If youíre interested in homeschooling then itís important you take the necessary steps to have a successful transition from traditional high school to homeschooling. The below are steps to assist you in your transition:
RESEARCH HOME EDUCATION: Before you transfer your child from a traditional school, learn all you can. Discuss with other home educators, read books about home education, learn about homeschool laws in your state, and compare homeschooling curriculum programs available.
TRANSFER YOUR CHILD AND NOTIFY HIS OR HER CURRENT PRINCIPAL, IN WRITING, OF YOUR DECISION: Determine if you need a homeschool number prior to transferring your child and beginning home instruction. Some states require you to have this number, while others do not. However, you do need to let the public school know why your child is no longer in attendance or he or she may be considered truant in all states.
REQUEST A COPY OF YOUR CHILD'S PUBLIC SCHOOL RECORDS: You are entitled to a copy of these public school records, both as a school administrator and as the parent of a minor child, under state law and the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Please note that this does not apply to private school records.
In addition to reporting your enrollment, states require the following of all homeschools and other non-accredited, private schools:
180 DAYS OF INSTRUCTION: You decide which days your school will be in session, and how long to teach each day. In the case of mid-year transfers, days attended at the first school count toward the 180 day total at the homeschool.
ATTENDANCE RECORDS: There is no special form for these records, which are used to verify private school attendance. Please note that the law allows local public school superintendents to request copies of your child's attendance records to verify attendance.
INSTRUCTION EQUIVALENT TO THAT GIVEN IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS: State law does not define equivalency of instruction for public or private schools. If there is ever a question of educational neglect, keeping good attendance records and other documentation regarding attendance and continuing educational activity is highly instrumental in addressing these concerns.
CURRICULUM: State law exempts homeschools from the curriculum and program requirements which public schools must follow.
There is no state-approved curriculum for home education at any grade level, nor are there state-approved or mandated textbooks. State law gives home educators the flexibility to choose the curriculum and textbooks they feel will most benefit their children. Many home educators use correspondence programs to teach their children.
Homeschooled children will not receive a diploma from the local public school or from the state. States suggest that you use an accredited correspondence program which grants a diploma upon completion.
Students who are issued a diploma by the administrator (parent or legal guardian) of a homeschool possess a legally issued, non-accredited diploma according to your state. Homeschools, like all other non-accredited, nonpublic schools, may legally issue a diploma to students that complete the graduation requirements of that school, as established by that school.
State law requires homeschools to give instruction equivalent to public schools but does not bind any requirements set forth with regard to curriculum or the content of educational programs offered by the school.
Seventeen-year-old home educated students may choose to take the general equivalency exam to earn a general educational development certificate (GED). A homeschool number is required for a student to take the GED at 17, but not to take GED classes. The forms required for participation in GED testing are available at local GED testing sites. Some states require students to be 18 years of age, so please check with your states requirements if youíre interested in taking the GED.