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Supplement to “Report Card on Homeschooling”

Just what is required of a homeschooling family in order to meet minimum requirements set forth by the Kentucky Department of Education and state law?

For starters, families must keep careful track of their children’s school attendance in order to prove that they are receiving the equivalent of 175 six-hour days of educational instruction each year, and 10 noninstructional days, for a total of 185 hours. The requirement applies to all children age 6 through 16.

Within two weeks of the start of the school year, families must notify their local school district superintendent in writing of their intention to homeschool their children. The letter must include the names, ages, and place of residence of all children to be homeschooled.

The family must also keep yearly records of the courses their kids have taken and the grades they received. Also, while not required, it is recommended that families keep portfolios of their children’s work each year in several areas of study, and that they maintain the portfolios year after year. The portfolios may be used to assess the student’s work should he or she ever choose to transfer to a traditional school setting.

For complete information about Kentucky’s requirements, go online to www.education.ky.gov, “Kentucky Home School Requirements & Information,” click “About Schools & Districts,” then click “Home Schooling in Kentucky” or refer to the “Home School Information Packet” available through the Kentucky Home Education Association Web site at www.khea.info.

Finally, many homeschooling families with high school students choose to follow a pre-college curriculum such as the one set forth by the Kentucky Department of Education when selecting their courses of study, in order to ensure that the students will meet minimum eligibility requirements for college admission.

“It’s always a good idea to check fairly early with prospective colleges beforehand to see what they require” of homeschoolers, says Lisa Gross, of the Kentucky Department of Education.

While many colleges and universities are becoming more homeschooling-friendly, some out-of-state colleges do not acknowledge homeschool diplomas and require homeschoolers to complete a GED before allowing them to begin college coursework.

Kentucky companies cater to homeschoolers
At least two Kentucky families have turned their commitment to homeschooling their own kids into a career, launching businesses to develop original homeschool curricula and educational materials.

Josh and Cindy Wiggers, and their children, Libby, Hannah, and Alex, moved from Denver, Colorado, to Evansville, Indiana, in 1997, and finally to Kentucky in 1999. With their move, they brought with them their family-run business, Geography Matters, which publishes a wide array of outline maps, geography, and timeline learning materials designed for homeschoolers. The company produces its products from the family’s workshop in Nancy, and regularly receives orders from throughout the country and even as far away as Dubai and the United Arab Emirates, Cindy Wiggers says. The company’s laminated U.S. and world maps and their relatively new Trail Guide series to U.S. and world geography are some of their most popular products. For a complete product listing, visit the Geography Matters online store at www.geomatters.com.

When Dr. Durell Dobbins and his wife set out to find a science curriculum to use while homeschooling their kids, Dobbins says they knew what they wanted: one that was logical, technically sound, and written from a Christian-based framework. When they had trouble locating one, Dobbins set about developing a product of his own. From that labor sprang Beginnings Publishing House, launched in Minnesota but now based in Alvaton where the family moved in 1998. The company markets The Rainbow and The Spectrum, science curricula for elementary through high school students, as well as Bridge Math, a short course to prepare for high school sciences. For more information, including online product descriptions, see www.beginningspublishing.com.





To read the Kentucky Living September 2006 feature that goes along with this supplement, click here: Report Card on Homeschooling

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