What About Home Educating?
Should I home educate? We encourage you to ask yourself for what reasons you want to educate your child at home. Are you motivated by a deep commitment to invest in your child’s character development? Are you willing to commit time and energy in his/her lesson plans, teaching time and review? Are you willing to say “no” to some things you might want to do as a parent and “yes” for this season of life to invest in your child? If so, home schooling may be for you. However, if your motivation is solely a desire to escape a bad situation in an institutional setting, or if at least one parent cannot be physically present in the home at all times, then we encourage you to consider other educational routes instead of home schooling.
What are the legalities? Is home education legal in Kansas? Yes. According to K.S.A. 72-1111, children between the ages of 7-17 are required to be in a public or private school. Home schools fall under the category of a “non-accredited private school.”
What are the legal requirements? The statute (K.S.A. 72-53,101) requires private non-accredited schools to fill out a one-page form provided by the State Department of Education, listing the name of the school, address and custodian of records and submit this to the State Board of Education. This is a one-time submission, not yearly. To obtain the form, write Kansas State Board of Education 120 S.E. 10th Avenue, Topeka, KS 66612-1182, or go to their website, KS State Dept Education.
Please see the excellent web site: www.kansashomeschool.org for further information on this and other aspects of home education.
Do I need to be a certified teacher? No. The only legal requirement is that a “competent” teacher do the instructing. This is not further defined in the state statute (Kansas Attorney General Opinion 75-409).
Can I take my child somewhere and have someone else “homeschool” him/her? Do you offer school to other people? No. SVHE is not “the teacher” and we do not generally offer an academic program per se. All of the education/teaching that occurs is by or under the direction of parents. You will need to do the teaching! SVHE is a support group of teaching parents.
What curriculum do I choose? Who can help me decide? There are numerous publishers and vendors eager to assist with curriculum choice. Many resources are now available; please see the links in the new member packet.
How do I join SVHE? Just download an application form; fill it out mail it with membership dues to the address on the bottom of the form or bring to the next meeting! You can also fill out the online membership form and pay online as well.
Is there a requirement for regular testing? No. Although many home-school families regularly perform standardized testing for purposes of personal assessment and planning, it is not a legal requirement.
What about socialization? Will my child develop socially without “classmates”? This is a common concern and is best answered by observing current home-schooled children. There are many opportunities for “real-world” interaction in which many home schoolers participate. Many believe that multiple-generation interaction (such as occurs within families and other groups) is more beneficial for social growth (and more like our “real world” existence) than age-segregated classrooms.
What about sports, science lab, choir, band, drama, etc? In the Salina area, at various times both boys and girls basketball teams are available, as well as girls volleyball or soccer. There are also multi age level choirs. In addition a number of other group experiences are available, including biology and chemistry labs, drama group, home-school 4-H club, field trips, etc. It varies each year on what subjects will be available.
What Home Education is not …
Teaching one’s child or children at home is not …
Easy: Substantial energy, time and planning are required to effectively take on this serious responsibility. Home education is clearly a full-time commitment. We do urge you to not enter into this lightly, nor simply as a “quick fix” for a current difficult problem. Working with the local school system may be a better choice.
An Escape: Educating and training your child at home should never be thought of as an escape nor an isolation from the current world environment. If anything we urge you to consider it as an “entering into” of the problems of society and impacting people for the better.
For everyone: Again, educating one’s child at home is challenging, time-consuming and must be taken very seriously. This requires a major personal and family investment. If there is chaos at home, or if at least one parent is not in the home most of the time, we urge you to consider other educational settings rather than the home.