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Homeschooling in Oregon
I am Kelly and I homeschool in Oregon! I have been educating my six children at our home in Oregon for the past 12 years. My eldest son is a homeschool graduate who has also graduated from college. The younger five are all still at home, although a daughter will graduate this year.
Hi, my name is Katrina and I also homeschool in Oregon! I homeschool my two sons, ages 12 and 11. We live in one of Portland's many suburbs! We are trying to practice sustainable living by raising chickens, growing our own fruits and vegetables and anything else we can do!
To find out more about the legal requirements for homeschooling in Oregon, articles, and state-specific resources, you can also visit one of these sites:
Legal disclaimer: This section is two families' stories and how they meet the mandatory school attendance laws in Oregon. It is not intended and should not be used as definitive legal advice. In most states, parents find a variety of legal methods to pursue the educational approach that they prefer for their child.
Homeschooling in Oregon: Kelly's Story
In 2005, I began looking for an efficient, computer-based program that would cover the basics, leaving us more time to pursue the unit studies we enjoy as a family. When I discovered Time4Learning, it provided the additional bonus of also being fun! My younger children can't remember when Time4Learning wasn't part of our school day.
In 2006, Time4Learning asked if I would like to moderate their Parent Forum. They didn't have to ask twice! I'm enjoying moderating an increasingly active forum. On the parent forum you can ask questions about Oregon homeschooling resources.
Oregon Homeschooling Info
New homeschoolers in Oregon should start with the idea that they are joining a large vibrant community of Oregon homeschoolers. This page is intended as a gateway into the community of Oregon homeschool parent support groups.
Oregon's Requirements for Homeschoolers
Oregon homeschoolers are required to do two things:
After his first day using Time4Learning, my son looked over at me and said 'I'm really smart mom!' That statement is priceless!
Time4Learning started out as a supplement, but has now become more of a center piece to our homeschooling. I wasn't expecting that at all!
Kelly's Children Started in Oregon Public Schools
My first child started out in public school. As a classroom volunteer, I remember being in charge of an egg timer which was used to monitor each child's turn at a microscope. The children spent an entire class period waiting for their chance to view a leaf for 60 seconds. That egg timer has come to symbolize, in my mind, the limits that are put on some children's learning opportunities.
My kindergartner, who had been reading since he was 3, was required to spend time each evening on homework assignments which were designed to teach the alphabet. I remember wishing he could spend his limited after-school hours practicing his new reading skills instead, but he was obligated to do what the rest of the class was doing.
While my son was frustrated at being held back, it soon became obvious that our second child, a daughter, would struggle to keep up. Each child had unique needs, none of which could be adequately addressed in a classroom setting.
The last phone call I received from my son's school helped me understand the limits of well-meaning teachers with large classes. The teacher told me my son was sick and I needed to pick him up at school. When I arrived, my son was outside playing on the monkey bars and another pale little boy was on a cot in the principal's office. The teacher had called the wrong parent!
We became a homeschooling family and never looked back. Our six children have a full spectrum of abilities and challenges, and they have all benefited from the one-on-one tutoring that homeschooling makes possible.
How Kelly's Family Met the Oregon Homeschool Legal Requirements
Our school district provides an online form for homeschool notification. It is a simple matter to download it, fill it out, and send it to the address indicated on the form. You can contact your local ESD to find out if your school district provides such a form.
While we choose to use the form, you can also simply write a letter if you wish. You must provide the student's and parents' names and address, the student's birthday, and the name of the last school the student attended, if any. If you use a district provided form, you are not obligated to answer other questions that might appear on the form. They can be left blank without comment. When mailing your notification form, you might choose to certify the letter so you have proof it was received.
There are several private schools in our town who welcome homeschoolers when they are testing their own students. These schools allow homeschoolers to participate for merely the cost of the test itself. Schools order testing materials months in advance, so start inquiring early if you hope to use this method. This is the option our family has chosen most often.
Your school district may be able to provide you with a list of independent testers in your area. There is only one tester in our area and we enjoyed having her come to our home to test our children.
Basic Skills Assessment in Portland services homeschoolers' testing needs. Our family has used this option on two occasions. In addition, Basic Skills will send a tester to your Oregon town if you have a group of students to test. Our homeschool co-op arranges this on an annual basis.
Homeschooling in Oregon: Katrina's Story
We love homeschooling in Oregon! Homeschooling was my first choice for my sons' schooling, but because my husband was not in agreement at the time, we sent them to public school for K-5th grade. Due to cutbacks, lack of caring teachers and the general overview of studies, we decided that it was time to homeschool in fall 2008! Oregon is very open about homeschooling with very few rules and regulations -- which makes it great! We wish we had done this sooner! Living in Portland, we also have many choices for extracurricular activities to enhance our homeschool experience. In the six short months we have been doing this, I have watched my sons flourish and grow! Did I mention that I love homeschooling in Oregon??!!
Time4Learning is a fun software, entertaining and I really like the way it explains things in a way that the kids can understand, without making it boring.
In the lesson, you can click on the
Can You Say Chaos? More from Katrina
Because I work in my home caring for children, we had to make some large changes to adjust to homeschooling. Not everyone has to do this, but because we have a very small house, areas within it have to do double-duty for both my sons AND the daycare children. After breakfast, feeding the chickens, and morning chill out time, we get to work. During the morning, I do preschool with my daycare children which leaves my children to their own devices of following a schedule I created. They get to watch an educational show of my choice and write about it by filling out a pre-made form. The shows change daily, but programming is from National Geographic Channel, Discovery Channel, History Channel, etc. I set these up weekly on their automatic show scheduler via our satellite, which is perfect as it changes automatically to the show when it is time. They also do their free reading during the morning.
After lunch, during the daycare nap time, we get down to business using T4L. They have a community desk that is shared in the kitchen, sitting on opposite sides. I bounce back and forth between them, observing, helping, etc. This continues until about 3:00 p.m. The afternoon is spent outside for p.e., weather permitting, or inside being creative with Lego's or working on art.
My kids love to help the daycare kids when we do projects or Playdoh time. Since we just started this experience in October for one son and in January with the other son, we are still adjusting as needed. I have already created a fall schedule which will allow us more time to pursue other activities, plus allows for more structure during the school day. Every other Friday, both my husband and I are off work and we do some extra-curricular activity as a family -- which is wonderful! We have really come together for our homeschool adventure!
The Homeschooling Community
I would describe Oregon as homeschool friendly. Oregon public schools are required to allow homeschoolers who meet grade criteria to participate in extracurricular activities, including sports and cheerleading. An annual curriculum fair is held in Portland where our family has been introduced to a variety of curricula, often having an opportunity to meet a book's author or a program's developer. The state capitol, Salem, holds an annual "Homeschool Days" function where homeschoolers are welcome to take part in a variety of political activities. Even my small hometown includes an active co-op, providing parent support and social opportunities.
Resources for Oregon Homeschoolers
I LOVE Time4Learning! It holds the attention of my kids, plus I can keep track of their learning without hovering over their shoulders.
I am really pleased with Time4Learning. It has made a world of difference in my son's academic performance in school!
Choosing Homeschool Curriculum
Time4Learning's experience shows that there is no single, best homeschool material. Rather than feeling torn between homeschool resources, parents should select a diverse blend of materials and activities.
For families with more than one child, choosing a homeschool program can be more problematic. What works for one child may not work for another. What works for one subject may not work on the next. What works one year, may fall flat the very next year.
Some of the features that make Time4Learning so successful include:
Time4Learning is proven effective with homeschoolers, has a low monthly price, is easy-to-use, and provides a money-back guarantee so you can make sure that it works for your children!
Sign up for Time4Learning as part of your overall homeschool program.
If you have any more questions or comments about homeschooling in Oregon, head over to the Oregon Parents Forum.
Some Helpful Tools and Resources
Welcome to Homeschooling Guide - Are you new to homeschooling? This guide was written by seasoned homeschoolers to answer some of the difficult questions new families often struggle with.
Curriculum Lesson Plans - An overview of what's available for each grade and subject.
Homeschool Portfolio Information - Answers common questions about homeschool portfolios and evaluations. It includes tips on organization methods, what to include and how Time4Learning can be used as part of your homeschool portfolio.
Online Parent's Forum - Reach out to homeschoolers in your area, join discussions, ask questions and trade ideas on our online community of homeschooling parents. Having the support of seasoned homeschoolers can really help make your homeschooling journey a success.
Sign up for Time4Learning and gain access to a variety of educational materials, which will engage and challenge your child to succeed. Make Time4Learning a part of your children's homeschool resources.