Alicia Williams

Just moved to Florence, SC from Pennsylvania

11 posts in this topic

Hi all.  :)  We've been in Florence for almost a week now.  We had lived in Rock Hill, SC for about five years and then moved to PA for almost four years, but the Northeast is just not our kinda place, so we're just happy to be back in the south.  :)  

 

I have a nearly 9 year old, who has been homeschooling since the middle of first grade, when we pulled him from public school.  I also have a 6 year old who has never entered public school.  

 

In PA, the compulsory school age is 8, so I wouldn't have had to report and submit a portfolio for my six year old for another two years.  I understand SC law is different.

 

I'm trying to figure out what steps I need to take in terms of a homeschool association (I think we're probably a best fit with third option?) but I'm a little overwhelmed.  I would love a little bit of hand-holding if anyone can point me in the right direction of a good homeschool association that would be local to my area.  :)  I'm also concerned with what steps to take with my six year old, since the compulsory school age is lower in SC.

 

Thanks so much for the support.  :)

 

alicia

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Alicia, most associations serve families throughout the state, and each have different services. Some are hands-off and focus solely on providing you a way to comply with the law, others provide more (some locally, some not). Here's a list of currect associations: http://ed.sc.gov/agency/programs-services/125/documents/HSAOption3List2014.pdf for you to research.

 

When did your son turn 6? Would he have been in kindergarten this year if he was in public school?

 

Dianna

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I've never been in a local homeschool association for legality. It's good to find a local group for support, but accountability can be any 3rd option group.

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My 6 year old (daughter) would have entered kindergarten fall of 2013 because she has a fall birthday.  But in PA, compulsory school age is 8.  So you don't have to report and submit a portfolio/evaluation, etc., until age 8.  So do I have to report and submit documentation for her in SC this year?  And when is the deadline?  

 

Our homeschooling style is very relaxed.  Not radical unschooling, but we do not adhere to a strict curriculum and most of our learning is experiential, project-based, and hands-on.  Not a lot of paperwork.  Does anyone know which homeschool association best supports this style?  Do I have to standardized test either of them this year?  

 

Sorry for all the questions.  I'm still having trouble understanding the three options available to homeschoolers here.  

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Hi Alicia, you won't have to document anything for this year for your kindergarten student, but you're technically supposed to register with an association for the remainder of this year for your oldest, unless you completed your 180 days of homeschooling for this year already (which is what I'd go with). Since you haven't registered with your local school district, you're not in the system, and it probably won't be a problem to just ride out the rest of the year since you've already completed your homeschool year for 2013-2014 in PA.

 

Most of the 3rd Option homeschool associations will support your more relaxed, less-paperwork method of homeschooling. Several wouldn't though (they want to know what you're using and must "approve" it).

 

Email those you're interested in (here's a list for the current year you can start with: http://ed.sc.gov/agency/programs-services/125/documents/HSAOption3List2014.pdf) to ask specific questions before you register.

 

Basically there are two ways to homeschool in SC - through the school district (not recommended due to curriculum approval and testing requirements) or through an association. Some are as cumbersome as the school district (testing requirements and curriculum approval), but others (especially those that operate under section 59-65-47 - also called Option 3) are much more parent-friendly.

 

Warmly,
Dianna

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Thanks for the advice and support!  We basically do school year round, with frequent breaks and days off.  It's easier that way, for us, than to take two or three months off in summer and then hit it hard the rest of the year.  We all have found that schooling "lite" year round is much more pleasant.  So I'm sure we've more than put our 180 days in. 

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Where in PA? We were in Lancaster County for eight years. I'm also a "returnee", having been born and spent my earliest years in Charleston.

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Ha!  We lived right across the river from Lancaster in York, PA.  :)  I cannot even express how much I am LOVING Florence after 4 years in PA.  LOVE it here!!  :)  

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Oh, awesome! Our evaluator was in York County. I loved her! I loved PA, but I'm so glad to be back home. I love it here more. I'm just adjusting to the culture shock and not having the things at hand that we had before. I'm so glad to "meet" you!

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Crystal, if you're referring to enrolling in Carolina Homeschooler, you can register a preK student, but you don't have to do the required record-keeping until your child turns 5 by September 1st (kindergarten age in SC). You'd still be able to do events with us (that are age-appropriate) - you just wouldn't be bound by the law yet.

 

If that's not what you meant, please let me know.

 

Warmly,

Dianna

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