Help? HS JR pull now or wait for Sr. Year?
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  1. #1
    mboyce is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    Mar 2018

    Default Help? HS JR pull now or wait for Sr. Year?

    My son is about to end his 3rd Quarter of his Junior year. He was at a physcial private HS for Freshmen and Sophmore years and this past year in iForwardWisconsin online charter school. He only needs US Government, 1 English Elective and 2 credits of electives to graduate. Issues: Electives he can take at iForward are getting smaller and smaller in choice and lean heavy toward arts, humanities and lit subjects which my son has zero interest in and then blows them off, struggles with interest and maintaining grades.

    He is probably not a 4 year college kid and is looking at 2 year school to play baseball and pursue his dream of playing professionally. Perhaps even taking a gap year to just spend training for a year while taking a class or 2 at MATC before going to JUCO to get even bigger, faster and stronger.
    Anyway, because he is so close to graduating, but I want to him to stay in school for another year and mature some more, I was considering having him homeschool via something like Time4Learning for his US Government, English elective and then have him take a few courses at MATC for electives in subjects he has an interest in and can apply to the real world (vs more Lit and Humanities).
    Thoughts on this? Should I pull him out of iForward for Q4 and do Time4Learning and MATC right away? Finish iForward Q4 and start in August with MATC and Time4Learning? Taking GED in Spring 2019?

  2. #2
    hearthstone_academy's Avatar
    hearthstone_academy is offline Administrator
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    Nov 2006
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    Default Re: Help? HS JR pull now or wait for Sr. Year?

    Hi. Decisions, decisions!

    I think you are comparing apples and oranges. To make an informed decisions, you need to know the following.

    What is Homeschooling:
    It sounds like your son has been in an online school or a public-school-at-home option, which many people mistakenly refer to or think of as "homeschooling". Here is the difference:

    How do Schools Work (Including Online Schools): Schools . . . whether online, brick-and-mortar, or some combination of the two . . . will decide how many credits in each subject your child needs to receive a diploma. They ALL have their own ideas about graduation requirements. The school will decide whether to accept any credits your child has earned by previous means (and public schools do NOT have to accept non-public-school credits). A few states' homeschool laws include language that says a public school has to allow a previously homeschooled student to "prove" their credits (via testing or some other means), but most states leave what to accept entirely up to the school . . . and it often comes down to the opinion of the individual you happen to be speaking to at the time.

    A school will choose a curriculum (or, on occasion, consider "approving" a curriculum you have chosen). They will tell you how to use the curriculum, dictate hours of study, and so forth. The school will create, maintain, sign, and stand behind any documents your child needs, including their transcript and diploma. The school is responsible for following the school laws (NOT homeschool laws, even if it is an online school) in the state where the school is located.

    How Does Homeschooling Work? Time4Learning isn't an online school. It is a curriculum to use for really homeschooling. When homeschooling, the parent is responsible for following the homeschool laws (NOT school laws) in the state where the student lives. All fifty states allow a parent to issue a homeschool diploma for their own child. States will not issue diplomas for truly homeschooled students.

    The parent decides what the student needs to do to graduate from the family's home school. All states allow the parent to choose the curriculum. Time4Learning is one curriculum you may decide to use. You can also create your own curriculum or give credit for things like 4H, Scouts, Little League, piano lessons, field trips, volunteer work or part time jobs, a session at the gym, or casual parental instruction in things like cooking or auto mechanics. The parent decides what equals a credit and how many credits the student needs in each subject. The parent determines how many of the student's previous credit "count" (um . . . usually ALL of them). The parent creates, maintains, signs, and stands behind any documents the student needs, including a diploma and transcript.

    If you are accustomed to dealing with public school requirements, it can be hard to wrap your brain around the fact that YOU make these decisions if your child is to graduate from your home school. Time4Learning does provide templates for parents to use to create their child's diploma and transcript. Employers are not allowed to discriminate against homeschool diplomas for legally homeschooled students. The military accepts them. Colleges are more interested in a student's entrance exam scores than in how they learned what they know (whether pubic school, homeschool, private school, or just because it's something they were interested in and decides to read a lot about).

    Your Decision: Knowing the above, you can see that, if you decide to actually homeschool and issue your child's diploma yourself, you don't have to get too concerned with the credits he has already earned or what he "has left" to take. That will be up to you. Most parents look around online at many high schools' graduation requirements and make their own requirements similar. They are all different. Another option is to "really" homeschool, but have your child get a GED instead to your homeschool diploma. Here is an article about homeschool diplomas versus GEDs.

    Wisconsin's Homeschool Laws: Lastly, if you do decide to homeschool, you need to know Wisconsin's homeschool laws. Here they are:

    1. File an annual report.

    Every year on or before October 15, you must file a statement of enrollment (PI-1206 form) with the Department of Public Instruction (DPI). This can be done online via the DPI’s website.
    Your statement must state how many students in the elementary and high school grades were enrolled in your homeschool as of the third Friday in September. It must also certify that:

    • your homeschool’s main purpose is to provide private education (and not to circumvent the compulsory school attendance laws);
    • your homeschool is privately controlled;
    • your homeschool will provide at least 875 hours of instruction during the school year; Kelly's Note: Time4Learning tracks time the student spends on ONLINE lessons. You will want to track time spent on worksheets and any of your offline things. Just keep a calendar and write things like, "Cooked family dinner, home ec, one hour" or "Walk around the block, P.E., 45 minutes" or "DVD about space program, 30 minutes, science" or "babysitting, two hours, life skills."
    • your homeschool will provide a sequentially progressive curriculum in reading, language arts, mathematics, social studies, science and health. Kelly's Note: Wisconsin does not specify the content of the subject. For example, as long as it can reasonable be defined as "social studies", it doesn't matter if your student is taking an online American history course or reading books about police officers and firemen "community helpers"), as long as they are learning at a little higher level all the time.
    • Be sure to save copies of all your completed PI-1206 forms. If you cannot prove you filed the statement of enrollment during the years your child was in high school, some employers and government agencies may not recognize your student’s high school education as legitimate.

    2. Have the main purpose of providing private education.

    Under Wisconsin law, the main purpose of your homeschool must be to provide private education—not to circumvent compulsory school attendance laws.

    3. Be privately controlled.

    Your homeschool must be privately controlled. (In other words, a public school or other government agency cannot operate a homeschool program.) Kelly's Note: This is in line with most other states, who recognize a parents UNIQUE qualifications to educate their own child, regardless of their own educational level. Parents know their children best, and are the ones who taught them to walk, talk, and eat with a spoon. Parents are assumed to have a unique ability to teach their offspring.

    4. Provide the required period of instruction.

    Your homeschool program must provide at least 875 hours of instruction each school year (July 1 to June 30). Keep track of your hours well enough that you could document 875 hours of instruction per year. Your records showing your student received 875 hours of instruction for each of his or her four years of high school should be maintained in your permanent records. Kelly's Note: See above, about what you can count as "school hours" (virtually anything you believe to be educational).

    5. Teach the required subjects.

    You must provide instruction every year in the following subjects:

    • reading,
    • language arts,
    • mathematics,
    • social studies,
    • science, and
    • health.

    Your records showing your student received instruction in these subjects during all four years of high school should be maintained in your permanent records. Kelly's Note: See my note above regarding the content of each of these subjects. If you use a curriculum like Time4Learning, you don't need to worry about whether the content is similar to other programs in these "core" subjects, and that helps when your child takes college entrance exams. Use your creativity and flexibility on electives and non-core subjects.

    6. Move your curriculum from simple to complex concepts.

    The curriculum must be “sequentially progressive”—in other words, as you teach, you move from simpler to more challenging concepts or skills. Kelly's Note: So, if your high school student isn't quite ready for high school level math, start him at sixth grade level and call the subject "Remedial Arithmetic" or "Survival Math" on your child's transcript. Just make sure your child is progressing and don't worry about them doing it at someone else's pace.

    I know that's a lot to take in! I'll further suggest you visit the Let's Homeschool High School site. I hope this has helped with your decision in some small way.

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

  3. #3
    mboyce is offline Junior Member Newbie
    Join Date
    Mar 2018

    Default Re: Help? HS JR pull now or wait for Sr. Year?

    Well that was detailed. Thanks. I understand all above.

    What I am really looking at is keeping him engaged more than anything. He is a self starter, self learner but the last 2 schools he has pretty much run out of courses he can take that are of interest seeing he has met all their requirements and we're exploring various options like Community College (physical and online courses), perhaps work study and online courses from various accredited colleges including 2 Junior Colleges is really looking to attend for baseball.

    Thoughts on starting him Q4 (3 weeks from now) or waiting to finish his Q4 with iForward and start Senior year with homeschooling? My issues with staying Q4 is he will be forced to take 3-4 classes of electives he has almost no interest in and I would prefer to put in him in classes that he will be engaged in and possibly get college credit for.


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