Sunday, June 29, 2008

homeschool paperwork

On a whim I checked the State of Tennessee's website to find out when I need to declare my intent to homeschool Dana. Turns out I'm supposed to do it by Aug 1st. A friend of mine suggested that I should not register with the state, but that I should sign up with an umbrella school instead. I don't know anything about this. Any wisdom?

Also, they require 180 days a year of school and 4 hours a day of instruction! This is ridiculous when you consider how little time it takes to homeschool a kid through kindergarten. It only takes us 90 minutes a day, sometimes less, to complete his sit down work and the whole curriculum is only 26 weeks long (130 days). I suppose that doesn't account for field trips, playing outside, reading with Mommy, helping in the kitchen, or catching Catawba worms with Daddy (more on that later). Still, I'm a little worried about how to document all of this. Homeschooling people, speak up and let me know what has helped you.


diber said...

I imagine that 4 hours will fill up faster than you think, just for the reasons you listed. Mealtime=science; playing outside=PE; play a CD while he's playing cars=voila! music; playdo=art. That was just my experience BEING homeschooled. And in that respect, every day is a school day. The real difficulty, it seems, would just be the paperwork.

To be honest, being the homeschool mom would freak me out. Is there someone further along the path you could approach for unofficial mentoring? a friend or someone from church?

I think you'll do a great job!

katiek said...

I think all that stuff would count. But I'd check with my employers the Hilgers, they'd give you some good wisdom about umbrella schools. And maybe give you soem great contacts too. Eddie Hilger gives you lots of feedback.

Heather said...

Hey Karen, This is Heather (Liz McCrea's friend). We have been checking into homeschooling in TN since we hope to be there by the fall and have a rising first grader. I have spoken with/emailed a few different people from different places and they all cautioned me against registering directly with the state. One of the reasons cited was that if the state tests your kids and determines that they are not progressing at the rate the state deems appropriate, then they can require you to enroll them in public school. I would be happy to give you the contact names/sources I have talked with if you are interested. Just email me at b/c the matildabumblefoot thing is my gmail account that I never check. I hope you find the information you need!

alli said...

While we haven't started officially homeschooling yet, we do plan on doing it with Fuller. There is a homeschool fair at Camp Jordon every year that we found helpful. The CSTHEA (Chattanooga Homeschool Association) puts it on and there are a lot of umbrella school represented there.

alli said...

Sorry, meant to include the link.

Wendy Evearitt said...

Hi Karen,
I tried to send this earlier and it didn't work so I hope you don't get it twice. I've been told by several homeschooling moms that anything can be considered "school" if the child is learning. Whether it be playing with blocks, playing outside, coloring, listening to music, even watching an educational cartoon. It's amazingly easy to incorporate "school" into almost everything you do. Recognizing colors at the grocery store, counting to 10 in the car, reading signs, cooking, playing with siblings. If you think about it, not every minute of a school day in a public school is a child actually learning, yet they still count the day as a school day.
As far as umbrella schools, I don't think I get to do that in Georgia, however both my sister and aunt are registered with HomeLife Academy and they love it. Homelife Academy keeps up with the number of days attended and grades. I have to turn in a Letter in Intent to Homeschool with my county and turn in attendance once a week. Drennan will be considered a "homeschooler" as far as the state is concerned, whereas my cousins and nieces and nephew are considered private schoolers since they are registered with an umbrella school. Hope this helps. I have asked a ton of questions this past year about homeschooling so I know where you're coming from. Sorry this comment is so long.