Myth: ESD provides books and materials or enrolls students in an education program.
Reality: ESD is legally required to process home school notifications and test results. We are not able to provide curriculum, books or materials, and are not involved in the direct education of home school students. Parents have the full responsibility and freedom to design their student’s education – including the choice and purchase of all educational materials.
Myth: ESD tracks a student’s progress or oversees a student’s education.
Reality: Parents are required to notify the ESD only once that their student will be home schooling. They have no obligation to share their educational plans. ESD is not involved in reviewing, approving, or monitoring a home school student’s education. Home school students must take a standardized test at the end of grades 3, 5, 8, and 10, and LBL requests those results. Students achieving the 15th percentile or greater on the test have no additional obligations.
Myth: Home school students take the same tests that public school students do.
Reality: Public school tests such as the OAKS test or Smarter Balanced test are not acceptable for home school testing. OAR 581-021-0026(1)(a) lists approved tests for assessment of satisfactory progress by home school students. Parents must make sure that their home schooled child is tested by a qualified and neutral tester using a test from the list that is appropriate for the child’s grade level.
Myth: ESD holds a student’s permanent record.
Reality: Home school parents have the full responsibility for their student’s education, including all curriculum choices and record keeping. A student’s permanent record remains with his last public school. ESD Home School office keeps only education records relating to the student’s home schooling required by law including: home school notification form, required home school test results, communication from parents, and copies of LBL status and information letters regarding the student.
Myth: There is one way to home school and all children must learn the same thing.
Reality: Just as in public and private schools, you will find a wide array of education philosophies in the home schooling community. Each family can choose and use whatever methods and curriculum works best for them. They are not limited to one state approved curriculum, schedule, or method.
Myth: Home School parents must do all the teaching of their children.
Reality: While the parent has the responsibility for their child’s education, learning options extend well beyond the family. Some families choose to get together to form study groups or create learning co-ops. Some hire a tutor or have their students study certain subjects with knowledgeable friends and family. Some students opt for classes through their local public school, community college, or take courses online. Many options exist beyond parent and student at the kitchen table with text books.
Myth: Home school students can’t get into college.
Reality: Home school students may choose to get a GED, an adult high school diploma or a regular high school diploma through an accredited distance education program. Many colleges – state, Ivy League, private, and community colleges – are very welcoming to home school students, with or without a GED or high school diploma.
Myth: Schools must allow home school students to take classes and attend events.
Reality: Oregon public schools are required to offer special education to eligible students and to allow home school students to participate in interscholastic activities if they have met the eligibility requirements. Schools are not required to allow home school students to attend classes or events, but may do so according to their own individual school or district policy.
Myth: Home school students are not allowed to play sports at the public school.
Reality: Home school students may participate in interscholastic activities (activities where schools compete against one another) in their resident school district’s attendance area if the student meets eligibility requirements. Home school students establishing eligibility for must test annually at the end of each school year (prior to Aug. 15th) because test scores are used to determine eligibility for the following year. Parents need to submit these test results directly to their resident school district. A school district also may adopt additional requirements.