Frequently Asked Questions
What about Socialization? (Let's get this one out of the way!)
There are so many activities for homeschool students. Finding them isn't difficult, trying to figure out which ones work best for your family is the hard part!...if you don't happen to find the types of activities your child would prefer, be creative and start a group yourself. Odds are someone else would be interested. - Tracey
I usually ask people to define what they mean by "socialization". Forced association in a structured environment with the same group of same-aged peers for a certain number of hours a day is not the natural way people learn to interact with each other. It certainly is not representative of the "real world" (for those of us who are often asked, "how will your child know how to interact with others in the real world?") Our children have always been comfortable playing/interacting with different aged children, as well as adults and senior citizens. - Patricia
As long as you have your child out and about in the world, they will be socializing. It doesn't have to be organized events and activities, especially for younger kids. Having fun with other kids at a playground is one of the best ways to socialize. - Angie
How do I get textbooks from the school?
Contact the school your child would be attending and request any materials used for their grade. If the school doesn't have extras to give to you, contact the Board of Education and request materials from them. Remember, you will need to return any textbooks at the end of the public school year and you will not receive any teacher guides with the answers.
What if I need to send my child back to school next year?
If you know you will be sending your child back, it would be best if you try to follow the subjects/lessons the teachers are using. You can find standards for each grade level on the West Virginia State Board of Education website at www.wvde.us/tree
What curriculum should I use?
I think each family should pick the curriculum that best fits them and meets their learners where they are. This is different for each family and often each child. - Jeniver
WV homeschoolers don't have to meet public school standards -- and we don't have to use public school textbooks. Our marker for academics is that our student made progress in each of five subject areas.
There are several different ways to approach it. If you think your child may go back into the public school at some point, you may want to go with something more traditional, like Calvert (secular) or BJU (Christian). For people who want to integrate studies aross the curriculum, Moving Beyond the Page (secular) and Konos (Christian) are two popular curricula. Some people like to use a Charlotte Mason-style literature based approach and Build Your Library (secular) and Sonlight (Christian) are two popular curricula. If you're interested in classical education, you may be interested in the Well-Trained Mind (secular) or Tapestry of Grace (Christian). Finally, if you're going to pursue an unschooling approach, then you need to simply provide access to educational materials as requested by your student.
How do I know my child is on the right track?
There really is no such thing. :)
Other than reading (you learn letters and sounds, then words, then sentances, and so on) and math, there is no progression that you need to follow. It won't hurt your child to learn about the Space Shuttle before they learn about the Wright Brothers.
As long as your child is learning, you are on the right track. - Angie
What about online schools?
There are many online resources from single classes to complete 4 year programs and many homeschoolers take advantage of them. Some of these programs are self-paced and some require specific scheduling (typically these are live classes).
However, West Virginia does not recognize any online programs, even if they are accredited. Your child will still need to complete an asessment each. If using a complete program, you are responsible for making sure that all five required subjects (Math, Reading, Science, Language Arts, and Social Studies) are being taught.
Also, if your child is enrolled in an online program for high school, be aware that, unlike parent-issued homeschool diplomas, the State of West Virginia does not recognize diplomas granted by the online program. This is especially important to remember if your child plans on applying for the Promise Scholarship.
What about graduating? Can my child graduate at 15/16?
As a homeschool parent, you decide the requirements for your child to graduate. Most parents look at what their child intends to do after grade school (college, learn a trade, etc.) and create a set of requirements from that (making sure to cover the five required subjects). If your child wants to learn a tade, talk to someone in that field. If college is in their future, look at the admission requirements for the colleges your child is interested in.
State law compulsory attendance requires that a child be enrolled in school (public, private, or homeschool) until they are 17. If a child is taking college classes (dually enrolled or otherwise), that can help fulfill the requirement.
Once your child has met the requirements (your and the state's) for graduation, you can issue a homeschool diploma. By state law, this diploma is a valid alternative to a public school diploma and is to carry the same weight with state run institutions.
Can my homeschooled child go to college?
Of course! - Stephanie
Yes, nearly all colleges will admit homeschoolers if the student fulfills their admissions requirements and, for colleges with competitive admissions, if the student is selected by the admissions committee. Locally homeschooled students are attending WVU, Fairmont State, and Marshall and local homeschoolers have received the Promise and other scholarships. There are also locally homeschooled students attending out-of-state public and private colleges, including Ivy League universities. - Grace
Are homeschoolers eligible for the PROMISE Scholarship?
Yes, and WV homeschoolers no longer need to take the GED/TASC to be eligible. However, a student must either be enrolled in public school or homeschooling for both 11th and 12th grade.