Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Meeting Homeschool Laws

Depending on which state you live in, you could be over-doing it when it comes to meeting the requirements of state homeschool laws.

For example, there are currently 10 states which haven't ANY laws regulating homeschoolers at all. They don't even require a letter of intent to homeschool at the beginning of the school year.  This is the way it should be in every state. The reason I believe that, is because children are given to parents by God. The government would like us to believe that they have authority over our children. But children belong to their parents and are in subjection to them alone by God's design and command.

As you think on that, let's glance at learning and education for a second. Education heavily influences who a person will turn out to be. That is why the government seeks full control in this area. Since homeschoolers aren't in public schools (government indoctrination centers) the only control the government can get comes by means of testing.

Many, MANY homeschoolers go the testing route. Is there anything wrong with tests? No, I don't have any gripes against tests. They can even be fun, when you're prepared for them.  What are game shows but grown up pop quizzes? It's fun to test your knowledge. The bad comes from taking a test when you don't have to just because govt asks you to. If you don't have to be tested, then why do it? It is like paying 20% sales tax when the law only mandates 8.4%.  Which is a bit nuts.

With that in mind, what is really at issue with annual testing? Why am I against it?  Because the government wants their nose in our homes and our homeschooling. So any child who's test scores don't measure up, has to be enrolled in public school.

So...what am I getting at?  Read the fine print in your state's homeschooling laws! The best place to do this is HSLDA. We have been members for years and I appreciate so much what they are doing for homeschoolers. They have a page that simplifies the laws in clear concise English and makes them easy to understand. They also provide forms to print out for those who need to register a letter of intent to their local school district.

We have lived and homeschooled in three different states and each one had an option for evaluations instead of testing. This is the option that most closely represents freedom. The person doing the evaluation is the next hurdle. Check them out before hiring them.  Do they believe that parents have total authority over their children. Or do they believe parents should we be monitored? Whose standards do they believe parents must held up to — God's or governments? 

The evaluator's beliefs will reflect how they assess your homeschool and your child. By the way, who do you think is really under the magnifying glass where homeschoolers and testing are concerned — parents or children? The parents. We are the ones running our homes and teaching our children. Governments are adamantly opposed to this because they are adamantly opposed to Jesus Christ. Anyway, that's one woman's opinion. :)

Here is the million dollar question: Should the government have any control over parents and their children? The answer is no and again NO.

This means that any teacher who's conducting homeschool evaluations needs to fall on ONE side of the fence. She either believes that the government has the right to stick their nose in  —  or they do not have that right. 

If the evaluator believes the government SHOULD be Big Brother to homeschoolers, then steer clear of that assessor/evaluator or else be ready to be scrutinized, interviewed, inspected, examined and thoroughly probed. They will require you to meet in person, bring your children, bring their "portfolios" and samples of their school work from the year.  This is what many people think is supposed to happen with evaluations/assessments.

But I'm here to tell you that is NOT SO.

Most states with homeschool regulations in the area of annual testing include options. Usually there is more than one option so you need to read them closely.  Remember this when you go to meet the requirements in your state for "testing" : IF IT DOESN'T STATE SOMETHING SPECIFICALLY, THEN IT IS NOT LAW.

In other words, if it doesn't state that evaluators/assessors must MEET with you and your children in person, then by law, you're not required to do so.  If it doesn't state that you must bring physical proof (papers, portfolios, tests, reports, essays, photos, etc) of your child's education, then by law, you're not required to do so. 

The reason for my position on this is that parents who do MORE than the homeschool law requires, are encouraging laws that don't exist.  Do the least required to retain the maximum freedom. If you like tests, then test your kids at home for your own or their own edification.  

Remember the other areas that the government would like to poke its long nose into. This is one area that homeschoolers have been giving them and it's time to take it back.  

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