Thursday, November 15, 2007

Wish List Item #1

1. Please stop asking us if it's legal. If it is — and it is — it's insulting to imply that we're criminals. And if we were criminals, would we admit it?

Yes folks, homeschooling is legal here in the USA, land of the free and home of the brave. We have to follow the Rules and Regulations set forth by the NYS Education Department just like any other place of instruction. The only difference is NYS does not currently require any credentials for teachers giving home instruction. I also don't need a Certificate from the Health Department to feed my kids lunch, and I don't need to be an RN to give them a Tylenol... but I digress.

You might be suprised, however, at how many NYS Certified teachers homeschool their own children. I can name 4 right off the top of my head, and I am sure there are many more of which I am not aware.

In any case, we are in contact with our local school district several times a year. We submit quarterly "report cards" just like your kids' teachers do. We tell them our plan of instruction for the year and we have to submit test scores periodically as well. I dare say, a good majority of us are doing this to provide what we believe to be the very best education possible for our children. What kind of civics lesson would we be encouraging if our very existence was against the law?

So now you know.


Nicole said...

Interesting. I'd thought about homeschooling too. Sometimes I think I could do a much better job than some of the teachers. BUT, I don't think I have the patience. Are you a very patient person/mother/teacher?

welcome to the blogosphere!

Mom of 3 said...

Oh my no! Patience is NOT one of my strong suits. As you continue though, it gets easier. Honestly, the more relaxed I am the more the kids accomplish.
Children are naturally inquisitive, they WILL learn, despite our blunders! And they are very forgiving!

jean-marie said...

I am so glad you're blogging here! I used to give informational seminars on homeschooling at the Riverhead Library. (Probably will again, soon.) I have been outright attacked by people for what they perceive as my illegal actions. Takes a good sense of humor, patience with the ignorant, and quick-on-your-feet answers, sometimes. ("No, Mrs. ___, we're not Amish. No, not orthodox anything else, either. No, don't have any communicable diseases...")

And...the state does NOT require teachers in private schools to be certified (homeschoolers are covered under private schl laws,) nor does every public school district in the state hire all certified teachers. By NYS law, a school can hire someone with a BA/BS in anything...lots of subs don't have cert. It is not uncommon for math/sci/tech teachers to have a degree in their discipline, but not in education, in areas where these teachers are scarce. Look what the NYC school system had to do to get professionals in to "try out" teaching...gave them a grad. degree for free, if only they'd teach in NYC!

Mom of 3 said...

Exactly! I fully understand that people who do not homeschool are going to be unaware of a lot of the technicalities of the regulations. I don't have a clue about the intricacies of banking regulations; however I would not walk up to a banker and ask them if their job was legal! Nor whould I enter into a debate with them on the benefits or detriments of banking.
A quick Google search of NYS homeschooling takes you to right to 100.10 ! A perusal of the FAQ's should be required reading for anyone who even dares utter the word "homeschool". But no, I'M not bitter!!!
Thanks for the encouragement.

jean-marie said...

Yeah. Sort of like perfect strangers asking you when you're due ('re not pregnant? The baby's 6 months old, already?)

Are you breastfeeding? (WHAT??? Have we ever met before? Should I ask if you're circumcised, or something?)

People take a strange amount of liberties when it comes to parenting topics. (Isn't there school today? Yes. This is school. We are taking a field trip to the library.)

(Aren't you afraid your child will miss out on socialization? Is it really the purpose of school: socialization? No...the purpose is education, and I have chosen this way to educate my child.)

(Well, what does the school district say about it? Did they give you permission? Wellll...I am the parent, and it is my responsibility to oversee all aspects of my child's, clothing, shelter, doctor and dentist visits, which school to attend...the one down the street, or the one in my living room...)

Oops. Sorry. I just hijacked your blog. Not bitter. No, not bitter at all.