Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Did you send in your homeschool request?

Ahhh, it is that time of year again.  In Massachusetts, we are required to send in our yearly plan for authorization to homeschool our children.  I can't even tell you how much this concept irks me.  I figure when the public schools drop out rate is 0 and each child is working at grade level then they can come critic how I school my children.  But unfortunately, the law is the law and while I believe that there are times that one might want to ignore laws that are immoral or unethical, I'm thinking that this is not one of those times (actually most of my thought on ignoring laws is theoretical since I'm a pretty law abiding citizen).

I find writing the plan very difficult as we are very eclectic in our philosophy and while we use the Alpha Omega series as our base, we use a ton of other resources and change our plans based on current events, interests, or just on a whim.  This makes mapping out our course rather difficult. As I am a truth teller by nature, I am so worried that what I write is carved in stone and feel guilty that perhaps I will not do exactly what I set out.  I try to keep everything very brief, but still give them enough to review.

When I finally finalized it and stuck it in the mail, all I could think is that I miss the homeschooling freedoms in Connecticut where I just withdrew the children from school and took the responsibility on myself with no oversight from the system that had caused me to pull them out in the first place.  I also wonder exactly what the schools up here do with these forms when they arrive in the Superintendent's office.  Do they just join multiple others in a pile to be filed and matched with our end of the year report? Do they even review them? What would make our request a concern?  What have I put that makes it go through?

I will give you one hint, if you are in the same boat with us and have to do a request and an end of the year report:

Start your end of the year report immediately.  Open up a Word document. Save the document with the name "End of Year Report - 2010/11 (or whatever year it is)." Label each page with your child's name.  Write down what you are doing and what you've done.  Do this frequently throughout the year. Where have you gone on trips? What service have they given the community? What books have they read? What workbooks have they finished?  Include anything that you think is interesting.  If you do this multiple times throughout the year, the final report with practically write itself.  I even find this part personally gratifying because I get to see a big picture view of what we have accomplished.

If anyone else has suggestions on these reports, I am all ears.


Andy's Bethy said...

I am spoiled in GA. We have to file an intent, a monthly "attendance", and keep a year end summary - but don't even have to file that, just keep in case we are ever questioned by the state. Pretty simple. I do need to be better, just for myself, about keeping track of what my boys are learning. I will want to look back on it in the future I am sure.

Dawn said...

There is something to be said about keeping our own records to see the kids progress - - - it is surely inspiring.