If Nothing Else Fits

Write to Nance Confer at marbleface@bellsouth.net with questions or comments.

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15 responses

20 09 2007
COD

I’m confused, although that is probably normal. Why is this family and HSLDA fighting with FL about what grade the girl is in? I can barely remember what grade my kids would be in if they were in school. It’s meaningless info.

http://www.hslda.org/hs/state/fl/200709201.asp

Does FL require HSers to report at a certain grade level.

20 09 2007
JJ

Hi Chris, clever use of the write us page, good for you!

No, statutory FL home education requires no grade level reporting, nor particular hours or subjects of instruction even, except that it’s supposed to be “sequential.” (If we unschoolers have no problem with that, dunno why anyone would . . .)

20 09 2007
JJ

OK – here’s what I think. This is really convoluted. The school district doesn’t set or sign off on grade level, so the parents should never have taken the odd tack of trying to get that done officially, or to “promote” a homeschooler by district action. If the schools could do that, then they could “retain” and “remediate” us just as easily, yes?

When Favorite Daughter was ready for dual enrollment in college courses, the articulation agreement between the district and the college specified the student be at least 15, and doing 11th grade equivalent work. So I said she was. It was up to me, as her “homeschooling authority.” It never occurred to me to get the district, knowing nothing about her except what I choose to tell it, to confirm that she was! Or to worry about her “peers” and how they were being tracked. How absurd. . . unless she’s wanting to enter the high school, in which case the district can place her according to the district’s policies and the school principal’s judgment anyway, regardless of what her homeschool file has in it.

p.s. The family was never being “hassled” in the first place! The district wasn’t doing anything pro or con. Isn’t that what we all want, to be left ALONE?!

School District Tells Homeschooler She’s Learning Too Fast

. . . Mrs. Gilbert submitted two assessments so that her daughter could advance to the correct grade and be back on track with her peers.

Unfortunately, the Gilberts were distressed when they received a response from the Escambia County School District to the evaluations sent. The letter stated that the district was unable to accept two year-end evaluations for a homeschool student in one year, and that they would not promote the student to the 10th grade . . .
She again made it clear that the Gilberts could only submit one evaluation to the school district in order to fulfill the mandated requirement, and that the school district would not acknowledge the fact that the Gilbert daughter had completed both 8th and 9th grades during the 2006-2007 year.

. . . The district only has the authority to “review and accept the results of the annual education evaluation of the student in a home education program. If the student does not demonstrate educational progress at a level commensurate with his or her ability, the district school superintendent shall notify the parent, in writing, that such progress has not been achieved.” (According to Florida Statutes Annotated 1002.41(2)).

Klicka’s letter made it very clear that the Gilbert’s daughter was going to progress into the next grade, regardless of what the district said, and that the Escambia County Public Schools could do nothing about that.

The Gilberts have not been hassled since.

20 09 2007
Nance Confer

This is what comes of asking permission, wanting approval, and using a canned curriculum with grade levels and thinking anyone, including any FL official, cares which grade workbook you have your child doing.

Nance

21 09 2007
Nance Confer

And along the same lines, with the usual misinformation being posted on the very nice Christian hsing list here. One poster wrote:

It is a big gray area and it is easy to misinterpret and twist, but it boils down to the parent providing over 50% of the instruction and an outside teacher or another parent is a tutor. If another parent is doing 100% of the teaching, it is illegal. I know this because a friend asked me to homeschool her child and when I checked with the Florida Dept of Education, they told me it was illegal.

And I answered:

See, that’s what you get for checking.

There is no magical 50% line.

There is no rule that says I have to “teach” my child a certain amount of the time or percentage of the time and others can only instruct him for less than 50% of the time.

There is no law saying I can’t make arrangements with another Mom or two and share babysitting and designate the time I am with the child as the “homeschooling” part of our day and any learning that happens to happen while he is with the other Mom(s) as also directed by me.

There is no law saying homeschoolers (even those using the private school option) have to use grade levels. (Yes, you have to designate a grade level in the private school option but it can be completely unrelated to anything.)

When we ask a school person what to do, we will often get a schoolish answer.

The options available to homeschoolers in FL are not based on public school or any other school standard.

If parents would be a little more imaginative and take a little more responsibility for arranging their own lives instead of asking some office worker to set their schedules and everything else for them, they could have a much better time homeschooling here.

Nance

21 09 2007
Nance Confer

Not suggesting that particular e-list is any more likely to post this “50%” and “grade level” misinformation. I’ve seen it all over. You don’t have to belong to a Christian e-list to think you have to ask permission to turn around.

Nance

21 09 2007
JJ

When we ask a school person what to do, we will often get a schoolish answer.

SO true! If the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

Maybe it follows then, that when you ask the carpenters’ union about relating to your own children, you can expect to hear they need a good pounding to fit in? (I think church and school officials both follow the Carpenter’s all-purpose blueprints too religiously — puns intended — which is why “church school at home” can too often be a double whammy hammering of the individual.)

21 09 2007
JJ

From a publicly schooled, conservatively churched (apparently self-educated despite it all!) young thinker we know:

School, church, groupthink and pressure to conform to the congregation, mystic memes versus science, regimentation and standardization, fine print and literalism versus organic performance from love and passion, change and fear of change, ignorance. Women and girls thinking for themselves and expressing it as it has meaning in their own lives, never mind the conventional controls of society . . .

Education is the biggest fear of the church, or at least secular education. Why do you think there are so many Christian schools? Why do you think that small children are sent to Sunday School from the time they are old enough to be away from their parents? Because the Church believes that if they can get to these children at a young age, they can brainwash them into believing whatever they put in front of them.

Unfortunately, this is true.

21 09 2007
Nance Confer

Not to take an ounce of blame away from churching, but schooling seems to do its job too in making bad parents. IMO if you can’t make decisions about and with your own children about the very make-up and arrangement of your days, you are not ready to be a parent. That SO many people seem incapable of living outside the school-set routine is frightening.

Nance

29 04 2008
Doc

Greg Laden. More opinions about homeschooling.

http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2008/04/the_homeschooler_mind_set.php

29 04 2008
JJ

Hi Doc. Oh, goody, more unscience-like slamming of what he doesn’t want to try to understand, just kill.

30 04 2008
NanceConfer

Who cares what GL thinks? He’s made up his mind and no amount of his dipping his whatever into the stream will convince him otherwise.

Nance

30 04 2008
JJ

Ugh – pollution! 😉

5 12 2008
Kelly

JJ…wanted to write a personal apology to you for a couple of my comments on Spunky. I do not make it a practice to comment on such things to people on the internet and consider it in very poor taste to do so. You probably agree. I did make the comment that I believe you have a good heart, and I meant that. It came after reading some of the things you had posted in other places and I do see your point, but we’ll have to agree to disagree on the rules thing. One thing I didn’t say is that we don’t have problems with lying in my household either, but we definitely have rules.

Aside from that we may be parenting in much the same way, particularly after I read your post about your 14-year-old’s reaction to some other children at a dance recital. Please accept my regrets for my rudeness.

5 12 2008
JJ

Kelly, thank you! That wasn’t necessary but I do appreciate it. 🙂

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