Hello World Family,
Falcon had to do a presentation this weekend on Home School as an alternative to regular public school for K-12, and the following information is for anyone who thinks they might want to Home School their child/children this coming school year. The following information pertains specifically to Pennsylvania, and may vary from other states. Allegheny County is featured in some of the information below because that is our local area.
PA has some of the toughest Home School requirements in the U.S., so it is likely that if you meet the PA criteria, you will probably meet the requirements of your state. Check and make sure, though. PA deadline for registering with your school district is AUGUST 1, 2009.
SPECIAL NOTE: The spell-check went crazy; there may be some mis-spellings in this post, well...more than usual;). Falcon apologizes...
Here's what you need to do to get started:
Pennsylvania's Home School Law- Act 169 of 1988
For the purposes of this section, "properly qualified private tutor" shall mean a person who is certified by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to teach in the public schools of Pennsylvania; who is teaching one or more children who are members of a single family; who provides the majority of the instruction to such child or children; and who is receiving a fee or other consideration for such instructional services. No person who would be disqualified from school employment by the provisions of subsection (e) of section 111 may be a private tutor, as provided for in this section. The private tutor may file a copy of his Pennsylvania certification and the required criminal history record with the student's district of residence superintendent.
(d) Instruction to children of compulsory school age provided in a home education program, as provided for in section 1327.1 of this act, shall be considered as complying with the provisions of this section, except that any student who has been identified pursuant to the provisions of the Education of the Handicapped Act (Public Law 91-230, 20 U.S.C. § 1401 et seq.) as needing special education services, excluding those students identified as gifted and/or talented, shall be in compliance with the requirements of compulsory attendance by participating in a home education program, as defined in section 1327.1, when the program addresses the specific needs of the exceptional student and is approved by a teacher with a valid certificate from the Commonwealth to teach special education or a licensed clinical or certified school psychologist, and written notification of such approval is submitted with the notarized affidavit required under section 1327.1 (b). The supervisor of a home education program may request that the school district or intermediate unit of residence provide services that address the specific needs of the exceptional student in the home education program. When the provision of services is agreed to by both the supervisor and the school district or intermediate unit, all services shall be provided in the public schools or in a private school licensed to provide such programs and services.
24 PS 13-1327.1 Home Education Program.--(a) The following words and phrases when used in this section shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection:
"Appropriate education" shall mean a program consisting of instruction in the required subjects for the time required in this act and in which the student demonstrates sustained progress in the overall program.
"Hearing examiner" shall not be an officer, employee or agent of the Department of Education or of the school district or intermediate unit of residence of the child in the home education program.
"Home education program" shall mean a program conducted, in compliance with this section, by the parent or guardian or such person having legal custody of the child or children.
"Supervisor" shall mean the parent or guardian or such person having legal custody of the child or children who shall be responsible for the provision of instruction, provided that such person has a high school diploma or its equivalent.
(b) The requirements contained in sections 1511 and 1511.1, except as provided for in this section, and section 1605 shall not apply to home education programs. A home education program shall not be considered a nonpublic school under the provisions of this act.
(1) A notarized affidavit of the parent or guardian or other person having legal custody of the child or children, filed prior to the commencement of the home education program and annually thereafter on August 1 with the superintendent of the school district of residence and which sets forth: the name of the supervisor of the home education program who shall be responsible for the provision of instruction; the name and age of each child who shall participate in the home education program; the address and telephone number of the home education program site; that such subjects as required by law are offered in the English language, including an outline of proposed education objectives by subject area; evidence that the child has been immunized in accordance with the provisions of section 1303(a) and has received the health and medical services required for students of the child's age or grade level in Article XIV; and that the home education program shall comply with the provisions of this section and that the notarized affidavit shall be satisfactory evidence thereof. The required outline of proposed education objectives shall not be utilized by the superintendent in determining if the home education program is out of compliance with this section and section 1327. The affidavit shall contain a certification to be signed by the supervisor that the supervisor, all adults living in the home and persons having legal custody of a child or children in a home education program have not been convicted of the criminal offenses enumerated in subsection (e) of section 111 within five years immediately preceding the date of the affidavit.
(2) In the event the home education program site is relocating to another school district within the Commonwealth during the course of the public school term or prior to the opening of the public school term in the fall, the supervisor of the home education program must apply, by registered mail, thirty (30) days prior to the relocation, to the superintendent of the district in which he or she currently resides, requesting a letter of transfer for the home education program to the district to which the home education program is relocating. The current superintendent of residence must issue the letter of transfer thirty (30) days after receipt of the registered mail request of the home education program supervisor.
(i) If the home education program is not in compliance with the provisions of this section, the superintendent of the current district of residence must inform the home education supervisor and the superintendent of the district to which the home education program is relocating the status of the home education program and the reason for the denial of the letter of transfer.
(ii) If the home education program is in hearing procedures, as contained in this section, the superintendent of the current district of residence must inform the home education supervisor, the assigned hearing examiner and the superintendent of the district to which the home education program is relocating the status of the home education program and the reason for the denial of the letter of transfer.
(3) The letter of transfer, required by clause (2), must be filed by the supervisor of the home education program with the superintendent of the new district of residence. In the case of pending proceedings, the new district of residence superintendent shall continue the home education program until the appeal process is finalized.
(c) A child who is enrolled in a home education program and whose education is therefore under the direct supervision of his parent, guardian or other person having legal custody shall be deemed to have met the requirements of section 1327 if that home education program provides a minimum of one hundred eighty (180) days of instruction or nine hundred (900) hours of instruction per year at the elementary level, or nine hundred ninety (990) hours per year at the secondary level:
(1) At the elementary school level, the following courses shall be taught: English, to include spelling, reading and writing; arithmetic; science; geography; history of the United States and Pennsylvania; civics; safety education, including continuous instruction in the dangers and prevention of fires; health and physiology; physical education; music; and art.
(2) At the secondary school level, the following courses shall be taught: English, to include language, literature, speech and composition; science; geography; social studies, to include civics, world history, history of the United States and Pennsylvania; mathematics, to include general mathematics, algebra and geometry; art; music; physical education; health; and safety education, including regular and continuous instruction in the dangers and prevention of fires. Such courses of study may include, at the discretion of the supervisor of the home education program, economics; biology; chemistry; foreign languages; trigonometry; or other age appropriate courses as contained in Chapter 5 (Curriculum Requirements) of the State Board of Education.
(d) The following minimum courses in grades nine through twelve are established as a requirement for graduation in a home education program:
(1) Four years of English.
(2) Three years of mathematics.
(3) Three years of science.
(4) Three years of social studies.
(5) Two years of arts and humanities.
(e) In order to demonstrate that appropriate education is occurring, the supervisor of the home education program shall provide and maintain on file the following documentation for each student enrolled in the home education program:
(1) A portfolio of records and materials. The portfolio shall consist of a log, made contemporaneously with the instruction, which designates by title the reading materials used, samples of any writings, worksheets, workbooks or creative materials used or developed by the student and in grades three, five and eight results of nationally normed standardized achievement tests in reading/language arts and mathematics or the results of Statewide tests administered in these grade levels. The department shall establish a list, with a minimum of five tests, of nationally normed standardized tests from which the supervisor of the home education program shall select a test to be administered if the supervisor does not choose the Statewide tests. At the discretion of the supervisor, the portfolio may include the results of nationally normed standardized achievement tests for other subject areas or grade levels. The supervisor shall ensure that the nationally normed standardized tests or the Statewide tests shall not be administered by the child's parent or guardian.
(i) A teacher or administrator who evaluates a portfolio at the elementary level (grades kindergarten through six) shall have at least two years of experience in grading any of the following subjects: English, to include spelling, reading and writing; arithmetic; science; geography; history of the United States and Pennsylvania; and civics.
(ii) A teacher or administrator who evaluates a portfolio at the secondary level (grades seven through twelve) shall have at least two years of experience in grading any of the following subjects: English, to include language, literature, speech, reading and composition; science, to include biology, chemistry and physics; geography; social studies, to include economics, civics, world history, history of the United States and Pennsylvania; foreign language; and mathematics, to include general mathematics, algebra, trigonometry, calculus and geometry.(iii) As used in this clause, the term "grading" shall mean evaluation of classwork, homework, quizzes, classwork-based tests and prepared tests related to classwork subject matter.
(2) An annual written evaluation of the student's educational progress as determined by a licensed clinical or school psychologist or a teacher certified by the Commonwealth or by a nonpublic school teacher or administrator. Any such nonpublic teacher or administrator shall have at least two years of teaching experience in a Pennsylvania public or nonpublic school within the last ten years. Such nonpublic teacher or administrator shall have the required experience at the elementary level to evaluate elementary students or at the secondary level to evaluate secondary students. The certified teacher shall have experience at the elementary level to evaluate elementary students or at the secondary level to evaluate secondary students. The evaluation shall also be based on an interview of the child and a review of the portfolio required in clause (1) and shall certify whether or not an appropriate education is occurring. At the request of the supervisor, persons with other qualifications may conduct the evaluation with the prior consent of the district of residence superintendent. In no event shall the evaluator be the supervisor or their spouse.
(f) The school district of residence shall, at the request of the supervisor, lend to the home education program copies of the school district's planned courses, textbooks and other curriculum materials appropriate to the student's age and grade level.
(g) When documentation is required by this section to be submitted to the district of residence superintendent or the hearing examiner, the superintendent or the hearing examiner shall return, upon completion of his review, all such documentation to the supervisor of the home education program. The superintendent or hearing examiner may photocopy all or portions of the documentation for his files.
(h) Such documentation required by subsection (e)(1) and (2) shall be provided to the public school district of residence superintendent at the conclusion of each public school year. In addition, if the superintendent has a reasonable belief that, at any time during the school year, appropriate education may not be occurring in the home education program, he may, by certified mail, return receipt requested, require documentation pertaining to the portfolio of records and materials required by subsection (e)(1) to be submitted to the district within fifteen (15) days; and documentation pertaining to subsection (e)(2) to be submitted to the district within thirty (30) days. If the tests as required in subsection (e) (1) have not been administered at the time of the receipt of the certified letter by the supervisor, the supervisor shall submit the other required documentation and shall submit the test results with the documentation at the conclusion of the school year.
(i) If the superintendent of the public school district determines, based on the documentation provided, at the end of or during the school year, that appropriate education is not taking place for the child in the home education program, the superintendent shall send a letter by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the supervisor of the home education program stating that in his opinion appropriate education is not taking place for the child in the home education program and shall return all documentation, specifying what aspect or aspects of the documentation are inadequate.
(j) Upon receipt of the certified letter required by subsection (i), the supervisor of the home education program shall have twenty (20) days to submit additional documentation demonstrating that appropriate education is taking place in the home education program. If documentation is not submitted within that time, the home education program shall be out of compliance with the requirements of this section and section 1327, and the student shall be promptly enrolled in the public school district of residence or a nonpublic school or a licensed private academic school.
(k) If the superintendent determines that the additional documentation submitted still does not demonstrate that appropriate education is taking place in the home education program, he shall so notify the supervisor of the home education program by certified mail, return receipt requested, and the board of school directors shall provide for a proper hearing by a duly qualified and impartial hearing examiner within (30) days. The examiner shall render a decision within fifteen (15) days of the hearing except that he may require the establishment of a remedial education plan mutually agreed to by the superintendent and supervisor of the home education program which shall continue the home education program. The decision of the examiner may be appealed by either the supervisor of the home education program or the superintendent to the Secretary of Education or Commonwealth Court.
(l) If the hearing examiner finds that the documentation does not indicate that appropriate education is taking place in the home education program, the home education program for the child shall be out of compliance with the requirements of this section and section 1327, and the student shall be promptly enrolled in the public school district of residence or a nonpublic school or a licensed private academic school.
(m) At such time as the child's home education program has been determined to be out of compliance with the provisions of this section and section 1327, the supervisor or spouse of the supervisor of the home education program shall not be eligible to supervise a home education program for that child, as provided for in subsection (b)(1) of this section, for a period of twelve (12) months from the date of such determination.
Okay, I know that is a lot to take in; here's the broad strokes:
By August 1, file a copy of the Home School Affidavit with the district in which you live.
Here's some thoughts about the flexibility of that August 1 date from our Sister, Pauline from www.askpauline.com
"A notarized affidavit" must be filed by "the parent or guardian or other person having legal custody of the child or children", "prior to the commencement of the home education program and annually thereafter" on or before August 1. The affidavit is filed with your local school district.
If you are filing for the first time, the August 1 deadline does not apply to you; however you must file before you commence (begin) home education. If you will be starting in September, you may wish to get your affidavit in as early as the previous July 1, so you can “count” things you do in the summer (camps, trips, etc.) as “school”. (The academic year – the “accounting year” for homeschoolers - runs from July 1 to June 30.) This is not a huge deal, though, so don't sweat it if you don't get it done until the end of August.
If you are taking your child out of school mid-school-year, you can file at any time. It's generally accepted that you can count the days/hours your child has attended school towards your 180 days (or 900/990 hours) of home education. You can begin home educating the day you file.
-- Note that a very few folks have had problems with truancy charges due to paperwork that remained incomplete for several days, so double-check you've got it all before submitting it. (My impression is that this happens only in situations where there is already some tension between the family and the district, and where truancy has been an issue in the past, and where the "unexcused absence" lasts more than three days.) Of course, if it is an emergency/safety situation, you'll probably want to keep your child home, file as soon as possible, and deal with any possible fallout later.
-- Note also that sometimes the office which processes the affidavit doesn't tell the school which your child has been attending that the child has withdrawn. To avoid confusion, and as a courtesy, you may wish to notify the school directly. You can do this by phone or in a letter. (If you are uncomfortable telling them you will be homeschooling, some suggest saying the child will be "privately educated".) Obviously if you are withdrawing from a private school you will want to notify them!
If you filed last year, you need to file for the coming year on (or before) August 1.
Many home educators submit their affidavit when they submit the previous year’s portfolio, so that they only need to deal with the district paperwork once a year. Regardless of when you file, your "accounting year" runs from July 1 to June 30, so you can still count July “school days” eEven if you don’t submit until August 1. (While the official deadline is August 1, there are usually no serious consequences if you submit it later, so long as it is before school starts.)
Every year, there are families who legally should have filed before school begins, but for one reason or another did not. Minor lateness - filing a few weeks into September - is usually not an issue.
Make a list of the courses you intend the student to do this year, with a summary of each class.
English-American Literature: This year the student will read from a varied list of American authors and poets, write papers on criticism, evaluation, and review, as well as construct essays on key works with supporting bibliography as research papers on the selected titles.
(NOTE: this is a high school summary; elementary school is much simpler; don't feel you have to be an English professor to do this; there are plenty of study guides and support organizations to help! See below).
There cannot be anyone convicted of a felony living at the residence where Home Schooling is taking place.
Someone will have to review the work you do with your child: a teacher (current or retired), a principal (same, working or retired), a social worker, psychologist, etc. There are organizations who will help you get Portfolio Review Supervisors; don't sweat it.
The requirement is 900 hours for elementary students and 990 for high school students per year; I would strongly recommend going by hours and not days (180). That way, half days count where students may only get in 4-5 hours because of other work or activities. Any day can count for hours, and field trips also count, as does sports.
Yes, your child does have to et some fire safety training in: check in with your local Red Cross, YMCA, YWCA, and community center for opportunities. Swimming certification, same thing. This is usually done for the 10th grade year.
What do you do if you are sure you cannot teach your child trig?
Get someone who can! Check out tutors in your community, school teachers who may like to take some time with a child after regular school hours. Local colleges and your local community college will allow high school students to take classes at the university with college level students. This means they get college credit for the classes, and they get to add that grade to their GPA. A college level vlass added to the GPA riases the grade level by one, depending on the grade...so a child who makes a C in a college level course will be given a 3.0 rating on the GPA because of the degree of difficulty. Suppose this is not your child's strongest subject? Well, there are courses that are offered in all levels of math; take one of those to bolster their confidence and move on up to the others later or in summer. Yes, you do have to pay for these. I didn't say it would all be easy, but this is your child's one shot at the education they deserve. Believe me, Falcon had to suck it up and starve a little to make sure Dove got what she needed...but she got it. The reward is a child with a strong education and a bright future. There are scholarships and grants NOW available for students wanting to take these courses at colleges. Check out your local community college for more details.
THIS IS IMPORTANT:
You are permitted to have your child involved in sports, clubs, even the prom at your school-they CANNOT BE BARRED FROM PARTICIPATION. They can play on sports teams and be eligible for sport scholarships just like students attending the public schools. If anyone tells you otherwise, contact the PIAA immediately! Clubs and other organizational activities should be brought up to your school board, if there is a question about participation, but no district in the Commonwealth is allaowed to discriminate against Home School students. YOu pay your taxes the same as everyone else; your child has the same rights as every other child.
If your student plays a sport not offered in your district, but it is offered in teh PIAA district, your student can play that sport for that other school system.
For example, Dove played golf, but not for her Home School District, because they didn't have the sport; she played for a neighboring district in the same PIAA district. See the map at PIAA.org
Books and materials: If you are following the curriculum of the school district in which you reside, they will give you books and materials upon request. If you would like to bolster your child's classes and get books from elsewhere, but don't have loads of money to spend, go to your local used books store, Scholastic Warehouse (Home School families are allowed access to the warehouse just like teachers and administrators), and online used book sites. My favorite is abebooks.com. They have access all over the country to booksellers and their prices and educational materials were amazing! Many times I got materials that were brand new never used for rock bottom prices. Example: a Physics book that was orginally $78 for under $10!!! Same edition, too!
Contact local Home School organizations because support is key. Get together with other parents, and sometimes with classes taught by other parents in a group opportunity. Check out these sources below:
www.pahomeschoolers.com Howard Richman is a great guy, has a website full of important information, including HOme School supervisors to review your child's portfolio. They also do something that is rare in PA: they have to ability to issue diplomas. Yeah, this is a sticky one...
In Pennsylvania, Home School students may not be issued diplomas; it is up to the school district, and most don't. Do they need it? Well...not necessarily. Most colleges take Home School students with the understanding that their states probably don't have diplomas for them. As long as you have the letter from the superintendent at year's end (usually July after you turn in the portfolio by June 30 of that year), the student is considered compliant, and the college will permit them admission.
I would strongly suggest that you join this organization. There is priceless information and lots of support nationally for Home School students.
Aleithia Learning Center
68 Bertolet School Road
Spring City, PA 19475
Richard G. Patton 610-286-6361
Association, On-line Courses, Materials
Buxmont Christian Educational Institute, Inc.
146 W. Broad Street
Telford, PA 18969
Terry L. Johns 215-723-7226
Association, Conference, Curriculum Fair, Diplomas, Evaluators, Information, Materials, Newsletters, Support Group
Catholic Homeschoolers of Pennsylvania
101 So. College Street
Myerstown, PA 17067
Larry and Ellen Kramer 717-866-5425
Association, Conference & Curriculum Fair, E-mail, Evaluators, Information, Newsletter,
Christian Homeschool Association of Pennsylvania (CHAP)
231 N. Chestnut Street
Palmyra, PA 17078
Advocacy; Statewide Convention; E-mail; Information; Newsletter; WEB Page
Erie County Homeschoolers Diploma Association
9129 State Road
Cranesville, PA 16410
Edi Thomas 570-967-0951
Keystone Christian Institute
120 Kilingerman Road
Telford, PA 18969
Information, WEB page, Email, Handbell Choir (Music Classes)
Statewide and also classes for Bucks, Berks, Montgomery, and Philadelphia county homeschoolers
Pennsylvania Home Education Network
952 Peach Street
Ellwood City, PA 16117
Association, E-mail, Evaluators, Information, Newsletter, Support Group, Web Page
Pennsylvania Homeschool Connection
650 Company Farm Rd.
Aspers, PA 17304
Wendy Bush 717-528-8850
Norma Jean Hohman 717-528-8124
Advocacy, Association, E-mail, Evaluators, Information, Newsletters, Support Group,
RR2 Box 117
Kittanning PA 16201-9311
Howard and Susan Richman 724-783-6512
Achievement Testing, E-mail, Evaluators, Materials, Newsletter, On-line courses (Advanced Placement), WEB Page
Pennsylvania Homeschoolers Accreditation Agency
RD 2, Box 117
Kittanning, PA 16201-9311
Dr. Howard B. Richman 724-783-6512
Association, Conference (High Schools at Home), Diplomas, E-mail, Evaluators, Materials, Newsletter, WEB Page
Susquehanna Valley Homeschool Diploma Programs, Inc.,
484 Pleasant View Road
Hummelstown, PA 17036
Margaret T. Matthews, President 717-566-3573
Sandra Elliott 717-582-7527
Association, Conferences, Diplomas, Evaluators
Bridgeway Academy a division of Essential Learning Institute
334 Second Street
Catasauqua, PA 18032
Delores Kosturn 800-863-1474
Darlene Yeakel 610-266-9016
Association, Diplomas, Nationally accredited, On-line courses, 24x7 tutors on-line, Curriculum, Achievement Testing, E-mail, Evaluators, Information, Materials, Newsletters, WEB page
Keystone National High School
KNHS or Keystone
420 West Fifth Street
Bloomsburg, PA 17815
Gladys Phillips, Director of Education 800-255-4937
Sharon Fisher, Admissions Director 800-255-4937
On-line Courses, Materials, Information, Web Page
Alternative Education Resource Organization
417 Roslyn Rd
Roslyn Heights, NY 11577
Jerry Mintz 516-621-2195
Association, E-mail, Evaluators, Information, Materials, WEB Page
26801 Pine Ave
Bonita Springs, FL 34135
Kathleen L. Sprafka
Debra Bell's Home School Resource Center
PO Box 67
Palmyra, PA 17078
Achievement Testing, Online Courses, Newsletter, Conference,Information, Materials
ECS Issue Site - Homeschooling
National Center for Home Education
PO Box 3000
Purcellville, VA 20134
Advocacy, Association, E-mail, Information, Newsletter, WEB Page
Homeschool Legal Defense Association
P.O. Box 3000
Purcellville, VA 20134
Cora Prather 540-338-5600
Darren Jones, Legal Aide
Advocacy, Association, E-mail, Information, Newsletters, WEB Page
National CHallenged Home-schoolers Associated Network
5383 Alpine Road, SE
Olalla, WA 98539
Tim Bushnell 253-857-4257
Association, E-mail, Information, Materials, Newsletters, Support Group, WEB page
National Home Education Research Institute
12221 Van Brady Road
Upper Marlboro, MD 20772-7924
William A. Lloyd 301-372-2889
Brian D. Ray 503-364-1490
Information, WEB page
National School Is Dead; Learn in Freedom!
Karl M. Bunday
E-mail, Information, WEB Page
Franklin County United Homeschool Association
1853 Dawn Lane
Chambersburg, PA 17201
Mary Ellen Moore 717-267-3768
Annette Martin 717-263-3878
Christian Home Educators Team
HCR 81, Box 58
Needmore, PA 17238
Norma Jean Hohman 717-294-6215
Ruthann Golden 717-294-3118
Advocacy, Association, E-mail, Evaluators, Information, Support Group
Regional – Allegheny (Pts) and Westmoreland Counties
The McKeesport Area Homeschoolers
404 Owens Avenue
Liberty Borough, PA 16930
Barbara Page 412-461-6788
Association, E-mail, WEB page
Regional – Carbon, Lehigh, Schuylkill, Parts of Monroe Counties
Schuylkill, Carbon, Upper Lehigh Parent-Teachers SCULPT
RD2, Box 121-27
New Ringgold, PA 17960
Marie and Joseph Courtney 717-386-4224
Advocacy (Information), Association, Information, Newsletter, Support Group
Regional - Berks, Bucks, Chester, and Montgomery Counties
Valley Forge Baptist Home Education Association
616 S. Trappe Road
Collegeville, PA 19426
Karen Melchior 610-948-8100
Lois Rall 610-948-8100
Association, Newsletters, Support Group, Diplomas, E-mail, Web Page
Mason-Dixon Homeschoolers Assoc., Inc.
32 West Main Street #5
Waynesboro, PA 17268
Barbara Snider 717-749-5767
Mary Hudzinski 717-762-3357
Association, Diplomas, Evaluators, Information, Newsletters, Support
Regional - Monroe, Northampton, Pike and surrounding counties
Northeast Pennsylvania Homeschoolers NEPA
PO Box 884
East Stroudsburg, PA 18301
Judy or Paul Van Hook 717-476-9321
Curriculum Fair, E-mail, Evaluators, Information,
Regional - York- County and surrounding areas
York Homeschool Association YHSA
500 Paradise Road
York, PA 17402
New Member Info - Bud & Lydia Goulart 717-741-2566
Coordinator - Julie Tate 717-751-4710
WEB: http://yhsa.org - contact us via the website
Association, Curriculum Fair (March), Information, Materials, Newsletter, Support Group and Web Page
C-MITES Enrichment Program
The Carnegie Mellon Institute for Talented Elementary and Secondary Students Programs offers weekend and summer classes for academically talented students in grades K-9, above-level testing for third through sixth graders and information sessions for parents.
Another great option for homeschoolers!
North Hills Christian HomeschoolersAn organization of Christians in the North Hills area of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who are personally committed to the home education of their children. Learn about the benefits of membership and browse area resources of interest to homeschoolers.
HOMESCHOOL SUPPORT GROUPS BY COUNTY WEBSITE LINK:
ALLEGHENY COUNTY PARENT SUPPORT GROUPS
Family Instructors of the South Hills
FISH is a Christian based network of home schooling families.
McKeesport Area Homeschoolers Organization
A social and educational support group with loads of activities! Headers "donated" by PTA, ignore them.
North Pittsburgh Catholic Homeschoolers
It is our goal to foster a community of support and encourgement for Catholic homeschooling familes through group meetings, activities, field trips and prayer.
List for those living in and around the Pittsburgh area; field trip announcements, playgroups, philosophy. Allegheny County and surrounding areas.
General discussions and announcements for homeschoolers in the Pittsburgh, PA area.
Pittsburgh East Suburban Homeschoolers' Association
PESHA is a homeschooling organization that provides opportunities for homeschooling families to receive and lend support to one another. PESHA is an open group led by members with a Christian worldview.
South Pittsburgh Catholic Homeschoolers
We are a support group for Catholic Homeschooling Families in the South Pittsburgh, PA area.
Southwestern Pennsylvania Home Education Network
A local chapter of Pennsylvania Home Education Network. Covers Allegheny, Armstrong, Fayette, Greene, Washington, Western Indiana and Westmoreland Counties
Achievement Testing - An organization which arranges for students to take nationally normed standardized achievement tests.
Advocacy - An organization which provides legal information and/or assistance
Association - An organization which parents or families join for a fee
Conference - Organizes an annual or more frequent meeting of organizations and/or parents regarding homeschooling issues.
Curriculum Fair - Organizes an annual or more frequent fair of organizations or companies that provide materials for instruction
Diplomas - Organization which is properly registered with the Pennsylvania Department of Education to issue secondary school graduation credentials for post-secondary school admittance, PHEAA grants and loans, and supervision of a home education program.
E-mail - An address on the Internet
Evaluators - An organization which provides a listing of evaluators
Information - An organization which provides information on other organizations, materials or research on the subject of home education free of charge
Materials - An organization which sells or provides without charge curriculum materials or other materials used in instruction
Newsletters - An organization which provides a periodic newsletter or magazine for homeschooling families, with or without charge
On-line courses - An organization which provides courses in limited subject areas or age groups via the Internet. The courses or age groups will be identified.
Support Group - An organization which provides parent support meetings, family programs, field trips, kids clubs, social activities
WEB Page - Electronically retrievable information available through the Internet free of charge
Remember: Falcon is just an old Home School mom; I am not currently Home Schooling, but did for my child's entire high school career; prior to that, she was in the public system, K-9. There is a lot about elementary education (and that standardized testing) I did not have to do. I did have to do the PSAA and she passed with flying colors.
Here are some important things to remember about Home School students: generally, they do better than the average child nationally in education, testing, and college. Minority students in particular seem to thrive in Home School environment. Talk with your child and see how they feel about this idea. Keep good records, this is not for the disorganized. Don't doubt yoursellf, though. Parents and communities have schooled their children since the beginning of time and mankind; you can do this.
Is your child a self-starter? Do they work well alone? If yes, then they will probably do well. Separate the time you are teacher (and the space in the house) from the time you are a parent. Don't mix the two. Have breakfast and set a start time, and that begins the day. Make sure there is daily time for recreation, and get on a schedule of exercise that includes both of you. Falcon got Dove's exercise in, but not her own. This caused problems for me later. Exercise together, have fun together if you can.
I know this is heady stuff, and can seem overwhelming, but take it one section at a time. It will be alright. Write us here at the blog if you need to; we are here for you, and so are many others.
Falcon and Dove
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Hello World Family,