Homeschooling in North Dakota
Hi, my name is Kristin and homeschool in North Dakota! I live in Grand Forks with my husband and three children ages 9, 4, and 2. I use an eclectic homeschool approach, with a heavy slant towards unschooling.I am a social activist and have very strong feelings about how my children should be educated, but at the same time I have a great tolerance for other people's choices as to the education of their own.
To find out more about the legal requirements for homeschooling in North Dakota, 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 North Dakota. 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.
My Favorite ND Homeschool Resources
In order to stay connected with other homeschoolers and keep up with what is going on in my state, I use the following resources:
How I Feel About Homeschooling in North Dakota
When I first moved to ND, we had to file a notice of intent to homeschool, and then comply with a monitoring provision where we met with the monitor once a week for an hour, at the library.
I then studied for and passed the Praxis I and II exams (teacher competency exams in ND), after which I have no longer had to be monitored. The monitoring requirement has just been removed by a bill passed within the last couple days, but it has a sunset clause for 2011. We also have testing in this state in grades 2,4,6 and 8. I am arranging to have my child given the WJIII exams by the local school district as the law here requires a certified teacher to administer the exam.
In my opinion, North Dakota has some of the most restrictive and onerous homeschooling laws in the country. The laws here allow for a lot of interference by the state. It can be hard to teach your children at their own pace and in their own interests, when the state demands that children be taught certain skills in a certain order and in a certain way. This can be stressful for parents as well as for the children. I believe that the standards set forth by the state are truly arbitrary and have little bearing on what skills my children will truly need in order for them to be happy and successful in life. I try hard to insulate my children from the pressures to perform that are placed upon us by the state and society, so that they may continue on with their love of learning and life. I believe that all parents should be able to teach their children as they see fit, with no restrictions from any level of government.
Time4Learning is vibrant, engaging, educational, and funny. It sure beats our previous homeschool curriculum which was textbook/workbook based.
Time4Learning is so effective that very little intervention is required. This works great if you're homeschooling multiple children.
How We Homeschool
I would term myself an eclectic homeschooler as I do very much mix curricula. I do have an unschooling tendency and feel that children can learn much by just playing and freely interacting with people of all ages and skills. I do use Time4learning as well as have a house full of books on many subjects. I also use the Internet as a research tool.
Every day in our homeschool is a new experience. I strongly believe in the principles of unschooling, by which all involved can pursue their own interests and learn at their own pace. Our days are spent learning through play, real life experience, and guided research using multiple sources. Lessons happen when a question is posed, a problem presents itself, or a project is proposed. One day we might play board games, bake bread, work in the garden, look up info about tigers on the Internet, play Time4learning, go swimming at the Y, cook dinner together, and then have book reading time. The next day we might watch videos on YouTube about jets, play at the playland in the mall, go to the pet store, cook lunch together, build snap circuits, play language games, make an obstacle course in the living room, make clay sculptures, dance to Latin music, do math with magnetic numbers on the fridge, and have an in depth discussion about a million rambling topics. We are often doing many activities at one time, as there are three children with different interests. It is amazing how many things can fit into one day when learning happens all the time. I also invite my children to be involved in my day to day life as much as possible. They help me cook, clean, go on errands, get groceries, and even type my emails for me. I often invite them to help problem solve with me, and be sure to always answer, in depth, the question, "Mom, what are you doing?"
Choosing Homeschool Curriculum
North Dakota 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 programs, 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 North Dakota, head over to the North Dakota 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.