New Here -- Advice Needed!
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  1. #1
    MamaTeacher22 is offline Junior Member
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    Default New Here -- Advice Needed!

    Hi everyone! I'm new here, but so far I'm loving what I see. This looks like a treasure trove of information for me, I can't believe I didn't know about this forum before now.


    I tried to post this earlier, but it looks as though it didn't go through. Here's my situation:

    I'm a mom to two wonderful kids, my daughter is 7 and my son is 5. He receives Speech Therapy through the public school system here in Red River Parish, but aside from that they're both homeschooled.

    I've been homeschooling my 7 year old for years, but this is the first year that I've had to send any information to the State. I wasn't aware of the option to list myself as a private school (I don't know how I missed that!), so we're signed up under the Home Study program.

    My question is, would it be possible for me to opt out of the Home Study program now and send a certified letter stating that I'm operating a private school? My concern is that it's already the middle of January, and I'd really like to follow the "regular" school calendar of starting in August. (Which is what we do anyway.) I sent in my application for the Home Study program this past August, so I'm not sure what to do. From what I've read here so far, it seems like declaring yourself as a private school is a much better (and easier!) way to go. Would it be better to wait and send in the required documentation for the Home Study program in August along with a letter stating my intent to be classified as a private school, or should I go ahead and do it now?

    I know that I don't have to list my son as a student yet since he's only 5, and I know that the letter should give the name of my school (advice on that would be good too--what do you call your "schools"?), the number of students enrolled (just 1 for now), and that we'll be operating for 180 days. Is there anything else that I need to put in there?

    I'm also going to check out T4L--I like the curriculum I have now, but T4L sounds like it might be a good fit for us.

    Any advice would be much appreciated, and I'm really looking forward to hearing from y'all!

  2. #2
    MamaTeacher22 is offline Junior Member
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    So sorry to have posted this so many times--the "A Moderator has to approve your post" didn't show up until the third time. This can be deleted!

  3. #3
    MamaToHerRoo's Avatar
    MamaToHerRoo is offline Senior Member
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    No problem MamaTeacher...I'm just going to answer once though

    When I homeschooled in Louisiana I always used the private school, not seeking approval option. I went out to the Louisiana Dept of Education website and noticed that it has become even less clear about how homeschooling can be done. (If that is possible!)

    This link will tell you more about the private, not seeking approval option.
    Scroll down the page and you will see the information in the second section.

    As for switching in the middle of the year from the homestudy program to the private school program, that is up to you. I think I might ride out the remainder of the school year, then start in August under the private school option. The reason I say that is that I would want to stay off their radar, and sending them too many letters might confuse them since those letters go to different offices/departments.

    Our school was Sweetbriar Academy. I know of a family who calls their homeschool Reliance Academy, and another who calls their school Liberty Academic Adventures.

    As for Time4Learning as a core curriculum, we have used it since I pulled my daughter out of public school, mid-year, 6 years ago. We love the mobility (if she had a laptop, and internet connection, she can do school anywhere, even travelling). We love that T4L keeps records for us, and plans lessons for me. My daughter loves that she can do school at her own pace. We don't have to answer to curriculum that demands that we meet deadlines, or mail in assignments. We really enjoy the independence!
    Linda
    Homeschooling one for 8 years and counting!

  4. #4
    MamaTeacher22 is offline Junior Member
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    Linda,

    Thank you so much for the advice! (I'm Autumn, by the way--I didn't include my name in my first post(s). ) I think I'm going to do exactly as you suggested--just ride out the remainder of the year, and then file under the private school, not seeking approval option at the same time I send in the required documentation for the Home Study program. Hopefully that will work. As you said, they really are not very clear on the different methods of homeschooling allowed, which is frustrating and confusing.

    For example, if I understand correctly, by sending in the packet with examples of her work (half of which will be print-outs of her T4L scores), I'm automatically requesting renewal for the Home Study program. So I'm hoping that by sending in the private school, not seeking approval letter at the same time will make my intentions clear to them. I'm a little...irritated by the amount of information that I have to submit because of filing under the Home Study program, specifically the "report card" (what do I do, just type one up myself?) and the "letter from a friend or relative stating that the student is performing at the appropriate grade level" parts. I'm more than happy to send in an outline of what was taught, our curriculum, and samples of her work, but I'd much rather NOT have to do all of that, which is why I'm planning on going the "private school" route.

    And thank you for the school name suggestions! I read in another thread where you'd posted that you can send the information in a letter type of format, which is what I intend to do.

    I'm with you on loving T4L! I like it for all the reasons you listed, and it was fabulous when we took an out of town trip last week--instead of having to drag all my books and stuff with me, all I needed was the laptop and we were set. It's seriously been a God-send for me, I only wish I'd found it a couple of years ago!

    Again, thank you for your help and response. I'm really grateful, and glad to "meet" you!

  5. #5
    MamaToHerRoo's Avatar
    MamaToHerRoo is offline Senior Member
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    Autumn,
    I'm not sure about the automatic request for renewal by sending in the information of your homeschooling activies.

    Read the requirements carefully though. I don't think you have to supply the work records and the letter from the relative/friend abou progress. Just double check on that. Like I said, I started under the private school option because I was not happy with my child's situation in public school, and I didn' think that since they were doing a "not great" job, that they should have that much oversight in my homeschool. Because I never used the homestudy program I'm not sure of all the ins and outs of it.


    Let us know if you have any questions and keep us informed of your progress!!
    Linda
    Homeschooling one for 8 years and counting!

  6. #6
    MamaTeacher22 is offline Junior Member
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    Thank you, Linda!

    In case anyone else is wondering about the same thing or going through a similar situation, I called the LDSOE today and spoke with Sue Millican (I'm not sure of her title) who was absolutely lovely. She told me that in order for me to switch from the Home Study program to the Private School Not Seeking Approval option, all I have to do is send in the letter of intent stating the name and address of my school, the number of students enrolled, and the number of days we'll be in operation. I'm not sure if I have to provide the name of my student(s), I know I've seen that question answered here before, so I'll go back through and check. She told me that I could send it in right now, or wait until the beginning of the new school year (August), and that since I'm changing to the private school option, there's no need for me to send in the packet of information required for the Home Study program. I'm going to wait until August, because that'll just make it easier for me to remember. (She agreed.)

    So, yay! It's a major load off of my shoulders knowing that I don't have to send in all that information--not that I don't have it, but because it just makes things a lot easier for me. It's also nice to know that the LSDOE is very accomodating and seems very homeschool friendly. That phone call really made my day, so I just thought I'd share the info with y'all!

    Hope everyone is well, and that you've all had a fantastic day/week/beginning of February!

  7. #7
    LaHood is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    Hi, I am new and need advice. I am pulling my 3rd grader from a private catholic school because of behavior and social issues......hoping with counseling to get her back into the school setting eventually.....until then I will be homeschooling her. Any advice? In my letter to the state should I declare as a private school or should I enroll her in an "accredited" school to make the transition back (if possible) easier....or is it even????? please help

  8. #8
    MamaToHerRoo's Avatar
    MamaToHerRoo is offline Senior Member
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    Hi,
    I would always enroll in private school option, because that option requires the least involvement by the state in the schooling of my child. The choice is yours here.
    Is there a reason you want her to transition back to catholic school, or any institutional school for that matter? Or are you just unsure about how homeschooling will work and want to cover your bases?
    You might find that behavior and social issues improve dramatically, as well as see her love of learing return as a result of homeschooling. I was staunchly against homeschooling until I did it, and after six years I can tell you we will never go back to public school!
    Third grade seems to be a hard year, school gets harder, social issues arise, so my biggest advice to you is to be patient with your daughter, and with yourself. Homeschooling is sometimes a difficult transition, and might take a period of decompression to get things moving smoothly.
    Linda
    Homeschooling one for 8 years and counting!

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