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A friend of mine is very low income. She's pulling her 9 year old autie out of school. The school system has caused her nothing but grief the last 6 years. I won't give too many details here because they're not mine to tell. Basically, I need as many FREE resources as possible for her. Also, anyone want to help with a letter of intent? She can't afford much in the way of curriculum so I don't know what to say for that.
Oh, and we're in VA. I absolutely see the district fighting her every step of the way. I have highly recommended that she find the money to join HSLDA.
Thanks to Jaidynsmum for my siggy!
Proud former foster parent to a teen. Waiting on our next call. Proud Aunt to 22.
Proud mommy to 7 angels. Survivor of 4 failed adoptions (5 kids)
This is a post I bookmarked that has a lot of free links on it. I have a conference in 45 minutes, and I still need to take a shower. (LOL!) So I'll be back later. I can't really help with the letter of intent, because I've never had to do one. Others here have. Be sure she has 3 copies... one for herself, one to hand-deliver, and one to send with delivery confirmation so that she has a receipt.
If she hasn't already, tell her to join paperback swap. I've gotten lots of education/homeschooling stuff from there, including a phonics curriculum, math supplements, and a Children's Bible study. She would have to post 10 books that she's willing to give away. She pays shipping to send (usually around $2.50/book), and pays nothing to receive books (as long as she has "credits").
Mama to a lower elementary school boy, preschool girl, and my miracle baby girl.
Two 10w losses (11/2010 + 8/2011)
If free is her only option(I completely understand) and she's looking for as complete of a curriculum as possible, I would go with a virtual school. It's the best option, imo. VA has a virtual school that is k-8 and utilizes the K12 program(which is entirely free, you get a complete curriculum, computer/monitor/printer/accessories). I'm pretty sure there is only one virtual school in VA that's free, but I could be wrong. There may be others, we have a couple in this state. It lays everything out for you completely. We have some friends who just started up with K12 a couple weeks ago who are from VA.
If she can't get in this school year(not sure why she wouldn't be able to, but I know some states have weird regulations about switching mid-year and such), then I would opt for a piece parted curriculum, Chrystal's link is a great one. Can always enroll next year if that's the case.
Letter of intent is actually really easy. She needs to type up a formal letter explaining in detail at least some of the instances that caused her to need to remove the child from the school system-or at least the reasons why, a date when the child will be removed, and a basic plan explaining what her next step is.(ie. intent to homeschool, move to a new district, open enroll elsewhere, etc....you don't actually have to go into detail most places, as far as *what you'll be teaching, like listing curriculum specifically-the board of education may require something more detailed down the road, you need to figure out what the laws are in the area for that though).
Some states don't even require letter of intent to be filed, I don't know about VA. But if it does it needs to be sent likely to the board of education-not just the school the child is currently attending. A phone call to my BOE was sufficient, but I gave a LOI to both schools my kids were at, and the BOE as well. Just in case.
Personally, I don't like mailing these, but many do because they purchase a return receipt so they know when the person got it. I handed mine over in person.
There are complete, free curriculum options out there besides K12, but none that I know of who'll supply you with a computer, too. To my knowledge, K12 doesn't do that in TX. My beef with K12 is that, at least here anyway, it's still considered PS, and there's so much reporting and stuff required. There's not a lot of wiggle room if a child is working at multiple levels. It works for some people, and works very well I might add, but it's not very popular in TX.
The first tab here has free, complete curricula options (as does some of the links I posted in the first reply):
Oh that sucks
The kids are able to work on all kinds of levels here, it depends entirely on their actual knowledge. There are kids we met last year at testing that are doing 3 and 4 different grades in different subjects. I thought it was a little weird(not bad weird, but more, difficult I guess, to manage) at first, but after seeing what my kids are working on now, I can see exactly why it works out so well, and why this program is as flexible as it is here. It's probably most likely the actual virtual school part that makes this possible. The girls' LA curriculum isn't their actual grade level at all. The reading materials especially aren't, they're all 11-12th grade level.
K12 itself has it's flaws(as does the virtual school that acts as our umbrella school, lol, actually they have quite a few) but this year I have to say it's gone much, much smoother. We're in their cohort program too, so we have only one "teacher" who oversees us (more like a mentor, not really a teacher). She checks in once a month, unless I need her for something. Otherwise, she's pretty hands off-which I love. I know others have a much more difficult time because whatever school they go through to use K12, requires way more reporting and requirements. That's one thing I am glad I don't have. The laws in this state and the powers that be in the board of education make it difficult enough to homeschool, lol.
Ecot is another one that provides computer equipment, but I don't know how many states they are in. There are a few in OH and all of them provide the computer equipment, which is nice. But not all of them have a good record-that was one of the issues I dealt with too, finding one that was actually good and worth it.
I looked up VA again though and I only saw the one virtual school that provides free curriculum (through K12, it's actually a k-8 virtual school). VA has a bunch of private ones and tuition based ones (they also provide equipment), but they aren't free. I imagine some of them are way too expensive, probably more than most boxed curriculum.
In this case, I'd most likely go with free curriculum you can put together yourself from the links. I use stuff on livebinder all the time(thanks to seeing the link here before, lol) and I supplement all their work with all free stuff I find on the net. It's VERY doable and not as difficult as it might seem. Overwhelming at first, but not impossible. Plus it's easier to cater to exact needs and not projected or assumed needs based on grade level. I know people who use free stuff on the net exclusively and have for years.
Letter of intent for homeschooling here basically needs to say something along the lines of:
We/I have chosen, as permitted by Virginia code (insert code #) to homeschool our child in lieu of having (him/her) attend school. We/I are/am eligible to do this under option (1/2/3). [if she is using the option that she has a high school diploma, then this is where you state that a copy of the diploma is attached]
(Child's Name) (Child's birthday) (child's grade)
We/I are/am aware that we must prove progress by August 15, 2012. (I think that is the required date? I don't have to prove progress yet, lol)
We/I guarantee that we/I are/am the legal guardian(s) of this child.
[parent's name & signature]
We will be using a varied approach based on our child's interests and needs. We plan to use _____ to meet the Virginia SOL's for arithmetic and English. We reserve the right to change any and all part of the curriculum to meet the needs of our child and provide the best education possible.
That's basically it. If I could figure out where my sample copy of one is, I would give it to you. You can check the HEAV site for samples of NOI letters-- there's at least one that is similar to what I just typed there.