View Poll Results: What do you think of your state's/country's homeschooling laws?

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  • I have no idea what the homeschooling laws are where I live.

    1 1.11%
  • My state/country has minimal homeschooling laws, and I love it!

    53 58.89%
  • My state/country has somewhat restrictive laws but we tolerate it.

    12 13.33%
  • My state/country has somewhat restrictive laws and I resent it.

    5 5.56%
  • My state/country has very restrictive laws but we tolerate it.

    2 2.22%
  • My state/country has very restrictive laws and I resent it.

    2 2.22%
  • I resent all homeschooling laws and restrictions.

    8 8.89%
  • Other

    7 7.78%
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  1. #1
    Site Admin Arrived Topsy's Avatar
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    Default Weekly Poll: What do you think of your state's/country's homeschooling laws?

    (Thanks to dbmamaz for this one!)

    I live in North Carolina, and I guess we are sort of a moderately regulated state where homeschooling is concerned. Some people say they find the laws here quite restrictive, but except for the requirement to do a yearly standardized test, I have never really felt that way. NC makes lots of "suggestions" about how to do things, but they certainly don't enforce many of them, so I feel fairly good about the laws here.

    What about you? Are you a lover or a hater concerning the homeschooling laws in your state or country of residence?
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Evolved lynne's Avatar
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    I'm in NC too and I checked "minimal homeschooling laws" because, like you said the standardized test is the main thing, which is easy enough and I'm interested to see how my kids do on them.
    Homeschooling two boys, ages 7 and 11

  3. #3
    Senior Member Arrived Riceball_Mommy's Avatar
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    I had to choose other because Maryland's laws aren't super strict and so far I've had an easy time with the reviews (only had one review though). It drives me crazy that the law is a bit vague, so if you interpret it differently then the reviewer then you might get into trouble. I mean what shows regular thorough instruction to you may be lacking or too much someone else. So anyway so far I really don't hate it and I like the idea of the review, but I can't say I love the actual process.
    Mini Riceball - 8 years old, 3rd grade with an ecclectic mix

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  4. #4
    Senior Member Arrived Teri's Avatar
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    As a Texan, we are among the least restrictive states. We are considered a "private school" and the state does not regulate private schools. We do not have to even inform anyone that we are homeschooling, so Texas is one of those states that has NO idea how many homeschoolers there are. They do not try to account for the kids that are not in public schools.
    We do no standardized testing, have no requirements on attendance and report to no one.
    On the flip side, we get no support from the state, we can access no services at the schools (with the exception of a FEW special education services), we cannot participate in extracurriculars at the schools (music, sports, etc.). We get no assistance in buying curriculum or anything else.
    I am just happy as can be to have it stay the way it is.
    Teri
    Joseph (5/00), Libby (10/01), Caroline (9/02) and Alex (4/89)
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Evolved inmom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teri View Post
    As a Texan, we are among the least restrictive states. We are considered a "private school" and the state does not regulate private schools. We do not have to even inform anyone that we are homeschooling, so Texas is one of those states that has NO idea how many homeschoolers there are. They do not try to account for the kids that are not in public schools.
    We do no standardized testing, have no requirements on attendance and report to no one.
    On the flip side, we get no support from the state, we can access no services at the schools (with the exception of a FEW special education services), we cannot participate in extracurriculars at the schools (music, sports, etc.). We get no assistance in buying curriculum or anything else.
    I am just happy as can be to have it stay the way it is.
    That is essentially the way it is in Indiana. Theoretically IF someone from the department of ed came to my house, the only "proof" I'd have to show them is a calendar of some sort showing my kids were "in attendance" for 180 days. We are also considered private schools, and can determine what, where, when, and how the kids learn. No standardized testing either.
    Carol

    In our ninth year of homeschooling zanily creative dd (17) and programming-happy logical ds (16)

  6. #6
    Senior Member Arrived Stella M's Avatar
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    Somewhat restrictive but I tolerate it.

    We have to register as homeschoolers, which involves writing a program for each child and being visited by an Authorised Person, who assesses your homeschooling plans for the next few years, theoretically checks that you did what you said you were going to from the last visit - I normally have a pile of books/portfolios sitting there for them to look at but they never do! - and gives a period of registration for up to 2 years. It's a pain in the neck sometimes but not really onerous. I've never had a problem with getting the 2 years registration. There's no testing. We're supposed to follow the curriculum but not the syllabus, so as long as you cover the key learning areas, there's no problem. I've registered with an unschooling program at one point and that was OK too. Probably depends on who your AP is though.

    I tolerate it because I can accept that the state has some right to make sure that all children are receiving a basic education. I wouldn't want it to become any more prescriptive than it is now though.
    Last edited by Stella M; 03-02-2011 at 05:14 PM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Arrived farrarwilliams's Avatar
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    I wavered but ended up picking other. Until a couple of years ago, DC (which is neither a state nor a country, btw ) had no homeschool law at all. Then, there was a terrible case where a mother murdered her children and used homeschooling to cover up the fact that they weren't in school (truly, it was a gruesome and tragic case). So they proposed a really crazy homeschool law - similar to the one recently tabled in IL, which would give the OSSE the authority to just barge into your house and inspect it whenever they wanted (um, hello, school board, can you say "unconstitutional"?). That didn't pass and instead we got a law that required us to register, parents to have hs diplomas or GEDs, that we teach all the subjects, etc. Also, that we must keep "a portfolio of materials" and that they can request a review of those materials at a mutually agreeable location up to twice a year (I think that's how often - it might have been three times?). Anyway, that was three years ago and as far as I know NO ONE has ever actually been reviewed. The homeschool "office" is one single person and dealing with the homeschoolers is only a part of her job, as I understand it.

    So, in practice, minimal regulation, that's for sure. But the law is so new and so vague. I feel like they could easily decide to enforce it very arbitrarily and I'm not happy with the checks and balances and means of appeal that are built into the law. There's not a long history of what a "review" would mean or look like, such as in Maryland. Overall, it's completely not a hassle for me, but I do worry about the future.
    Disclaimer: Everything I'm saying is just my own opinion, based on my own experiences teaching and with my own kids and my own life. You should just ignore me if I'm annoying you. I don't mind.

    But if I don't annoy you, feel free to visit my blog:
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    Children's Books, Homeschooling and Random Musings...

  8. #8
    Senior Member Arrived dbmamaz's Avatar
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    I said somewhat/tolerate.

    When we first start homeschooling, we have to show that we are qualified to teach - either a high school diploma or a letter stating why you are qualified - that letter is mostly supposed to show that you are motivated and literate.

    Then each year you have to send in something stating the childs name and birth date (I think birth date is required) and a curriclum description - most counties will allow it to be fairly generalized. I think I did 3 sentences for each kid. You do send it to the superintendant of the school district, and some districts are more freindly to home schoolers, and other go out of their way to intimidate them. Often the districts who are trying to intimidate are also using an older, out-dated version of the home school provision in the law. The law has been made less onerous a few times in the past decade or so.

    anyways, at the end of the year we have to show proof of progress. This can be a nationally normed test where your child performs at least 24th percentile, or an evaluation by a teacher lisenced in any state, or, if your district allows, you can send in a portfolio for them to evaluate. Most dont have the time and wont accept them. The evaluators are not bound legally on how to evaluate the kids - many people rave about the evaluators who just make them feel great about home schooling their kids. I have done the tests so far, because there is one which costs only 25/kid and you can give at home - very simple.
    Cara, eclecticly homeschooling two boys
    Orion, ds 17, specail needs
    Raven, ds 10, all around intense kid
    21 yo dd, not at home
    Blogging about kids, home school, food allergies at longsummer

  9. #9
    Senior Member Arrived dottieanna29's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teri View Post
    As a Texan, we are among the least restrictive states. We are considered a "private school" and the state does not regulate private schools. We do not have to even inform anyone that we are homeschooling, so Texas is one of those states that has NO idea how many homeschoolers there are. They do not try to account for the kids that are not in public schools.
    We do no standardized testing, have no requirements on attendance and report to no one.
    On the flip side, we get no support from the state, we can access no services at the schools (with the exception of a FEW special education services), we cannot participate in extracurriculars at the schools (music, sports, etc.). We get no assistance in buying curriculum or anything else.
    I am just happy as can be to have it stay the way it is.
    This is basically how it is handled in NJ except we are not considered private schools. We are allowed to homeschool under the same statute that allows private schools to run (something about equivalent education). No reporting, no notification, no testing but no using their resources either. I'm good with it.
    Dorothy
    Continuing to homeschool after returning to work.
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    Steph - sophomore (?!!) in college
    George - 8/2005
    Vicki - 7/2007
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Evolved Olive J. Reynolds20's Avatar
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    Somewhere in the middle for Iowa. If I didn't have DD enrolled in the HSAP, she would be doing the testing. No problems here.

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