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Homeschooling with a charter school--pros and cons?

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I just found out yesterday that this is even an option here and I'm not sure what I think. Our reason for homeschooling is because we want our children to have a solid, classical education. If I am reading things correctly, I would still be in charge of all the materials and instruction for my children with the exception of one day a week at the charter school. On that one day, homeschooled children come for classes in music, art, foreign language, dance, theater, karate, etc. I would also be given money toward purchasing homeschooling materials.


My kids would be registered as students at the charter school and would have to participate in state testing (something we have not ever done).


I like the idea of being able to use some of our own tax dollars toward the education of our own children. The classes and lunch periods would only be with other homeschoolers participating in the program. I think my second dd in particular would benefit from more regular interaction with other kids.


We already only do school on four days a week, so one day at the school for electives would slip in fairly easily. I would not be required to stay, so I could go run errands.


What do you think about this arrangement? Does anyone already do something similar? I don't even know if it is possible to get in this year. Their website does list Sept. 21st as the last day to add and drop classes, so I plan to call tomorrow and find out more.

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I will always advocate private homeschooling over public-school-at-home. I'd rather let someone else use my tax dollars than to try to make my own philosophy of education conform with the government's.


That's why I don't use the free public-school-at-home option (K12). I won't do this, either, if it imposes restrictions on my educational philosophy. It does not appear to pose that particular issue for us, though. We would continue to do exactly what we are doing AND we would attend elective courses at the charter school once a week.

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I would do it, if it were offered here. Those electives are the ones I don't seem to get to. Would you be able to buy ANY curriculum? (I'm sorry, I've forgotten if you have particular beliefs.)


And I agree with the pp who said you can change your mind if you want to--but if you did, would you have to give back your curricula or something?

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I would make sure to ask very detailed questions about the school's expectations, testing requirements, attendance requirements, assignment/portfolio requirements, and documentation requirements. I would leave no stone unturned and ask to see their school policy and procedure book for students/parents. If you like the school after careful examination then I would consider it.


I have done a cyber charter school with K12 with ds. Currently we are doing a small private Lutheran school and afterschooling. After this year I hope to return to homeschool and not public school at home but I have not completely ruled it out. I think homeschooling in our state will give us more flexibility whereas the public cyber not as much but it is still a good option.

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Hi, in our state this is done through a parents' program at the local public school district. We just started homeschooling a few weeks ago (DS is 6) and signed up for the program. I am also on the classical education side of things. I decided to do it because of:

1. tax dollars, as you said

2. accountability to make sure I am continuing with the plans I have made

3. ability to get advice from an experienced teacher

4. ability to utilitize PS services like psych should that be necessary

5. ability to attend classes on an occasional basis

6. and, honestly, this program has made our choice much more acceptable to the extended family


Here, so far, are the pros & cons.


1. I've been able to purchase any curricula I have wanted, no problem with reimbursement so far. For the religious component I have bought our own, without expecting any reimbursement. The non-consumables stay in our family until the last child is done with them, then we give them back to the program's library.

2. weekly contact with the teacher, and I have had to be organized and make up a curriculum plan, which was approved without any problem, and I have to supply 30 day progress reports, in which I just say what we are working on. It's not very detailed or intrusive. Basically this keeps me from slacking off.

3. we have chosen 1 class, sports, which has not started yet, when I am hoping for DS to meet some friends & we can (both) do some socializing!



1. the disapproval of the local homeschool community. I basically keep it a secret that we are doing this program, since I don't want to be lectured about it by everyone!! This is very uncomfortable. I must say it is extremely uncomfortable since the local HS community is very much against this kind of program and sees it as co-opting all their hard work.

2. We can only take 1 course at the program without having the funds we get drastically reduced. If we take a full day of classes the amount is reduced from 1700 to 500 (approximately)

3. some boring paperwork to do from PS district, but not really onerous

4. program's website is not user-friendly and therefore frustrating, for the amount of time I spend on it

5. In order to get classes with an outside instructor reimbursed, that instructor has to complete some paperwork. It's not really burdensome, just 3 pages and resume, but if the person won't do it then they won't.


Hope this helps. As I said we have just started so I may have more to say later. Best wishes,

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When I started considering a charter school, I called up the school and asked a lot of questions. So I would advise you to do that.


We did join up and it has been great for us. The school we joined gives us a lot of freedom, and I pretty much do exactly what I want to do, only now I have more fun expensive stuff I would never have bought before. And there are cool field trips I could not have done.


However, the requirements at our school are ones I can live with. That may not be true for the one you're considering or for your family or something. I don't mind two days of standardized testing for a kid over 7 (my older daughter enjoyed it so much last year that her little sister was jealous). And they accept work from religious textbooks (like my beloved R&S grammar), though they won't pay for it.


A friend of mine has joined a different program with a bit less freedom because of her son's particular needs. He is thriving but she is wondering how long she can hold out. So that's something to consider.

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We homeschool through a charter here in Ca- I couldn't tell what state you are in. It's been a good choice for us, I researched and found charter programs that would give me the freedom to school using the methods/materials I think best.


I agree with Barb, it can always be undone if it doesn't work out for you.


around here, the different charters do things different ways, some have more paperwork, some less, some record things differently.


We took my highschool dd out of the charter last year, because they would not give us credit for the course work I wanted to use. After a year of working through a private umbrella school, we just enrolled her with a different charter school that will give her credit for the classes I think are important.


I like the accountability, I like that they take care of the transcripts- I did not like doing transcripts for my dd last year, it was very stressful to me. I like having some of her outside classes paid partly for.


the disapproval of the homeschool community has been hard, and isolated us during our early homeschool years.


go ahead and check out the program, you can always change your mind.

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Ours has been a huge blessing for us. The only negative has been (as someone else said) disapproval from other homeschoolers. Most I've talked to don't care what other people do (some have even thanked me for letting them know about it), but occasionally someone has a negative opinion and will let you know. :P


We follow WTM requirements pretty closely, and I think pretty much everything we use is covered. I don't change what I do academically because of the virtual school, except that I have the ability to switch curricula if one isn't working. State testing is required for us, but the one the VA gives is more costly (I think) than the one we did before we joined and I like it way better.


I also think if it gets too intrusive or for some other reason doesn't work for us as a family, we can drop out and join another or go back to being independent. Our freedom isn't restricted by our being part of a VA and neither is anyone else's.

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We do a program like this and we love it. We have the choice to choose which classes they take so mostly my kids take a lot of the extras that I don't have the time for at home like music, art, drama, spanish, etc. But they do have great history , science labs, etc as well. We are still allowed to use whatever curr. we want at home. It gives the kids extra socializing but I also feel like the quality of the character of kids there is much much higher than at public school. They offer free testing that is required here every other year and many other fun things like field trips, etc. As the kids get older they offer dances and other social events. They use tax dollars to order any curr you would like for you at the start of the year as long as it is not labeled as religious materials so there are some things I order through them and then others I order on my own but this saves me a TON of money. They ordered WWE, AAS, FLL and SOTW and Saxon math for all three of my kids this year along with a few smaller workbooks. My kids love it and personally I don't really care what other homeschoolers think about it just like I don't care what non-homeschoolers think about me homeschooling either. Everyone has to decide what works best for their family and only they can know that. Good luck!

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