California often leads the trends that affect the rest of the nation. I’ve wondered whether this is true in homeschooling too. For instance, as far as I know, California is the state with the most significant public homeschool charter schools. I’m quoting from Laura’s page about her experiences homeschooling in California:
I am the state wide contact for families with special needs children for California Homeschool Network. I have also created a group that gets together for projects related to the current season or holidays and go on field trips.
According to homeschooling authorities, homeschoolers in California have four basic options for teaching their children at home:
- File an affidavit to function as a private school
- Enroll in a private school satellite homeschool program
- Have home instruction provided by a certified tutor
- Enroll in an independent study program at home using home school curriculum.
Question: You say that you are using a charter school this year. Is that what they call: “a homeschool charter school?” What services does the charter school provide? What funding? What constraints? I’ve heard that at the elementary school level, it’s a really nice setup since the school pays for pretty much anything you want and is generally, very flexible. But that you still have to take standardized tests.
Answer: There are different types of charter schools. Some are ran by school districts and they are “in school” charters. Then there are charter schools that are homeschool based. We have used this route for all the years we have been homeschooling. The homeschool based charter school provides a teacher once a month to collect attendance and work samples. They are also there to bounce ideas off of and place the purchase orders for curriculum, field trips and classes that the charter school offers. The funding offered by each charter school varies so interviewing each school is a must to see what they offer for the money provided. There is also a different rate for high school than for elementary which is considered K-8 for the purpose of funding. The constraints are no religious materials, you have to use their vendors, and testing is required by the school. Now I use “required” loosely since you can opt out of testing just by writing a letter stating you are opting your child out.