Hardest States for Homeschooling, Your Input PLease?
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    JohnEdelson's Avatar
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    Default Hardest States for Homeschooling, Your Input PLease?

    Which states are the hardest ones to homeschool in? And which rules or laws make them so hard? And a related question, do you know of any families that actually moved away from that state because of the difficulty of homeschooling there?
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    Great question John. Of the states that I am familiar with I think Pennsylvania is one of the hardest. Even the letter of intent in Pennsylvania asks for so much information that other states do not ask for. The basic information is required, name of teacher, name and age of students, address and phone number of the homeschool. But they also want proof of all immunizations, proof of medical and dental care, and proof that no adult in the household has had any criminal convictions in the last five years. I have been fortunate that I started out in a state like New Jersey where there are no laws at all. I have not had to deal with a state that is extremely difficult, but if it came down to it I think I would move to avoid overbearing laws. I have know people who moved from New York City to New Jersey because of New York's laws.
    Kathi Homeschooling Mama to Twelve year old Dakota

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    I've heard that South Carolina is really hard:
    South Carolina requires the teaching parent to have a high school diploma.
    The school day must be four and a half hours a day of studies, and 180 days a year. The subjects required by South Carolina are math, English, social studies, and science. You also have to be a member of an accountability organization.
    The students must take an annual PASS test.

    True?
    John Edelson, Founder
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    John, that's true about SC. Although, there are actually 3 different options for homeschoolers. Option 1 is the most traditional. The parents teach at home and report directly to the school board. They do have to have a high school diploma, have to have so many instructional hours per day, per year, and have to adhere to the state testing requirements.

    The other two options require homeschooling under homeschooling associations. They honestly have basically the same requirements, with the exception of state testing. If you homeschool under these two options, homeschoolers are exempt from the state testing.

    Like Kathi said, I have a heard that New York and Pennsylvania are hard. I also think Massachusetts is difficult. Basically there isn't homeschooling in MA, you are considered a private school and you have to have curriculum/plans approved in advance. Ick. :/

    We live in GA and the homeschool laws here are honestly getting easier each year (Until July 1 2012, we had to report our declaration of intent and monthly attendance record to our local school board. Last year, effective July 1, 2012, we no longer reported to our local school board, but to our state DoE and we went from monthly attendance reporting to annual attendance reporting. Effective July 1 this year, we no longer have to submit an attendance record at all...just keep them in our records), but the hubs and I have talked about what we would do if the state tried to intervene more in our homeschool. It's easy to say "I'll just move," but honestly, that's a huge financial risk that many can't take.

    Just to throw out something on the other side of your question, I think Oklahoma is probably the easiest state to homeschool in. Did you know that it's the only state with a constitutional provision guaranteeing the right to home school? Neat, huh?
    Katie
    Coffee drinker, gadget addict, proud geek.
    Accidentally homeschooling since 2005!



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    That's cool about Oklahoma Katie. It's the way it should be everywhere. I know that New Jersey and Illinois have no laws regarding homeschooling. We just do not exist. But it would be even better to have our rights explicitly stated in the law.
    bailbrae likes this.
    Kathi Homeschooling Mama to Twelve year old Dakota

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    So Massachusetts is the toughest since they require homeschoolers to do all the private school paperwork.
    Also difficult: South Carolina, New York, and Pennsylvania.

    Doesn't Maryland count as a difficult state? i've heard that each homeschooling family gets a home visit annually by a state employee. I've also heard that while in principle, people dislike it. And before their first visit, they're terrified of it. But in fact, the visits are always by other homeschoolers and are actually supportive and fun. Except for the fact that they're mandatory.
    John Edelson, Founder
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    To me this seems like an invasion of privacy. But I know that it does happen. Waldorf schools regularly do home visits of their students. I personally think that I would probably never live in Maryland as long as I had a homeschooled student. I'd love to hear what Maryland families have to say about this.

    Iowa requires four visits per year with the supervising teacher. But it sounds pretty similar to what you are saying. Most homeschool support groups have lists of cooperating supervising teachers. So the visits are very informal and fun. The visits are not in the families home.
    Kathi Homeschooling Mama to Twelve year old Dakota

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    I've often wanted to see an article which described the best states to homeschool in. And why. And the toughest states to homeschool in and why. Hint hint.

    And I'd like see it on T4L.net and then watch it get quoted around the web. It would require a bit of research.
    John Edelson, Founder
    It's Time 4 Learning. And Fun!

    Time4Learning: Automated Online PreK-12th Curriculum for Math, Language Arts & More.
    Time4Writing provides eight week writing courses for students, 2nd-12th grade. Teachers included!
    Time4MathFacts: Automated Game-Based math facts practice, a foundation for future math success.
    Time4Languages: Ten of Rosetta-Stone's legendary language learning programs provided at reduced costs to T4L members

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    That would make a great blog article John.
    Kathi Homeschooling Mama to Twelve year old Dakota

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    artcoffeewords is offline Junior Member
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    Good to know about the South Carolina laws. We just moved to North Carolina but we are right on the state line. We had been thinking about moving to that side but now that we are back to homeschooling I guess we stay here in NC.

    North Carolina laws are not too bad. You must register your homeschool with the NC Department of Non-Public Education. Children from up to two households can be homeschooled together under one registered homeschool. The parent educator must have at least a high school diploma. The NCDNPE registration is done electronically now. The form is filled out online. Then you must fax proof of a high school or higher diploma. They send back an automated email with your official registration and school ID number. It says on the website that it can take up to 30 days but for us it took maybe two hours total. I filled out the form. Immediately went to FedEx to fax a copy of my degree and went next door for lunch at Panera. I had the official doc in my email before I was done eating. Annual standardized testing is required which can be done at the homeschool assuming the test you choose allows that. There are no minimum test scores required. Attendance records must be kept and submitted for review if requested. Standardized tests scores must be kept on hand for one year.

    Oregon, where we moved from, has pretty minimal requirements. You must register each child to be homeschooled with the local ESD. Standardized test are required after specific grades about every 2 years. They must be administered by an approved proctor and the student needs a minimum score of around the 30th percentile. Test scores are only sent to ESD if they are requested (only happened to us once in 10 years).

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