughly) the middle of September 2010, you wouldn't have to file until September 2011. Clear as mud, right?
I think that your relative who has a PA teacher certification may be able to evaluate for you. I'm not sure if there would be any reason she couldn't, but you may want to ask someone who has actually had to submit paperwork to their school district!
There are some excellent websites for homeschooling in PA. Try www.askpauline.com . It has pretty much everything you will ever want to know about homeschooling in PA. I lover her site. Also there is a PAUnschoolers Yahoo group you can join. They are great there about knowing the law and answering questions. I really only lurk on the list when I have some time. Stay away from a group called PA Homeschoolers or anything written by Howard Richman (they are connected). They do not agree with anything unschooling or child led and they pretty much helped us to get the restrictive law we have.
By the way, where in PA are you? I'm in the southeastern part, between Philly and Wilmington, DE. There are a lot of homeschoolers in this area.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by pamama View Post
Hi. I'm in PA, so I'll try to answer your questions. First read the law. And reread it. Over and over and over again! LOL! It's a little complex and very vague.
Ya, I have -- over and over, LOL! It *is* a little confusing, but it sounds like I've been interpreting it mostly correctly.

Quote:
In PA you don't have to notify the school district until the year your child is 8 during the first 2 weeks of the school year. My ds was born 8/10/01 so we don't have to file anything until the September 09 school year. So you wouldn't have to file until the year your dd turns 8 within the first 2 weeks of the school year. School usually starts the first week of September so if your dd doesn't turn 8 by (roughly) the middle of September 2010, you wouldn't have to file until September 2011. Clear as mud, right?
Yeah. Okay, it looks like we don't have to file until Sept. 2010, which is actually a little later than I had originally thought. Cool, thanks!

Quote:
I think that your relative who has a PA teacher certification may be able to evaluate for you. I'm not sure if there would be any reason she couldn't, but you may want to ask someone who has actually had to submit paperwork to their school district!
There are some excellent websites for homeschooling in PA. Try www.askpauline.com . It has pretty much everything you will ever want to know about homeschooling in PA. I lover her site. Also there is a PAUnschoolers Yahoo group you can join. They are great there about knowing the law and answering questions. I really only lurk on the list when I have some time. Stay away from a group called PA Homeschoolers or anything written by Howard Richman (they are connected). They do not agree with anything unschooling or child led and they pretty much helped us to get the restrictive law we have.
Ah, good to know; I've seen those names around here and there. That askpauline site is great -- told me lots of what I needed to know. I'll have to see about the relative as an evaluator, but askpauline listed several evaluators in my area who seem pretty flexible, which is good to know.

Quote:
By the way, where in PA are you? I'm in the southeastern part, between Philly and Wilmington, DE. There are a lot of homeschoolers in this area.
I lived over that way a few years ago (DD was born at The Birth Center at Bryn Mawr), but now we're over in the south central part, sitting in orchard and farm country. It seems like homeschooling is relatively popular around here too, which is great!

Thanks for answering my questions, and thank you, 4evermom, for the welcome too!
 
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