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Montana Homeschoolers?

Posted by on Jun. 7, 2014 at 1:03 PM
  • 7 Replies
Right now we live in Tx, but eventually plan to move to Montana. Since Tx is so lax, I wanted us to get used to the Montana laws. Could someone from Montana tell me about their experience? I know there are hour requirements and we're suppose to contact the county superintendent but some things are a lil fuzzy. Do we have to keep records like report cards, any standard testing, are there curriculum requirements for elementary? My kids will be in 1st grade and kindergarten this fall. I would just like someone's real life experience from there. Any experience and or information would be really appreciated. We JUST started homeschooling in April so it's all still very new and with Tx being so lax Montana is just a touch intimidating and I want to make sure we do it right.
by on Jun. 7, 2014 at 1:03 PM
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Reina13
by Reina on Jun. 8, 2014 at 12:51 PM
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I am in Texas and we are looking to start HSing in the fall. I am new to this so I don't know much about other states but here is a bump for you. 

sweetserenit292
by Member on Jun. 8, 2014 at 3:43 PM

I lived in Texas and moved to Montana about 5 years ago.  Montana isn't that much different.   Legally children have until age 7 to start school.    If you do decide to register before age 7, then you have to follow the hours required per grade.   For K  it is 2 hours , grades 1 -3 it is 4 hours.  You have to file a letter of intent with the superintendent, maintain attendance.....180 days of instruction and keep a copy of immunization or an exempt immunization letter.     The school session begins July 1st and must finish by June 30th. 

Just as long as the subjects are consistent with the school  is all that matters.....reading, math, writing,  social studies science  etc

You don't have to turn anything in except your letter of intent and if they ask only......then your attendance.  There aren't any tests required at this time.    I am registered with Home Life Academy only because I wanted my kids to have transcripts when the time came but you don't have to do this.     Homeschooling is very popluar in Montana.  As far as school sports,   homeschool students are not allowed to participate.....but there is a lot of other option for our kids that  is not really an issue. 

What part of Montana will you be moving?

haymama
by Member on Jun. 8, 2014 at 9:46 PM
Quoting sweetserenit292:

I lived in Texas and moved to Montana about 5 years ago.  Montana isn't that much different.   Legally children have until age 7 to start school.    If you do decide to register before age 7, then you have to follow the hours required per grade.   For K  it is 2 hours , grades 1 -3 it is 4 hours.  You have to file a letter of intent with the superintendent, maintain attendance.....180 days of instruction and keep a copy of immunization or an exempt immunization letter.     The school session begins July 1st and must finish by June 30th. 


Just as long as the subjects are consistent with the school  is all that matters.....reading, math, writing,  social studies science  etc


You don't have to turn anything in except your letter of intent and if they ask only......then your attendance.  There aren't any tests required at this time.    I am registered with Home Life Academy only because I wanted my kids to have transcripts when the time came but you don't have to do this.     Homeschooling is very popluar in Montana.  As far as school sports,   homeschool students are not allowed to participate.....but there is a lot of other option for our kids that  is not really an issue. 


What part of Montana will you be moving?



Thank you so much for sharing. Do you mean hours per day because I thought is was like 700 something for elementary school? Also how exactly do you do attendance because it seem kinda obvious they are there if you're homeschooling? Would you mind adding the website for the Home Life Academy, we're still finding our way with curriculum and I've been looking up the choices between school online box curriculum, etc. We are thinking of the general Kalispell/Northwest Montana area, it will probably be next April or the year after. If you don't mind, why did you choose to homeschool, was it just a personal choice or are the public schools particularly bad in some way? Thank you for taking the time to respond it's often hard to find people in Montana to ask questions on cafemom.
sweetserenit292
by Member on Jun. 9, 2014 at 1:01 AM

This is to Montana website that tells hour many hours.  So if you are only doing half day kindergarten then you only need 360 hours for the year. http://www.opi.mt.gov/PDF/Measurement/HomeSchoolPacket.pdf

For 1st - 3rd then its 720 hours a year.  

Kalispell is a Wonderful place to homeschool.  They have tons of resources for homeschoolers.  I live on the out skirts of Kalispell and is too far for me to partake in their activities.  I wished we lived there or Whitefish. 

The area I live is a rural town with one elementary, middle and high school.   Unfortunately there is a lot of good ol boy system still in effect and bullying is a huge problem even in Kindergarten.     Kalispell schools are just like any other.... some good and some not so good.  Whitefish has really good schools from what I hear.   Many people will live in Columbia Falls and take their kids to Whitefish to attend school. 

As far as attendace,  I just keep a calendar and mark the days and I also have homelife academy keep track of it for me.  This is their website  http://www.homelifeacademy.com/

For me, I use to teach in the public schools, I really enjoyed it. But, I know how schools work.  I have seen too many negative things go on in school and I always knew that if at all possible, I didn't want my kids in public school.   That being said, my oldest did try P.S.  here (mainly because it is a small town and not much goes on here)  and it lasted for 8 weeks.  There were a couple of rough kids who picked on, pushed, hit, kids in the classroom.  FInally, I pulled him and he does not ever want to go back.  I have heard that middle and high school here isn't as bad bully wise but we aren't crossing that bridge yet.

As far as curriculum  you can pretty much use whatever you like.  For us,  I use  Abeka, Math U See,  and All About Reading and Spelling, I also bought some games off Timberdoodle and we use those too.    

haymama
by Member on Jun. 9, 2014 at 12:43 PM
Quoting haymama: Right now we live in Tx, but eventually plan to move to Montana. Since Tx is so lax, I wanted us to get used to the Montana laws. Could someone from Montana tell me about their experience? I know there are hour requirements and we're suppose to contact the county superintendent but some things are a lil fuzzy. Do we have to keep records like report cards, any standard testing, are there curriculum requirements for elementary? My kids will be in 1st grade and kindergarten this fall. I would just like someone's real life experience from there. Any experience and or information would be really appreciated. We JUST started homeschooling in April so it's all still very new and with Tx being so lax Montana is just a touch intimidating and I want to make sure we do it right.


Thank you so much for all the information, it has been really helpful. So how old are your kids and how long have you been homeschooling them? Have you had any difficulty from anyone in regards to them challenging your homeschooling? Our oldest 2 kids (we have 4) were in public school (prek for our son and kindergarten for our daughter) this year being both their first year. They started in a good public school and their teachers were amazing, we have always briefly mentioned homeschooling but nothing serious. We then had a couple of problems not with their teachers but other students and staff. We worked towards overcoming the problems but then we moved. After we moved we ended up in a place where the schools, staff and their teachers left ALOT to be desired. Our kids loved school before and would come home excited to talk about their day, and since changing schools they were no longer happy about school at all. They were Very unhappy so we decided it was way too soon for them to dislike school and went didn't like how this school and staff worked so it was time to pull them out and homeschool. That's our story of how we ended up homeschooling. I love that we have control of the influences on our children and the time we get to spend as a family. We have more family time now and can work around my husband's schedule better. I'm really loving homeschooling not that we don't have bad days or that there's no stress, it just seems like this is the right choice for our family at least for the foreseeable future.
You mentioned being too far to really be involved in the group, what do you do for the almighty socialization problem lol? I don't mean this in a bad way, I'm truly curious because we plan to live a ways out in the country and right now while we live in a town, it's very small.
sweetserenit292
by Member on Jun. 9, 2014 at 6:58 PM
1 mom liked this

I have 3 boys ages will be 7 in July, 5 1/2 and will be 2 in July.    This was our first year officially homeschooling and it is a bit overwhelming at times but soo worth it.  My husband works 10 hour shifts, his weekends are during the week  and his work shift  varies..... so homeschooling allows them to see daddy more often.  :-)    As far as socializing, they don't seem to have a problem.   We have a park down the street and we do go to Kalispell twice a month for my two older sons speech.  I put the kids in swim lessons in the fall and spring. I usually alternate every other month due to the cost of gas.  So we are on the road a lot.  45 min to swim but it is so worth it.  You learn how to cut back one place and have extra for something else.   We have a smaller homeschooler communitity here that I just found out about last month.   Apparently they also do swim, and ski in the winter.....45 min away but they car pool.   My oldest isn't  into t-ball much but my middle son will play soccer in the fall here.     My 2 oldest just started horseback riding lessons last week, right down the road, and we will see how they take to it.   We do have tons of churches too.....but it is more click-esh.....if you know what I mean. So we don't participate in that. Sometimes we meet up with a couple of friends, go to the beach, huckleberry picking, apple picking, and camping.  Of course they have each other.    My kids talk to everybody and anybody.  Maybe it is because they aren't around a ton of kids all the time and  are so happy to talk to someone other than family.....or maybe they are just secure in who they are....maybe it is a little of both....I don't know.  lol  

haymama
by Member on Jun. 9, 2014 at 8:54 PM
1 mom liked this
Quoting sweetserenit292:

I have 3 boys ages will be 7 in July, 5 1/2 and will be 2 in July.    This was our first year officially homeschooling and it is a bit overwhelming at times but soo worth it.  My husband works 10 hour shifts, his weekends are during the week  and his work shift  varies..... so homeschooling allows them to see daddy more often.  :-)    As far as socializing, they don't seem to have a problem.   We have a park down the street and we do go to Kalispell twice a month for my two older sons speech.  I put the kids in swim lessons in the fall and spring. I usually alternate every other month due to the cost of gas.  So we are on the road a lot.  45 min to swim but it is so worth it.  You learn how to cut back one place and have extra for something else.   We have a smaller homeschooler communitity here that I just found out about last month.   Apparently they also do swim, and ski in the winter.....45 min away but they car pool.   My oldest isn't  into t-ball much but my middle son will play soccer in the fall here.     My 2 oldest just started horseback riding lessons last week, right down the road, and we will see how they take to it.   We do have tons of churches too.....but it is more click-esh.....if you know what I mean. So we don't participate in that. Sometimes we meet up with a couple of friends, go to the beach, huckleberry picking, apple picking, and camping.  Of course they have each other.    My kids talk to everybody and anybody.  Maybe it is because they aren't around a ton of kids all the time and  are so happy to talk to someone other than family.....or maybe they are just secure in who they are....maybe it is a little of both....I don't know.  lol  



Our kids are close in age, our oldest daughter will be 7 in December, our oldest son will be 6 in March, our youngest daughter will be 4 in March and our youngest son will be 2 in January.

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