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Homeschooling in Nebraska
Hi, my name is Angela, and I homeschool in Nebraska with my husband and two children ages 8 and 5. We've always homeschooled, but love it more and more each year. I enjoy reading, writing, photography, cooking, and mostly spending time with my family. We are somewhat new to our city (two years ago) and the longer we are here, the more I am getting involved in. I am passionate about homeschooling and love to share as much info as possible, especially with those that are unfamiliar with state law and guidelines.
To find out more about the legal requirements for homeschooling in Nebraska, articles, and state-specific resources, you can also visit one of these sites:
Legal disclaimer: This section is one family's story and how they meet the mandatory school attendance laws in Nebraska. 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.
Nebraska State and Local Homeschooling Resources
The following are my favorite state and local websites for homeschooling:
Homeschooling in Nebraska
I feel very fortunate to be homeschooling in Nebraska. Nebraska is a very easy state to homeschool in and I love that there's no mandatory testing. For the most part, homeschooling is very well known and accepted. We've lived in Omaha for two years now and I am still finding new homeschooling activities, groups, or organizations to be a part of. I imagine that there may not be quite as many resources for homeschoolers in the rural parts of Nebraska, but around Lincoln and Omaha...there are unlimited possibilities! My kids enjoy homeschool p.e.classes, art classes, playgroups, field trips, and much more! Many local businesses also offer homeschool discounts, just like teachers might receive.
Basics of Homeschooling in Nebraska
Compulsory attendance is for ages 6-18. Elementary age students must complete 1,032 hours each year and high school students must complete 1,080 hours. Subjects that are to be taught are language arts, math, science, social studies, and health. The first year of homeschooling, you must submit a birth certificate, but not each year after. Parents must also complete a "parent or guardian" form and list who will be monitoring each subject taught. As the parent, you just list yourself.
Each summer I receive a renewal packet from the Department of Education. We believe that most of our day is "learning time" so I usually divide the 1,032 hours out between 12 months of the year and fill in the subjects we will be teaching. In Nebraska, they only require the basic subjects to be taught, so that's no problem. We do more formal "schooltime" in the months of September through May. In June, July, and August we still keep up on small amounts of "schooltime", and we plan on Time4learning being our main resource during the summer. So far my second grader is doing third grade work and my kindergartner is doing first grade work.
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!
Growing Up in an Age of Technology
When I first started homeschooling, I went and bought the nice and neat, complete curriculum. Like school in a box, and this lasted about a week! I quickly realized that this wasn't going to work when my son started saying he "hated" school. He would moan and groan every time I'd cheerily say "let's have some school time!" So slowly over time, I've relaxed and taken on more of an unschooling approach. I've realized how much children learn by just their natural curiosity about the world. When my kids become interested in a subject, we head to the library or hop onto the Internet to learn as much as we can about it. Our children are growing up in an age of technology where there are endless amounts of information at our fingertips. I love having that available and believe it's truly an asset to the next generation.
A Day in Our Homeschool
When we wake up in the morning we usually start with a pre-recorded episode of "The Magic School Bus", while I'm making breakfast. (See...science!) Then about 8:30 my son starts working on handwriting and his daily math homework, and my daughter does about an hour of Time4learning. The hard part of the morning is when I have to drag her off so that my son can have his turn at Time4learning. He loves that he can switch from one subject to the next and is very excited each time he completes or masters a subject. While my son does his Time4learning, my daughter and I work on her reading and handwriting. After our morning of studies and Time4learning, we usually have classes or activities in the afternoons. On the days that we don't, we enjoy the free time reading, doing arts and crafts, or just playing! Time4learning has been such a stress reliever to me...just to have that added assistance is worth so much.
Since my children are different ages, we try to incorporate both of them into science, social studies, Bible, and health at the same time. We also mix things up occasionally with unit studies or studies on things they are currently interested in. This summer we are taking a family trip to Washington D.C. and so for the next few months we will be doing unit studies on the things they will be seeing and learning about on that trip. We also do a ton of extra activities outside of our home, such as attending plays and musicals. The kids attend a 1 hour P.E. class twice a week, and they are also involved in sports and dance classes. We want to make sure they are involved with other children and activities outside of our home.
This software is very comprehensive and can be used as an entire curriculum or to supplement what you already use.
As part of fourth grade language arts, students are asked to identify the suffix of a word.
Choosing Homeschool Curriculum
Nebraska homeschool law includes the freedom for families to pick and choose their own curriculum based on what works best for their child. However, families new to homeschooling quickly discover a dizzying array of choices when it comes to selecting homeschool curriculum. There is no more popular discussion among homeschoolers on the web than the pros and cons of various homeschool programs. After sifting through the homeschool curriculum reviews, most parents end up mixing and matching homeschool program, trying to create the best match for their child.
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 Nebraska, head over to the Nebraska 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.
Hints & Help Section - Whether you're new to Time4Learning, a long term member, or a future member with questions about how the program works, this section answers questions about navigation, lesson planning & previewing, how the teacher guides and worksheets work, and more!
Puffin Academy App - Learn how to use Time4Learning on most mobile devices with the Puffin Academy app for iOS and Android! Get details on this kid-friendly app, including how to download and use it on the go with Time4Learning.