Is homeschooling legal?
Yes, homeschooling is legal in all 50 states. However, laws and regulations vary from state to state, and interpretations can vary from school district to school district. You will need to ready the laws in your state, in addition to asking homeschooling organizations for information. The reference librarian at your local library will be able to help you find this information. You can also find a lot of good information about homeschooling on the Internet.
Is homeschooling expensive?
Homeschooling can be as expensive or as inexpensive as you make it. It depends on many factors, including what kinds of materials and resources you choose to use, how many children you will be homeschooling, and whether or not you will be giving up paid employment in order to homeschool your children. Parents can easily spend a small fortune on all the wonderful learning materials and books available. On the other hand, a superior education can also be accomplished using free resources found through the public library, interlibrary loan, and learning opportunities found in your community, such as museums and trips to interesting places. If you have only one child and decide to use real life experiences, the public library, garage sales and thrift stores for your resources, you may be talking about a couple hundred dollars or less for an entire year. If you decide to purchase a curriculum for five children you could be looking at several thousand dollars over that same year.
Where can I get materials and resources?
Many people believe that the public library is the best possible resource. Send for the catalogs that look interesting to you. They are filled with resources which you may find helpful. If you are interested in finding out more about prepackaged curriculum or correspondence schools write for their brochures and informative flyers. Homeschooling conferences and learning fairs are another place for looking at materials and getting ideas. Check with your local or state support groups for information about these.
What about higher education?
Hundreds of colleges and universities nationwide accept homeschooled students.
How do I find out about homeschooling in my state?
The American Homeschool Association maintains files with information about homeschooling for all 50 states and several foreign countries. The files are available at the AHA website.
How do I get started with homeschooling?
If you're thinking about homeschooling, contacting your state or local homeschooling support group is the best place to start. Often local public libraries can assist in locating them. The support groups usually have copies of the state law, information about getting started, lists of activities and resources and many offer a newsletter as well. They can offer opportunities for getting together with other families, activities for children and adults, advice and help with resource materials and even cooperative classes for children. Some have a purely social focus - others have an academic or religious focus as well.
In addition, a list of homeschooling support groups, organizations, listserves, websites and helpful individuals can be found at the Home Education Magazine website.
If a homeschool student needs an IEP to submit for special testing accommodations in registration to ACT testing, does the student have to enroll in public school to get an evaluation completed to finish an IEP?
A homeschooled student is entitled to an evaluation under the child find provisions of both Section 504 and the IDEA if a disability is suspected.
After an evaluation, a homeschooled student is then entitled to the OFFER of a fully developed IEP or a 504 plan. That offer being put into service, however, may be contingent upon the enrollment of the student into the public school system, depending on state law. That's where service plans come into play.
Schools are NOT able to get out of conducting an evaluation simply by virtue of a student not being enrolled in the public school district.
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