Homeschooling can be extremely beneficial for children who learn best in a one-on-one environment. As a parent, however, it is your responsibility to make sure to meet educational requirements for homeschooling. Unfortunately, every state has different laws regarding educational requirements and the law is sometimes difficult to interpret. If you make a mistake or fail to meet a requirement, you can lose your right to homeschool your child. To make sure that you’re operating within the parameters of the law, follow these tips for meeting educational requirements for homeschooling.
Use Pre-Prepared Curriculum
In many states, parents have the option of preparing their own curriculum or using one offered by the state. If you are new to homeschooling, you might want to use the pre-prepared curriculum in order to meet educational standards. The paperwork is usually very thorough and you can print it from your state’s homeschooling website. If that curriculum doesn’t appeal to you, check with your local homeschooling supply store and ask the clerk where you can find other books that contain appropriate and state-approved curriculum.
Get Involved With Other Parents
Meeting educational requirements for homeschooling on your own can be frustrating and intimidating. Lessen the burden by making friends with other parents who homeschool their children. This can give you a full-fledged support structure for advice, information and helpful hints that will make your life infinitely easier. It always helps to know someone who has been doing it for several years so you can get advice directly from a veteran of the system.
Keep Meticulous Records
Even if your state doesn’t require that you keep records of all tests, quizzes, paperwork, essays and research papers, you’ll be better off if you do. Set up a filing cabinet dedicated specifically to your homeschooling program and make sure all paperwork is filed away at the end of each quarter. It is usually best to keep such information on hand at least until the end of the school year, if not until the end of the next. Should your methods be questioned by the state, you’ll want to be able to demonstrate your child’s progress, showing that you have met educational requirements.
Keep Up With Tests
You should be fully aware of your state’s laws regarding periodic testing or standardized testing. In some areas of the country, your child can take these tests for free, though others will charge a nominal fee for participation. If your child is required to take a test, make sure it is completed by the deadline and that you have submitted whatever proof is required by the state.
Only Submit Necessary Documents
At the end of each quarter or semester, make sure that you’ve submitted the necessary documents to meet educational requirements, but don’t send more than necessary. In addition, make sure that you’re submissions are postmarked before the deadline and that you’ve packed all materials in reasonable packaging for shipment.
Ask When You Don’t Know
It’s always better to call and find out the answer to a question rather than guessing. In recent years, many states have chosen to tighten the belts on homeschoolers, making it more difficult to meet educational requirements. For this reason, you should make sure to keep up-to-date on all requirements and find out if you aren’t sure when something is due.