Board: No activities for Sioux Falls home schoolers

SIOUX FALLS (AP) � The Sioux Falls School Board voted 4-1 not to allow home-schooled students to participate in extracurricular activities at public high schools.

At least three school board members said they voted against home-school participation in activities because they wanted to be fair to children enrolled in the district.

“They made it clear they don’t want the whole academic package,” Roger Risty said of the home-school families.

Students educated at home can and do sign up for selected classes at district schools, and those students may continue to do that. Read more…

Kennewick, WA board lets homeschoolers attend public school

Homeschooled students in Kennewick can attend public schools for part of their education this fall.

The Kennewick School Board on Wednesday approved the first reading of a policy for contract learning to support such a program. Board member Ed Frost abstained from the vote.

Frost said he felt uncomfortable with the policy and asked if the reason the district was considering teaching homeschoolers was to receive additional state money. The district would receive about $4,000 from the state for each full-time homeschooler enrolled in the program. Read more…

Congress to Introduce Homeschool Non-Discrimination Bill

On July 15, 2003, Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave (R-CO) will introduce the Homeschool Non-Discrimination Act (HONDA). HONDA will bring federal law up-to-date with changes in the state education systems, particularly regarding the homeschooling movement.

“Our Constitution does not allow federal control over homeschooling, but there are many federal laws written for the public school environment that impact home education,” said Mike Smith, President of the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA). “These laws are in need of clarification” Read more…

Summertime learning

Paul Hines adjusted his white sun hat and continued explaining the bison life cycle to 25 children ranging from infants in strollers to young teens. A few mothers made shushing noises, others prompted their children to raise hands and ask questions. Hines, the owner of Cedarvale bison farm in Churchville, soldiered on.

Although Harford County schools had let out for the summer, the visit to the bison farm was a school-year custom, the field trip -with a slight twist.

For most of the pupils listening to Hines, summer doesn’t mean vacation, it means more of the usual: home-schooling. Read more…

Ten Signs That You Need to Find a Different Kind of Education for Your Child

Many parents do not realize that the education world has changed drastically since they were in school. Back in those days, schools were smaller, class sizes were smaller, dropout rates were lower, violence in school was almost unheard of, teachers were not terrified of showing affection to the children, or of teaching and discussing moral values. Even through rose-colored glasses, we know that school back then was no picnic, was far from perfect, but at least the teachers and usually the principal knew every student by name at a minimum, something which is not necessarily true today. Because our public school system has now considerably deteriorated, many parents, teachers, and individuals have taken it upon themselves to create public and private alternatives to that traditional system which is definitely failing. It is important for parents to know that they now have choices, alternatives to the neighborhood school. How do you know that it is time to look for another educational approach for your child? Here are some of the signs: Read more…

National Black Home Educators Resource Association, Part 1

More and more African-American families are discovering homeschooling as an education option. This week on Home School Heartbeat, Mike Smith talks to Joyce Burges, co-founder of the National Black Home Educators Resource Association. Read more…

National Black Home Educators Resource Association, Part 2

As homeschooling becomes more popular in the African-American community, black homeschoolers are going to need more support. Mike Smith talks with the co-founder of one group designed to meet the needs of black homeschoolers on today’s Home School Heartbeat. Read more…

Arizona offers guided tour through maze of home-schooling

The “mentor moms” are ready and waiting.

There’s no need for anyone to be lost and confused while venturing around the 20th annual Arizona Home Education Convention this Friday and Saturday at Phoenix Civic Plaza.

In years past, some home-schooling newbies would arrive at the convention and be overwhelmed by all they saw, convention coordinator Valerie Monk said.

It was the “Where do I start?” look that her organization wanted to answer this year. Read more…

Parents who home-school can try before they buy

GEORGETOWN — For many parents who home-school their children, it’s just the way it goes.

High-gloss books or impressively packaged curricula may catch the eye at a home-school book fair. Or the book synopsis may sound promising.

However, after trying to work the material into daily lessons for the child, the parent realizes it’s not for them. It’s not only frustrating; it’s a waste of money.

JoAnn Nolte hopes to change all that. After years of buying books and materials she didn’t use and trading materials with fellow stay-at-home moms, Nolte decided there was a need for a home-school lending library.

So she started one out of her Georgetown garage last year. Read more…

Restrictions on Homeschooling in Idaho Averted

HSLDA recently informed its members of a threat to Idaho homeschoolers. The Governor’s Task Force was considering a proposal for mandatory registration, testing, and oversight of homeschoolers.

The response was overwhelming. Hundreds of letters flooded the Task Force, making quite an impact. The message that homeschoolers do not need or want any more regulation was heard loud and clear. Read more…

Home-Schooled Student Could Be Denied College Diploma

Rochester, NY (07/07/03) – According to New York State law, students who are homes schooled through high school cannot get their college diploma, because they do not have a high school diploma.

Patti Owens decided to home school her children for religious reasons. She also thought it would allow the kids to experience more opportunities.

“I did a lot of traveling when I was a child with my parents. It gave a lot to me, so I wanted to be able to do the same thing for them,” she said. Read more…

Parents, children work together to raise day lilies

It’s almost noon, the sun is high and Renee Holliman is beaming as she walks around a day lily garden at her family’s 120-acre farm.

“Isn�t that gorgeous?” she asks, pointing at a pinkish lily with a yellow center. “It�s beautiful.”

The lily�s name is Linda Agin, named after a hybridizer in Prattville.

Renee effortlessly rattles off the information from memory. She and her husband, Len, know all about day lilies.

They know all about raising children, too. Read more…

Homeschooling: Teaching Thy Children Well

Homeschooling is a misnomer. Learning takes place not only at home, but in museums and grocery stores, nature hikes and routine visits to the doctor’s office. It may happen around the kitchen table, but it’s just as likely to flourish in back yards and gardens, libraries and the mall.

��� “I still forget sometimes that the information that was doled out to me on a schedule is just out there for my kids, that they find it interesting and that they have no reason to avoid adding it to their fascinating collection of trivia about places, people and the world around them,” writes Sandra Dodd, an Albuquerque mother of three children who have never set foot in a regular classroom.

��� “The world is all a-swirl with music and maps and photographs of interesting architecture, costumes and ancient weaponry and technology.” Read more…

The U.S. Constitution: Partially Revived on June 25, 2003

On June 25, 2003, President Bush signed the “Keeping Children and Families Safe Act of 2003”. “Over the years thousands of homeschool families have been victimized by social workers operating on nothing more than a tip from an unknown stranger,” said Michael Farris, General Counsel for Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA). “Such aggressiveness, in a system which presumes guilt, can result in needless pain and anxiety for families,” said Farris. In November 2001, HSLDA reminded the House Committee on Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Select Education of this forgotten piece of paper, The Constitution of the United States of America. Read more…

Home School: Georgia vs. Alabama

Next year, some valley students may not be headed back to the classroom! The number of students choosing to home school is on the rise, but depending on where you live, the way your child learns may be drastically different.

Judith Washington, a consultant for Home School families says,”Georgia monitors carefully the home schooling population but in alabama they leave that up to the specific agency.” Read more…

Learning outside the classroom

Second-grader Melody Colombini carries her pink Barbie backpack to class every morning – sometimes that’s at the family’s kitchen table and sometimes it’s at the zoo.

Melody was the first of more than 130 Vallejo students whose families decided to home school their children this year with the Vallejo City Unified School District’s support.

In fall 2002, the district began Home Outreach Program of Education (HOPE), an independent home school program for children in kindergarten through grade 12. Read more…

Editorial: California Continues to Slight Homeschoolers

The state of California has taken discrimination against homeschoolers to a new low. A child who had been homeschooled for the first eight grades was placed in public school for the first time in the ninth grade. That year, she took the Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) examination.

The child’s parents had done an outstanding job of preparing her. She scored in the top five percent of all children in California who took the test and was ranked number one in her high school for the ninth grade. Students in California who achieve such high scores are eligible for Governor’s Scholars Awards, which range from $1,000 to $2,500 to be applied to higher education. She was told she was not eligible for the award, however. Why? She had not been enrolled in a public school for 12 months prior to taking the test. She had been enrolled for just eight months before the test. Read more…

New York Homeschool Freedom Bill Carried Over to Next Year

It was close, but we ran out of time in the 2003 legislative session. The Homeschool Freedom bill did not get voted on in the Assembly, causing it to be carried over until next January.

Senator Kuhl’s office (the Senate sponsor) has told us the Homeschool Freedom bill will retain the same bill numbers, SB 2060 and AB 4598, and be ready for action in early next year. (They informed us there is even the slight possibility that the bill may still be considered this year if the legislature is called back into session this Fall.)

SB 2060 passed in the Senate on June 2, 2003, by a 62-0 vote. Read more…

Progress reports proposed for West Virginia home-schooled children

WAYNE — Wayne County Board of Education members discussed Tuesday making progress reports for home-schooled children part of a school board policy.

Of 188 students who are home-schooled in the county, 119 have failed to comply with state law by not reporting to the school board, said Carl Steele, Wayne County attendance director, in a report to the board.

Home-school instructors are required to submit either test scores or set up a portfolio with the board of education by June 30 of each year, he said. Read more…

Pennsylvania Home-schoolers seek inclusion

STATE COLLEGE – A bill allowing home-schoolers in Pennsylvania to participate in extra-curricular programs is causing discord in the education community.

Bellefonte, State College and Penns Valley are among 242 of Pennsylvania’s 501 school districts that allow home-schoolers to participate in extra-curricular activities; Bald Eagle Area and Philipsburg-Osceola do not.

But that could change, since the state House of Representatives passed a measure Wednesday mandating public schools to accept home-schoolers into their after-school programs. Read more…