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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Leave the homeschooling to homeschoolers

One of the things about moving to PA that has been a struggle for me is the homeschooling laws. Not necessarily the actual process of schooling because I have not changed that but the laws here are very very scary and burdensome.

Moving from states where schooling my children was my choice, and I was responsible for everything. I did not have to submit anything ,which by the way, It did not keep me from keeping a record and filing everything in case a social worker showed up at my door someday with questions. I made sure everything was always in order.

The nightmare of PA law not only places unnecessary requirements on you but the administrations is in no way helpful in the process. As a matter of fact if you call and tell them you are a homeschooler in their school district and you would like to know where to bring your portfolios the people answering the phones have no idea what you are talking about or who you are to talk to.

This year was my second year in submitting a portfolio. I decided to physically take it in because the first year I submitted it via US mail, with a signature card along with my affidavit for the new school year and I never received the portfolios back. In regards to that, I then was advised by my evaluator to make copies of everything ,not to give them originals in case they did not return the portfolios again.

I spent the whole day, Monday June 30th, in a panic and a mad rush to try and get everything copied and in order to be able to meet the deadline by closing hours of the school district. When I knew I wasn't going to make it I was in total panic and was absolutely terrified not knowing what would happen because I missed their "deadline". I did not know what to do... Do I take them in late and explain or do I not take them at all?

July 1st, I woke, finalized and reviewed the portfolios and decided to take them in. When I finally was able to get to the school district to deliver the portfolios no one knew where I was to go and to whom they were to go to. They were so nonchalant about the process to which I was grateful but at the same time in the back of my mind I wondered what all that panic, mad rush, and total chaos was about the day before if it wasn't that big of deal. It seemed like they really didn't care and no one could explain or knew about the old portfolios.What I find very interesting is that in every way the administration is able to bend, manipulate or even change the law to benefit them,making it difficult and even overwhelming and burdensome to homeschoolers with evaluators, portfolios and deadlines yet NO ONE could tell me where I was to go, who was in charge or even where my old portfolios went. They say these laws are for our good, to keep us accountable, but I wonder who is keeping the failing school district ,who is unable to make their system work, accountable?

Homeschooling works and the statics show it. Too many times the government wants to fix something that is not broken. Most homeschoolers take what they do seriously, we understand what is at stake, the hearts and minds of our children. No one knows or loves my child more than I do, and no one will do more for my child than I will, so thank you PA but no thank you. Focus on what you need to focus on and that is reforming education by bringing Christ back into schools and leave the homeschooling to the home schoolers!

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