Independent homeschooling

Discussion in 'Homeschooling' started by my3legacies, Apr 5, 2015.

  1. my3legacies

    my3legacies Member

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    We are 100% independent homeschoolers in California. So we don't do state testing, send in portfolios or meet with a certified teacher every month. We are not part of a charter school or on line school. We choose all of our own curriculum, pay for it, and decide how, what, when, where and why we want to teach.

    We belong to a local homeschool group that meets for weekly park days, and field trips, and get togethers. Whenever a fellow homeschool mom meets us, they always ask what charter school we are under. When we tell them that we are independent, they often have the same reactions as those people that send their kids to traditional schools. They reply with "Oh that's cool" and walk away, or "Oh I could never do that", or "what about socialization?". It's like I'm talking to people who don't homeschool at all. Some people do stick around and ask lots of questions, and I'm more than happy to talk about how we homeschool. But then the next time we see these people, they act like we don't exist. Only a few people act like we're normal and don't have two heads. We do everything ourselves, which I think scares a lot of people.

    Are these normal reactions that other independent homeschoolers get? What do non-independent homeschoolers really think of independent homeschoolers? I wonder what the percentage of independent homeschoolers is, compared to those that homeschool on line or through a charter school.
     
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  3. Lindina

    Lindina Active Member

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    I have no idea. We've been independent homeschoolers from the early 90s. Back then, that was the only way. There were "groups" and "co-ops", but we lived too far to be convenient to meet with them. To me, people who do online charters aren't really homeschooling, they're just doing public school at home. When someone says "what about socialization?" I would say, "We're here. Let's socialize. Whaddya say?"
     
  4. eyeofthestorm

    eyeofthestorm Active Member

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    Hm. When we made the decision to homeschool, we were still living in CA. Not knowing we were going to move (those things happen sometimes!), I started researching homeschool groups. There were TONS, and most of them contained a full spectrum of independent, charter school attending, those under umbrella schools (with varying levels of involvement...). Perhaps you've just hit on a group that has attracted one type of homeschooling style for some reason.

    We've always been very independent, living in a state with even less oversight than CA (TX), and now in AL, where we must "enroll" in a church school, but are only required to submit attendance records. The only thing I've picked up - and this is from those NEW to homeschooling, usually - is sort of gossipy inferences that certain "homeschoolers" aren't really doing any work, just letting their kids play all day. I usually let this just roll off my back, because I know that the same thing doesn't work for everyone, and figure once these parents get a couple years of experience, they'll realize that, too. <shrugs>

    The important thing is what works for your family... and on that note, if the current group you're meeting with doesn't, it might be time to visit some others.
     
  5. MinnieMouse

    MinnieMouse New Member

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    Many states support (or at least don't inhibit) independent homeschoolers. We are independent. But don't you need to be under a charter or private school in CA? That may be why you meet that reaction.
     
  6. eyeofthestorm

    eyeofthestorm Active Member

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    In California, one option is to file an affidavit to function as a private school. I suspect this is what the original poster did. I know, when we were living there, we were going to end up following this route. Basically, you're 100% on your own.
     
  7. mschickie

    mschickie Active Member

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    In our state (NYS) all homeschoolers are independent. You can choose to do an on line program but it is not tied to a charter or the ps in any way. You still need to turn in the proper paperwork and if you do not like the program you are doing you can change it at any time. To me it is a strange concept that homeschoolers would choose to be tied to any thing (non independent).
     
  8. Shilman

    Shilman New Member

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    All homeschoolers in our state are independent. We, like many others, are part of a co-op, but many are not. I think we have all had various comments about homeschooling, which seems to be normal! I can't imagine being under the control of a charter school. To me, that is not even homeschool! With a co-op, you are free to choose how much or how little you wish to participate. So, I would think that compared to homeschoolers in most states, you are a normal homeschooler!
     
  9. MagnoliaHoney

    MagnoliaHoney New Member

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    Personally I do NOT live in CA. But, have many friends there. What I have found is many start in these state funded programs, but often move on to be a "private" school, after a few years. I have several friends who are completely independent.

    I'll admit I am one of those people. lol I live in Kansas, and have been using a "charter" type program.. we will be done with it in 2 weeks... and that will be it! lol We did it for 3 years... it helped me get things I needed for free, and get this homeschooling thing practiced with kind of a safety net under me. But, now we are ready to break free, and go out on our own. I'll admit and be honest, truly this charter has been nice and good. It's been great in reality. However, in my state children are not required to go to school til they are 7 years old.. which means almost every child should be in school by third grade age. (or registered to homeschool what have you). So for this charter, it's been very lax on the kids under 3rd grade..which included my daughter. I think they want to be lax to keep you in once you get to that required age! lol Then I know the hammer comes down. They are telling me it's not (teachers/admins), but I am hearing from other parents the contrary. The other parents aren't complaining they are good with it. I am not. I like the shorter days (currently most school days are done for us with in 45 minutes! Using this program... but I have heard once 3rd grade hits it can be 4 to 5 hours... yeah I'm not doing that for 3rd grade... possibly high school... maybe.. but not aiming for those kind of hours... and this charter can be up to 10 hour days once high school starts, Absolutely no freakin' way are we doing that long of days for high school! lol So yeah... it's been good, it's been fun.. but we're on our way out now. I have my confidence, I know what I am doing, I have researched found things I want to do our own.. and just ready to do it! ;)

    So I'll be independent in two weeks! Sad that the laptop has to go back though. lol
     
  10. Emma's#1fan

    Emma's#1fan Active Member

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    We live in California and operate privately. While I have been asked questions regarding graduating my child, every homeschooler I know respects our choice.
     
  11. HMinshall

    HMinshall New Member

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    We have lived in CA for a year and the town we are living in, we are the only independent homeschoolers that we have met....we are definitely looked at as odd, and someone even asked if that was legal. We've been homeschooling for 5 years and this is the first time we've run into this kind of thing.
     
  12. Lindina

    Lindina Active Member

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    And I think - far from falling off - its increasing by leaps and bounds!
     
  13. eyeofthestorm

    eyeofthestorm Active Member

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    Before we started homeschooling, most people I talked with about homeschooling gave me the impression that most families homeschool for religious reasons. But when we started homeschooling, the VAST majority of homeschooling families I encountered were homeschooling for reasons OTHER than religion (this was about 9-10 years ago).

    Then we moved to a state, and (at least in our particular city/town, MOST of the people I met in the homeschooling community homeschooled very specifically for religious reasons. It was quite a shift to make.

    We moved again last year, and, once again, we live in an area where most of the homeschoolers I know do *not* homeschool for religious reasons.

    We've lived in five homes, in four cities, in three different states over this course of time.

    I share this simply to illustrate that, it seems to me, it's a good to work hard to get a broader perspective than our personal impressions. Even online, Facebook and Google track our online activity and show us more of what they think we already want to see (according to their algorithms).

    Please don't think I'm criticizing; I just want to explain how I've learned from our experiences that the homeschooling climate in one area can be vastly different from another.
     
  14. mschickie

    mschickie Active Member

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    In our area Common Core is the driving force behind many new homeschoolers. Our co-op had it's visitors day yesterday. I normally have 5-6 families max who come, yesterday I had 15 many who were brand new to homeschooling. Our group is growing by leaps and bounds each year.
     
  15. featherhead

    featherhead Member

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    Here in Manitoba, in our school division, they noticed a huge increase in homeschoolers in the last few years. They even made a committee or something and had people calling all homeschoolers and asking questions about what could be done differently so we would send our kids to school. I thought that was kinda funny.
     
  16. MagnoliaHoney

    MagnoliaHoney New Member

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    I think homeschooling is booming and not just for religious reasons.

    I can't tell you how many "homeschoolers" have met, locally and otherwise, who tell me there is no homeschoolers around them!

    Funny enough one locally, I met online, she is of my same religion and I actually grew up with her husband, we became friends from that... then I found out she homeschooled... and so I started friending her all the more so... she was like no one around here homeschools.. I was like you have no idea! I just took her to a local homeschool convention that was held literally down the street from where she lives (about maybe a mile from her house tops!) and she was amazed at how many homeschoolers were there, and of course that was just one section of homeschoolers who chose to go to the convention... not taking into count every one who didn't go and still homeschools!

    The convention had about oh... I don't know it was 3 days worth of workshops/lectures about 10 being held at a time... 6 times a day.. so let's see 60 times three... different lectures that happened during this convention... and each of those lectures had their own homeschooling story-of why they first came to homeschool. I went to about 20 of those workshops, personally... and not one of the people mentioned religion as being the reason they started homeschooling, most got a line in there that it was a advantage of homeschooling to them... but not a single one in their homeschool story brought out that they started homeschooling because of religion.
     
  17. bigreys5

    bigreys5 New Member

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    We just moved to CA, and have always been "independent" homeschoolers. We have moved three times in the last three years (which makes this our fourth state in all). My two boys have never been to public school and we have always done it "on our own." We do not do standardized schooling, we do subjects, but in non traditional methods, I guess we would be considered unschoolers although we do pencil work a good bit of the time. I have

    We have been to Louisiana- registered as a private school- no state testing; Arkansas- registered as a private school- state testing; Tennessee- registered as a private school- state testing every other year; and now California. We will be registering as a private school here too, and are glad about the no state testing, because it relieves some of the stress from the boys- they tested two grades above their "grade levels" when they tested in Arkansas, but it stressed them out to have that test hanging over them even if it was a year away when we lived in TN.

    I would like to ask some questions about registering with the state of CA- is it just a letter that I need to send in? I have tried to join a homeschool group in the area, but am not getting a response.

    Thanks in advance :)
     
  18. llama

    llama New Member

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    Although the majority of homeschooling families in our parish educate "from the ground up" (an honorable and awesome endeavor as far as I am concerned) but we sought out and specifically selected an umbrella school (Seton, not K-12) for our homeschooling for several reasons. (1) Our children have been in a traditional school for 8 years prior to this (they are accustomed to and actually prefer a lot of structure). (2) This will be our first year and I want the guidance. (This, of course, may change with time and experience, but on the other hand I really like this program). (3) There is some outside accountability. (4) I prefer to spend as much time teaching and as little time scheduling or grading as possible. Fortunately, there is no regulation outside of time requirement in Oklahoma, where we live, so I am looking forward to some freedom from traditional school structure and rules no matter how we do it. Maybe the original poster ran into a lot of "new" families who feel as we do right now or who are not aware of the filing option for a private school in CA or who are not sure how to manage it?
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2015
  19. vantage

    vantage Active Member

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    I had problems like this and found that leaving my Medusa shower cap at home served reduce how fast the other mom's were rushing away.

    LOL

    There are clicks of homeschoolers that form in any given area. Perhaps there is another group that you can meet at the park with. In my area, there seem to be three or more groups with very distinct flavors, as well as some that are more well rounded.

    A couple of examples of groups I have bumped into:

    One group has more liberal/secular homeschoolers who are more concerned about what there kids eat than what religious or spiritual views they have. Meeting with them is a competition to see who force fed the most supplements that morning and whose diet has the least gluten and GMO food stuffs in it. Fit women required to wear spandex work out clothing , and overweight, that is 3.5 pounds or more, wrinkled linen and cotton. While the moms are out-organicking each other the kids play with Dungeons and dragons figurines or tarot cards and crystals and give the boys Henna Tats. Old Volvo and Subaru drivers encouraged to apply. At least one stuck down window replaced with duct tape and plastic helpful but not required.

    Another group is quite "conservative" in its outlook and there seems to be a dress code that was arrived at by mixing and matching Amish womens clothing with the clothing worn by women from Polygamy Compounds out west with the occasional pair of Berkenstocks and long denim skirt tossed in when they are feeling frisky. You do not have to ask them to know they have goats. Van (not mini) and 1970's station wagon drivers only need apply.

    (nothing against goats implied, I am referencing a lack of SOAP- goats milk or otherwise- and water)
     
  20. hermione310

    hermione310 New Member

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    Thank you for the laugh this morning. I'm afraid I'm not in possession of goats or Birkenstocks, nor do I make my own hemp milk. Guess I'll have to form my own outlier sect... ;)
     
  21. Lindina

    Lindina Active Member

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    FUNNY, Vantage! :) :) :)
     

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