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StartingOver
07-29-2010, 12:12 PM
I luckily live in Texas where there are no requirements. But I saw today a post on Facebook that stated ( my rewording ), "With everything we do, we are only schooling for about 2.5 hours. That isn't even close to 5 required by my state, even with house work, cooking and such."

I think the people who make up these hours, are not homeschoolers. :D I always tell new homeschoolers, and even old ones struggling with these requirements that the time spent in a homeschool is so different from a public school.

We don't have to line up and walk the halls to lunch, we don't have to stop and give everyone a bathroom break. There is little to no busy work, when we work with an individual child, or a small group of our 30+ students. ( Even the Duggars don't have that many. :D ) We don't have to wait our turn and raise our hand to answer questions. We don't have to wait our turn for the teacher to come around ( well maybe but there are a lot fewer children in most homeschools. )

Most public school children get about 15 minutes of one on one time with their teacher in a week. Of course some get more, but that is the average. Our children get hours upon hours of individual instruction each week. It is no wonder that we can complete our lessons much faster.

So the next time you are adding up your hours, I would suggest you add up half of the required in actual instruction.... and make up the rest in play, cooking, nap, swimming, walking, anything at all.

In 23 years of homeschooling, I have never sat for 5 hours in a day instructing one child. Maybe 2 or 3 children, but not 1 !!

Just my 2 cents... I am sure not all will agree. :D

MamaB2C
07-29-2010, 12:37 PM
I'd be interested in seeing that state's requirements and how they even hope to regulate that!

SherryZoned
07-29-2010, 01:25 PM
I agree! I am so glad I am not in a state that requires anything! YAY Texas! You are good for something..lol

callie
07-29-2010, 01:28 PM
Here are the time requirements for Kentucky.

Provide instruction for a term that is at least as long as the term in effect for the public schools in the district where the child resides;

(KRS 158.080) states the minimal school term is 185 days, which includes 175 days of instruction (KRS 158.070) and 10 non-instructional days.
(KRS 158.070) states that the minimal instructional term includes no less the equivalent of 175 six (6) hour instructional days for a total of 1050 hours of instruction per year.


First I don't really understand the 10 non-instructional days for homeschools. There is no way we are spending 6 hours a day on straight schoolwork. I'm sure when I add everything up we are getting more than that, but I don't keep track of everything. Do I really need to record how much time we spend in the car doing math drills? (My son hates when I randomly call out a math problem for him to solve. ;) )

I would love to see them try to prove that we do not school for 6 hours per day.

StartingOver
07-29-2010, 01:28 PM
I have seen several states over the years have a minimum requirement for schooling per day. Many of those also require you log those hours. Cooking can be several things, math, science, home-economics, & health. Many things you do during a day can be documented.

I am thankful I don't live in a state like this.

StartingOver
07-29-2010, 01:35 PM
Here are the time requirements for Kentucky.

Provide instruction for a term that is at least as long as the term in effect for the public schools in the district where the child resides;

(KRS 158.080) states the minimal school term is 185 days, which includes 175 days of instruction (KRS 158.070) and 10 non-instructional days.
I believe the 10 non instruction days would be days for field trips, etc.



(KRS 158.070) states that the minimal instructional term includes no less the equivalent of 175 six (6) hour instructional days for a total of 1050 hours of instruction per year.

That is excessive, but like I said above cooking can be many things. So can housekeeping, swimming, & etc. Playing in the yard can be PE, science, nature study, & etc.





First I don't really understand the 10 non-instructional days for homeschools. There is no way we are spending 6 hours a day on straight schoolwork. I'm sure when I add everything up we are getting more than that, but I don't keep track of everything. Do I really need to record how much time we spend in the car doing math drills? (My son hates when I randomly call out a math problem for him to solve. ;) )

If you state requires that you document your hours, then yes !! Most just want you to document the days that you did complete 6 hours of study. It is all insanity to me, I wish the public schools would be held to these standards, there is no way they could EVER comply !!

Fake it if need be, just make it look good on paper. LOL


I would love to see them try to prove that we do not school for 6 hours per day.

Yeah good luck with that one !! Take a picture if they every come to sit for 6 hours straight. hehe

hockeymom
07-29-2010, 01:39 PM
I think, too, that it depends on how we define "learning". We may not sit at the dining room table and pore over worksheets for 5 hours a day, but I know my son isn't too different than any other kid--he's "learning" all the time! Especially homeschooled kids, who for the most part love to learn and explore and discover because it hasn't been sucked out of them yet by the public school experience. Every conversation we have is "educational", whether it's about math or the importance of holding a door open for an elderly woman (community, right?). Every game played is "educational" whether it's Scrabble or sorting matchbox cars by their fuel efficiency (which is what DS is doing right now!). When DS helps smash berries for jelly or hang the laundry on the line, he's learning (remember home ec? Homeschoolers get the real deal!), when he watches how I download pictures onto flickr, he's learning.

I think this is why I am--as someone's awesome signature says--"teetering" on the edge of unschooling. I just can't differentiate any more what is "school" and what is "play" because it's all part of the same. The sad fact is that the so-called educators will never be able to wrap their heads around the idea that kids actually do learn--gasp!--outside of the schoolroom, and so they'll never understand why regulations like this have no real meaning in the homeschooling world.

Marmalade
07-29-2010, 03:01 PM
wow-just wow.

I would love to see a classroom teacher show that she spent a total of 6 hours a day instructing students-especially elementary school!

And yeah-what's a "non-instructional day"....do you log it as "This day we sat on the couch and stared at the wall"

hockeymom
07-29-2010, 03:28 PM
Oh Marmalade--it was your signature I love so much. Makes me literally laugh out loud every time I see it! :)

schwartzkari
07-29-2010, 05:14 PM
I am so glad my family lives in Texas too! :)

We started out doing only 30 minutes of preschool 3 years ago and now we do (on average) about 2 hours of work together each day. Once my son starts his lessons, I'm sure that will double. Sometimes more, sometimes less. Homeschooling time is completely different from public schooling time. The amount of work we accomplish in a day, a week, a month actually surprises me. I have looked over some of the other state laws and I'm surprised at how in-depth they get when it comes to "trying" to regulate homeschoolers.

StartingOver
07-29-2010, 05:44 PM
Some states have insane laws !!! I wish they were all as easy as Texas.

camaro
07-29-2010, 06:34 PM
I think putting homeschoolers on a schedule like public school puts unnecessary stress on families. I consider us very fortunate to homeschool in Saskatchewan, as it seems we're very free to do things the way we want, when we want. We have no hours/days to keep track of and the end-of-year reporting amounted to a progress report mailed to the school division office. As Mitchell once used to say "easy-peasy double-squeezy".

Busygoddess
07-29-2010, 07:04 PM
I love the fact that my state has no day/time requirements (or many other requirements for that matter). However, if I needed to, I could easily log an average of 5-6 hours of school each day. We do so many hands-on activities, projects, and experiements, plus so much reading and research, that a time requirement would be nothing.
My biggest issue with it would be having to waste the time logging what we did. That's why I'm glad my state sees us as private schools, we don't have to waste time on excessive records, test prep, etc.

elkhollow
07-29-2010, 07:42 PM
My biggest issue with it would be having to waste the time logging what we did. That's why I'm glad my state sees us as private schools, we don't have to waste time on excessive records, test prep, etc

I'll second that!! Florida has an umbrella school option that excuses us from all that business. If we registered as homeschoolers the kids would have to be "evaluated." Crazy, isn't it? We loved the homeschooling freedom of Texas, too. We have been terribly lucky so far about the states we've lived in, and if the Air Force moves us to a state with regulations it will be SO hard to adjust!

Interestingly, HSLDA conducted a study that shows the amount of regulation has no bearing whatsoever on test scores. Interesting, isn't it?

elkhollow
07-29-2010, 07:45 PM
BTW, which state do you live in, Busygoddess, if you don't mind my asking?

Busygoddess
07-29-2010, 08:23 PM
BTW, which state do you live in, Busygoddess, if you don't mind my asking?

IL. It's one of the easiest states. No required testing or evaluations. No reporting to anyone or waiting for approval. You're required to teach certain subjects, and instruction has to be in English. If your child was in the ps system, you have to inform them that you're pulling your child out of the system. That's pretty much it.

wild_destiny
07-30-2010, 10:49 AM
In Arkansas, we have to obtain an Intent to Homeschool form from the superintendent's office, fill it out, and turn it back in by August 15. Then in April, homeschool students in grades 3-9 have mandatory testing. However, the state does not keep any copy of the individual test results (although I believe it does obtain statistics for each grade level about how the homeschoolers are doing as a group, not 100% sure about this though). Beyond that, we are reasonably free to do as we please, or that has been my experience as a homeschooler here since 2001. (The mandatory testing used to cover multiple subjects and span 3 days. The last few years, it only covers math and reading and only takes half a day.)

wild_destiny
07-30-2010, 11:00 AM
Not only do I completely agree with you, Jana, but I think you summed many things up nicely! (Although I still like to tell my children a quote I heard many teachers say when I was in public school, "You go to the bathroom on your OWN time, Mr.!!" Then we all have a big kooky laugh, and come up with our own versions of this command with our favorite being, "You get sick on your OWN time, Mr!!" --and this gives my children a (admittedly lopsided but humorous) take on what public school is like. (Btw, I do not homeschool because I hate public school: I homeschool because I love that!)

SherryZoned
07-30-2010, 11:19 AM
I homeschool because I don't like being told my kids can not go to the bathroom when they need to and not drink water...sheesh..lol

But yes it is do it on your own time! It is funny because it is like, well when do they have their own time? Oh public school how I don't miss you.

StartingOver
07-30-2010, 11:33 AM
Not only do I completely agree with you, Jana, but I think you summed many things up nicely! (Although I still like to tell my children a quote I heard many teachers say when I was in public school, "You go to the bathroom on your OWN time, Mr.!!" Then we all have a big kooky laugh, and come up with our own versions of this command with our favorite being, "You get sick on your OWN time, Mr!!" --and this gives my children a (admittedly lopsided but humorous) take on what public school is like. (Btw, I do not homeschool because I hate public school: I homeschool because I love that!)

I don't hate public schools. I believe there is a need for them, if only as a baby sitting service. Many families I am familiar with in South Texas would just leave their children to fend for themselves. I believe there are decent public schools out there, and some children thrive in public school. I just don't think it fits my family at all. I didn't learn much in public school..... and want my children to love to learn. I want them to learn to think outside the box.

wild_destiny
07-30-2010, 11:34 AM
Totally agree with you Sherry! I don't miss public school either, although I was fortunate to have some awesome teachers. (Also had some real losers!) Frankly, I just flat out like homeschooling! And when I read the numerous posts on here, it is obvious why I like it: because of the kind of people who are drawn to homeschooling, regardless of religious persuasion or political beliefs! They are some truly terrific people!

Topsy
07-30-2010, 12:04 PM
Bumped this thread to an article on the home page...what an interesting discussion!! :)

wild_destiny
07-30-2010, 12:21 PM
It is an interesting discussion, Topsy. So far, I have found myself nodding in agreement with everyone who has posted. That is why I love this site so much. The people, the people, the people! :)

StartingOver
07-30-2010, 12:22 PM
Awww my first article ! Didn't expect that, I just wanted to address and issue I see with mostly newer homeschoolers.

jab300
07-30-2010, 12:41 PM
I am thankful everyday that Florida does not require homeschoolers to track days or hours of "instruction." What a pain and waste! And talk about the pot calling the kettle black...everyday my public highschool son would come home and report spending an entire class sitting in the gym because there was a substitute or watching a movie that had NOTHING to do with whatever subject he was in. I think states that make homeschoolers track hours should make public teachers do so as well and post the results for parents to see (but you know they never will.) Very interesting topic, thanks for posting this. :)

jab300
07-30-2010, 12:42 PM
And yeah-what's a "non-instructional day"....do you log it as "This day we sat on the couch and stared at the wall"

Love it! You almost made me spew sweet tea all over my keyboard. ;)

Marmalade
07-30-2010, 01:15 PM
Love it! You almost made me spew sweet tea all over my keyboard. ;)
A true southerner!

After reading this post I've decided that if I ever have to log hours I will start having my children line up for everything. We'd be able to knock out a bunch of hours at the bathroom, in the kitchen, going out to the van....

lunaluvr
07-30-2010, 03:09 PM
In Tennessee we are required to school a minimum of 4 hours per day for 180 days (or more). We submit an attendance form at the end of each school year...everyone I know just marks their children present every day or 180 arbitrary days. In our opinions our children are learning every day whether we formally school or not. Learning doesn't just take place with workbooks at the desk. :-) We don't have to document how many hours or what we did during those hours so at least we don't have all of that taking up time. Blech! I would still rather not have to report anything but it is what it is and I work around it to fit our family & way of thinking.

ginnyjf
07-30-2010, 03:28 PM
From Missouri Homeschooling Laws:

1,000 hours of instruction. At least 600 of these hours must be in the five core subjects below. At least 400 of the 600 must occur at “the regular home school location.” Mo. Ann. Stat. 167.031.2(2)(b).

These requirements must be met within the school term (12 months or less) the parents establish. Not required
for a student who has reached his sixteenth birthday.

Reading, math, social studies, language arts, and science. Mo. Ann. Stat. 167.031.2(2)(b). These subject areas (including academic courses related to them) are not individually required, but must collectively constitute at least 600 hours of the child’s instruction. Not required for a student who has reached his sixteenth birthday.

I guess if I have to follow guidelines, these aren't too restrictive. And I'm totally counting the time we spent watching "Titanic" yesterday. That took at least five hours because we kept stopping to research information on the internet.

paganmomblog
07-30-2010, 04:45 PM
LOL Jana I am glad you posted this! I wonder who that coulda been?? *snicker*

StartingOver
07-30-2010, 05:01 PM
LOL Jana I am glad you posted this! I wonder who that coulda been?? *snicker*

I would never name the source *snicker back at ya * !! But you are welcome to.

I just though others must wonder too. I know I did when I first started. My first year of homeschooling was so tough on my step girls. I thought we had to sit from 8 am to 3 pm and work, work, work. Because all I knew before we started was "public school". I quickly learned that there was no way I was going to sit for 7 hours a day, I sure couldn't expect them to.

North Padre Island was a regular part of our education...... you know watching people walk by, collecting seashells, swimming, building sand castles, and burying each other in sand. LOL ( Sh! Don't tell my ex, but we watched the guys on the beach too. )

My story...FYI: I quit school in the 9th grade. although I did get my GED later. I have learned tons along side my children over the years.

The original reason I started homeschooling was that I felt bad for my step daughters when I was 18, they were 16 and 14 (yes I married an older man) and had slipped through the cracks. They were passing all their classes, average students. But they confided in me that they both were barely able to read, and didn't know their math facts. They often did extra credit in class to pass. They had slipped through the cracks. We went back to teach the girls phonics and then worked on fluency, while we worked on basic math facts and concepts, then moved on up through other subjects rapidly. Today they are both productive members of their communities, and the one that has children home schools her two sons. This experience convinced me that I could homeschooling my own children.

Busygoddess
07-30-2010, 05:24 PM
Out of curiosity, I added up our school days to see how much time, on average, we spend on school activities. WOW! I had to figure out how many hours we did each thing for a two week block, and go from there. My hubby's schedule has recently changed, so he's not working M-F anymore. Within a 2 week block, he is working 5 days (only counting M-F, not counting weekends, since those are not school days), & we work longer on those days. On the 5 days (again, only counting M-F) that he's home, we work until lunch. After lunch depends on what hubby will be doing. So, here it is:

3-4 hrs in morning x 10 days = 30-40
4-5 hrs after lunch x 5 days = 20-25
.5 hrs quiet reading time x 10 days = 5 (they read way more than this, but this is the amount I require)
3 hrs P.E. & Home Ec x 10 = 30
3-4 hrs educational games x 10 = 30 - 40

That comes to 115-140 hrs per 2 wk period. I plan for a 40 week school year (not the typical 36). So, you multiply the 2 wk times by 20 weeks, and you get....

2300 - 2800 total for the year. Divide that by 200 (a 40wk school year = 200 days) for....

an average of 11.5 - 14 hrs per day of educational instruction and review.

Now, it never feels like that much time, and we're not talking doing just book work in that time. This includes time spent on projects, research, Science experiments, hands-on activities, documentaries, etc. This does not count field trips, though.
Not counting P.E. & Home Ec, which pretty much happen as part of daily life, Jay has 8 subjects & Dea has 9. So, that doesn't seem like so much time when you consider how many subjects are covered in a year.

paganmomblog
07-30-2010, 07:00 PM
I would never name the source *snicker back at ya * !! But you are welcome to.

Because all I knew before we started was "public school".



Yea, I can admit it....it was totally me!

And we are "stuck" in terms of doing it like PS. Not so much with little man, he is perfectly happy with things broken up during the day whenever he is motivated. The girls have always known PS and prefer that we have some sort of set schedule. I met them halfway with a set amount of work for the day and that is what they have to get done. I don't care if they wait until after dinner or as soon as they get up (which is when they do it). Both told me that they felt they weren't getting enough so I am going to double up on them next week so that they feel more comfy with everything.

My biggest complaint IS the record keeping. I have only tracked their attendance, not literal hours spent on subjects. I am going to have to do that from what I understand of our state regulations. Some of their activities cover several subjects, like say history, reading, and art all at once. But I am just going to track them separately so that it looks like what may have taken 20 minutes equates to an actual hour. When we were talking about it on FB was right after the girls said they wanted more and I felt like maybe I hadn't planned things so well, know what I mean?

And just so everyone on the thread understands, NC Dept of Non Public Education says we have to go 180 days @ 5 hours a day. The way my hubs reads it, it's 180 days @ a suggested 5 hours a day. I hate their site!

StartingOver
07-30-2010, 07:31 PM
Yea, I can admit it....it was totally me!

And we are "stuck" in terms of doing it like PS. Not so much with little man, he is perfectly happy with things broken up during the day whenever he is motivated. The girls have always known PS and prefer that we have some sort of set schedule. I met them halfway with a set amount of work for the day and that is what they have to get done. I don't care if they wait until after dinner or as soon as they get up (which is when they do it). Both told me that they felt they weren't getting enough so I am going to double up on them next week so that they feel more comfy with everything.

The beauty of homeschooling is doing what works best for each individual child. If the girls want more, by all means give them more !!

As for accounting for time it looks like the only subjects you must teach are English grammar, reading, spelling, and mathematics. So I personally would keep a record of 1 hour and 15 minutes for each subject per day, and let it go at that.

One thing I would suggest though, as I do for all homeschoolders no matter where they are, is to keep a portfolio of work completed. Something as simple as a three ring binder with one example a month of the subjects that you do teach. There are times when you could need this, like in situations of divorce, CPS, or other unexpected situations where even in a state like Texas, you may have to show that you are actually educating your children.

A portfolio can also show the improvement in your child's work, it can be looked back upon and create wonderful memories for your family. Sort of a scrap book of homeschool years.

Theresa Holland Ryder
07-30-2010, 07:38 PM
But I am just going to track them separately so that it looks like what may have taken 20 minutes equates to an actual hour.

I used to obsessively keep records when we were first homeschooling, just in case Child Protective Services dropped by, and that was pretty much what I did. I wrote down every subject we had covered in a day and then divided up the supposed amount of time (which I think was also 5 hours a day in Utah) between the subjects to make it look right. Nobody in Utah ever checks your records, but I was really up tight and wanted to make sure if anyone asked, I'd have documentation. I was the only non-Christian homeschooler in my town back in Utah, with many um. . . interested neighbors. Eventually I figured out as long as we were stayed inside during public school hours, it was all good. I only had the police on my doorstep twice, and they never called in CPS.

After a few years of that I switched to simply keeping track of subjects covered each day in a day planner. I try to remember to do this now that we're back in Texas, but a lot of days I forget. :P We do have a schedule. It's just not one that would make a lot of sense to a public school official.

Busygoddess
07-30-2010, 11:02 PM
Yea, I can admit it....it was totally me!

And we are "stuck" in terms of doing it like PS. Not so much with little man, he is perfectly happy with things broken up during the day whenever he is motivated. The girls have always known PS and prefer that we have some sort of set schedule. I met them halfway with a set amount of work for the day and that is what they have to get done. I don't care if they wait until after dinner or as soon as they get up (which is when they do it). Both told me that they felt they weren't getting enough so I am going to double up on them next week so that they feel more comfy with everything.

My biggest complaint IS the record keeping. I have only tracked their attendance, not literal hours spent on subjects. I am going to have to do that from what I understand of our state regulations. Some of their activities cover several subjects, like say history, reading, and art all at once. But I am just going to track them separately so that it looks like what may have taken 20 minutes equates to an actual hour. When we were talking about it on FB was right after the girls said they wanted more and I felt like maybe I hadn't planned things so well, know what I mean?

And just so everyone on the thread understands, NC Dept of Non Public Education says we have to go 180 days @ 5 hours a day. The way my hubs reads it, it's 180 days @ a suggested 5 hours a day. I hate their site!

I was just looking at the NC homeschooling laws (http://www.hslda.org/laws/analysis/North_Carolina.pdf), on HSLDA. It doesn't mention anything about hours, or days. It says a school year has to be 9 months, but nothing more in-depth than that for time. Are you sure that what is on your Dept of Non Public Education is actual law for homeschoolers & not just them trying to get you to do more than required? Our local district told us that we had to register (which we don't) and that we couldn't pull Dea out during the school year. So, I know that they do sometimes try to get away with placing extra requirements on homeschoolers, beyond what actual law states. Also, it didn't say that you had to cover any specific subjects, just listed the subjects that will be covered on standardized tests.
If you do have to record hours, count every subject you do & make sure to count educational games, educational shows, etc. Even if you only do 2 hours a day of seatwork, you could easily do another 3 hours of games, documentaries, nature study, reading, etc. I added it all up for us, to see how many hours we could claim if we needed to, if you divide the total by 2, assuming each kid takes up half the total time, it still comes to 5 3/4 hrs - 7 hrs each child per day. I'd say that Jay does maybe 2hrs of seatwork (Dea does a bit more, since she's in 7th), the rest is activities, projects, watching educational DVDs, playing educational games (board, card, computer), playing outside (P.E.), helping cook & clean (Home Ec). It doesn't have to be the type of stuff they would do in public school in order to count. You probably do more than 5hrs a day & just don't realize it. Most homeschoolers that I've known who were concerned about meeting hour requirements, did several hours above what was required, but didn't think most of it counted & that's why they were so worried.

paganmomblog
07-30-2010, 11:40 PM
NCDPNE covers a lot. The only place that they show laws is when it came to the standardized testing. To withdraw my girls I had to be registered and have my card from NCDNPE. So far the local workshops have said 180 days & 5 hrs per day. Local secular group also concurs. I hope I can rely on that!

Busygoddess
07-31-2010, 01:01 AM
NCDPNE covers a lot. The only place that they show laws is when it came to the standardized testing. To withdraw my girls I had to be registered and have my card from NCDNPE. So far the local workshops have said 180 days & 5 hrs per day. Local secular group also concurs. I hope I can rely on that!

HSLDA is usually pretty reliable with the laws, so it's kind of wierd that they got it wrong. That's why it's a good idea to check with multiple sources, though.

warramra
07-31-2010, 08:14 AM
NCDPNE covers a lot. The only place that they show laws is when it came to the standardized testing. To withdraw my girls I had to be registered and have my card from NCDNPE. So far the local workshops have said 180 days & 5 hrs per day. Local secular group also concurs. I hope I can rely on that!

Be careful depending on the local workshops and even NCDNPE regarding the homeschooling laws in NC. Over the past few years NCDNPE has tried to push forward on more oversight than required by law in NC.

Here are the Requirements from NCDNPE website:
Parents/guardians residing in North Carolina and desiring, in lieu of conventional school attendance, to home school their children who are at least age 7 but not yet age 16 must:

- Hold at least a high school diploma or its equivalent;
- Send to DNPE a Notice of Intent to Operate a Home School. The notice must include the name and address of the school along with the name of the school's owner and chief administrator;
- Elect to operate under either Part 1 or Part 2 of Article 39 of the North Carolina General Statutes as a religious or as a non-religious school;
- Operate the school "on a regular schedule, excluding reasonable holidays and vacations, during at least nine calendar months of the year'';
- Maintain at the school disease immunization and annual attendance records for each student;
- Have a nationally standardized achievement test administered annually to each student. The test must involve the subject areas of English grammar, reading, spelling, and mathematics. Records of the test results must be retained at the home school for at least one year and made available to DNPE when requested. Also, see testing FAQS;
- Notify DNPE when the school is no longer in operation.

On their website they also have what homeschoolers are Encouraged to do (but remember not required):

While not mandated by law, home schools are ENCOURAGED to:

Offer instruction of at least similar quality, scope and duration as local conventional schools.
Five clock hours of instruction with the student each school day should consist of:
Formal academic instruction in the home;
Directed educational activities appropriate to the age of the student.
Conduct instruction each school year for 180 days.
Remember that minds are usually more receptive to formal academic instruction in the morning hours after an adequate amount of sleep.
Maintain a current daily log, journal or lesson plan book throughout the entire school year.
It should contain:
Time devoted to the formal study of each subject each day;
Page numbers, chapters or units of the textbooks (or very brief descriptions of concepts) covered during various time periods each day.
It should be retained at your school until the student has enrolled in a conventional school or has graduated.
Be certain that nationally standardized testing:
Is ordered by each February 1. Click here for a list of testing companies;
Is administered each year during the same week of your choice between March 1 and April 15;
Is not administered or scored by relatives, guardians, or anyone living in the same household as the student.
An educational institution/organization is preferred.
Machine-scoring is most ideal. (Always allow at least eight weeks to receive test results if the test is machine scored.)
Includes the subject areas of social studies and science, whenever applicable.

You do NOT HAVE to send any information to NCDNPE except Intent to Homeschool, You do NOT HAVE to attend the voluntary regional meet-ups for them to review your homechool program. Lately, HS groups have been bending over backwards for NCDNPE and telling a lot of newcomers all these additional "requirements". If NCDNPE wants to meet with you they have to give 2 weeks notice and ALL you have to share is: 1. completed attendance forms, 2. Immunization records, and 3. Proof of administering yearly standardized tests (not the scores).

Governmentally, NC is not necessarily a homeschool-friendly state. I would be leery giving NCDNPE anymore power than is mandated by the NC Constitutional law allowing homeschooling in the state. At the beginning of the month a new head of the department was instilled (only the 2nd since homeschooling became legal in the 1980s). Her background is in educational testing and standards...in the Triangle, people I know are in a "wait and see" mode about her intentions towards homeschooling.

Amy

warramra
07-31-2010, 08:32 AM
I also wanted to add that the NC Public schools do not also have set hours for what constitutes a school day. Every county can determine what is a 'school day'. The only law regarding this is that lunch must be served in order to not have to make up that day later in the year. There have been shortened school days (back when I was in school and recently this past winter) due to weather that lunch was served at 10 am so that they could send the children home and not make up the day.

My 5th grader will probably easily hit 5 hours of lesson time most days this year, but that will be a first for her. The younger ones will probably still be in the 2-3 1/2 hour range depending on grade. In addition I also include independent reading (schools do SSR also), home economics (meal planning, helping cook and clean up), any nature hikes we take, field trips, trips to the library, arts and music.

I just have a really hard time separating life from a set of hours marked 'school day'. Too much learning takes place everywhere and all the time.

Amy

pandahoneybee
07-31-2010, 09:53 AM
Oh I have to add in that....
When I first started homeschooling I was going crazy with SO MUCH stuff that we were doing stuff non stop for at least 6 hours But yes I did include teaching the boys how to do laundry from start to finish and how to cook simple meals ya know stuff like that!
But I was exhausted! I talked it over with several of the veterans mamas I know and they said I WAS CRAZY! (well this I knew) But they were actually
teachers before they started homeschooling and they said they spent maybe 10 to 15 minutes an hour actually teaching the rest was busy work, waiting etc. I agree with Jana one on one time counts for alot when it comes to teaching.
NC isn't as bad as some not as lax as TX (but then again what that's saying? DONT MESS WITH TX!) hehehe

Riceball_Mommy
07-31-2010, 10:00 AM
I just noticed that on the county school's website it does mention a lot of things that aren't stated as required in the law (here in Maryland). http://www.bcps.org/offices/alted/faq.html#7
The FAQ's make it sound like they require more subjects, a set amount of hours and days, and an actual school room with a desk. On HSLDA (which matches up with several other sites I've read) the required number of days are only required for public schools and you only need to show that you teach "English, math, science, social studies, art, music, health, and physical education." They seem to be trying to throw in a few extra subjects. I suppose it's good that I haven't read their FAQ's until now though. It seems that a few school districts all over all ready to try to get more than required. Though I have to admit the rest of the info on the site seems to be pretty accurate.

StartingOver
07-31-2010, 10:03 AM
Thank you Amy for clearing that up !!! I was wondering about the laws too.

Even some districts in Texas will try to get you to give them more than is required by law, which is NOTHING !!

I never start " official " school until the age of mandatory school in my state. I would never give one shred of paperwork more than what they need. I never volunteer information.

Angela, I am glad that the laws are as bad as you were led to believe !!! That should make you rest easier.

MamaB2C
07-31-2010, 10:06 AM
My .02

Never offer officials more than is required by law. "Everyone does it anyway" is too easily used as an excuse to add more mandates.

For example, my state's compulsory age is 7 (2013 for DS), but he will reach official Kindergarten age next year, 2011 . I will not enroll him in a Church School next year, though others follow the Kindergarten age guidelines. Why put his name in the system when it is not required by law? Why give the state the idea that Church schools should follow the PS guidelines? Why spend 100 dollars on Church school enrollment when I can spend it on curriculum, field trips, or art supplies?

Also, I suggest everyone read the actual state statutes rather than relying on others interpretations. Certainly look for clarification if needed, but nothing beats knowing the actual law. All states have their statutes online. HSLDA usually offers a link or direct citation for review as well.

ETA: Here the NC law http://www.ncleg.net/EnactedLegislation/Statutes/HTML/ByArticle/Chapter_115C/Article_39.html

paganmomblog
07-31-2010, 12:49 PM
LOL well my HS group is up in arms when I confronted them with the info that was posted here. See I read NCDNPE and it reads like freaking law book and I couldn't make heads or tails of half of it. Anywho half of them are mad and saying I am misinterpreting and the other half are like "oh, well I am not tracking it anymore". Me, I am not going to track it. I will track attendance but not the hours. Screw it!

warramra
07-31-2010, 01:34 PM
LOL well my HS group is up in arms when I confronted them with the info that was posted here. See I read NCDNPE and it reads like freaking law book and I couldn't make heads or tails of half of it. Anywho half of them are mad and saying I am misinterpreting and the other half are like "oh, well I am not tracking it anymore". Me, I am not going to track it. I will track attendance but not the hours. Screw it!

LOL, I didn't mean to start anything. I have just seen NCDNPE really try to overstep the laws over the last six years and I am firmly in the camp of don't provide anymore than you have to. In my opinion, the more people bend to NCDNPE's over-reaching demands the more it erodes what homeschooling freedoms we have in NC because they will just ask for more and more, because everyone is doing it even if it is not 'required'.

The NCDNPE is staffed with only 5 or so workers. They are constantly asking for volunteers to come in and help with their filing. You know, all that paperwork like test scores and such they ask to be voluntarily submitted. The chances of NCDNPE contacting me and wanting to review my paperwork out of the tens of thousands of homeschoolers in NC is unlikely. Because the office received flak a few years ago when a couple of homeschooled children died at the hands of some religious-fanatic, Pearl-followers for not overseeing homeschoolers, they responded by starting the community meet-up program. Every year they contact all homeschoolers in the second and later years to meet with NCDNPE to review their curriculum, test scores and immunizations. The first year they failed to mention in the letter it was voluntary and they scheduled the meetings at the local Police Station! When I received the letter last year I noticed that they had moved the meeting to our community center and it was worded slightly different, but held the threat that if I didn't go I could be visited at home at a different time during the year. I laughed and threw it away.

I don't keep track of our hours - because that would be impossible since we always are doing something I consider part of their education. But, I do keep my lesson plans and journal most days for my own use. It helps me keep track of what we are doing and where the children may need a little more help. With younger ones coming up I can revisit plans I did with the older ones and see what worked and what didn't.

You'll find your own rhythm and path through everything. I would say that NCDNPE is so benign that I almost forget it exists, but with the new manager I'm not sure how things are going to fall out. Hopefully, she'll be too busy with all the real private schools in the state and forget about us homeschoolers. :-)

Amy

StartingOver
07-31-2010, 01:45 PM
LOL well my HS group is up in arms when I confronted them with the info that was posted here. See I read NCDNPE and it reads like freaking law book and I couldn't make heads or tails of half of it. Anywho half of them are mad and saying I am misinterpreting and the other half are like "oh, well I am not tracking it anymore". Me, I am not going to track it. I will track attendance but not the hours. Screw it!


LOL, I didn't mean to start anything. I have just seen NCDNPE really try to overstep the laws over the last six years and I am firmly in the camp of don't provide anymore than you have to. In my opinion, the more people bend to NCDNPE's over-reaching demands the more it erodes what homeschooling freedoms we have in NC because they will just ask for more and more, because everyone is doing it even if it is not 'required'.
Amy

Well now I am super happy that I brought this up, and that Angela came and chimed in. Thanks Amy for clarifying the law in NC !! I am even happier now, that I am in Texas. No rules is very easy.

InstinctiveMom
07-31-2010, 03:09 PM
I think, too, that it depends on how we define "learning". We may not sit at the dining room table and pore over worksheets for 5 hours a day, but I know my son isn't too different than any other kid--he's "learning" all the time! Especially homeschooled kids, who for the most part love to learn and explore and discover because it hasn't been sucked out of them yet by the public school experience. Every conversation we have is "educational", whether it's about math or the importance of holding a door open for an elderly woman (community, right?). Every game played is "educational" whether it's Scrabble or sorting matchbox cars by their fuel efficiency (which is what DS is doing right now!). When DS helps smash berries for jelly or hang the laundry on the line, he's learning (remember home ec? Homeschoolers get the real deal!), when he watches how I download pictures onto flickr, he's learning.

I think this is why I am--as someone's awesome signature says--"teetering" on the edge of unschooling. I just can't differentiate any more what is "school" and what is "play" because it's all part of the same. The sad fact is that the so-called educators will never be able to wrap their heads around the idea that kids actually do learn--gasp!--outside of the schoolroom, and so they'll never understand why regulations like this have no real meaning in the homeschooling world.

I think that's a good place to be :)
re: the 6 hour days requirement - i, too am in Texas and an SO GLAD that we don't have to hold to that. On average, we're spending about 3 hours a day "in school" - some days a little more, some a little less; it all depends on what needs to be done (and 'needs' is such a fluid idea, lol) and how the kids are doing/feeling. If they're into it, we may spend 8 hours "in school"; if they're not, we may even forgo formal sit-don school and do something fun that can count as school. Even keeping track as I do (I use Homeschool Tracker's free program - love it!!), there is a LOT of stuff that could count as school that I don't record.

I'd love to see the schools held accountable for their time, too. I did a breakdown (http://thisadventurelife.wordpress.com/2010/02/11/report-cards/)of how much time my kids would have gotten one-on-one time with their teacher in school, and it wasn't much compared to how much one-on-one time my kids were getting. A friend of mine's husband actually audited the kids class (her son and mine were in the same class) with a stopwatch to time how much actual instruction time - after 3 hours, he gave up and left because there were only seconds that could be recorded at a time. I fail to see how THAT is superior to however much time WE do school at home!
~h

paganmomblog
07-31-2010, 03:37 PM
LOL, I didn't mean to start anything. I have just seen NCDNPE really try to overstep the laws over the last six years and I am firmly in the camp of don't provide anymore than you have to. In my opinion, the more people bend to NCDNPE's over-reaching demands the more it erodes what homeschooling freedoms we have in NC because they will just ask for more and more, because everyone is doing it even if it is not 'required'.

The NCDNPE is staffed with only 5 or so workers. They are constantly asking for volunteers to come in and help with their filing. You know, all that paperwork like test scores and such they ask to be voluntarily submitted. The chances of NCDNPE contacting me and wanting to review my paperwork out of the tens of thousands of homeschoolers in NC is unlikely. Because the office received flak a few years ago when a couple of homeschooled children died at the hands of some religious-fanatic, Pearl-followers for not overseeing homeschoolers, they responded by starting the community meet-up program. Every year they contact all homeschoolers in the second and later years to meet with NCDNPE to review their curriculum, test scores and immunizations. The first year they failed to mention in the letter it was voluntary and they scheduled the meetings at the local Police Station! When I received the letter last year I noticed that they had moved the meeting to our community center and it was worded slightly different, but held the threat that if I didn't go I could be visited at home at a different time during the year. I laughed and threw it away.

I don't keep track of our hours - because that would be impossible since we always are doing something I consider part of their education. But, I do keep my lesson plans and journal most days for my own use. It helps me keep track of what we are doing and where the children may need a little more help. With younger ones coming up I can revisit plans I did with the older ones and see what worked and what didn't.

You'll find your own rhythm and path through everything. I would say that NCDNPE is so benign that I almost forget it exists, but with the new manager I'm not sure how things are going to fall out. Hopefully, she'll be too busy with all the real private schools in the state and forget about us homeschoolers. :-)

Amy

How interesting! On my card they sent it says I WILL be visited in my 2nd year, not anything about it being voluntary. I am not going to bother with going if it's voluntary because I know that I am not just shoving my kids in the closet. If they want to come visit, fine!

And you didn't start anything, that was all me. LOL I have no issue with confronting the idea of what is required and what is suggested. How else will I know?

MamaB2C
08-01-2010, 10:01 AM
Anywho half of them are mad and saying I am misinterpreting and the other half are like "oh, well I am not tracking it anymore".

Misinterpreting what? The law?

This page pretty celarly separates Requirements from Recommendations
http://www.ncdnpe.org/hhh103.aspx


How interesting! On my card they sent it says I WILL be visited in my 2nd year,

For what purpose? The law reads, in part, "any requirement related to safety and sanitation inspections shall be waived if the school operates in a private residence"

paganmomblog
08-01-2010, 07:24 PM
Sorry, but I don't find any law "clear". It would be easier if it just said "The only thing required is X" instead of "the applicant hereby astutes that they will be in compliance with Law XVII Sector KISSMYREAR not withstanding Section NC1.0935720937520". Sad thing is I run into more people who struggle with readings of law. I have a hard enough time dealing with tax laws for work and usually have to have a pow wow with two other colleagues to try and determine if we found a loophole or not.

StartingOver
08-01-2010, 07:45 PM
Sorry, but I don't find any law "clear". It would be easier if it just said "The only thing required is X" instead of "the applicant hereby astutes that they will be in compliance with Law XVII Sector KISSMYREAR not withstanding Section NC1.0935720937520". Sad thing is I run into more people who struggle with readings of law. I have a hard enough time dealing with tax laws for work and usually have to have a pow wow with two other colleagues to try and determine if we found a loophole or not.

I agree that NC laws are not easy to read, at all. If I was just starting out, as you are, those would have terrified me !!! The Required, Recommended and Suggested crap would have had me poking my eyes out. I feel for you ! HUGS

MamaB2C
08-01-2010, 11:11 PM
Sorry I was trying to be helpful. On that link, I thought the headings "Required" at the top of the page, and then a separate "Recommended" at the bottom, made it much more clear than reading the actual statute.


Requirements

Parents/guardians residing in North Carolina and desiring, in lieu of conventional school attendance, to home school their children who are at least age 7 but not yet age 16 must:

* Hold at least a high school diploma or its equivalent;
* Send to DNPE a Notice of Intent to Operate a Home School. The notice must include the name and address of the school along with the name of the school's owner and chief administrator;
* Elect to operate under either Part 1 or Part 2 of Article 39 of the North Carolina General Statutes as a religious or as a non-religious school;
* Operate the school "on a regular schedule, excluding reasonable holidays and vacations, during at least nine calendar months of the year'';
* Maintain at the school disease immunization and annual attendance records for each student;
* Have a nationally standardized achievement test administered annually to each student. The test must involve the subject areas of English grammar, reading, spelling, and mathematics. Records of the test results must be retained at the home school for at least one year and made available to DNPE when requested. Also, see testing FAQS;
* Notify DNPE when the school is no longer in operation.


At the very least the hours per day portion is NOT under the requirements heading, it is under the recommended which states "While not mandated by law..." so if your homeschool group feels something is misinterpreted, it certainly can't be that.

warramra
08-02-2010, 12:24 AM
Sorry I was trying to be helpful. On that link, I thought the headings "Required" at the top of the page, and then a separate "Recommended" at the bottom, made it much more clear than reading the actual statute.




At the very least the hours per day portion is NOT under the requirements heading, it is under the recommended which states "While not mandated by law..." so if your homeschool group feels something is misinterpreted, it certainly can't be that.

Homeschools in NC must adhere to 3 things and three things only, once the letter of intent is taken care of:

1. Keep attendance records showing 9 months of instruction per year. A good rule of thumb is 180 days (this is the minimum number of days for public schools). You do NOT have to use their form (http://www.ncdnpe.org/documents/hhh125.pdf), but it is free and easy to use.

2. Test (http://www.ncdnpe.org/FAQs/hhh114s.aspx#Y) annually using a nationally standardized tests that meets the following requirement: "The North Carolina home school testing law requires that the test satisfy three criteria. The test must be nationally standardized (reports scores as national percentiles, stanines and/or grade equivalents and compares student test results to a national norm); be an achievement test (one measuring subject knowledge); and, cover at least the subject areas of English grammar, reading, spelling and mathematics."
They recommend that a parent not administer the test, but that is not disallowed if the test you choose allows it. I have administered both the IOWA and California test to my children.
You only have to keep records for ONE year of the testing. And, there are no minimum score requirements in NC.

3. Keep immunization records on file for your children. If you don't have these you can always get copies from the pediatrician in a day or two.

If NCDNPE requests a meeting to review your files this does not have to take place at your home. Homeschools are exempt from the safety & sanitation inspections. You can schedule a time & place to meet them and you only have to provide a copy of the attendance record, immunization record and testing results, period. They cannot ask for anything else.

It really isn't that complicated to homeschool in NC. It could be a lot worse; we could have to do curriculum reviews, portfolio reviews, ask permission to hs or have to sign up with an umbrella school, like in some states. Ninety-percent of the time homeschoolers have a "I'll ignore you if you ignore me relationship with the State."

MamaB2C
08-02-2010, 08:30 AM
In AL we enroll with a Church School cover, send the enrollment to the local superintendent and we're completely done.

Even the attendance law (for all types of schools) reads only absences must be recorded. How can you be absent from home?

StartingOver
08-04-2010, 02:29 PM
In AL we enroll with a Church School cover, send the enrollment to the local superintendent and we're completely done.

Even the attendance law (for all types of schools) reads only absences must be recorded. How can you be absent from home?
Hmmmmmmm running from a hurricane ???

MamaB2C
08-04-2010, 02:51 PM
Hmmmmmmm running from a hurricane ???

I would be educating then as well I'll bet! LOL

StartingOver
08-04-2010, 02:55 PM
I would be educating then as well I'll bet! LOL

Yeah, I guess it would be the perfect time to learn about hurricanes, gas prices, hotel prices - quality - etc., map reading, volunteering, and helping others. Maybe tire changes, the importance of extra fuel, having adequate amounts of medications..... hehe. Can you tell I have run from a few ????

Nope can't think of any reason to be absent and not educating !