Setting up a home school in Kentucky for the first time might seem overwhelming. Some parents want to homeschool but do not know where to start. It really is not as complicated as it might seem. Here is some information to help you get started.
The first step in setting up a homeschool is to understand the applicable state laws. The Kentucky Department of Education offers a Kentucky Homeschool Information Packet which can help. Laws can change at any time, so it is important to stay up to date. The information in this article can become outdated, so it is a good idea to verify the information for yourself.
After understanding the laws regarding homeschooling, the parent or administer of the school will need to send a letter to the public school superintendent in their district to notify him/ her that the child will be homeschooled. The letter will need to state the name of the school, the child’s name, age and residence and the fact that you intend to homeschool for the year, signed and dated. This will need to be done annually within ten days of the start of the school year. The purpose of the letter is to notify, not to ask permission. Once you deliver the letter, you are now officially homeschooling.
The school year must include the same amount of instruction time as the public school in your district. This does not mean that your school has to be in session on the exact same days as the public schools. The state requires public schools to provide a minimum of 185 days or the equivalent of 177 six-hour days of instruction. You must keep accurate attendance records.
School must be taught in English and should cover at least the following core subjects: reading, writing, spelling, grammar, history, mathematics, and civics. You are required to keep records of your child’s progress and to create a report card at the same intervals as the public schools. The Kentucky Department of Education recommends that you also keep a portfolio of their best work in each subject.
Although you will not be required to submit your records to anyone, the district’s director of pupil personnel has the legal right to inspect your records if there is any concern about your child’s attendance. If they ask to inspect your records, you have the right to meet with them in a neutral place rather than allowing them in your home.
Once you understand what you are required to do, you will need to select a curriculum for your child. There are countless options, and you will need to figure out what will work best for your child. Several companies offer complete curriculums, but they tend to be expensive and some families find that they do not offer enough flexibility. Other families appreciate the ease of finding their curriculum in one place. Those on a budget can search eBay or Amazon for used textbooks and workbooks similar to what the public schools use and then look online or visit the library for supplementary materials. You are never locked in to a curriculum and can make adjustments at any time.
If you have questions, the Kentucky Department of Education is a good resource. Some families also join a local homeschool group, where they can find support.
Resources: Personal Experience, Kentucky Department of Education