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Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Legality Of Homeschooling

I have heard some buzz lately about whether it is even legal or not to homeschool your child. Seems some people feel it is even child abuse to homeschool your child. So I got to thinking. Obviously it is legal. I am not into breaking the law, so yes it is completely legal. But then I wondered, why is it legal? What in the US Constitution makes homeschooling your child legal. So I did some research. Come to find out the Founding Fathers actually never addressed homeschooling, or even education in the Constitution. So it has been left up to the states to set their own laws regulating the homeschooled child. Some states have little to no laws or regulations regarding homeschooling. While other states have very strict regulations and rules. Here in FL you must send the school a letter of intent within 30 days of your decision to begin homeschooling. You must keep a log of daily activities, hence this blog. You must have your child evaluated once each year by a certified teacher, or a psychologist. I do not think the FCAT, or standardized test, can qualify as an evaluation, but I am not certain of that. Neither of my children have taken it. As for the part about people thinking it is child abuse to homeschool a child, I am sure we could pick apart every parent in this country and find something that we would find unsuitable or unsavory, so I won't even go there. Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones. If you are thinking of homeschooling, or you are just curious to see what I am talking about, you can visit HSLDA to see all the laws and requirements by state. Happy educating no matter what method you choose.


Julie said...

We live in Florida, too, the Panhandle. You don't actually have to keep a daily account of things, just a portfolio representing the child's efforts fot the year. You can use the FCAT and other standarized tests as your yearly eval. Luckily I have a sil (well, two now) that's a certified teacher and she does ours as I am opposed to the FCAT in general. I'm so glad Florida is relatively restriction free for homeschoolers, I don't think I would do well with daily attendance accounting or having to report on our exact curriculum and such.

Melissa said...

Julie, I was told from my evaluator that the log was a necessity. Now I will have to check it out. My kids have never done the FCAT either. I am not a supporter of standardized tests. Thank you for stopping by.

Ebie said...

Hi Melissa, thanks for stopping by. My best wishes to you and the family for the New Year.

I know a few of my friends who home school their kids, so I assume it is legal.

Melissa said...

Thank you, Ms Ebie and the same to you and yours.

Julie said...

Regarding Math Facts Now, it is only a drilling type program, kind of like electronic flashcards? No actual teaching of facts. I'm in the middle of reviewing a math program called Times Alive that actually teaches the multiplication facts as well as drills them. I'm not sure when that review goes live but you can check out their website if you are in the market for that kind of product. Can't wait to see more posts about Sea World...we are headed to Disney next month. :)

Anne said...

You know I don't homeschool but I believe to each his own. We are lucky because we have great public schools but if we didn't, I am sure I would consider homeschooling as an option.

Melissa said...

Julie, thank you I will look at that. Anne I think even if I was still in NY where I grew up the school was fabulous, it is so much more than the curriculum they offer though for me.

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