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Home Schooling Requirements: Differences in Statesfrom: Maxx Family Life
More households have turned to homeschooling in the past few years than it has for the past few decades. Homeschooling or any type of private education wasn't initially allowed in the United States, but a public court ruled for the Society of Sisters for the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, allowing them to set up a private school in 1925. Thus public schools were no longer the only institutions providing children with an education. Thus the idea of homeschooling was sparked and many parents quickly decided to educate their children in their own homes.
Homeschooling is now legal in all 50 states, however, each state has different requirements and guidelines regarding homeschooling programs. Some states simply require parents to just file an intent notice to the local school superintendent or any school official, and some require lesson plans to be drawn up and approved by the school board before the program starts. These requirements are aim to help fully educate children, regardless of whether they're educated at home or in public schools.
In California, homeschoolers have three choices: they can use a credited tutor, enroll in a qualified private school or be part of an independent public homeschooling program. Parents are allowed to form private schools for their own children, however, those who wish to form private schools are required to file an annual report with the Department of Education.
Specific courses, similar to public schools, that can fit into a few pages, (contrary to the hundreds of pages required of public schoosl) need to be present, as well as attendance records. On the other had, teachers do not require specific credentials, they must simply be "capable of teaching".
There are also differences in state requirements for testing and assessments. Some states require homeschoolers to take standardized tests or have evaluations done by qualified teachers. Other states don't require these evaluations. In California, students are encouraged to take the standardized tests that Public Schools are implementing at the end of every term.
Graduating procedures also differ, with some requiring home schools operate as private schools, have graduation procedures that no different than private school gradaution. However, some have no graduation requirements at all; basically, the school determines who graduates or not and this applies to homeschoolers in the state as well. In other states, homeschoolers receive no recognition, but are still granted access to colleges and universities.
Requirements and laws certainly differ from state to state, and there's no absolute list of requirements for the entire country. If you're a parent intending to homeschool her child, you can find many web sites for information or go to local school officials for information.
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