Homeschooling and IEP question
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  1. #1
    Inyeni is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    Dec 2018

    Default Homeschooling and IEP question

    Hi! We are considering homeschooling my 6 year old autistic grandson but he currently has an IEP in place. Will that stop us from being able to homeschool? If not, how will it affect us, if at all?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated as the public school is failing him so we are trying to make sure he gets what he needs.


  2. #2
    hearthstone_academy's Avatar
    hearthstone_academy is offline Administrator
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    Nov 2006
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    Default Re: Homeschooling and IEP question

    Hi, and welcome! Homeschooling is legal in all fifty states. Each state has its own homeschool laws. Disability rights laws would prohibit states from allowing children who learn typically to homeschool, while refusing to allow homeschooling of a student with an IEP. They have the same rights as anyone.

    Time4Learning allows students to work at different grade levels in each subject and change levels as often as needed. Lessons, quizzes, and tests can be skipped or repeated as often as necessary. You can do what you feel is best for your student's needs.

    Every state's homeschool laws require the parent or legal guardian to be responsible for homeschooling. If you have legal custody of your grandchild, then that isn't an issue. If you do not, then the child's parent is the "teacher of record." That does not mean they have to do all the teaching themselves, but it does mean they are responsible for filling out, signing, and timely filing any necessary papers and that they are ultimately responsible for whomever they have teaching the child, whether that's themselves, tutors, community classes, an online program like Time4Learning, or some combination.

    New Hampshire law states: “The general court recognizes . . . that it is the primary right and obligation of a parent to choose the appropriate educational alternative for a child under his care and supervision, as provided by law. . . . The general court further recognizes that home education is more individualized than instruction normally provided in the classroom setting” (N.H. Rev. State. Ann. § 193-A).
    The New Hampshire Supreme Court has reaffirmed the fundamental right to homeschool: “Thus while the State may adopt a policy requiring children to be educated, it does not have the unlimited power to require they be educated in a certain way or place. . . . Home education is an enduring American tradition and right. . . . Thus approval requirements for non-public school education may not unnecessarily interfere with traditional parental rights” (Appeal of Pierce, 451 A.2d 363 [1982]).

    I'm not an attorney, so this isn't legal advice. I'm just a homeschool mom with some experience understanding homeschool laws. This is just what I was able to find online today, but it might help you get started understanding your state's homeschool laws yourself. Here is what New Hampshire requires:

    1. Provide appropriate notification to the authorities.

    Parents are required to file an initial notice with a “participating agency” in the following situations:

    1. within five days of commencing a homeschool program, or
    2. upon moving into a new school district and changing participating agencies.

    The notice must include the names, addresses, and birth dates of the children being homeschooled.
    A “participating agency” may be the commissioner of education, public school district superintendent, or principal of a nonpublic school

    It's usually recommended to approach the principal of a nonpublic school first, then a public school . . . and to avoid using the commissioner of education or a school district superintendent if possible. Here is a list of schools that have served as participating agencies for homeschoolers
    Non-Public Schools – New Hampshire Homeschooling Coalition

    2. Teach the required subjects.

    The law requires that homeschool programs teach these subjects: science, mathematics, language, government, history, health, reading, writing, spelling, the history of the constitutions of New Hampshire and the United States, and an exposure to and appreciation of art and music.

    The law doesn't specify the content of these subjects, so anything that can reasonably be called "history" or "writing", etc. will work. It doesn't say what music and art you must expose your child to. All the content is up to you, and every curriculum you might choose would be different.

    3. Keep good records.

    A homeschooling parent is required by law to maintain a portfolio of records and materials relative to the home education program, consisting of a log of reading materials used and samples of writings, worksheets, workbooks, or creative materials used or produced by the child. The parent is expected to retain the portfolio for two years.

    Notice that you don't have to provide these records to anyone. (Some states require that your portfolio is evaluated every year, but NH does not.) Time4Learning makes keeping these records easy, because of the student reports. Time4Learning also provides this information about how to maintain a homeschool portfolio.

    4. Evaluate your child annually.

    Parents are required by law to annually evaluate students in their home education program. Parents can satisfy the evaluation requirement with any ONE of the following:

    1. A written evaluation of educational progress by a certified teacher or current nonpublic school teacher selected by the parent, prepared after reviewing the student’s portfolio and discussing with the parent or child; or
    2. The results of any national student achievement test administered by a person meeting the provider’s or publisher’s qualifications, with a composite score at or above the 40th percentile; or
    3. The results of the state student assessment test used by the resident district, with a composite score at or above the 40th percentile; or
    4. An evaluation using any other valid measurement tool mutually agreed upon by the parent and the participating agency.

    Here is what to do with the evaluation results:
    The evaluation results are kept by the parent and not sent to the participating agency. The law states that the results of the evaluation may be used to demonstrate a child’s academic proficiency in order to participate in public school programs, but shall not be used as a basis for terminating a home education program and should provide a basis for a constructive relationship between the parent and the evaluator.

    5. Notify the department of education if you graduate your student before the age of 18.

    The law recognizes the parents may exempt a child who is under age 18 from compulsory attendance if he or she has completed a homeschool program at the high school level. The law allows parents to “document the completion of a home school program at the high school level by submitting a certificate or a letter to the department of education.”

    Finally, you might be interested in the free Welcome to Homeschooling guide.

    Mom of six . . . current students and homeschool graduates. Enjoying using Time4Learning since 2006!

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