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Help translate state law

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With all the talk about what is required for high school diploma and what to put on transcripts, I went back to IL state board of ed website to remind myself of their requirements for graduation.


Here is what I have found. PE is not a graduation requirement but it is required to be taken all four years of high school, along with health and consumer education. So if I didn't do this would I be breaking state or federal law???????


"Parents who choose to educate their children at home are obligated to teach their children “…the branches of education taught to children of corresponding age and grade in the public schools†and they are further obligated to offer instruction in these core courses in the English language. The “branches of education†include language arts; mathematics; biological and physical sciences; social sciences; fine arts; and physical development and health."


There was a phased in changes for specific credits required for a high school diploma. For my twins they are required:


"any student who enters high school as a ninth-grader in the 2008-09 school year and beyond will have taken the following minimum number of courses during high school:

• 4 years of language arts;

• 2 years of writing-intensive courses, one year of which must be offered as an English language arts course and may be counted toward meeting one year of the four-year English language arts requirement. The writing courses may be counted toward the fulfillment of other state graduation requirements, when applicable, if writing-intensive content is provided in a subject area other than English language arts;

• 3 years of mathematics, one of which must be Algebra 1 and one of which must include geometry content;

• 2 years of science;

• 2 years of social studies, of which at least one year must be the history of the United States or a combination of the history of the United States and American government; and

• 1 year chosen from any of the following:

o art;

o music;

o foreign language, which shall include American Sign Language; and

o vocational education."


"Additionally, daily physical education, while not a state graduation requirement, is a required course for all students in each of four years of high school (see 105 ILCS 5/27-6). The law and agency rules also require that students during high school take a minimum of 18 weeks (one semester) of health education (see 105 ILCS 110, 105 ILCS 5/27-5 and 23 Ill. Adm. Code 1.440(a)(9)) and one quarter (nine weeks) of consumer education (see 105 ILCS 5/27-12.1 and 23 Ill. Adm. Code 1.440(a)(11)), bringing the total number of state-required courses to 16.75 units. (See Appendix C for current regulatory requirements.)"

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If you choose not to include it, my understanding is that homeschoolers are not bound by the state or federal law. I also know from experience how easy it is to get out of the daily P.E. requirement in Illinois such as for the quarter a student paticpates in marching band or any quarter when they are involved in an extra-curricular sport.


That said, from a holistic viewpoint, it would be a good idea to make sure some physical activity is included regularly in order to form a lifelong habit. If that is taking martial arts, great. If not, maybe taking up running or some other activity.

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Does the state of IL award high school diplomas to homeschoolers? This would be unusual. There are no federal laws regarding homeschooling.


No they don't.. but there is compulsory attendance laws and in that little law is where the state lists the subjects to be taught and includes that the students are to be taught in the English language.


So I am assuming that although home schooling laws in IL are lenient... that this attendance law is what home schoolers must abide by?? How we teach, curriculum used, etc is up to the parents. Just must teach these subjects I think.


So I am asking for help in translating the laws to make sure I meet the laws and not have to deal with any legal issues.

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No, you would not be breaking any kind of law.


Now, quit going to the public school Web sites to find out what homeschoolers are supposed to do, girl!! According to HSLDA, the required subjects are "Language arts, biological and physical science, math, history and social sciences (which shall include a course in the U.S. and Illinois Constitution), fine arts, health and physical development." No specifics as far as how many years or content are given. IMHO, even though IL is a "good" state, HSLDA membership is still important. Become a member; ask HSLDA your questions.


You teach whatever you and your dc think are important. You can base that on the requirements of any colleges they might apply to, or on what you think are good life skills to have regardless of what the colleges might require, or on what your dc's life goals turn out to be, which may or may not include collge. Don't let the public school dictate to you what you "should" do, because in IL, they don't have that right.

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Our state law is pretty lenient as well. If I wanted (but I don't) I could briefly cover the subjects and award a diploma. To stay in my comfort zone, I choose to cover close to what public schools cover so if I choose at a later date to send my child to school, she won't be behind or have to make up too much. So the further away you go from state standards, the more you need to be willing to homeschool all the way through. IMHO

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Most states have a year or two of PE/health in their high school schedule. Doing some PE/health is something most of us have our kids do. I , for one, don't require daily physical exercise because studies show that alternate days for things like running are better. My girls, who are not taking any PS right now, run 10 minutes four times a week and play soccer for 2 hours every week. Some weeks they also play some sports with youth group. That is actually more PE than what non athletic kids in 22th grade in my area do. I don't care what the states say since we have had 2 different states so far for both of my kids who were in high school. This one might get three.

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