In a time when public schooled kids are being monitored and tested more and more closely and state (and national) standards are being put firmly in place, I was intrigued to read an article in the Concord Monitor (July 8, 2012) entitled Educators Watch Homeschool Changes. Homeschooling parents will no longer have to share evaluations of their students with public and private schools. According to a July 8th article in the Nashua Telegraph, “HB 1571, which went into effect June 18, no longer requires those participating in the home education program to turn in an annual evaluation or portfolio to the local school district for review. It also removes the district’s ability to put a home education program on probation or terminate it. An evaluation and portfolio still must be completed each year, but only for the parents’ own records.”
I have a number of friends who are current public school teachers in the state where we live. They are always curious what oversight there is for us as homeschoolers. Each year we have to submit a copy of our curriculum (in August) and have to submit national test results to our local school district at the end of each year (by July).
LD doing his required yearly testing last month.
I personally don’t have a problem with any of the requirements we have to do as I spend enormous amounts of time planning and preparing for each new semester, evaluate the kids’ progress (strengths and weaknesses) and tweak our curriculum/goals as we go. I also was a teacher/instructor for more than a decade and so realize how much more freedom I have now than I did as a classroom teacher as I oversee our daily, monthly, yearly (and longer) academic goals. I know what we covered three years ago and what needs a refresher/more in-depth study and so forth. Here’s the post I wrote last month about our long-term goals. I also think the requirements for our state are broad enough to allow for most any style of homeschooling (including delight-directed learning and unschooling families).
One other homeschooling article I read was from yesterday’s (July 17) San Francisco Chronicle entitled Homeschool or Public School?. I thought that article was interesting as it concluded that “Homeschooling doesn’t provide the same opportunities in the arts, athletics and other activities that students get in public schools.” For us, that hasn’t yet been an issue. The kids do community-based sports (gymnastics, soccer, dance). And we do a group music class (and the kids are learning their own instrument here at home. I’ll be curious how we’ll handle that as the kids get older (especially for LD and the trumpet as it really isn’t a solo instrument!!)
On another note, you can always get a glimpse of my older posts by checking out my Facebook page. I put up links to all my posts there and it’s an easy way to browse through posts you might have missed.