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Living above board.


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How do you live above board so to speak so when someone decides to come knock on your door you have all your I's dotted and t's crossed and all your ducks in a role for " legally safe" homeschooling?


I have almost 11 kids. I live in MI which is a great state at the moment to hs. BUT you never know who is out there to say something and I will have someone at my door.


So how do make your hs above board?

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Just make sure you follow your state's homeschooling laws and keep records of everything you do.


It's not going to matter if the curriculum you use is accredited or not. Abeka might be accredited but it represents just one type of curriculum. Your kids might not even be compatible with it (my kids sure aren't). You've got to use what works best for you and your kids.


Having said that, we've been homeschooling for two years and have never had a problem or heard of anyone having a problem with social services or the schools. You could join a homeschool group...


What do you mean by...you have "almost 11 kids"?

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Congrats on the baby to come. Just echoing what the others have said. Be sure you're meeting state req't. so far as schooling.


I know what you mean by having a houseful, too. It can get trying at times. My advice is not to receive unexpected visitors. You have to kindly step onto the front porch or stoop with them and give them a minute to say what they need to, then very politely tell them you're in the middle of schooling and you really can't talk at the moment. Tell them you'll be happy to get back with them asap.


You're home schooling does not dilenate from your right to privacy. :)

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I'm due soon for baby #11. So he is "almost" here.


I remember a lot of fears like this when I was pregnant. Some made sense...others were hormonal.


I would have a good plan that you intend to follow and then use my plan as a recored of completion.

I find it easier to do this on good old paper rather than computer programs, but there are some good ones.

Make sure you follow state regs.

Maybe join HSLDA if that will make you more comfortable. (I think there are other legal groups that rep. hs'ers, but I can't remember their names.)

I did do that and it eased my mind considerably.


Be kind to everyone. Be approachable. Don't get offended easily. Let others see how much you love your kids, your husband, your homeschool. Boldness, love and friendship go a long way and have many blessings associated with it.


Keep your house simplified and as clean as possible. Not necessarily spit shined and polished, but lived in and comfortable, but healthy. I found when I could ask a neighbor in ....rather than block the vision of my livingroom, I felt much less paranoid. AND, I ended up making one of my best friends that way!


Congrats on your new baby!!! Relax and enjoy!



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The state of Michigan requires that you are providing an "organized educational program." In addition: "Instruction must include mathematics, reading, English, science, and social studies in all grades; and the Constitution of the United States, the Constitution of Michigan, and the history and present form of civil government of the United States, the State of Michigan, and the political subdivisions and municipalities of the State of Michigan in grades 10, 11, 12." There are no required tests or record-keeping. Records are "encouraged."


The first thing to know is that if someone knocks on your door, do not let them in. Call your dh and a lawyer who is familiar with homeschooling.


As far as what you need, I keep records anyway (lesson plans,) but at a minimum, you could have something that shows that you are teaching the core required subjects: math, reading, English, science, and social studies. It could be as simple as a daily journal with a line or two about how the day went to a full-blown set of lesson plans and grades, depending on what your style is. :001_smile:


I agree to keep the house relatively tidy. You are working against two stereotypes - homeschooling and a large family. I haven't heard of problems in Michigan lately, but in Ohio, I know a large family who was targeted by neighbors who "thought they had too many kids" :glare: and called CPS over and over.

Edited by angela in ohio
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You absolutely do not need to do it, but having high schoolers enrolled in American School shuts people up instantly.


My oldest went out to work during the day at just 14. He often served lunch to his old elementary school teachers who would quiz him on what was going on with his education. He was enrolled in the GENERAL diploma option, which really was not difficult or time consuming, but he was years "ahead" of schedule with an accredited program.


The teachers continually expressed their disapproval, but didn't even try to start trouble as they knew that they could do nothing about a student who was "ahead".


It only takes about 2-3 hours a day, for about 3 years, for an 8-10 grade student to complete the general program. And it's been years since we used it, but I assume it is still a VERY affordable program.


My son would have never been able to get away with what he did without American School behind him. He liked to work with men, and didn't want to spend his days home with mom and little brother. At 16 he started putting himself through junior college and by 19 had earned his 2 year business degree and taken off for Las Vegas to start his life.


He is building a house there now, at the age of just 24, which is unheard of here in the northeast where most young people cannot afford a home till they are at least 30.


American School is a godsend for non traditionalists :-) I'm not saying you need it, but we did.

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Echoing others in saying to just do what your state requires. Do you live in a neighborhood where others would think you suspect for having so many kids or homeschooling?


Honestly, I DARE CPS to show up at my door! Bring it on! I would love to discuss what is wrong with the public school system in great detail! ;) By the time you have been in my house for 30 min. you will WANT to write a good report so you won't have the come back!


Just feeling feisty this morning!



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I used to have these concerns when ds was younger. As an only I thought we might get the "you're locking him away all day!" attitude.


Agreed with everyone else, know your states law. I print off our law and put in our yearly planner. I go to the states education website, not a secondary source like HSLDA or a homeschool group.


Also know your potential troublemakers. Do you have neighbors with a chip on their shoulder about your or your family size? Does your doctor give you trouble about homeschooling? I just try to be aware, not paranoid.


Have a few articulate standard replies for your homeschool. This is what we teach, our studies are going great. Basically fluff stuff for those people you want to know.


Don't share the negatives with others that don't understand, that's what this board is for. I once shared with someone about one of my son's struggles, it turned into a talking point for a few years. So I don't discuss the negatives of schooling with that person anymore, they don't understand homeschooling, even though they are supportive.

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Just make sure you are following your states homeschooling laws.

For me that means I have to have a copy of our intent letter, the pink acknowledgement form, a record of attendance, a immunization record (or exemption form), and yearly testing scores for children ages 7 and up.

I have a 3in binder that is my homebase for homeschooling. The very front of the planner has a velcro pocket where I keep all my legal requirements--if someone knocked on my door I could hand them the folder (without letting them inside my house!!) to show that I am in legal compliance. I do plan to keep the testing scores in a hanging file folder in our filing cabinet. After we test for the first time this year I may just keep all the legally required paperwork in that folder instead of in my planner.

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