Our local homeschooling list has been awash in political stuff lately, but somehow I still managed to notice something that I really needed to know: instead of the seven months in which to prepare our homeschool enrollment paperwork for the state of Vermont that I *thought* I had, I have LESS THAN FOUR WEEKS.
Turns out that the letter of the law says children need to be enrolled by their sixth birthday, which for my girls is in April, and that the state has 45 days to get back to the family if they want changes made to the outlined minimum course of study. That means that if I want to follow the letter of the law on this, I need to get my paperwork in before the end of February.
In talking to some moms, I’ve discovered that most folks here don’t do this, and that no one chases them on it: kindergarten isn’t mandatory, and no one plunks their kids into school the day they turn six anyway. (Can you imagine the chaos!?) This enrollment would expire on July 1st regardless, so I’d still need to file NEW enrollment forms for my girls by Labor Day for next school year. I’m unsure if I’d need to do a formal assessment piece for the period April to July 1st or not, but I bet the answer is yes, if I want to follow the letter of the law.
I’m kind of torn on this, honestly. I AM planning on being ‘above board’ with my homeschooling regarding state processes; that isn’t the issue, for me at least, but no one is going to chase me if I don’t do the paperwork now, as kindergarten is not mandatory regardless. If I DO the paperwork, I’ll be making MORE work, not only for myself, but also for the state home study office, who will have to process it, and that irks me as a taxpayer. I do like the idea of having a ‘dry run’ at the required forms, but what if I run into problems, and they get sent back for revision? I would also need to get paperwork from Big D’s speech therapist and from the girls pediatrician TWICE, once now and once again in June/July for next year’s paperwork. I also hadn’t really planned the amount of time this will take into my schedule for the month, but ‘rolling with it’ happens to be a personal strength.
Here’s a link to the Vermont home study webpage, in case you are curious to see what laws and forms are like here, and what I’m dealing with. There are examples, and resource guides, and exclamation points welcoming folks to homeschooling, so that is all good, but there is also more legalese than I’m used to reading, but better see the actual documents than someone else’s interpretation of them, I suppose.
Mixed feelings aside, I’m going to do it. The law is written that way, the paperwork isn’t THAT onerous to make or process, and if I run into headaches with it now, I’ll be that much better prepared for when I *really* need to do it this summer. (Honestly, if I get this in before their birthday, anyone who gives me the hairy eyeball over it can go jump.)
I’ll let you know how it goes…