Hello all. I have a 4th grader and a 7th grader I homeschool now. I would like to unschool them. They seem to resist my schedule. The only worry I have is i live in NY. I have read the laws. I have to send in quarterly reports. The elementary school is not as bad as the middle school. They want me to send in a curriculum! And for this year, my two kids have to take the standardized tests. I worry that when they take those tests if I am unschooling I may get into trouble since it will look like they don't know how to take tests or won't know what is on the test. Or the law will demand i put them back in school. What should I do? I am new to homeschooling, I just started this year. Should they be taking tests on a regular basis? Thanks for any advice. I hope I made sense. I am so new to this! By the way, last year I pulled my daughters out of school because of bullying and health issues.
by SnailGalDecember 30, 2012 at 1:14 PM
They can't request to see curriculum unless it's required by law (which should be the same for each grade). I'm not sure about tests because I don't have to have mine take them here and we aren't unschooling. I don't like "teaching to the test" though either. If I had to have mine take them then I would personally spend at least some time getting him familiar with the way the tests work, and some of the material that will be on it. Now I wouldn't be using a textbook, but if I knew the test in 7th grade went over a certain topic I would be checking out library books on that topic and doing oral comprehension reports of it. to make sure he understood it.
Quaterly reports you can mark down anything you do. Gardening is science, cooking could be math and science, documentaries watched history, etc. Good luck!!
by NYCitymomx3December 30, 2012 at 1:17 PM
First of all, you don't have to send in a curriculum, you just have to send in a very general plan of action for the year. I just copy and paste the worldbook's typical course of study for their particular grade. We unschooled for years and covered most of it without effort. Second of all, your 4th grader can do testing in 5th and 7th grades. It doesn't have to be 4th, 6th, & 8th. when you're ready to administer the tests, just buy a cheap test-prep workbook to get them used to taking tests. Do it like once or twice a week with them.
They don't have to take tests on a regular basis. Your 7th grader can either take a standardized test this spring or next. Only in the high school years (9th-12th) do they have to test every year.
My IHIP is one page. My quarterlies are 1 paragraph. My annual assessment narrative is 2 paragraphs. The regulations are no big deal. Don't let them scare you. I have samples of what I send on my blog (link in signature). Just check the sidebar for "paperwork samples". The worldbook link is there too.
by luvcats406December 30, 2012 at 7:50 PM
Thanks everyone. It just seems so strict! When I first started homeschooling, I handed in my quarterly report.. They told me it was wrong. The elementary school gave me an example. I had to do it just that way. It consisted of 2 papers. The middle school told me that my quarterly report was unacceptable. I had to do that one as a syllabus. My next one is due Feb. 8. I do have it saved on the computer. At least the elementary school gave me an example or I would still be doing it wrong!