The Home School Court Report
Vol. XXII
No. 1
Cover
January/February
2006

In This Issue

SPECIALFEATURES
REGULARCOLUMNS
ANDTHEBEST

Need to Know
Membership Notes
Previous Page Next Page
- disclaimer -

Construction zone ahead

We're making plans to renovate the "Homeschooling Your Special Needs Child" section of our website. We have a lot of ideas for making it easier and more helpful to use, including providing a consultant directory, lists of resources, analysis tools, frequently asked questions, and more.

Parents, if you have a child who struggles to learn, we invite you to help us redesign these pages by letting us know what resources have been or would be most helpful to you. Send your ideas to info@hslda.org, with "Special Needs Page Suggestions" as the subject line.

If you provide professional services to special needs children and would like to be included on our list of consultants, please send us your contact information, credentials, and area of expertise.

Avoiding the potholes

Home School Legal Defense Association frequently receives calls from innocent homeschooling families who find themselves facing legal difficulties because an observer misconstrued something he saw or heard. Most of these misunderstandings could have been easily avoided with a little forethought, so we've put together a quick, common-sense "what not to do" list for our members:

  • Don't allow your children to answer the telephone during school hours. If a social worker, truant officer, or school official calls your home during the day, the sound of a young voice answering the telephone will immediately arouse suspicions that your child is unsupervised or not focused on learning. Answering machines are a great solution for dealing with telephone calls during school hours.
  • Don't allow children to be outside unattended during school hours. Drive-by "sightings" have resulted in anonymous child neglect reports.
  • Don't spank your children in public. Loving corporal punishment may be misinterpreted as child abuse when observed out of context in a public setting.
  • Don't leave children unattended in your car, even for a few seconds. The appearance of unsupervised children has led to child neglect allegations against dozens of innocent families.
  • Don't be unprepared for emergency room visits. Keep your child's birth certificate, immunization records, and the name and contact information of your child's regular physician in a handy location. You'll save precious time on your way out the door, and prevent misunderstandings with busy emergency room personnel.
  • Don't ignore your state requirements for testing. HSLDA does not require-or necessarily recommend-the use of standardized achievement tests. However, some states require the use of such tests. If you are unsure whether testing is required in your state, please contact us.
  • Don't forward low test scores until you've consulted with HSLDA. If your child scores below the level required by your state (review your state legal summary), please contact your HSLDA legal assistant before submitting low scores to your superintendent to determine what alternatives are available to you.
  • Don't neglect record keeping. You need to be able to demonstrate that you are genuinely conducting a homeschool. Helpful records are: report cards, standardized test scores, daily activity logs, a list of books used, work samples, etc. Immunization records may also prove valuable.