New General Resource Page

I’ve created a new General Resource Page that includes home education sites and online general curriculum guides! It’s by no means complete but I’ll continue to add to it and share when I find awesome resources during my online travels.

Homeschool Advocate Groups

This is just a short post to remind you that becoming a member of statewide and national homeschool advocacy groups is important, not because you personally get something by being a member like you would if you subscribed to a magazine, but because your money helps support groups that keep their eyes on what legislation is being put out there that may have an effect on your ability to legally homeschool.

Homeschooling has not always been legal, accepted, or as easy to do as it is now. As with any right, we all need to pay attention to what’s happening in our government and statewide groups help us do just that!

Home School Legal Defense Association

Private & Home Educators of California

Christian Home Educators of California

California Homeschool Network

Homeschoolers Association of California

 

Do you play with your kids?

I’m bringing this up because something I hear a lot from people that don’t homeschool is that they just couldn’t stand to play with their kids all day, every day.

I was so glad that I had two boys only 17 months apart once they started playing together. I was never the “playing with kids” kind of person. When I first became a step-parent my step-daughter was very much into “pretend play” and I was at a loss. Luckily her Dad was really good at it and would play with her for hours when she was home. I was terrified that the children I had would want to play this way as well! It turns out they didn’t, at least not in the same way. My sons liked to set things up, like green army men and other plastic figures and then pretend play with them. That was more my style! They did dress up and run around the yard pretending they were Indiana Jones and Buzz Lightyear, but they didn’t include me so much because they had a game going between them. I lucked out for sure! My role in entertainment back then was to throw marshmallows at them and things of that nature.

Now that they are in their teens we still play. Mostly we play video games together in the form of sharing them and playing on our own. They rarely play a video game at the same time. They each play separately and compare notes. We play more in the form of jokes and sharing funny stuff we find on the internet. Teenagers are way more fun that way than younger kids, but it’s a different kind of fun.

I found this article by Peter Gray today that really hit home about playing with kids. I hope you like it too!

The Education Secretary’s Comments

Have you seen the articles written in regards to the Education Secretary, John B. King’s comments about homeschooling in the U.S.?

Here are a couple of articles that I found interesting.

“U.S. Education Secretary Says He Is Concerned About Homeschooled Kids” from Caffeinated Thoughts

“What Obama’s Education Secretary Got Wrong About Homeschoolers” from The Daily Signal

I have some serious thoughts about it myself, but I’ll only comment on the one line that stood out to me most. This one, “King said he worries that ‘students who are homeschooled are not getting kind of the rapid instructional experience they would get in school’—unless parents are “very intentional about it”.”

I believe most of us have left the education system because we did not desire the “rapid instructional experience”. Real, whole-life learning and education is not rapid or instructional. Relating real education with school is holding so many citizens of this country back from greatness. Homeschool families are very intentional about giving their children all the advantages of a personalized education that no government school can create.

I highly recommend the two articles above and remind everyone that homeschooling remaining a legal option in the United States is not guaranteed. We all need to remain vigilant and support those groups that help us navigate the government waters and keep our rights secure.

Who Files The Private School Affidavit (PSA) And When?

It’s that time of year again, folks! The annual “Filing of the Affidavit”, or what I like to call “Homeschool Independence Day!”

Who needs to file the Private School Affidavit? All private school owners that have students currently enrolled in their school.

How does that apply to “homeschoolers”? In California, there is no special law for homeschooling. Our kids are all either enrolled in a public school, a private school, or being tutored by a credentialed teacher. One option is for a family to create it’s own private school and enroll their children in that school. It’s a relatively simple process and gives parents the most freedom in choice of education style and content. If you have chosen this option, you are required to file that Private School Affidavit with the State of California’s Department of Education.

If you have enrolled your children in something else, like a public charter school, a district independent study, or a private school satellite program, you should not file this form. Basically, if you filled out an “enrollment” form, you are enrolled in someone else’s school. You are a customer of that school and they will do the administration part of the job.

When and where do you file? All private schools file the Private School Affidavit with the Department of Education each year between October 1 and 15th. You can find the link here. The statewide advocacy groups, CHN and HSC have links on their sites that give you detailed instructions on how to fill out that document.

What is the Private School Affidavit? It’s a way for the State of California to know how many private schools are operating in the state and how many children go to them. It is not permission or a license to operate a private school. It’s done in October and not September so that generally people have settled down into the schools for the year and they can get a more accurate count. Filing the affidavit does not create your school. When you decide on a name, create the required documents, and enroll a student, you are creating a school. The PSA is usually after the fact that your school is created.

I might want to pull out of the school my kids are at later this year. Should I file now, just in case? No! There is no need. If you did, your kids would be counted twice, once in the school they are attending and once in the school you are creating. You don’t want that and you don’t need to. Just wait. The link to file is up year round. Yes, the filing period is October 1-15, but if you create your school in November through June you can still file that form then. It’s just that generally schools are formed over the summer and it helps them to try and get everyone to file at once.

So, that’s about it in a nutshell. I hope this helps clear up any confusion about who should be filing the PSA. Now it’s your turn. Go file your PSA and then do something special with your kids to celebrate your independence!

One more thing, if you are in the Yucca Mesa area and would like help filing, please email me at info@californiadeserthomeschoolers.com We can take some time going over it at the Enrichment Club on October 5th!

Happy Homeschool Independence Day!

Homeschool Help Website!

There are so many great websites out there with loads of information and helpful advice from other homeschooling families. I just wonder what people did before the internet. So much free help…

Here’s one I found today. Go check them out!

The Homeschool Post

Exploring Unschooling Podcast

Do you listen to podcasts? I’ve only recently discovered them and love them! In the car, while washing dishes, taking a tea and knitting break, I get out my phone and pick a podcast to listen to. Are there times you find that it might be convenient to have something interesting to listen to?

Here’s a new one to feast your ears on. It’s the Exploring Unschooling Podcast by Living Joyfully! From the website:

“Explore unschooling with Pam Laricchia, unschooling mom and author. Enjoy in-depth interviews with veteran unschooling parents sharing their family’s experience, dig into a wide range of unschooling topics with experienced guests, and get answers to listener questions in the Q&A episodes. Choosing to live and learn without school isn’t as intimidating as you might imagine. Children really do love learning when it’s driven by curiosity rather than curriculum, and the strong and trusting relationships that develop in unschooling families are priceless.”

A Thomas Jefferson Education

If you are interested in the ideas of A Thomas Jefferson Education, there is a YouTube video of Shannon Brooks presenting the basics available! It’s not as great as being there and being able to ask questions and discuss the ideas with others, but it is a good start.

Intro to Thomas Jefferson Education Video

Happy Homeschool Independence Day!

For those using the private school option to homeschool this year, congratulations! Today is the first day of the filing period for Private School Affidavit. It takes all of five minutes of your day, a printed out file, and you’re done! I consider it a small token of rebellion each year as I take back from the State the responsibility of educating my own children, a sort of Independence Day!

To comply with California’s Compulsory Education law, (among other records you need to keep) you must complete the Private School Affidavit between October 1st and 15th each year. What is an “affidavit”? It’s a a “written statement confirmed by oath or affirmation, for use as evidence in court”. It’s not permission or license. You only need to fill it out and keep in in your files as evidence of a statement. It is important, legally, that you do so to comply with the law.

If you’d like line-by-line help filing out the online form, you can find it at the California Homeschool Network website. There are two links there, one for the form and one for the pdf of help. Be sure to have your printer ready when you fill out the form, as you will be asked to print the confirmation and keep in your school files for several years.

When you’re done, go out and celebrate! You’re taking on a momentous task that will change your children’s lives and those that interact with them too!