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Legalities

What is accreditation? Does my homeschool need to be accredited?

What Is Accreditation? Should My Homeschool Be Accredited?

With the slow but steady growth of homeschooling across the United States comes a parallel growth in online, distance learning programs and schools. While many parents continue to provide independent, customized instruction to their children, others seek “enrolled homeschooling”—that which provides teacher-guided instruction, report cards/transcripts/credits, and other familiar elements of traditional education. Choosing a provider for this type of schooling naturally leads to an increase in questions about accreditation: what is it exactly, and how does it pertain to homeschooling? Continue reading »

Naming Your Homeschool

Naming Your Homeschool

Does your homeschool have a name? Does it need one? What makes a good name for a homeschool? Whether you name your homeschool has to do with law, custom, and personal preference. You will want to consider benefits and disadvantages to naming your homeschool, as well as naming ideas, things to avoid, and how you can use a homeschool name to your (and your children’s) advantage. Continue reading »

What have you done for homeschooling lately?

What Have You Done for Homeschooling Lately?

Maybe you’ve been homeschooling a while, and you’re feeling confident in what you’re doing. Maybe you’re just getting started, and you’re still reading about homeschooling and researching your options.

Either way, chances are you have benefited from homeschoolers who have gone before you. They have started homeschool organizations, lobbied to keep homeschooling free and legal, blogged thousands of the ever popular “day in the life of a homeschooler” posts, organized conferences, published homeschooling magazines, arranged park days, started geography clubs, shared curriculum ideas, and written homeschool help books.

What have you given back to homeschooling lately?
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heHomeSchoolMom: Homeschool Physical Education (Credit: Jeanne Faulconer)

Without a Season: Virginia Homeschool Sports Access

For the first time since Nick was four years old, he doesn’t have a spring soccer season. He is a U15 player for a Richmond Kickers competitive youth travel team, and at his age and level, his teammates will be trying out for their public high school teams. Therefore, club soccer takes a break, with the understanding that players are getting their soccer in their community’s public schools. In 29 other states, Nick could also try out to play on a school team. But not in Virginia — because the Virginia High School League says kids who legally meet the state’s education requirements through home education are prohibited from participating in these publicly funded athletic programs. Last year, with this day looming on the horizon, our family was featured in a TIME magazine article which included a two-page photo of Nick — who has since gotten a much shorter haircut and much longer legs. I blogged about the details of that experience here, and between the article and the blog post, you can get the gist of the situation. Continue reading »

Back-to-School Forms as Tea and Muffins

Summer is waning, and the fall quickly approaches, with its back-to-school excitement! Even homeschoolers who educate throughout the summer often use the fall as a time to try a fresh start with new curriculum, implement a new approach, or get creative to inject a breath of fresh air into their school. For many home educators, August is an important time to send in test scores, file notice-of-intent forms, and fulfill their state’s legal requirements in order to be able to homeschool. Continue reading »

Extra Rules Always Required

Time and again, in various states around the country, we have seen that homeschool tax credit legislation attracts increased monitoring. With new federal “model” homeschool tax credit legislation already proposed, homeschoolers must be extremely vigilant in opposing this well intentioned threat to our homeschool freedoms. Continue reading »

Answering school officials who ask for more than the law allows

The “Show Me” Letter

A new administrator, unfamiliar with the finer points of the homeschool law, asked for more than the legal requirement. She called to tell me she wanted a list of the books I would be using. Being an unschooler, I couldn’t guess what books would grab my kids’ interest. Even if I could guess, this was beyond the law. However, I felt this phone conversation was not the time to say so.

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Do You Know What Law Enables You To Homeschool?

If you don’t know, you should. How else can you tell whether the next government official who tells you that you have to do what he says is lying or misunderstanding the law? Do you really want to “comply” with what the government official tells you to do if it is not required by law? Continue reading »