Adjusting to homeschool - need to know what others do...
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    nova13442 is offline Junior Member
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    Question Adjusting to homeschool - need to know what others do...

    I started homeschooling my 8th grader this year. We love it, but i feel like i'm not doing all i'm supposed to do. I have so many questions. What does everyone else do?

    Do you assign all the activities for the whole year? Does your child complete every course and activity? I know in public school, they skip and jump around. I'm just not sure if i'm over-planning or if I need to be more aggressive in the plan.

    I've heard the CAT year end testing has pretests. Do you pretest in winter, then test for year end in spring? What do you do to make sure your kid is prepared for the year end testing? What needs to be reported to the state (or does anything need to be reported? I know we have to keep attendance and year end test scores, but not sure if we have to send them somewhere?)

    When planning your schedule, the auto-planner on time4learning doesn't take out any days for holiday breaks or days off (like field trips, etc.) Is there an easy way to adjust an existing plan that was auto-generated to remove days you know you won't be schooling?

    I really love this program for my kid, but i'm just so terrified that I will miss something to give her what she needs to succeed.

    Thanks for any advise or shared experiences.

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    hearthstone_academy is offline Administrator
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    Default Re: Adjusting to homeschool - need to know what others do...

    I did not assign everything. I often selected just a few chapters from, for example, a history course and we studied that portion of history that school year.

    No student graduates from high school having studied every possible science or social studies topic. Those subjects are just too broad for that, and every student will study something different. If they are doing a couple activities in each subject every day (and doing well on them), they should be fine.

    My personal opinion is that a student who does well in a good curriculum shouldn't need test prep, except perhaps to understand how to answer the different kinds of questions. For example, they need to know to read all the options before selecting their answer for a multiple-choice questions. They need to know whether the test they are taking penalizes them for mistakes or not. (That will help decide whether to leave some things blank or guess at the answer.) Test-taking strategies are what need practice.

    You can log back in to the plan you created to assign certain days to certain activities, but that won't change the total number of activities the plan decides needs to be done per week. You can extend the end day of your plan to redistribute the activities so their aren't so many per week.

    You don't even have to use the plan. Some parents look at the scope and sequence and start their child a little below where they "think" they are working. Then, they have the student take each chapter test BEFORE doing the lessons in the chapter. If they do well on the test, they do not do the lessons in that chapter. They move on and try the chapter test at the end of the NEXT chapter. If they do not do well on the test, they do the lessons and try the test again. In this way, the student is only studying material they have not yet learned and can usually proceed more quickly.

    I will paste several pieces of information I like to provide to new homeschoolers that I think may be comforting. It's long, though!

    The Difference Between Online Schools and Homeschooling

    Many people mistakenly think of or refer to online schools as “homeschooling.” Homeschooling is not about the location where the learning takes place. It is about what laws must be followed and who is responsible for following them.

    When you enroll in an online school, the school is responsible for following the school laws (not homeschool laws) in the state where the school is located. The school will choose a curriculum, tell you how to use it, and impose a schedule. The school will create, maintain, sign, and stand behind any documents pertaining to your student’s education. The school will provide teachers for consultations and office personnel for records management. The school will arrange for any standardized testing required for public school students.

    When you homeschool, the parent is responsible for following the homeschool laws in the state where the student lives. Each state has its own set of homeschool laws and they are all very different. Homeschool laws are also very different from the laws schools must follow.

    The parent chooses a curriculum, decides how they want to use it, and follows their own schedule. Time4Learning is one curriculum you might choose.

    The parent creates, maintains, signs, and stands behind any documents pertaining to their student’s education. This includes report cards, transcripts, and diplomas. Time4Learning provides blank templates within your parent dashboard to help you create your child’s high school transcript and diploma.

    The parent is the teacher (and the family is the school), even if using an online curriculum. This is similar to a classroom teacher who might show their class a video or allow them to use a computer program. He or she is still the teacher.

    The parent will arrange for any standardized testing required for homeschool students. Not all states require annual standardized testing of homeschool students. Some require it only every few years, some do not require testing at all, and some provide alternatives, such as a portfolio evaluation.

    A great place to find your state’s homeschool laws is https://a2zhomeschooling.com/laws/ho...ce_or_country/


    High School:

    Time4Learning is not an online school (which many people mistakenly think of or refer to as "homeschooling.") We are a homeschool curriculum provider. We provide the curriculum and you use it as you wish, including scheduling however you need to, skipping lessons, repeating lessons, deleting lessons, or working at different grade levels in each subject.

    When homeschooling, the parent is the legally recognized "teacher of record" who creates, maintains, signs, and stands behind any documents related to their child's education. All fifty states allow a parent to issue a homeschool diploma for their own child. Employers are not allowed to discriminate against a homeschool diploma. Colleges are more interested in a student's entrance exam scores than in how they learned what they know. Many colleges actively recruit homeschooled students.

    We do provide templates within your parent dashboard to help you create your child's diploma and transcript.

    When homeschooling, the parent decides what the student must do to graduate from the family's home school. The parent decides how many credits they need, and in which subjects. The parent decides how many hours of work equals a credit. Many parents look at various high schools' graduation requirements online and model their requirements after some of those, changing things to suit their own child's interests and future goals. Every high school will have different graduation requirements and even students from the same high school will graduate having studied different things, so there is not one magic formula.

    For example, a high school might require two credits in science to graduate. One student may fulfill that requirement by studying chemistry and physics, and another might choose earth science and biology instead.

    In addition to the academic courses we offer, parents also give credit for things like arts and crafts, piano lessons or music practice, organized sports or driveway basketball with a friend, Scouts, 4H, church or other organizational activities, volunteer work or part time jobs, the educational portion of family outings or vacations, and casual parental instruction in things like cooking or auto mechanics.

    Here are two articles that are often of interest to families who are just beginning to homeschool a high school student:

    Defending the Diploma
    The Truth about Homeschool Diplomas

    It can be quite straightforward for your child to graduate from your family's home school, since you will have custom designed a plan just for him. If you think you might consider sending him back to public school in the future, you should know that public schools do not have to accept non-public-school work for credit. This would be the case no matter which curriculum you used. Until the student begins earning credits (high school or sometimes middle school), schools will enroll a previously homeschooled student at the grade level that corresponds to their age. They will still enroll a high school student, but the student might be enrolled missing credits. Some high schools will allow a student to test to prove their homeschool credits, and a few states' homeschool laws specify that high schools must do this. Other states leave it up to the school to determine what they will accept, and it often comes down to the opinion of the specific individual you are speaking with at the school. Therefore, parents should think carefully about homeschooling a student who has reached high school level and make sure they are reasonably certain they intend for the student to graduate from the family’s home school.

    Two more articles: Homeschool or School at Home?
    How Long is a Homeschool Day?



    North Carolina Homeschool Laws, with
    notes in blue by Kelly. We aren't attorneys, so you should know and understand your state's homeschool laws yourself. This is simply my interpretation of what I found online today. Homeschool laws change on occasion.

    1. Submit a notice of intent.

    You must submit a notice of intent to operate a homeschool to the North Carolina Division of Non-Public Education (DNPE). Submitting this notice is only required once, when you are establishing a new homeschool. Your notice must contain the name and address of your homeschool and the name of your homeschool’s owner and chief administrator. You may submit your notice of intent to operate a homeschool via the DNPE’s website.


    2. Ensure that the teachers in your homeschool have the required qualifications.

    The persons who provide academic instruction in your homeschool must have at least a high school diploma or its equivalent.


    3. Provide the required days of instruction.

    Your homeschool must operate on a regular schedule for at least nine calendar months each year, except for “reasonable holidays and vacations.”

    North Carolina does not specify which months. They do not have to be consecutive months or traditional "school" months. North Carolina does not specify the length of a "school day" (see article below).


    4. Keep attendance and immunization records.

    You can download a homeschool attendance form from the DNPE’s website, although the use of this form is not mandatory. Immunization records can be obtained from your child’s health care provider. Information about medical and religious exemptions from immunizations is available on the website of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

    These need to be maintained in your records; they do not have to be submitted to anyone. They would be asked for if you were reported for educational neglect, which is about as likely as being reported for any other kind of child neglect. NC homeschool law only gives officials the right to inspect test scores at a reasonable hour, and you may choose to have the scores inspected somewhere other than at your home. You may drop off the records; you do not need to be present while the records are inspected. See #5.


    5. Administer an annual standardized test.

    At least once during every school year, you must test your child using a nationally standardized test or other nationally standardized equivalent measurement. The test you choose must measure achievement in the areas of English grammar, reading, spelling, and mathematics. For one year after the testing, your child’s test scores must be kept “available” at the principal office of your homeschool at all reasonable hours for annual inspection by a duly authorized representative of the state of North Carolina.
    Although the DNPE has attempted to perform home visits under this provision, the law gives its officials no right to enter homes or to inspect any records besides test scores. There is also no statutory requirement for parents to attend record review meetings arranged by the Division of Non-Public Education for the purpose of reviewing their records.


    6. Close your home school.

    When you stop homeschooling in North Carolina—or if you move out of the state—you must notify the DNPE that your home school has closed. You can close your home school after logging in to the DNPE’s website.



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

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