Some Mumbo Jumbo About Educating Kids

I'm in the throes of preparing for the upcoming school year. "WHAT?!" you say. "It's July. School's supposed to be out for summer. You know: No more pencils, no more books, no more teacher's dirty looks."  It would seem that those dirty looks were not intended for you (although you no doubt deserved them), but were actually directed at the law-makers that require that each child have a paper trail so long that said child is personally responsible for killing his or her own tree.

Let me back up a bit and explain what I mean. As a homeschooling parent, I am responsible for answering to my local school district regarding my child's education. How much information that a parent is required to provide varies from state to state and in some cases from district to district. For example, in Jessica's home state, she is required to send a letter to her district stating that she intends to homeschool her children for the coming school year (also known as a letter of intent) and then administer a standardized test to her homeschooled child and keep those records should the school ever need to see them. New York is a little more...involved. Here is what is required of a homeschooling parent in the state of New York:

Step One: Write a letter of intent. Asking a parent to account for how their child will be receiving their education seems perfectly reasonable and may I say, responsible.

Step Two: Create an IHIP (Individualized Home Education Plan) An IHIP is a document that outlines your entire curriculum for the coming year including all texts books, reading books, manipulatives used and how much of all these materials you'll be using. Our schools give us specifics of subjects that must be covered and even tells us how often throughout the child's education we must cover any one topic. Once an IHIP is completed it is sent back to the district to be looked over and approved. If it is not approved, they contact you, and you must amend your curriculum to their liking.
While this starts to feel a little big brother, I can understand the desire to see that a homeschooling family is covering all the bases and that all children are receiving an adequate education.

Step Three: File Quarterly reports with the district letting them know how much of the curriculum they already have a full copy of, you have covered with your children. This step seems a bit unnecessary to me because,

Step Four: Administer standardize testing to your homeschooled child. You may choose any of the standardized tests from the approved list, and you must administer the test at the required intervals (every year or every other year depending on grade level).

Once a student completes the twelfth grade state approved curriculum, New York will graciously and happily provide a homeschooled student with a diploma. Oh wait, no, scratch that. Homeschooled students are ineligible to receive a New York State diploma. I have absolutely no idea why this is. It boggles my mind.

Yeah, I have nothing more to add to that. I just needed to rant a minute. Maybe you'll have a different perspective on it that I haven't thought of.

14 comments:

Bellsys said...

Yep, that's what they required when we home-schooled our kids many moons ago. I was (and still am) grateful to give them whatever they want so long as I didn't have to put them into their clutches to be brainwashed. I commend all home-schoolers, it is a responsibility one should not take lightly. Our future may depend on these kids!

Ry said...

Easy fix. Homeschool them until Middle school or High school. By that time they'll be annoying enough to kick out of the house for most of the day anyway and NY State can hit them with a fresh high school diploma.

I don't know how any of this works....I just talk.

Ry said...

Also...brainwashed?

c'monnnnnnnnnnnnn

Anonymous said...

It is true. This is a stinky state to homeschool in BUT you won't be sorry that you went to all this trouble. I'm not, after all, look how good you turned out! Love ya,honey! -mom-

Shell said...

I'm laughing at the comment about kick them out then!

That is so weird that they won't have a diploma. If they allow homeschooling, then they should give out the diplomas, too!

Sara said...

You have to submit... a QUARTERLY REPORT?

You must be a dedicated lady because that would be enough for me to them to the cashier at Macy's and say, "Teach him about percents. I need some new shoes."

The Boob Nazi said...

So how do they get a diploma?

Amanda said...

That is bass akwards. In know in Florida, they do get a diploma, but it sucks that in NY you go through all that and don't get anything. Sad.

Punk said...

Boob Nazi, when we were of graduation-age, NYS awarded diplomas based on the acquisition of a GED (both Missy and Birdie recieved theirs via GED), or based upon a certain number of college credits, which is how I earned mine. Guess the local community college didn't care about my lack of diploma, a little fact for which I'm grateful. :-)

Uptown Girl said...

One of my homeschooled friends from college never had a high school diploma. Apparently, I went to a stellar university that does not require high school diplomas...

Why is NY is so stupid sometimes?

Rachel@just another day in paradise said...

I don't homeschool & I think your state's ridiculous. If I'm not mistaken, AR requires a yearly assessment (administered by someone other than the parent) to make sure kids are where they need to be & that's about it...have you thought of moving? I'll make you an excellent deal on my house...and we'll call it math class. : )

Katy English said...

Seems completely unfair the the state of NY requires you to jump all these hoops, and then they won't issue a state diploma. I bet they give diplomas to a lot of kids who don't meet the minimum graduation requirements,though. But only because they've sat in a public education building.

Dione said...

Is this why so many kids start public school in their high school years?

I need to pick your brain. I will most likely be homeschooling my 8th grader this year. It's my hope that he will be ready to go to high school, but I don't know. He needs to learn social skills, but I don't want him learning the wrong social skills!!!

Jessica said...

Here in CT we don't have any regulations (no letter of intent, no quarterly records, no portfolio review) and the children do not receive diplomas. I keep records of daily lessons, portfolios and a journal as a way of satisfying my own need to be able to "prove" I am educating my children. I have only been homeschooling since January but I am amazed at what we did in six short months!

Did you find information on the worm composting??