Did you know that January 27 through February 2nd is National School Choice Week? Are you aware of the variety of educational options available to us in America today? I learned about School Choice Week and some of the following options after reading from the (print publication) February issue of Ohio Family Magazine. Regardless of what state you live in if you are looking for something other than traditional education for your child, this information should help you in your search.
The National School Choice Week movement will be touring the United States making Whistle Stop appearances in a number of cities (link below).
For me, I choose to homeschool my boys because that is the what I believe the Lord has called me to do. I didn’t intend to homeschool before my change of heart. However, besides public schooling and homeschooling, what else is out there for educating our children? Consider the following options and also check out the agenda for National School Choice Week.
1. Open Enrollment allows for more choice within the public school system regardless of where you live. Laws vary state by state so check with your local laws.
2. Charter Schools, as Wendy Nowak, author of the article, shares, “combine the accountability and oversight of traditional public schools with the flexibility of private schools. Charters are tuition-free independent public schools that are freed from many state and local rules and regulations in exchange for increased financial and academic accountability.”
3. Magnet Schools. Again, free public elementary and secondary schools, focusing on such areas as science, technology, engineering, fine and performing arts and more.
4. Virtual (online) Schools are gaining in popularity and I have personally seen more of my Ohio friends taking advantage of it. In Ohio you can choose this option, tuition-free as it is tax-payer funded if I’m not mistaken. I know people who have or will be taking their kids out of the physical environment of public school so that they may school at home. You follow the public school’s curriculum and you may also receive a computer to use as well as a stipend towards internet service along with your books.
5. Blended Learning combines the online learning with the face-to-face classroom experience.
6. Private Schools or Christian Schools are private schools, so there will be fees to send your children here. I grew up attending these kinds of school through ninth grade. I then finished in public high school.
7. Homeschooling, as I mentioned, is how I school my boys. Laws vary state by state, and I think Ohio’s laws are reasonable. I am able to teach my child, choose the curriculum I want and, at the end of the year, I have at least three options for accountability. I do not have to test or grade. I like that. I put together a notebook binder of his work and have a certified teacher review it (my choice of the accountability options). That certified teacher then signs a simple form and I send that into the Superintendent’s office before the beginning of the next school year along with my “intent to homeschool” form. I do not get a tax reimbursement or credit for homeschooling my children.
Have questions? Check out my blog post for homeschooling resources. And feel free to ask me questions here or at my blog. This is my third year of homeschooling. I’m also working on a series sharing a glimpse into our life about How We Homeschool. I recently finished Part 4 here.
Tax-credit Scholarship Programs and Personal Tax Credits and Deductions are also mentioned in Wendy Nowak’s article titled Educate Yourself About School Choice at Ohio Family Magazine. Visit the website for National School Choice Week also if you’d like to find out if they are coming to town near you.