There are some sites that review the state laws and do it while trying to sell homeschool legal insurance. I don’t want to say that it’s a scam but they certainly have a strong commercial interest to emphasize the risks and oversteps by the government so that they can collect more insurance premiums. Some sites also have a very political agenda.
The A2Z Homeschooling site is unusual in that it is simply a resource for the homeschool community which is not trying to overstate (or understate) the rules and regulations. I’d recommend them as a great way to get to understand the state by state homeschooling laws. (DISCLOSURE. I’m affiliated with them but I would recommend the site anyway). However, no website could possibly be comprehensive enough to address all the legal questions. And I quote:
“It is important to home school legally!
Laws for Homeschooling by State, Province, or Country
Mobile-accessible list to find homeschool laws easily by political region. It is important to read the actual laws for homeschooling in your political region. Each is different from any other region, though there may some overlap in requirements.
How to Know Which Laws to Follow
If you have been in a state long enough to be legally required to have that state’s license plate on your vehicle, or are required to have that state’s driver’s license, then you should also follow that state’s homeschool law. If your primary residence is in a state where you vote and pay taxes, consider that your home state. There is no statutory definition for principal residence in the Tax Code. What if you move around a whole lot, living in an RV or boat? Either of those would have some state’s registration.”
There are some big complicated issues that she has just raised there. Lets review one.
Jurisdiction. She says that a good test is that if you have their license plate, you should also follow the homeschool laws of that state. I’d like to dig deeper into this. What about where you vote, where your driver license is from, and where you pay taxes? This is a more complicated question than that but as a starting point, she has a godo point that license plates matter. Still, I’d consult an attorney.
The homeschool movement has continued to grow and shift over the last few years. Megatrends in homeschooling to note:
- Growth. Homeschooling is no longer the rare fringy movement that characterized it ten and twenty years ago. Now several percent of the US population, perhaps 3% is actively homeschooling.
- Mainstream Awareness, Many Involved. Because of the widespread awareness and acceptance of homeschooling, the pirate or “us-them” mentality that characterized homeschooling for many years has somewhat dissipated. In fact, many families now homeschool for a few years or homeschool some but not all of the kids. Before, the homeschooling community was somewhat separated from the others, this is not nearly so much the case.
- Homeschooling Acceptance. In the old days, homeschoolers had trouble getting resources and even text books or teacher editions. Now, there’s a significant number of vendors, especially technology vendors, who actively market to homeschoolers. Time4Learning, Accellus High School, Reading Eggs, Time4Writing, Science4Us, VocabularySpellingCity, HugeSpelling, All About Spelling, and Writing Without Tears are just a few of the vendors who cater to homeschoolers. There is even a site about homeschooler’s literature!
- Technology – The homeschool market and community are now using all the great community tools on the net to find and work with each other. There are Facebook groups (and Twitter and so on) for Road Schooling, Military Homeschoolers, Waldorf Homeschoolers, UnSchoolers, Classical Homeschoolers, and so on and so on.
VocabularySpellingCity has just added pages with more complete spelling lists per grade. These are available to both their premium (ie paid) and free users.
Here for example is the content for the first grade word lists:
In first grade spelling, students should demonstrate command of words with common spelling patterns and frequently used irregular words, as well as grade-level sight words. They should be able to apply grade-level phonics to decode one- and two-syllable words. They should understand standard grammar. They should be able to use verbs to convey past, present, and future, and frequently occurring nouns, adjectives, and prepositions.
The word lists include compound words, frequently confused words, lots of sight words, general purpose vocabulary, academic vocabulary, and domain vocabulary
For High School spelling and vocabulary, students should be able to analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone (such as how the language evokes a sense of time and place or how it sets a formal or informal tone); they should be able to use language that is particularly fresh and engaging. They should demonstrate command of grammar and usage, correctly use patterns of word changes that indicate different meanings or parts of speech (analyze, analysis, analytical; advocate, advocacy), and see how meaning of key terms are used and refined in texts. They should be able to use precise words, details, and sensory language, and understand how language functions in different contexts to make effective choices for meaning or style. They should be able to correctly use patterns of word changes to indicate different meanings or parts of speech (conceive, conception, conceivable) and interpret figures of speech such as hyperbole and paradox in context.