Monday, June 21, 2010

Homeschooling Q & A ... Part 2

***The bold & highlighted words are links***

We are preparing for a big visit from our very special *friendslikefamily* this week and we plan on spending the next two weeks cramming as many memories as possible into each day and night.

I will still try and answer questions every couple of days and today I will answer a few from the comments in my original blog post.

Point of Rocks Park - Nature Walk
The questions were:

1.) Are our kids tested to make sure they are where they are supposed to be?
2.) Who monitors the testing?
3.) Is it a requirement?

The no-frills answer is:
1.) Yes - but not the typical standardized test
2.) Me :)
3.) Yes and No

The HEAV website has almost every bit of information about testing requirements.

Morefield Mines

To elaborate:

There are three statutes under which you may choose to homeschool in the state of Virginia.

Certified-Tutor Statue - no testing required

Homeschooling Statue (Notice of Intent) - testing required

We filed the Notice of Intent to Homeschool our children the first two years, before we were familiar with the Religious Exemption Statue and completed the required testing those years.

Religious Exemption Statue - no testing required

This is how we homeschool now.

I am not in complete agreement with the way HEAV interprets this statute because I do not believe that being "conscientiously opposed" as it states below, must equate to sin. Without question, Chris and I are convicted to homeschool and give our children a Christian education. And while that personal conviction does come from scripture, it does not extend to sin.

The actual statute § 22.1-254 (B)(1) states: A school board shall excuse from attendance at school: any pupil who, together with his parents, by reason of bona fide religious training or belief is conscientiously opposed to attendance at school. For purposes of this subdivision, "bona fide religious training or belief" does not include essentially political, sociological or philosophical views or a merely personal moral code.

The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers has a bit more information about this statue.

So as I am STILL elaborating on Question Numero Uno ... we do *not* have our children tested to measure their grade level aptitude (as required by the State of VA if filing a Notice of Intent) but they are most certainly tested on the subjects that they are taking that year. I trust myself enough at this point as both their mother and their teacher to recognize deficits in their comprehension or even gaps in the curriculum.

Point of Rocks - "Snakes Are Our Friend"

However, I am not at all opposed to others who choose to do a standardized test to "see where their kids are at" or even establish good test-taking skills. I suppose all those elementary years in public school, with my girls acing the SOL's (after serious year-long memorizing studying) and then realizing that little of that information took root ... well, I guess I sort of lost my faith in that method of measuring success.

If at some point, I am asked to test my children and give an account of what they are learning, I will willingly concede. Once a child is a willing learner, I have found it is not difficult at all to study the given material (ie: teach to the test) and provide more than adequate results.

To complete the Q & A portion of this very-long winded post, here is a link for the testing options in Virginia. Some tests have restrictions for who can give them and others do not.

And FYI, because I found it interesting, here is a link for some of the requirements in other states. If the state is not listed it is because there are no requirements at all.

Colonial Williamsburg

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lori said...

Hannah's face in that picture is HILARIOUS!!! :) Snake are NOT our friends!!! :) Thank you for doing this Q/A session!!! Lovin' it!!!

Anonymous said...

Lovin' the pictures! L