The burning question on many minds is this: what’s the law about unschooling where you live?
Follow-up questions include: Are you following the rules for your state? If not, how do you hide this? And if you’re doing secret bad, unlawful things, why in heaven’s name are you blogging about it on the INTERNET? Are your children truant??
Very good questions those.
1. Our family lives in Ohio. The city of Columbus specifically. The school district of Westerville even more specifically.
2. Here are the rules for my state.
3. Yes, we’re following the rules, obeying the law, whatever you want to call it.
Here’s what you have to do to homeschool in Ohio:
1. Have a high school diploma. (check)
2. Notify the superintendent of your intent to homeschool. (check)
3. Promise to provide at least 900 hours of instruction in these subjects: language, reading, writing, spelling, geography, history, government, math science, health, physical education, fine arts (including music), and first aid, safety, and fire prevention. (check)
4. A brief outline of the curriculum you plan to use (a list of textbooks, correspondence courses, commercial curricula, or other basic teaching materials you plan to use). (check)
5. Get superintendent’s approval at the beginning of each new year. (check)
Annual assessment requirements:
1. Results from a standardized test that shows reasonable proficiency.
2. A written narrative from a certified teacher who has reviewed a portfolio of your child’s work and demonstrates progress in learning according to the child’s abilities.
We have chosen option #2 both years so far. The girls were assessed by two different certified teachers (who are currently teaching in our public school system and had taught 1 or more of our kids in years past).
These two teachers talked to our girls, asked them questions, and assessed their abilities. We provided “proof” of things we’d learned (lists of books read, written-in journals, short stories, languages learned, places we’d visited, things the girls learned). The written narratives were short and sweet and to the point.
Both of these teachers have taught for many years. Both are amazing at what they do. Both of them recognize the value of our children’s unconventional education and have faith that they’re doing just fine.
And there you go.
No breaking any rules. No hiding out or sliding in under the radar.
I don’t know what the rules are in your state. A simple Google search should tell you (please don’t ask me in the comments about your state–I will politely ignore you). You might not be as lucky as we are. That stinks.
Or maybe your state is even more lenient than ours. Who knows?
I can think of a few questions that might come up as a result of this post, but I’ll let you ask them. Fire away.