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All articles are presented to stimulate thought and assist Christian families in homeschooling their children. Articles may or may not reflect the opinions and beliefs of the management of

Frequently Asked Questions About Homeschooling

Help From Others

  1. What are satellite and/or umbrella schools?
  2. What about charter schools and public school independent study programs? Why shouldn't I get some of my hard-earned tax money back?
  3. How can grandparents and other family members be incorporated into homeschooling?
  4. Can someone else homeschool my child? Can I homeschool someone else's child?

What are satellite and/or umbrella schools?

We use a satellite school program. Our curriculum provider is a Christian school in Illinois and they also offer a satellite school program. Basically, they select and provide the curriculum, you teach it. Every quarter, you mail in portions of the daily work, weekly tests, etc and they grade it and maintain the records. The school issues the report cards and mails them to you. We took this course for several reasons:

  • As new homeschoolers, we were nervous about creating a curriculum.
  • We wanted the security of a school authority behind us.
  • We liked the fact that we didn't have to worry about the records.

And the list goes on.

The main thing about using a satellite school is that there is a higher level of accountability. It can also mean a bit more work and less flexibility, but, we haven't had that problem. ----Rochelle C

We decided to go with an umbrella school our first year. In our case, this was simply to change our relationship with the state of Florida. The state requires every child to be enrolled in a private or public institution or to be registered with the county as a homeschooler. Registered homeschoolers must keep a portfolio and submit a letter from a certified Florida teacher stating that the child should be promoted to the next grade. Homeschoolers are subject to inspection by the county with 1-2 weeks notice. I was not thrilled with this process. The state views umbrella schools as a private institution. I investigated local umbrella schools but they wanted to dictate what curriculum we should use and require us to come to certain events. I felt that type of umbrella school would give me less freedom than I wanted in determining what was best for the children. So, we went with an umbrella school which offers to maintain transcripts, attendance, etc. and gives a standardized test at the end of the year. The expense is minimal compared to paying a certified Florida teacher and paying for your own standardized test and the state has no reason to knock on your door as the child is enrolled in private school in the state's eyes.

During all subsequent years, we homeschooled by registering with the county. There are actually benefits with scholarships, virtual school classes, and community college classes that are more advantageous for registered homeschoolers versus private schoolers (i.e. umbrella school homeschoolers.) --Martha R.

We've had a bad experience with a local school district's homeschooling program. Basically, at the beginning of a school year, those in charge would say that you could choose your curriculum and pace and testing was strictly optional, but as the months went by these freedoms would be whittled away until, weekly reports were required, only the school's chosen books were acceptable, testing was mandatory etc. -- with all the original statements of flexibility conveniently forgotten. Even so, we put up with it for more than one year. There, we met several nice families who were also homeschooling. Now, these families form the basis for our local support group. We all left that umbrella program together. It isn't the "schools" in a situation like this, it's the kind of people in charge: some were very nice, but the higher ups were too difficult to deal with honorably. Recently, one of our members became affiliated with a charter school to help pay for curricula and the old pattern is re-emerging. But take heart. Your mileage may vary. --Chuck S.

What about charter schools and public school independent study programs? Why shouldn't I get some of my hard-earned tax money back?

Those charter schools do look very promising. Maybe they will eventually redeem public education in some folks eyes. Right now, they are severely underfunded and you also have to keep your eye on their agenda. Many of them have some underlying purpose which may or may not be obvious at first glance.--Martha R.

The bottom line is that government money does NOT come without strings attached, no matter how "great" the program looks!--Mary Leggewie

See these articles for more on government "school at home" programs:

How can grandparents and other family members be incorporated into homeschooling?

We include grandparents and uncles in the following ways: Grandpa owns his own company, so he sometimes takes the boys to meetings with him. They sit quietly in meetings and learn about business. Grandma takes them on field trips. Different uncles give them money to learn certain things, for example, one uncle is a doctor, so he pays them quarters to learn parts of the digestive system or the names of muscle groups. One uncle is an engineer, so he gives them quarters to learn math facts. Once uncle used to work for the government, so he pays them quarters to learn civics facts.--Kim M.

We have my mother-in-law visit us about one third of the month. I have the children read aloud to her, and play games with her. The benefit is mutual!--Mary Leggewie

Can someone else homeschool my child? Can I homeschool someone else's child?

That depends on the laws in your state. Check our State Information section to find the laws for your state.