Homeschooling in Pennsylvania
Hi, my name is Lori and I homeschool in Pennsylvania! I have been a homeschooling mom since my son was born and have never looked back. I love spending time with my family and seeing life through their eyes. My bachelor of science is in English and secondary education from East Stroudsburg University. In addition to homeschooling, we are running our own business, attempting to plant a garden so we can live off the land, taking care of my ailing grandmother, and learning to be computer savvy.
To find out more about the legal requirements for homeschooling in Pennsylvania, 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 homeschooling requirements in Pennsylvania. 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.
Pennsylvania Homeschool Resources
Both new and veteran homeschoolers can benefit from the wealth of Pennsylvania homeschool resources available. There are four statewide organizations: Catholic Homeschoolers of Pennsylvania, Christian Homeschool Association of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Home Education Network, and Pennsylvania Home Educators Association. They are specifically designed to support homeschooling in Pennsylvania. There are also yearly homeschool conferences throughout the state. Many counties in Pennsylvania have at least one local support group for homeschoolers as well. Below are a few more homeschooling resources in Pennsylvania.
Homeschooling in the Keystone State
Although I have heard Pennsylvania is a difficult state to homeschool in, I think it depends on your district. There are not many homeschoolers here and my district is helpful. I do not find the state guidelines too difficult, however, their testing requirements seem to be confusing. They require standardized testing in grades 3, 5, and 8. Many districts ask for testing at all grade levels and are not informed on the law. Our state requires medical, dental, and hearing tests before a child can be enrolled in a homeschool program.
In addition, we must meet with an evaluator each year to review the progress that has been made. To meet the requirements of Pennsylvania, our family keeps a portfolio of my children's work which includes writing samples, books they have read, activities, and many other items. I also have a daily calendar or journal which documents our day. My son will not have to be tested until next year so have yet to see whether or not that will be difficult. As a homeschooling mom, I make sure he is up to par with the educational requirements for each grade level.
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.
Finding Local Homeschool Support in Pennsylvania
We are currently involved with Yahoo groups as a homeschool networking site. Here, we find many activities with homeschoolers and in the community. Also, the local YMCA has planned games which involve all ages and skill levels. At our local library, we have a group which is just forming. As we are in such a rural area, it has been challenging to get a localized meeting place. I think we have this accomplished, but it is a "newbie" group. There are a lot of other state and local support groups in the state of Pennsylvania, as well as many resources for information.
What Our Homeschool Day Looks Like
Most homeschooling days begin around 9:00 a.m. By this time, we have sent dad to work and have taken care of breakfast and pets. We may have even gotten out of our pj's. My son starts a fairly routine schedule of reading, guitar, Spanish, a writing lesson, and then Time4Learning curriculum (which he loves). During this time, my preschooler does crafts, coloring, and other activities.
We always have a snack and exercise break so we can recharge and get out some energy. If I have banking or errands to run, we will do them after school. I think kids should really see how life works as a whole. These daily activities are great learning opportunities.
My son has an active part in choosing which books to read and which reports or experiments he would like to perform. We try to be organized and scheduled while being flexible enough to throw it all out and start over.
Pennsylvania Homeschool Laws
Homeschooling families have three options for homeschooling in the state of Pennsylvania:
The language arts is GREAT for helping with phonics and beginner reading skills... Plus, the lessons are thoroughly entertaining!
Here at Letter Stadium, first graders learn
Choosing Homeschool Curriculum
Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania, head over to the Pennsylvania 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.