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Homeschooling Moms Homeschooling Moms

i need some help... if you dont mind.

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 Hello ladies.

I am homeschooling my 6 year old DD. We moved from Maine to MA last week. In Maine I dont have to register or anything until she is 7. I am unprepared for MA because our move was very unexpected. Hubby was offered a job and we moved within two weeks.

In MA I have to register her now that she is 6.  Maine is very relaxed and a letter of intent is all that is required. In MA I have to fill out a form providing so much detail.... I am feeling overwhelmed and unprepared.

They want to know...

the instructional program to be taught including subjects

a daily schedule

a school year calender

a detailed curricula

and intstructional material/technology to be used...

My educational background, life experience and qualifications to instruct my DD.

 

I didnt create a school calender, I dont have a planned out curriculm. its not required in Maine .... we just made sure to cover the basic subjects and followed her lead. We do field trips, experiements and crafts. But I dont have it planned out as to what will be done everyday of the year.

I am not sure where to start. I am just freaking out a little bit. LOL.

any advice?

by on Sep. 23, 2013 at 10:21 AM
Replies (11-17):
RADmomma
by Member on Sep. 23, 2013 at 11:16 AM
Now that you mention it... We still get mail in Maine... Hmmm that might cover me until I get this all figured out.

Ill take a peek!!


Quoting Knightquester:

I do one each year for myself.  I fill in what we're covering in each subject each month and it makes it easier for me to make sure we're meeting our monthly goals.

So here's an idea of a blank calender I would fill up.  You could always write in subject based in the area of art, and if you're not doing a set curriculum maybe a list of websites and books you will be pulling your curriculum from per each subject and on the calendar what you're covering each month, like Life Science, or Multiplication or something like that.

I looked online and Massachusetts doesn't seem homeschool friendly at all.  If you haven't already put your letter of intent, then I wonder if you can't just homeschool off the grid, or claim your daughter as still being in Maine (family maybe?).  I don't know but I agree with Mem, if you can find any homeschoolers in your current district who can offer some advice on how they navigated the system, it might give you some peace of mind.  Good Luck!

Oooh, I ran across this by accident looking up your state laws, it might be worth checking out :-)

http://www.time4learning.com/homeschool/homeschooling_in_massachusetts.shtml

http://www.time4learning.net/forum/massachusetts/

ablackdolphin
by Bronze Member on Sep. 23, 2013 at 1:35 PM

Is there a homeschooling support organization in MA that you could call and get information.  Any yahoo groups of mom's homeschooling? Call the district and ask for other mom's to contact you?

ripemango
by Member on Sep. 23, 2013 at 2:28 PM

Good luck!

I think in your situation since you said it seems to vary by district in your state, I would contact the County Board of Education directly about getting HSing requirements for your area.

Quoting RADmomma:

 MA doesnt seem to be very HS friendly.

I have joined a few groups on yahoo and tried google but i am not finding much. I am going to try again after lunch & change up the key words some.

Quoting ripemango:

i would google and find a local HSing support group in your area. It'll be a great way to meet other HSers close to you and there are prob many resources associated w it. (My local cover organization in AL is very much set up to help HSers along the way of figuring it all out and has a really good website w tons of resources on state requirements.) I would bet there are even templates w examples of what to include in what the state is asking.

You *need* to ensure that you know what the state requirements for HSing are before sending in all of that info.

 




I don't know where the sunbeams end and the starlights begin; it's all a mystery.

KrissyKC
by Silver Member on Sep. 23, 2013 at 3:07 PM

remember the phrase KISS (keep it simple silly)...

First, I'd find out if there are any rules I HAVE to follow.   I noticed that in MA, each school district sets it own policies for home schoolers.   I would ask the school directly first... "Are there requirements in the schedule, curriculum, etc... or is that up to me and you just want to be notified of what it will be?"

For example, if they require X number of hours of instruction each day, then you'll have to make a plan of X number of hours of instruction.  

However, if they don't, then I'd be more simple, like "Our Homeschool Schedule will begin August 10th and run through June 1st of the following year.   We will have school sessions 4 days per week with Fridays as an optional make up day or extra project/field trip day.  We will take an extended holiday break from the day before Thanksgiving until January 2nd.    We will include up to 15 floating sick or vacation days.  We will be teaching an average of 2-3 hours a day on the core subjects of Math, Language Arts, Reading, Social Studies, and Science with another 1-3 hours of other subjects (examples being Religion, art, music, etc.)"

At least, that would be my suggestion on how I would do it.     As for curricula, I'm not sure what you would put down if you don't use curricula and just create your own.    I guess, maybe I'd pick up a copy of, "What Every ___ Grader should know." and cite the subjects/topics you will probably cover based on that.   I'd list some resources you might be using... including websites like starfall.com, sheppherd software, etc..   Include a generic book list of things you would like to read with her.... etc...  and if you ARE considering any curriculum, this is where you would list that.

I would create a seperate space for details like name/address of homeschool, her age/grade, your "qualifications" and experiences, etc...

Good luck... I'm so glad that Missouri is much like Maine.   Our only requirements is a letter of intent to (continue) homeschooling, to keep a daily log of 1000 hours of instruction every year, and to keep samples of their work or grades.






RADmomma
by Member on Sep. 23, 2013 at 4:22 PM
Thanks!!!

Quoting KrissyKC:

remember the phrase KISS (keep it simple silly)...

First, I'd find out if there are any rules I HAVE to follow.   I noticed that in MA, each school district sets it own policies for home schoolers.   I would ask the school directly first... "Are there requirements in the schedule, curriculum, etc... or is that up to me and you just want to be notified of what it will be?"

For example, if they require X number of hours of instruction each day, then you'll have to make a plan of X number of hours of instruction.  

However, if they don't, then I'd be more simple, like "Our Homeschool Schedule will begin August 10th and run through June 1st of the following year.   We will have school sessions 4 days per week with Fridays as an optional make up day or extra project/field trip day.  We will take an extended holiday break from the day before Thanksgiving until January 2nd.    We will include up to 15 floating sick or vacation days.  We will be teaching an average of 2-3 hours a day on the core subjects of Math, Language Arts, Reading, Social Studies, and Science with another 1-3 hours of other subjects (examples being Religion, art, music, etc.)"

At least, that would be my suggestion on how I would do it.     As for curricula, I'm not sure what you would put down if you don't use curricula and just create your own.    I guess, maybe I'd pick up a copy of, "What Every ___ Grader should know." and cite the subjects/topics you will probably cover based on that.   I'd list some resources you might be using... including websites like starfall.com, sheppherd software, etc..   Include a generic book list of things you would like to read with her.... etc...  and if you ARE considering any curriculum, this is where you would list that.

I would create a seperate space for details like name/address of homeschool, her age/grade, your "qualifications" and experiences, etc...

Good luck... I'm so glad that Missouri is much like Maine.   Our only requirements is a letter of intent to (continue) homeschooling, to keep a daily log of 1000 hours of instruction every year, and to keep samples of their work or grades.






Chasing3
by Bronze Member on Sep. 23, 2013 at 5:10 PM
1 mom liked this


They are asking for more than what Mass law requires. The law does'nt require a daily schedule or calendar and certainly not a detailed curricula.

You many want to make nice and provide as much as you can to appease the district, but on the other hand, they should be put in their place that they are asking for more than what is legally required. You can join the HSLDA (they don't represent unschoolers and I have heard of reviews where people were not helped by them). A woman in my town used them to write a letter to the district on her behalf to explain how they were asking for more than what state law allows -- and the district backed-off immediatly.

I submitted a letter stating I'd meet or exceed 900 hours and 180 days of instruction to cover the major content areas: ELA, math, science, soclal studies, art, PE, music, etchnology, health. I listed all the curriculum materials I would use by book title, publisher and copyright date. A few materials included websites and dvds and listed "field trips" (not more specific that that) and "classic and contemporary children's literature books."

I didn't have to submit a daily schedule, but I made one up and keep track of what we do all day, in the event I ever get interrogated! But let's be real - I follow it very loosely in reality!

you've already gotten links for all the web resource I'd recommend.

Another tip I'd give you - search your district's website for their curriculum outline by grade. Copy and paste directly from there if you need to (trust me, they'll be too dumb to know even if you copy word for word!) I used our district site to see what they are covering in each subject in 4th grade to plan out what we'll do at home. If your district doesn't privide much info, search other district sites. For example, this is what my district lays out for curriculum for every grade - click around and you'll find the kindergarten info:

http://ma-andoverpublicschools.civicplus.com/index.aspx?NID=869

Chasing3
by Bronze Member on Sep. 23, 2013 at 5:41 PM

more... don't reinvent the wheel! Google is your friend! Google things like "kindergarten daily schedule" or "kindergarten ELA curriculum" and you'll find all sorts of nice kindergarten teachers' websites where they've published all their info for the whole world to see! Or school websites or .edu or .gov sites where it's all been done right there for you to borrow!


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