Homeschooling in New Hampshire
Hi, my name is Donna, and I homeschool in New Hampshire! I've been homeschooling my youngest child for three years. I also have two older children, who were public school students their entire academic lives. I had never considered homeschooling to be something that we mere mortals could accomplish, until I was lucky enough to meet a wonderful homeschooling mom who was willing to share her experiences.
To find out more about the legal requirements for homeschooling in New Hampshire, 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 New Hampshire. 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.
Some of My Favorite Resources
I belong to several homeschooling groups, which provide moral support, as well as ample opportunities for that all important "S" word: socialization.
Homeschooling in New Hampshire
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE homeschooling in New Hampshire! We have the most wonderful, supportive people here! Whenever we are out and about, we constantly run into people who think it's just awesome that we're homeschooling. There are lots of educational opportunities around, and people are very willing to share their knowledge with us. Did I mention that I love it?
New Hampshire is pretty easy to homeschool in. First, you pick what they call a "Participating Agency." This could be your local school district, or a private school which is willing to work with homeschoolers. There are several private schools willing to do this for a small fee, which starts at approximately $40/year, depending on which school you choose. It is free to use your local school district. There is an option to use the state department of education, but they encourage people to use the school districts, instead, to help keep their paperwork load manageable.
So, once you decide who you want to use as your "Participating Agency," or PA, you send them a letter informing them of your intent to homeschool. The letter must include your name, the child's name, child's date of birth, address, parent's phone number, and the date you intend to start your homeschooling program. It is important to note that you DO NOT need to include any lesson plans, scope and sequence, or curriculum in your letter of intent. There are sample letters available on several NH homeschooling websites, but my favorite one can be found on http://nhhomeschooling.org/law
During the year, you keep sample copies of your child's work, which the state calls a "portfolio." You are required to keep your portfolio for two years. At the end of your school year, you turn in an evaluation of your child's progress to your PA . You can choose a standardized test, or a teacher evaluation. If you used your local school district as your PA, you can have them evaluate your child's progress for you. The law states that "any nationally recognized" standard tests would be acceptable. The child must score above the 40th percentile on the test. If you choose teacher evaluation, the teacher will most likely ask to see the portfolio, as well as interview the child. You send your PA a signed copy of the evaluation, showing progress "commensurate with the child's age and abilities."
My family uses our local school district as our PA, and we use the IOWA Battery as our end of year evaluation method. I have found our local school district and the principal of the school very helpful, and easy to work with. One year, I did use them to help with our evaluation, and they were just wonderful. The principal offered to let us use her reading specialist, and the specialist was able to offer lots of advice and suggested a very nice reading program to us.
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!
A Typical Day in our Homeschool
You might be wondering what an average day in our homeschool looks like. This is a little difficult to answer, since we are pretty relaxed! Our days don't always look the same. Some days, we are very "schoolish," and can be found sitting and doing lots of paperwork. Other days, we can be found outside, digging in the dirt & checking out the bugs, or in the kitchen, figuring out those confusing teaspoon versus tablespoon measurements. Some days are computer days, and other days are chalk in the driveway days. The neighbors sometimes get to view our multicolored version of the universe, the galaxy, solar system, etc., all done in an effort to explain why we are electing a new mayor this year, or they might see us leaving, as we go on yet another field trip with our homeschool buddies.
I expect that, as the years go by, and the work becomes more demanding, we will be spending more time on "paperwork," and our days will probably become more "schoolish," but for now, we appreciate how Time4Learning helps us keep track of all the things we need to learn, but doesn't keep us tied to a desk in order to do so.
The software appealed to me because you can change the grade level of their instruction, to customize it for your child's needs.
1st graders learn about "parts of a whole"
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 Connecticut, head over to the Connecticut 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 the number of lessons that are included for each grade and subject. All students have access to at least 2 (and in most cases 3) grade levels of curriculum for each subject, so they can move ahead or review at their own pace.
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.
The Lesson Activity Finder - One of the many helpful tools that Time4Learning offers its members. The activity finder is a shortcut that makes it easy for parents to preview lessons or find extra practice for their child. You can visit our hints and help section for more information about the activity finder.
Lesson Planning Worksheet - Wondering how many lessons to have your child do each day? Estimate the number of activities per day using this easy to use, printable worksheet.
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.