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Choice of Schools
Choice of Schools--Charter Schools

How is homeschooling curriculum regulated?
Most states require a total number of hours or days a child must be taught during the school year, depending on grade level. States may also require specific subjects to be covered. Specific curriculum decisions are often left up to the parent, with checkpoints varying by state.

For example, Wyoming requires that the parent submit a curriculum annually to the board of trustees. South Dakota requires that only language arts and math be taught, but also requires that students take standardized tests linked to the state assessment program. Illinois includes “honesty, justice, and moral kindness” in its required curriculum, and parents need only file a voluntary “statement of assurance” to show that they are meeting requirements. New York has very specific subject requirements depending on grade level. Parents must fill out an Individualized Home Instruction Plan, which must include their curriculum, file quarterly reports and conduct annual assessments.

Do public schools allow homeschooled students to attend part-time?
It is up to individual schools whether to allow homeschoolers to participate in extracurricular activities or Advanced Placement courses. When public schools offer such services to homeschoolers, the school district is often eligible for additional funding.

Most state laws that allow part-time enrollment require homeschooled students to meet all the eligibility requirements that full-time students meet, including testing and demonstration of prior satisfactory academic achievement. For example, Maine requires written approval from the superintendent for participation. Homeschooled students may use school facilities and equipment as long as such use does not disrupt regular school activities, is approved by the principal, does not create additional expense to the school, and is directly related to the student’s academic program. Nevada homeschoolers may enroll in a class or extracurricular activity on the condition that there is space available for the child. In Oregon, homeschooled students need to score above the 23rd percentile on an examination from the State Board of Education taken at the end of each school year to determine eligibility for the following year.

Do homeschooled children learn social skills?
It depends on their individual curriculum. Homeschooling parents often provide their children with opportunities to socialize with their peers through extracurricular activities. Parents may also form groups that meet once or twice a week in order to allow their children to interact. Some parents, however, turn to homeschooling to avoid exposing their children to the peer pressure that occurs in age-based environments.

How do higher education institutions review students?
According to a study by the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), 69% of homeschool graduates go on to postsecondary education. Evaluation varies from school to school. Of 513 colleges interviewed in the study, 349 required a portfolio, test results and a personal interview, while 144 required a GED and 18 required SAT II subject tests. The study found that state-funded colleges were more likely to have stricter policies on admitting homeschooled students than privately funded institutions.

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