Moving & New to Homeschool
by Katie A.
My name is Katie, I'm the mother of 5 boys (8,7,4,3,3). We currently live in Minnesota & plan to finish the school year here, however we are moving after that. I have a rather unique situation & not sure how or where to get my answers. We are planning to move to Indiana this summer to live in our RV with my husband, he travels a lot with work & that's why we're choosing to homeschool. We plan to make Texas our domicile or home state because of their mail service to traveling RV'ers, we have some family there & their minimal reporting for homeschool.
My questions are:
Do I have to report anything to the Minnesota public school they are attending now? I believe I just need to tell them they won't be back next year because we are moving out of state. I would rather not mention anything to the school about homeschooling because Minnesota requires a bit of information on reporting & I don't think I will have to since we won't live in Minnesota.
Do I have to report anything to Texas about starting to homeschool? Everything I've read points to no, but not being originally from there or public schooled there makes things confusing.
Do I need to report anything to Indiana? To my understanding they require only an attendance record. Do I need to follow this since my home state will be Texas? I'm not sure how long we will stay in Indiana.
I know that maybe I should get legal advice for these issues as to be sure I'm in compliance, but I'm not sure who. Should I seek legal advice from Minnesota, Texas or Indiana?
Sorry for the lengthy questions. I would like to start out on the right foot & in compliance but also don't want to include unnecessary steps or paperwork since I'm already planning to complicate things a great deal & a change of life for me & my family.
Thank you for any insight that you can offer,
Reply to Moving & New to Homeschool:
You are adventuresome...and with twins! Sure sounds like a great learning experience. Having all boys, I would recommend reading Better Late Than Early. It's a wonderful explanation of why not to push your boys too early. That alone will give you peace of mind to enjoy your RV adventures!
Let me first say that I have never done what you are about to embark on and am very envious! My advice would be to keep it simple. I cannot stress that enough. Being your first year at homeschooling, you will think you're not doing enough. Again, read Better Late Than Early and go from there. Ruth Beechick's 3Rs is really all you need at these ages. Make some trips to the library and read aloud a lot. With living in an RV, that will be about all you'll have time for!
On to your questions, I tend to agree with you about just informing your Minnesota public school that you are moving. I don't believe they need to know anymore than that. They may ask where to transfer records and at this point you can honestly say you don't yet know!
Now for the tough one, which state to report to. My first thought would be to check with HSLDA.org which stands for Homeschool Legal Defense Association. They should be able to point you in the right direction. Otherwise, do you have a permanent address in either Indiana or Texas? That may have some bearing on who to report to. It sounds like you've already done a little digging. A support group in Indiana or Texas may be a good source of information. Many homeschoolers visit libraries frequently, so you may ask the librarian in the town you're staying in Indiana if they have a local support group. These groups don't always meet during the summer, but she should know who you could call and get some answers. As for legal advice, that is up to you. They would probably have to do some digging themselves to get the right answer! It sounds like you already know each state has its own set of homeschooling laws. To homeschool legally here in Wisconsin, we are required to fill out a Form PI-1206 from the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) on or before October 15 of the current academic year. You will most likely have to do the same, only I honestly cannot tell you which state you would need to do that in! Sorry I'm not more help.
Please let us know how things progress. And if anyone has had any experience in this arena, please post it here.
Blessings on a new chapter in your family's life!