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College Planning Video of the Week

Real interesting video showing more than a few world leaders that have been home-schooled.

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Approval Requirements for Home Schooling

By Hong Kirby

Home-schoolersThere is more or less a general consensus on the inherent value of education. However, people may often disagree about the right method toward achieving that education. The majority of the population would rather opt for institutionalized formal education, referring to education offered in public or private education institutions like primary and secondary schools. However, as has been the recent trend, many parents in
particular have begun considering or even going on ahead with home schooling their children. Home schooling, prevalent prior the inception of formalized school systems, is making a return to the mainstream because some parents either do not approve of the curriculum of school systems or are even against the idea of formalized school systems, or find themselves holding greater capacity to educate their children in the best possible manner.

Perhaps you are interested in home schooling your child, and conceded, you have your own reasons for doing it. But just like picking a school for your child, the decision to home school is a very big one. This would most obviously translate to you taking your child out of a previous social learning environment and into the home to educate him or her; moreover this also means that from then on, you are going to be fully responsible for the intellectual rearing of your child.

It is perhaps for this reason that certain guidelines are set by the state or local education offices before you can actually home school your child. It is best to consider these guidelines first because your state can help you through the process, and moreover, may enlighten you on relevant issues on home schooling. I’ll expound further.

Majority of states in the United States would require a legal minimum of state notification of your intention to home school your child. In a rare few (including Texas, Alaska, Missouri, Illinois, and Oklahoma, among others), you may go on ahead with home schooling your child without informing the state.

Other states however, would require you first to notify the state and afterwards acquire your child’s grade records should he or she have attended a public school. After this, some states may require you to create a curriculum you intend to follow for your home schooling program, be accredited as a parent-teacher, and to host a home visit by your local education officials. Later on, during the period when your child is already being
home schooled, some states may require for you to submit to them evaluation scores, attendance records (states may require a minimum number of ‘school’ days for home school too) and even test scores.

It is very important for you to find out the different requirements for home schooling in your state. For one, it will help you make sure that once you home school your child, your child’s education is actually being recognized by the state. Without state approval, your home schooling may not be regarded, which may increase the difficulty for your child to move on to a university or college. Second, the state may provide you with
various forms and guidebooks as you home school your child. This assistance may prove valuable to you, especially if you are home schooling for the first time. Third, by finding out these requirements, you will be able to submit to the state all the required documents that you must submit periodically. In this way, you are also assured that your child is at par level with any other child enrolled in a regular school setting. In the
same manner, by approaching your local education authority you may actually inquire about the college application process of home schoolers.

Home schooled children may be required a marginal number of steps that regular applicants are not required to take in order to qualify for their chosen university. Some universities may require your child to take the G.E.D., an exam that will help test the sufficiency of their knowledge from home school to be considered as qualified college applicants, while others may require state accreditation. Moreover, by visiting your local education authority you will also find out the various state and local government scholarships for which your child may or may not qualify.

While home schooling may pose some added burden once you are ready to return your child to a regular school system, it has proven beneficial to many in the past. Visit your state or local government education office in order to make an educated decision, and in order to get the approval you’d need to push through with home schooling your child.

About the author:
To learn about geraniums, geranium magnificum, geranium care, honeysuckle plants, goldflame honeysuckle , honeysuckle flowers and other information, visit the Gardening Central website.

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Filed under: College Planning, Home Schooling, Mothers, Parental Guidance, Public Service, single mothers, single parent families, Students, , , ,

Is Home-schooling an option for San Francisco Bay Area Children

By Keith Watkins

Due to the questionable state of our nations public school systems and the current strains placed upon our countries current economy a growing number of families are deciding to educate their children at home. The decision to home-school is a home-schoolerspersonal one and usually a difficult one. Ultimately making the decision to take control of your children’s education can, at first, appear to be overwhelming to a parent but more and more families are making the decision to home-school everyday. Homeschool students have been growing by an estimated 8 percent annually in the U.S. and as of 2007 totaled about 1.5 million.

In many places home-schooling is a legal option for parents who wish to provide their children with an alternative learning environment other than the ones that exists in nearby schools. While academic and religious reasons dominate the motivations for most home-schoolers, parents cite numerous other reasons ranging from a dissatisfaction with the public schools in their area to the desire for better academic test results and in a lot of instances parents cite the price of private school educations as being the determining factor for an ever increasing amount of families. Students who are gifted or have special needs benefit from a home school opportunity because they can learn at their own pace, whether they need to spend more time on a lesson or delve deeper into the content as a way of satisfying their intellectual curiosity. To that end, home schooling offers parents the opportunity to ensure mastery of a concept before moving onto the next, while public schools merely require a demonstration of understanding before moving onto the next concept, largely due to time constraints. 

Other students that benefit from a home school setting are those who live in rural areas and riding a bus for an hour each direction is more a waste of time than anything else. 

Home-schooling can literally be life changing. It creates personal growth for both the parent and the child. Nothing you will ever do in life will have a more profound effect on your child and your family’s future as home-schooling.

Although every families home-school is unique, certain home-schooling “styles” have become universally very popular. Most home-schoolers do not follow one style or method. Instead, they select the ideas and suggestions that fit their family and eventually end up with a method all their own.

Below are some of the most often used popular home-schooling styles found.

School-at-Home Method

Unit Studies Method

“Relaxed” or “Eclectic” Home-schooling Method

Unschooling Method

Classical Home-schooling Method

The Charlotte Mason Method

The Waldorf Method

The Montessori Method

Multiple Intelligences Method

DVD/Video Schooling Method

Internet Home-schooling Method

Did you know that the Scripps National Spelling Bee Winner for 2007 was a local Danville, Ca.San Francisco Bay Area home schooler. Evan O’Dorney, the home-schooled eighth-grader, easily aced “serrefine” — a noun describing small forceps — to become the last youngster standing at the 80th annual 2007 spelling bee. Plus, every year home-schoolers are admitted to hundreds of colleges in at least five different  countries. Those who prepare thoroughly can actually be admitted to some of the colleges of their choices with full scholarships.

Most parents are unaware of the fact that parents don’t need to be California licensed to educate their own children at home.  Home educators may establish, in California, a private school based in their home by filing a Private School Affidavit with the California Department of Education (CDE).

The affidavit does not license, evaluate, recognize, approve of, or endorse a private school. The State of California accredits neither public nor private schools. The affidavit itself is a statistical tool, and necessary to effect the pupil’s exemption from compulsory public school enrollment and attendance. By filing an affidavit you are showing intent to establish a private school, and informing the state, as required by law. Parents have been legally using this provision for many years to conduct their own home-based private schools.

Parent support groups and networks are a terrific way to get started by collectively facing challenging situations, the beneficial offerings of encouragement from other parents, the sharing of ideas, socialization and generally a way to reduce the overall stress of getting started.

If your student is into to sports, he or she may be able to participate at certain schools without actually attending. I have a personal friend that attends a charter school in Oakland, CA. His son is the leading scorer on the varsity basketball team at the public school in his local district. His dad often jokes stating that, “he shows up at games and no one in the home stands has any idea who he is”.

The California Virtual Academies  web site has plenty of free quality information and is a very good place to start your search. They are actually funded by the state of California and use the K¹² curriculum to offer California students in grades K-12 an exceptional online learning experience. With individualized learning approaches, the California Virtual Academies provide the tools kids need to succeed—in school and beyond into their college years.  Here is a news video report describing California Virtual Academies.

Below is an overview of the California Virtual Academies program:

  • Our experienced, California-credentialed teachers, who are available online, by phone, and during face-to-face meetings.
  • The individualized, engaging K¹² curriculum, which covers both the core subject areas and electives. Based on decades of education research, this curriculum packages high-quality lessons with mastery-based assessments that ensure students achieve success at each and every level. Find out more about K¹².
  • The online planning and assessment tools, resources, and hands-on materials ranging from textbooks to microscopes, rocks and dirt to beautifully illustrated classic children’s stories, and much more. 
  • Our active, supportive school community, which organizes fun and informative monthly activities where CAVA parents, students, and staff share their successes, helpful hints, and more. 
  • The high-quality, tuition-free public education that enables a learning experience that is individualized for each child.
  • We’re fully accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Schools (ACS) of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) for all academies, grades K-12.

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For more information on a distance based home school program please visit Laurel Springs School. Laurel Springs School is an accredited, college prep private school offering distance learning programs and teacher services for students in grades K-12. Laurel Springs uses web-based communication tools, a standards-based curriculum, and personalized instruction to offer students the highest quality home education experience based on your child’s learning style.

In conclusion, there are many many available options if home-schooling is of interest to your family. There are also many support groups, school affiliations and internet based organizations to assist in getting you started and also to guide families through the maze of of their newly discovered educational freedom. But first do the necessary research by Googling “Home School Organizations” in your City and State to gather as much information as possible.

Local San Francisco Bay Area home schooling parents should plan a visit to the upcoming 23rd Annual Christian Home Educators Bay Area Convention April 24-25, 2009. This event will be held at the Santa Clara Convention Center. Stop by the Bay Area College Planning Specialists booth for additional information concerning financial aid and scholarships for home-schooled students.

So, whether or not you are a parent who home schools your child, the next time you hear someone make a negative remark about parents educating their children at home, keep some of these points in mind. Consider all the benefits that a home school program offers parents, and their children. You might be pleasantly surprised at the many available options that exist for  families and that of their students future in education.

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Filed under: Bay Area, Career Path, Career Search, College Financing, College Planning, College Workshops, Consultants, Home Schooling, Parental Guidance, Public Service, Scholarship, Social Networking, Students, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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