There are many options for education in the state of Kentucky including public schools, private schools, homeschooling, co-op schools and more. Lex Fun 4 Kids has an easy resource guide for homeschooling options in Kentucky.
State Requirements for Homeschooling
The first thing to consider is how to follow Kentucky guidelines for homeschooling. If a family decides to homeschool there are state requirements you must follow.
- Notify the superintendent of the local school board in writing within ten days of the beginning of the school year of their intent to homeschool their child(ren) each year they homeschool. The letter must include the name, ages and residence of each child in attendance of the homeschool.
- When informing the district superintendent of your desire to homeschool, create a ‘school’ name. This will be used for future records and diplomas.
- Record and maintain scholarship reports of each student’s progress in all subjects taught at the same intervals as the local public schools. KDE suggests that the person responsible for instruction keep a portfolio that contains samples of the best work done by each child in several areas of study and maintain the portfolio each year the student is homeschooled. This may be of assistance in documenting the existence of the homeschool or the transfer of the child to another educational setting. A record of courses taken and grades received is also necessary.
- Keep accurate attendance records of pupil attendance. The attendance records can be kept in a notebook, on a computer, or in another manner, but must be readily available in case of an inquiry. The minimum school term is 1062 instructional hours. The term of the school shall not be for a shorter period in each year than the term of the public school in the district in which the child attending the school resides. In those school districts which are operating a year-round school program, the minimum term of private and parochial schools shall be one hundred eighty-five (185) days.
- Subjects taught should include reading, writing, spelling, grammar, history, mathematics, science, and civics. It is the parents’ right to offer other subjects, as well.
- It is required that all core instruction be offered in the English language.
Pros and Cons of Homeschooling
You can determine your own school schedule
Family choice in curriculum
Vacations and experiences can be part of your learning
Students can progress easily at their own pace
Ability to study areas of specific interests
Variety of co-ops, groups, and materials available
Possible challenges with specific curriculum that the family member teaching may not understand
Fewer technology resources
More expensive than public school
Limited specialized instruction from multiple teachers
Less structure than traditional school day
Possibly creates more stress between family members
Socialization with other students/peers must be created intentionally
Specialized coursework may be difficult or expensive to supplement (chemistry, band/orchestra, foreign language, etc)
Family members must take on the full role of teacher and parent taking time to plan, teach, and household responsibilities
There are a variety of curriculum options for homeschooling. Each family has multiple things to consider when choosing a curriculum that fits. Curriculum can be virtual or books you can order (secular and non-secular are available). Some groups offer a way to buy/sell curriculum from other families. There are many choices out there for your family but it will take time to review the options and find one that fits for you. Some curriculum choices are listed below.
Co-ops, groups, and homeschool partners
Many parents choose to partner with others in a co-op or enroll in a ‘cottage’ school or part-time school program to provide opportunities for learning outside the classroom. These programs allows children to have socialization and special activities and provides support for everyone. There are some options in Central KY for families seeking these experiences.
Finding a support group is something many families seek out when homeschooling. There are a variety of online groups that offer tips and advice. There are a variety of local groups you can reach out to for support.
Homeschooling in Kentucky on Facebook
Secular, Eclectic, Academic (SEA) Homeschoolers on Facebook
Great Homeschool Conventions (now doing virtual conventions)