Can Homeschoolers Participate in Public School Classes or Sports?

I received this question from a reader in Flagstaff. Let me share what I found out. 

1. It depends on the district. However, most counties do allow it, you just usually have to work it out directly with the school and/or district. Make sure you arm yourself with information. At the time of this blog post, this website had the best links to the county eductional websites with the information you need.

2. Yavapai County Education Service Agency says this on their website:

     Participation in School Activities

School districts are required to allow home schooled students to participate in interscholastic activities. The home schooled student must meet the same eligibility requirements, such as passing grades (as certified by the parent), as regular students. If there is a charge (Pay for Play, etc.), the home schooled student must pay the same fee as other students. Academic activities are not the same as interscholastic activities. Schools can take a home schooled student for any number of classes if the district wants to. However, unless a student is enrolled for at least ¼ time (as applicable to age of student) the district receives no state aid and is under no obligation to take a home schooled student.

2. Coconino County Education Service Agency also addresses this topic. Just access their document by clicking on Public School at Home link and find the section about Interscholastic Activities.
*The information on this blog post is based on a quick internet search and has not been tested or proven. Please comment on your experience with involving your homeschooled children in public school classes and/or activities.

Homeschool Information Night

Are you thinking about homeschooling your children? Do you know how to get started? Are you nervous?

Or are you a current homeschooler that would like to help someone who is wanting to homeschool? Or do you want a different perspective?

Come to our Homeschool Information Night

January 30, 2015 @ 6:30 pm
The Montes Home
Please RSVP to Lisa Montes

freedommom@1791.com

We will have some current homeschoolers who will briefly tell us why they homeschool and we will have some curriculum that we use for you to take a look at. We will also have a Q&A session.

We serve appetizers and desserts.

Husbands and Wives are both welcome to come. We ask that if all possible, you find someone to watch your kids. If it’s not possible, but would still like to come, contact me.

Sequoia Choice and REACH

Last week I attended a meeting put on by Sequoia Choice that introduced their REACH program to us.

Sequoia Choice, a distance learning Charter School backed by AZDL, will be starting up a REACH program in Prescott this year. REACH will be a day for homeschool kids to get together with each other and participate in elective classes (on Fridays…and it’s a drop off). In order to participate in REACH, the child has to be enrolled at least PT in Sequoia Choice classes…either using their AZDL curriculum options (2 core classes of Science, Math, Language Arts, or Social Studies) or Williamsburg Academy or Williamsburg Intermediate. http://sequoiachoice.wix.com/reachaz Also, if you’re enrolled in their program, they will also reimburse you $150/semester for extracurricular activities including things like gymnastics, piano lessons, or other PE/ARTS qualifying thing. The catch is that it is a charter school so they have to do benchmark testing 4 times a year, state testing on the grade level it corresponds with, and abide by common core standards. Otherwise, you enroll your child in their school and they pay for your child’s curriculum (as long as the curriculum meets state standards) and REACH program.

 

So far, the REACH classes/courses haven’t been decided yet, and that’s what the meeting was for…to find out what we need here.

But we spouted off a bunch of ideas:

Classes for elementary, middle, and high school kids.

Art classes

Choir/Music

Ballroom Dancing (other dancing)

Orchestra/band

Drama

Foreign Language (Latin and Spanish were the main interests)

Math Enrichment

Science Labs

Writing Enrichment

Vo-Tech classes like computer classes, welding, wood working, etc.

Business classes

College Prep, Internship, Life Skills

Overnight family field trips

If you are interested and want to have a say about what classes are going to be covered this year, then contact Karen (who will be the REACH coordinator here and main teacher at first). I’m sure she’ll be looking for teachers/mentors for these classes, too. I’m sure the teachers will be paid for them.

Karen’s phone number is 928-308-2668.

The first day of class will be Aug 16. Located at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, 1202 Green Lane, Prescott. They will allow homeschool kids to attend REACH classes 2-3 weeks before committing to a Sequoia Choice enrollment.

Definitely something worth thinking about.

K12: Arizona Virtual Academy

I figured that since I’ve been spotlighting other school-at-home options, I should include this one. This is the first one I found out about. It’s been around for a while and it’s another great option for getting a school education at home. I have a friend who uses this with her children. She says the early grades do require quite a bit of parental supervision and time, but as the child gets older and becomes more independent in their learning, she just needs to check in with them to make sure they are on task.

So, check it out!

Arizona Virtual Academy

Arizona Connections Academy

A few days ago, I received a direct mail advertisement from Arizona Connections Academy. My first thought was how much homeschooling must be growing for homeschool academies to be advertising via direct mail. My other thought was that some others might be interested in learning more about this.

They will have an in-person information meeting on Thursday, Aug 1, at 6:30 pm at Starbucks on 351 N. Montezuma St.

After a brief review of the website, it looks like it provides full public-style instruction in all core classes and many electives. There are also a couple dozen activity clubs your child can participate in. It’s basically set up as a distance-learning/online charter school. There is no cost for curriculum or activities (as far as I can tell). Your child will periodically have a review session (once every two weeks) to monitor progress and learning. Regular assessments will be taken and it will follow core curriculum guidelines. Your child can learn at his/her own pace and (possibly?) take subjects according to their own level.

Once again, another great opportunity for home-based education! Really, there are SO many options out there, it’s hard to keep track of all of them!

Sequoia Choice REACH Kick-off Meeting

Dear Prescott Area Home-Educators:

We are very pleased to invite you to attend the rescheduled:

Sequoia Choice Arizona Distance Learning

REACH Kick-Off Meeting

This Coming Thursday, July 25th

 7:00 PM

 Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church

1202 Green Lane, Prescott

 Come meet our Prescott REACH Coordinator, Karen Norris,

learn about the exciting opportunities for the Greater Prescott Area home-educators,

and help plan the ideal REACH program you want for your children!

Please feel free to invite your home-educator friends

to come check out this magnificent program!

This is a flyer I received from a homeschool friend of mine. You can learn more about Sequoia Choice here or the REACH program here. Basically, it’s an AZDL (Arizona Distance Learning) program that gives you a teacher/mentor to help you and your child stay on top of their homeschooling. They also provide field trips and other organized learning activities. K-12. Please come if you’re interested!

Holes

 

Cute cartoon I found showing that even if we can't teach our children everything, there are other ways to fill those holes.

Cute cartoon I found showing that even if we can’t teach our children everything, there are other ways to fill those holes.

Today I had a friend over who is trying out homeschooling for the summer to see if this change is right for his children and family. I love this family. He’s a stay-at-home-dad and his wife runs a successful practice. They have three darling girls–each is a daughter of a different country adopted from birth. Like all parents, my friends what what is best for their children and right now, they are doubting that public education really fits the bill. So they are seriously looking into home education.

Among the discussions of “how do you do it?” and “What is the curriculum you use?”, we also talked about the inevitable holes our children have as they grow up. As parents, we might wish that if we parent right, our children won’t have any holes so they can become amazing and successful adults. But I’ve come to accept the holes I’ll leave in my children just as I recognize the holes in my own life. Holes are a good thing–they give us something to fill–something to work on and achieve personally.

In the matter of education, I’ve also realized that no matter where children are educated, they will have holes. It’s the type of holes we want to avoid and the kinds that we are okay with that make a difference as to where we educate them. As a home educator, my children will not experience a 1st grade class play, a 3rd grade choir, arts and crafts every day of Kindergarten, daily recess with peers, and class PE. But they will also not be bored while waiting for the teacher to teach through 5 different learning styles to teach a concept, they will not be taught to a test, they will not experience negative peer influence on the bus or elsewhere. And they will definitely receive consistent discipline, behavior, and character building lessons at home. I choose the home education holes over the public education holes. The nicest thing about approaching an educational hole as a homeschooler is that I don’t have to have a parent-teacher-principal-superintendant-educational system conference to fill that hole. I just have to take an honest look at myself, my child, our home, and our curriculum to make the change where it needs to happen.

What do you think about the holes that inevitably come into your child’s life?