Homeschooling in Pennsylvania
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When I first started homeschooling in Pennsylvania, no one had anything good to say about our state homeschool laws; everyone talked about how hard it was! At first, I was really discouraged because we had just moved here. How was I going to handle all that they required? A portfolio? Evaluation? HELP!! It seemed like so much work just to prove to the state that I was giving my children an appropriate education. First of all, the portfolio isn't as scary as it seems. Actually, it can be quite fun, and my children enjoy looking back through it. You are required to show the child’s progress throughout the year in each subject. I love that BJU Press Homeschool Distance Learning gives you everything you need. Let me walk you through some of what is required.

PA requires a daily log.

The BJU Press Homeschool Distance Learning Online program comes with a listing of what your child does every day. This makes the requirement of a daily log simple. You can use the daily log in your portfolio, or if you like to do subjects at different paces, then you can write down what they did in a calendar. I love that the preparation of every day of lessons is all written down for me. I never have to spend much time thinking about what we are going to do.

PA requires the portfolio to have student work samples.

BJU Press Homeschool provides tests and quizzes as well as amazing worktexts. With all of this work, you will have plenty of material to fill a portfolio of work samples. Of course, I always provide something fun from the year as well. Stories the child has written, drawings, photos of projects we have done, etc.... There are endless possibilities for a portfolio. Just remember that this is a "sample of the work." Don't overload your portfolio with everything from the year. If you want to keep everything, do it in a different spot. The evaluator needs to see a sampling of the entire year; they will not have time to look through your whole year.

PA requires standardized testing in grades 3, 5, and 8.

BJU provides several options for testing, and they even have a great new online testing service available.

PA requires a notarized affidavit, a list of educational objectives, and reporting when the child is 6 years old.

BJU Press teachers editions are excellent resources for your objectives. They give you exactly what the child will learn over the course of the year. There is no need for you to have to go page by page through the student book to figure this out. It’s all there for you in the teacher's editions.

PA requires 180 days of education.

BJU Press Distance Learning is set up to provide 180 days, and includes test days, lab days, and work days in various subjects, providing time for the student to complete writing assignments, reading, or completing labs. Health is written within the scope and sequence of the science curriculum.

Homeschooling PA Mom, this looks like a lot required by our state. I know. I was where you are now thinking, "How am I going to do this? I have several children." BJU really makes the job so much easier. I am able to homeschool 6 children and keep all the records straight. I don't spend hours of time putting the portfolio together. My children and I put it together throughout the year, and they enjoy seeing how much they have learned. We love BJU because of the organization provided to us.

Those of us who live in Pennsylvania have huge advantages that others do not. We live in a state with a lot of our nation’s history. The field trip options are endless. You can see the Liberty Bell, Coal Mining, Steam Trains, Civil War museums and battlefields, Lincoln Train Museum, Gettysburg, Hershey Chocolate Factory, Crayola Factory, Zoos, State Parks galore, and so many other possibilities. Even though we have several things required of us, I feel like we have been given great hands-on opportunities for our children to learn what they have been taught.

PA Homeschool Mom, you can do it!! God has given us a great responsibility in teaching our children. BJU is an excellent curriculum and gives you what you need to confidently teach your child, whether you choose distance learning video courses or parent-led materials. You are in control of the schedule and how you present the material provided. Don't look at these PA requirements as a hardship. Look at them with a new perspective and let BJU Press Homeschool curriculum help you through!

Meet the Author

Melissa Vosburgh - HomeWorks by Precept Consultant


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