Home_Schooling_On_The_Rise_In_Virginia_Schools by seragsamy

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									Title:
Home Schooling On The Rise In Virginia Schools

Word Count:
788

Summary:
Over the years, the Virginia schools (like many school systems across the
nation) have been losing their public school students to home schooling.
Henry County, for example, has seen an increase in home-schooled students
from eight to 99 over the past 11 years.

In April 1999, the nation watched in horror the news reports on
Colorado’s Columbine High School shootings, where 12 students and one
teacher were fatally shot and 24 others were wounded by two teens who
then killed...


Keywords:
virginia schools, schools, virginia


Article Body:
Over the years, the Virginia schools (like many school systems across the
nation) have been losing their public school students to home schooling.
Henry County, for example, has seen an increase in home-schooled students
from eight to 99 over the past 11 years.

In April 1999, the nation watched in horror the news reports on
Colorado’s Columbine High School shootings, where 12 students and one
teacher were fatally shot and 24 others were wounded by two teens who
then killed themselves. Afterwards, the Virginia schools saw a steady
increase of applications from parents who wished to home school their
children.

Though the number of children who are home schooled has continued to
increase within the Virginia schools, the reasons have changed. Though
school violence and security remains to be a primary concern of Virginia
schools’ parents, they now have a variety of other reasons, including:

• Too much emphasis on the standardized testing now required within the
Virginia schools, fearing their children are being taught only to pass
tests rather than a focus on actual learning that is retained and useful
later in life; home-schooled children are not required to take the
Standards of Learning (SOL) tests;

• The ability of Virginia schools’ children to adjust to the middle and
high school environments; many parents home school their children during
the middle school years and place them back into the Virginia schools for
high school;

• Virginia schools’ parents’ perception of negative influences within the
traditional school environment; this is especially true for families with
strong religious beliefs; and
• Some Virginia schools’ parents simply want to keep their children at
home for a longer period, placing them back within the Virginia schools
for high school.

Religious Exemption. If a parent applies for release of their child from
the Virginia schools for religious reasons, they are exempt from
enrolling their child in any other form of education through age 18. They
may wish to do so and can, but they are not required to do so by the
Virginia schools. If they do enroll the child elsewhere or home
schooling, they also are not required to keep the Virginia schools
apprised of the child’s progress.

Other Exceptions. In order for parents to home school their children,
other than under the religious exemption, they must meet one of four
requirements developed by the Virginia schools:

• Requirement 1 — Effective July 1, 2006, the parent, who will be
teaching the child, must have a high school diploma and provide to the
Virginia schools a description of the curriculum he/she plans to use for
the child. The child does not have to meet Virginia schools’ graduation
requirements and receives no diploma; however, progress must be shown to
the Virginia schools at the end of each year.

• Requirement 2 — The parent, who will be teaching the child, must have a
current teacher certification and provide to the Virginia schools a
description of the curriculum he/she plans to use for the child. The
child does not have to meet Virginia schools’ graduation requirements and
receives no diploma; however, here too progress must be shown to the
Virginia schools at the end of each year.

• Requirement 3 — Parent enrolls child into a Virginia schools’
recognized correspondence home school. There are approximately 19 such
schools across the nation. A list may be obtained from the Virginia
schools. Correspondence schools are private businesses that operate as
schools, charging for their services. They usually cost $800 to $1,200
annually per student, though some charge as much as $4,000 a year. The
more you pay, the more services you get, including report cards,
transcripts and diplomas. Though coursework is administered by the
parent, he/she has no educational level requirement. The child meets the
graduation requirements of the correspondence school; however, progress
must be shown to the Virginia schools at the end of each year.

• Requirement 4 — No educational level must be met by the parent teaching
the child. They must provide to the Virginia schools a description of the
curriculum he/she plans to use for the child, which must include the
Virginia schools’ SOL in language arts and mathematics. The child does
not have to meet Virginia schools’ graduation requirements and receives
no diploma; however, progress must be shown to the Virginia schools at
the end of each year.

Description of the curriculum in requirements one, two and four above
includes a list of the subjects that will be taught and the textbooks
that will be used for language arts and mathematics.
In all four requirements above, the child’s academic progress must be
proved to the Virginia schools either with SOL test scores (the child
would have to submit to testing by the Virginia schools and score above
the 23rd percentile) or through a provided a portfolio of the child’s
work.

								
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