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Author Topic: Homeschoolers view of NH  (Read 9331 times)

sopwith21

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Homeschoolers view of NH
« on: October 09, 2003, 10:34:31 am »

The assertions made here just don't measure up to reality, and I'd hate to lose members because of misconceptions like these.  If you don't want to move east of the Mississippi because you, for some reason, really believe that you live a freer life in MT, great.  But please, let's stick to facts.

We are... but the facts look considerably different to those who home school their children.
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sopwith21

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Homeschoolers view of NH
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2003, 10:38:17 am »

As for my homeschool laws - basically all I had to do was tell them my daughter wasn't coming back to their school.  I have to maintain attendance records, have at least 180 days of instruction, meet safety regulations and provide an organized course of study.  

In IN, we don't have to tell them anything at all. Keep an attendance record and show it to the public school superintendant only if they ask, which they won't since they weren't even notified that you're home schooling.

Unlike NH, in IN and MT there is no state "radar" to track you if you're a home schooler.
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Shayde

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Homeschoolers view of NH
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2003, 11:21:46 pm »

sopwith - I think that is how it is here too - I don't have to show them those things unless they ask for it and no one has.  I had to tell the public school that she wasn't coming back but all I told them was she was enrolled in a private school and they didn't even ask where...course there is only ONE so I assume they assume she has gone back there but...nope!

I just started this year and it is quite an adjustment but SOOOO worth it.

I have to say how much I admire you...even though you have reservations and are not sure about NH you are still trying to find a way to make it work and I think that is great.  Good luck to you!
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etphonehome

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Homeschoolers view of NH
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2003, 04:05:23 pm »

Just a question: what exactly do you have to do in order to homeschool your children in New Hampshire? From what some of you are saying, it seems like you must have to call up the principal of the local school every hour on the hour to inform them of your childrens' progress. Is it really that bad, or do you simply not want to have to fill out a form every year stating that you are in fact homeschooling your children? Face it: the government already knows your children exist. There is a census taken every ten years where you must identify every person in your household. Birth certificates and social security records are started on each American citizen from birth nowadays. Tax forms offer another way of the government keeping track of your kids, because you can list them as dependents. My point is that if the local schools cared about whether or not you are homeschooling your kids, they can easily find out that you indeed have kids and that they are not attending any government schools.

Sure, there is no good reason to require any kind of paperwork at all in order to educate your own children, but is it really that big of a burden? Keeping some records of your child's educational progress will probably be very necessary if you ever have any desire to send them to an established high school, college, or university. These institutions want to see some proof that your kids do in fact know enough to be able to learn effectively at their school, and so if you have not kept any records it may become a huge hassle to try to get your kids into college down the road.

***I actually would like to know about the New Hampshire homeschool regulations, as I have heard several people complain about how bad the laws are without ever saying exactly what complying with these laws would entail.
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etphonehome

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Homeschoolers view of NH
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2003, 01:26:46 am »

Sopwith, we are in absolutely no disagreement whatsoever that the education of your children is none of the state's business. It is appalling that conditions would ever deteriorate to the point where a state would require that you prove your children are receiving some sort of education. Things like this are the reason the Free State Project was formed, and its success is dependent on people like you working as hard as you can to increase the amount of freedom in our chosen state. Sacrfices from many people, myself included, will be required for the FSP to ever become a success. To me, filling out a form once in a while would be a sacrifice I would make in a heartbeat if it meant a chance for greater freedom. And it's important to remember that this form would not be required forever, that when we do become successful, much of this beureaucratic garbage will be gone.

As I see it, we have two alternatives:
1) Continue living where we are now, and watch the freedoms we hold dear slowly crumble around us. Even if you do have a little more freedom where you live now than you would have in New Hampshire, chances are that in 10 to 25 years, you'll have less freedom if you stay put than you would have if you moved to the free state.

2) Accept that we will have to make a few sacrifices in order to get some chance at true freedom, and move to New Hampshire. A little more beureaucratic red tape may (arguably) be added to our everyday lives, but you know what...not for long. In New Hampshire we have a real shot at getting a good percentage in the state house in a few years, and we can show the people how much better freedom really is. However, the FSP will never survive unless people like you decide to make the move with an open mind.

Bottom line: if you stay where you are to cling to a little bit more freedom than NH currently has, your situation will likely eventually deteriorate to the point where present-day New Hampshire would look like a very nice alternative. If you decide to move, you will help to transform New Hampshire into a state that just might make your current locale seem like a fascist stronghold.
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sopwith21

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Homeschoolers view of NH
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2003, 10:21:19 am »

We're not in disagreement on your points either.

But some freedoms are relinquished with more hesitation than others... you can imagine where my kids rank in my personal priority list. A lot of sacrifices we are willing to make without hesitation. Surrendering our childrens' education to state approval is not one of them.

That one takes a little more time and persuasion.
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etphonehome

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Homeschoolers view of NH
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2003, 11:12:54 am »

I understand completely how you put your children at a very high priority. If it helps, I found a little web page written by a guy in New Hampshire explaining what you have to do in order to legally homeschool your children in New Hampshire, as well as some advice on how to do it. This page can be found at this address. You've probably done a lot of research on this yourself anyway, but it appears that the law only requires state knowledge of your educational plans, not state approval. That may be of little comfort to you, but it means that the state legally has no say in what you teach your children, as long as you tell the state what you're teaching. Actually, the state doesn't need to know about it at all, just a "participating educational agency" which can either be a local school district or any private school as well. I'm sure that if you look hard enough, you will be able to find a private school which is willing to leave you alone entirely and let you keep any decision about your child's education in your home where you want it to be. I know it isn't an optimal situation, but I'm sure you can make it work with a little bit of effort.
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“With the first link, the chain is forged. The first speech censured, the first thought forbidden, the first freedom denied, chains us all irrevocably.”
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sopwith21

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Homeschoolers view of NH
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2003, 09:58:49 pm »

I'll read that when I return from a trip this week... thanks.

My understanding of the law is that the purpose of the state evaluator (which must be state approved) is to ... well... evaluate. Ultimately, the only reason anyone evaluates anything is to approve or disapprove it. And ultimately, if it is disapproved, you'll either fix it the way you're told or your children will return to a public school and/or become someone else's kids.

If the only requirement is the notification of the private school of your choice and an evaluation from the evaluator of your choice, after which the evaluation becomes my property and cannot be reviewed by any other party, then that is certainly an easier system to accept and I'd definately consider it. But that's not my understanding of it.

Either way, the link is appreciated and I'll read it when I return.
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sopwith21

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Homeschoolers view of NH
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2003, 10:17:13 pm »

Okay, I couldn't wait. I just read it.

I am still disgusted at NH law on home schooling and even more disgusted at the author's ridiculous concluding statement that NH law "accords homeschoolers considerable freedom and minimal regulation."

He must have been on the writing staff for the NH FSP sales pitch.

However, despite my being personally infuriated, it does seem to be a bit more workable than I first thought after reading the text of the law itself. The real chore here is to find a private school with whom you can develop a close personal relationship, and who will simply serve as an "agency" on paper and leave you alone. I'm sure with some work that can be done, though it may be difficult.

Essentially, you need to find a Libertarian private school principal to work with you and secure your privacy and educational rights. This will not be easy, since all educators must go through state indoctrination programs in order to become educators at all. But perhaps it can be done.

The very thought of giving up our most precious rights in the move to NH is disheartening beyond description, but its apparently not quite as bad as I thought. We still want to support FSP if at all possible. Thanks again for the most helpful link.
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johnadams

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Homeschoolers view of NH
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2003, 03:46:59 am »

You may find the following NH and FSP Homeschooling links of interest, sopwith21:

A to Z Home's Cool Homeschooling
http://www.gomilpitas.com/homeschooling/regional/NewHampshire.htm

Christian Homes Educators of New Hampshire
www.mv.com/ipusers/chenh  

FSPHomeschooling
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/FSPHomeschooling

Home Schooling Legal Defense Association-NH Info
http://www.hslda.org/laws/default.asp?State=NH

Homeschooling Hamlet's, The
New Hampshire Page
www.homeschoolinghamlet.com/newhampshireinfo.html

Homeschooling in New Hampshire
www.homeschoolcentral.com/newhamp.htm

New Hampshire Homeschool Law and Support Groups
www.pacinfo.com/~handley/statelaw/nh.html

New Hampshire Homeschool Support & Legal Information
www.eho.org/support2/newhampshire.asp

New Hampshire Homeschooling Coalition
www.nhhomeschooling.org      
 
New Hampshire Homeschooling Resources
http://nhhr.dimentech.com

NH Education Code for Homeschooling
http://www.gomilpitas.com/homeschooling/laws/blNH.htm

NH Homeschooling Coalition
http://www.nhhomeschooling.org/

Regional NH Homeschooling Resources
http://www.gomilpitas.com/homeschooling/regional/NewHampshire.htm
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johnadams

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Homeschoolers view of NH
« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2003, 02:15:32 pm »

Thank you very much. Since we're HSLDA members, I studied their material as soon as the NH decision was announced. There are some good links there and I look forward to reviewing them. Thanks.

You're welcome, sopwith21. Here is an interesting quote from the HSLDA site:

"Home education is an enduring American tradition and right.... Thus approval requirements for non-public school education may not unnecessarily interfere with traditional parental rights."
--NH Supreme Court, "Appeal of Pierce," 451 A.2d 363, (1982)

Of course, questions can arise in the interpretation of what is unnecessary and what is necessary, but the basic right to home education and parental rights were affirmed here.
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thewaka

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Homeschoolers view of NH
« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2003, 04:07:27 pm »

I'll read that when I return from a trip this week... thanks.

My understanding of the law is that the purpose of the state evaluator (which must be state approved)

sopwith, I have read nothing official that leads me to believe that the evaluator must be state-approved. If, however, private school teachers require certification in NH, I am wrong. The HSing law says a current teacher in a private school can evaluate.

Quote
If the only requirement is the notification of the private school of your choice and an evaluation from the evaluator of your choice, after which the evaluation becomes my property and cannot be reviewed by any other party, then that is certainly an easier system to accept and I'd definately consider it. But that's not my understanding of it.

I understand the eval has to be given to the school district. However, I see nothing that says how detailed the written eval must be. Many in PA (worse than NH) just have a sentence that "this student is progressing at a grade-appropriate rate" or something like that. Not much info to the district at all.

I agree that NH laws could be considerably better and *still* be a compromise with those who think some regulation is necessary. The climate for change of these laws is something I am looking into. I hope things are better before I move in a few years.

Diana

EDIT: Tomorrow I will split this thread, creating a new thread with the HSing posts, which I will move to the NH Education forum so the posts don't get deleted with the forum on the 15th.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2003, 04:46:42 pm by thewaka »
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Michelle

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Homeschoolers view of NH
« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2003, 01:22:29 pm »

I'm new to homeschooling this year (in NH), but my understanding is that the evaluation can be done by any teacher of the parents' choosing. My mother, stepfather, and two aunts are all teachers, so I'll be asking one of them to do the evaluation. The sample portfolio evaluation letter that I've seen (http://www.reformsau16.com/Homeschool/homeschooling.htm), simply says:

This document is to verify an annual portfolio evaluation of CHILD'S NAME conducted on MONTH XX, 200X. CHILD'S NAME educational progress for the 200X-200X school year was reviewed by analyzing work samples and conducting an interview.  CHILD'S NAME has demonstrated educational progress and is at a level commensurate with his/her age and ability.

Respectfully submitted,

PARENT #1.

PARENT #2

EVALUATOR'S SIGNATURE




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thewaka

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Homeschoolers view of NH
« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2003, 04:28:39 pm »

Michelle, thanks. This is one reason NH is better than PA -- the individual school districts don't have to approve evaluators. Another thing is the portfolio doesn't have to be turned into the school district. It really could be worse, though I hope we get it better soon. Michelle, do you have any ideas of where to start looking for legislative history on the HSing laws?

Diana
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skw

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Re:Homeschoolers view of NH
« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2003, 10:55:04 am »

The HSing law says a current teacher in a private school can evaluate.
...
I agree that NH laws could be considerably better and *still* be a compromise with those who think some regulation is necessary. The climate for change of these laws is something I am looking into. I hope things are better before I move in a few years.

This first part seems like a way that the FSP can help be a welcome wagon for the state.  By finding liberty-friendly schools that FSP members can register with, and liberty-friendly evaluators, the FSP could make it much easier for homeschoolers to move to the state of New Hampsire.

On the second part... I had a shudder when I first read this, because I think I was reading it wrong.  Short-term, compromises may need to be made to improve the law from where it is now.  Longer term, the goal needs to be returning complete educational responsibility to parents -- at least to those who want it.  
« Last Edit: October 16, 2003, 10:55:52 am by skw »
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