We believe the words of God in Deuteronomy 6:6-7:
And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. (KJV)

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Kick-Off for High School Entrepreneurial Contest at the Capitol



We have received a personal invitation from Cody Patterson, Communications Director for Lt Gov Hampton, to attend the launching of the brand new contest for Kentucky High School students promoting entrepreneurial skills.

What: Kick Off of Entrepreneurial Contest for KY HS students
When: Monday, Aug. 29, 2016, 10:00 - 11:00 am
Where: Rotunda of the Capitol in Frankfort, KY

The website with all the information is almost ready to be live, but below are a few details of the contest.
  • Students will submit a written business plan, with an opportunity to do a “pitch.” 
  • Two winners will be chosen from each of five regions, with ten competing in the final competition for the top 2 to 3 spots. 
  • Currently, $80,000 in prizes have been donated, with fundraising still ongoing. 
  • Prize money will be able to be used for scholarship to a Kentucky college or university or to actually launch the business.
It’s exciting to see the Lt Governor and her fabulous team create such an energizing and worthwhile contest AND for them to work to reach out to all high school students in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. 

For more information about the launch, email Cody Patterson at cody.patterson@ky.gov




Friday, July 29, 2016

Letter of Notification of Your Private Homeschool









It is the time of year to notify your school district of your private school!  This is the first step in creating an official private school in your home.  We receive many questions about this step, and encourage you to read the following information, including eight of the most common questions with answers.

Here is a sample copy of the Letter of Notification. You can see that KRS 159.160 states, “The reports shall be made within the two weeks of the beginning of each school year.”  So, if your school begins on Monday, August 3, your letter needs to arrive at the office of the Director of Pupil Personnel by Friday, August 14, the end of the second school week. 

You can find the address and name of the Director of Pupil Personnel in this Kentucky School Directory. This is a 2015-2016 directory, but the most up-to-date we could find.  You can also look at your district's website.
.  
As in the past, CHEK recommends that you send your letter certified mail with a return receipt.  When your receipt is returned via mail, place it with a copy of your letter in your record book. 

For a full understanding of your rights and responsibilities, download and read the Best Practice Document of Home Education in Kentucky.

FAQ’s about the Letter of Notification:

My child will not turn six until February; do I need to send a Letter of Notification this year? 
By law, you are not required to report them until they are 6.  

Our son graduated at the age of 17; do I still need to include him on the Letter of Notification? 
No, your son has completed high school and no longer needs to be included in this letter.

Can I use a P.O. Box as my address in the Letter of Notification? 
No, the actual location where your children are receiving their education is what is to be submitted.

I received a letter with a form from my school district requiring me to fill out and return; it asks for more information than is in the Letter of Notification.  Am I required to return it? 
You are only required to send the Letter of Notification following the example from the CHEK Laws and Forms page.  Most of the forms sent by a school district request information that is not required by law or make statements that imply responsibility outside the law.  The forms do not take the place of the Letter of Notification

If I am in a new district, should I send a Letter of Notification to the previous district?
It is not required, but you may certainly print an extra copy of the letter you are sending to your current district, and mail it to the previous district with the new county being noted.

We will be moving to a new county mid-year; do I need to mail another letter to the  new district after we move?
Yes, it is best to communicate with your new school district that you have recently moved there and are operating a private homeschool. 


I sent my Letter of Notification via email and received a return email receipt.  Is this acceptable
If you emailed the basic information that is suggested in the letter of notification and received a confirmation from the secretary of the DPP then you have documented the delivery and receipt of this year’s letter.

Is it appropriate to hand-deliver my letter? 
If you decide to deliver your letter directly to the school, make sure that you take it to the office of the Director of Pupil Personnel.  Also, ask them to make a copy and sign or stamp it as a receipt.  Remember, you are not required to fill out any of their forms.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Overreaching Packets Sent Out By Local School Districts

In the past two weeks, over 15 districts have sent out Homeschool Packets to any families in their district that chose to home educate last year.  Every single packet asked for overreaching information and almost all of them included outdated information.  We challenge you to be discerning if you receive a packet from your school district, and would recommend you sharing a copy with CHEK, info@chek.org, or HSLDA. 

Here are some of the request that we find most troubling:
1.      
                 In several of the packets, it is stated or the impression is given that you must fill out and return the forms.  Nowhere in Kentucky law is it required to fill out the form distributed by the school. By filling out the form you are giving the district permission to use the information in their databases, which are given and sold to multiple companies. 
          
             Many make the assumption that the form takes the place of the Letter of Notification. The Kentucky law and the Best PracticeDocument state that the administrators of a private home school must send a letter within the first 10 days of school beginning in a district.  Even some of the packets state this and give a sample letter.  Do not make the mistake of considering the form a replacement for the letter.

             Request for information is overreaching.            
                 
                    The Letter of Notification requires: 
  •                            Parent’s names, 
  •                            Address of location of school, 
  •                            Name of school, child’s name and age.

                   Recent packets sent by districts have asked for one or more of the following: 
                           
  •                            Grade, 
  •                            Date of birth, 
  •                            If the child is special needs, 
  •                            Race, 
  •                            Email, 
  •                            Phone number, 
  •                            Type of calendar being used, 
  •                            Curriculum, 
  •                            Start date


              Many of the packets are not up to date on Kentucky law, particularly on two topics.
  •            The minimum instructional days are now 170.
  •            The compulsory school age for all but six counties is now 18 years old. This does not apply to graduates.

              Pertaining to graduation, the homeschool packet states that graduates may find it quite difficult to enroll in college or find employment with an unaccredited homeschool diploma. Therefore, they may need to take the GED. This is the furthest from the truth, there are very few cases where this is requested.  If an employer or college is requesting your child take the GED, call CHEK or HSLDA.
6.       
                Some packets give online resources as an option for your homeschool.  Please, be aware that if you use these services your child remains under the authority of the local school and that they are not participating as a private homeschool student. 




Thursday, April 28, 2016

QOD: Are there any private high schools in the area that allow homeschoolers to play on their sport teams?

QOD: Are there any private high schools in the area that allow homeschoolers to play on their sport teams?

CHEK Answers:
There is a Christian homeschool athletic team; you can find out more at Home for His Glory. http://homeforhisglory.com

Suggestion: Try contacting a local private school to see if they allow homeschool students to participate on their teams. Homeschools are considered private schools in Kentucky.

For CHEK's official position on homeschoolers at sports participation in public schools visit here:
 http://chek.wildapricot.org/Discussion_forum/769348


To ask questions, get support, and more, visit www.CHEK.org

  

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

WAHM & Homeschooling? I Can Do That!

Event takes place right here on Facebook in this event!

Join WAHM's (Work at Home Mom) from around the Kentuckiana area as they share what they do, how they do it, and manage their homeschooling life!


When?  Monday, May 30, 2016, 7 PM
Where? Facebook

Just sign in to your Facebook and join our Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/kentuckyhomeschooling/


Then you can join our FREE event:  https://www.facebook.com/events/1695071087426776/

Monday, April 11, 2016

So you’ve decided to homeschool! Now what?



So You’ve Decided to Homeschool!
Now what?
D.Bradley

Here is some direction for those of you who have decided to home educate, but you don’t know where to start.

1. Start with your kids
This is going to be a boring and fruitless endeavor if you don’t have any kids to educate.
If you do, take a look at them.  Not one of those motherly bruise-inventories or an investigation into what they’ve been eating by inspecting the corners of their mouths, but a good, quiet observation of them.  Think about what they’re like, what their gifts and talents are, what they enjoy, what they don’t.  Who are they?  (We know you’ve asked this question of yourself before, like after the deafening crash at the supermarket or after you found the harmonica-shaped hole in the living room wall, but we don’t mean it that way now.)  Who is this little person?
Fact: every child is different, and no single approach is best for all kids.
But that’s what’s great about homeschooling.  Instruction is individualized in a way institutional* classrooms can only dream about, by teachers who love their students in way no institutional teacher ever can.  (*Notice I said “institutional classrooms,” and not traditional classrooms.  Let us not forget that for the vast majority of our nation’s history, and world history too, homeschooling was the traditional means of education children.)
OK, so you’ve taken a good look at your kids, and you still want to do this.  So let’s do it right.

2. Keep it legal
The good news is, homeschooling is perfectly legal.  Despite how your parents reacted when you told them your decision, nobody is going to send you off to jail or shove your screaming children into the back of some social worker’s car and drive them off to an institutional school.  Not if you do it right, at least.  (Relax.  You’re forming a home-school, not an underground-school.  You’re not on the lam.  It’s perfectly OK if your kids go outside and play for a bit, or even GASP! if you have to take them with you to the supermarket during the hours institutional schools are in session.  It’s OK.  You are not in trouble for choosing to home school.  Let’s keep it that way.)

The even better news is that since Kentucky law does not differentiate between home-schools and any other type of private school, you’re living in what’s considered a “homeschool-friendly” state.  There are certain requirements, but they are relatively simple.
Instead of quoting the state laws to you, allow us to recommend a document forged by the pioneers of homeschooling in Kentucky, back in the days when you could get your kids taken away from you for exercising your right to personally direct their education.  (Those of us who enjoy the freedom to home-school today owe an inexpressible debt of gratitude to those who were willing to go to jail or meet officials at the doorstep with shotgun in hand to keep their kids from being taken away.  Brothers and sisters, we stand on the shoulders of giants.)
Set the Way-Back Machine to the year 1997.  Twelve representatives from Kentucky’s two main homeschooling associations, Christian Home Educators of Kentucky (CHEK) and Kentucky Home Education Association (KHEA), meet with an equal number of representatives from the state’s Directors of Pupil Personnel Association to convene a task force charged with the creation of a guideline of “Best Practices” for establishing a “bonafide” home school.  (The word “bonafide” is from the Latin bona fides, which means “in good faith.”  Nice term.)
Their product, the “Best Practice Approach to Home School Verification,” should be read in its entirety (it’s quite short), and is available on the CHEK website (www.chek.org) under the “Kentucky Law & Forms” tab.

Here are the highlights:
A.      Each year, you must send a letter of notifying your local Director of Pupil Personnel of your intent to home-school.  This letter should only include your children’s names and ages and the address at which your school is held, and be sent within the first two weeks of the start of your local public school.  That’s it.  The great news is, once you’ve done this you are “presumed to be in compliance with the law and operating a bonafide school.”  Congratulations!

B.      Since you just established for yourself a bonafide school, consider it as such.  Do not go around feeling the need to prove your school is valid—it is.  Take a deep breath and accept that.  Therefore, it is the responsibility of the DPP to prove otherwise, should problems arise.  Remember, even if the DPP decides to investigate you, he or she can only determine if your school is bonafide or not.  Period.  He or she does not have the authority to “approve” the education provided by your school.  So any DPP asking to “review your curriculum” to better “align your program of studies” with any “standards” is merely a DPP that is ignorant of his or her own jurisdictions.  If you are ever contacted by such a DPP, please contact CHEK immediately.

C.       You must offer education to your children in the following subjects: Reading, Writing, Spelling, Grammar, History, Mathematics, and Civics.  This does not mean that you need to teach a class on each subject, but that each subject must be covered in a class you teach.  Obviously, History and Civics could be taught together.  Reading, Writing, Spelling, and Grammar could be combined into an English class.  (Speaking of English, by state law that’s the language you must provide your instruction in.)  Note: the cross-curricular approach that homeschool affords is one of its greatest strengths.  Home educators can focus on interdisciplinary connections that teachers and students stuck in bell-driven class periods simply cannot afford.  Think about it: Literature needs the context of History to be understood.  Combine them.  Science uses applied Math.  Why teach them separately?

D.      You must hold school for at least as many instructional hours as the public school district in which you reside, which is 185 days with a minimum of 170 student instructional days.  KRS158.070 1. (d). states, “Student instructional year" means at least one thousand sixty-two (1,062) hours of instructional time for students delivered on not less than one hundred seventy (170) student attendance days;”.  So, make sure you have documented 170 days with at least 1062 instructional hours per school year Keeping lesson plans in a notebook works fine.  Note: homeschooling frees you from the rigid 6-hour instructional day of the institutional school.  The law does NOT say that you must be in session the same time the public schoolers are in session.  Some kids are morning people.  Some are not.  Some kids want to tackle subject after subject all day and be done with it.  Others need frequent breaks.  You know your kids.  Do what works.  Just keep track of what you did.

E.       Since we’re on the subject of documentation, you’ll need to also keep records of attendance and grades.  Attendance had better be easy.  If not, there’s a problem.  (If you have an AWOL kid, check behind the hanging clothes in the closet.  That’s a great place.)  Anyway, the lesson plan notebook mentioned above is a great place to keep attendance too.  Now, grades must be done at the same interval as the public school district in which you live.  (I’ve always kind of wondered about this one, but oh well.)  So if your district is on quarterly grade reports, you are too.  Trimesters?  You too.  Get it?  Assign grades each grading period for every subject you teach.  Note: Think about how you‘re going to grade.  Philosophies of assessment (how you grade) are all over the place.  Nobody agrees about anything, except that effective grading informs both the teacher and the student about progress and achievement, and that ineffective grading can simply crush kids and the teachers who care about them.  Use grades effectively.  Because homeschooling is individualized, home school educators can teach to mastery far more effectively than institutional teachers.  Unlike teachers in public school who have classrooms packed with students of widely disparate ability levels teaching according to “pacing guides” that relentlessly push content forward whether all the kids have learned it or not, home educators can teach, formatively assess (that means quiz), reteach differently, and formatively assess over and over, repeating the process using different strategies until the kid GETS IT and can teach it back to you (that’s called mastery).  Then summatively assess (that means test), grade, celebrate, and move on.  Nobody gets hurt.

F.       The last thing is that all private schools (including homeschools) must be open to inspection by DPPs or Department of Education personnel.  If this is ever requested, don’t panic.  Call CHEK for assistance, make sure all the above records are in order, and schedule a meeting at a neutral site, like the local library.  Keep in mind that they are asking to inspect your school, not your home, as they’d need a warrant to do that.  Nobody’s going to come in with a clipboard in hand and give your house the white-glove treatment.  They can really only ask to see your attendance records, your grade reports, and perhaps your class list to make sure you have all the required subjects covered.  Remember, their only jurisdiction is to determine if your school is bonafide or not, and since you followed these guidelines, it will be.

a

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Christians at the Capitol Update from CHEK

On Friday at Christians at the Capitol in Frankfort, Dr. David Gibbs of the Christian Law Association provided an update of the cases his organization sees as their lawyers defend religious liberty across the nation.

This list was his request for prayer as they battle on the front lines. 

1. Gender agenda 

It's picking up traction as it has become fashionable to pick one's gender. Their next stop is the church. Fewer than 40% of churches are standing up. 
Proponents are fighting:
- for the "right" for kids to explore their sexuality (just review Common Core to confirm)
- against the rights of parents of minors, arguing that parents have no rights to stop their children from changing gender 
- on behalf of existing church staff/members changing identity (this is causing great turmoil within the churches, never expecting they'd have these issues in their midst)
**Churches need to know how they will respond before it comes to them.**

2. Marriage agenda
US Supreme Court is poised to legalize homosexual marriage nationally; polygamy groups are standing in line to get their "right" as soon as Biblical marriage falls.
- Will the church recognize these "marriages"??

3. Hate speech 
Churches are being told they cannot teach Biblical marriage as the only right way in children's ministry; at junior high level, the parents have no rights.

4. Parental rights on 3 fronts
-Education: Groups have risen again to fight for complete government control of Christian and home schools.
-Religion: Kids have the "right" not to attend church, pray, read Bible, etc. 
-Medical: Parents are being stripped of decision-making regarding healthcare choices for their children.

5. Right to witness - a command given by Christ, yet only 4% of Christians do it
There is a battle to make witnessing about Christ illegal.


Dr. Gibbs' Notes on Prayer: Ask (original translation means "specifically," the word for getting "detailed with God"), and you shall receive. So, be specific in your prayers.
1. Only works if you pray - have a list!
2. Be fervent - the fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
3. Gotta be clean - confess, get right, clean your closet first

So get clean, and fervently pray from your list every day!


Thursday, February 19, 2015

Christians at the Capitol Day Starts at Noon, February 20th!

To all who registered for "Christians at the Capitol" day:

     The event is still on for tomorrow!
    
     There are many bills up for a vote we will learn of that day including ones about:  legalizing marijuana use in Ky, pro-life efforts, religious liberty, the sodomite agenda, and more.

     Please don't let the snow that fell Monday stop you from making a stand for Biblical principles this Friday.

     Hope to see you in the Capitol city at noon tomorrow.  (You can help by spreading word about the day.  Thank you.)

In Christ,
Bro. Lee
 
 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Will New Compulsory Age Laws Cause Increased Scrutiny for Homeschoolers in Kentucky?


Will New Compulsory Age Laws Cause Increased Scrutiny for Homeschoolers in Kentucky? 

Written by: Scott Bolin, President of CHEK

On the February 09, 2015 edition of WFPL’s midday report, host Devin Katayama reported on the recent Kentucky School Board meeting.  His report titled, “As Dropout Age Changes, the Kentucky Education Department is Keeping an Eye on Homeschooling” may have given some in the homeschool community the wrong impression.
A little over six hours into the seven hour meeting, Education Commissioner, Dr. Terry Holliday spoke briefly about the number of high school students who opt for homeschooling. Dr. Holliday said that .8% of public high school students opt out for homeschooling each year which is around 4000 students statewide. This is a normal statistic that the board looks at, and one that has not changed significantly.
Dr. Holliday did mention the new compulsory school age law and the implications it could have on the number of students opting out of public school for private homeschool. Holliday said that they would be using the pre-age increase statistics as a base line to see if there is a sudden and significant increase in post-age increase numbers.
Holliday did not say that the KDE would be monitoring data to make sure there is no spike in homeschooling. He did say that they would be monitoring base line numbers to see if there is a significant increase for those affected by the new compulsory age laws.
So, what is significant about Katayama’s report, and what should we take away from it?
Chiefly, new laws and policies sometimes have unintended consequences.  CHEK opposed compulsory age increases seventeen years for many reasons, not least of which were the concerns mentioned by Dr. Holliday. His concerns are not without merit, there is a segment of our population who will try to use homeschool liberties to circumvent compulsory age laws. The question will be what to do about it?
First, let’s be real clear as to what the problem is.
The state dropout rate and under achieving students are the problem, not the number of homeshoolers. More precisely, the problem is the number of students in public school whose parents and school system have failed them. The new age increase laws do nothing to deal with the real issue.
Why do students drop out of school and is it always bad?
There may be legitimate issues that force a student to drop out that has nothing to do with academic performance, truancy, or other disciplinary action. In these circumstances, the parents and students should be free to do what’s best for the student. This, on a parental rights front, is why CHEK could never support compulsory age increase. No student wakes up one morning in their sophomore or junior year and says, “Hey, I think I will quit school today.” It is an incremental decent from one bad circumstance to the next that brings a student to the place where they ask, “Should I quit school?” In the area of academics, and disciplinary actions, there should be a history of failure.  CHEK opposed compulsory age increases, because it treats a symptom in hopes that a little more time will produce a cure. What we need to do that compulsory age laws cannot do, is reduce the reasons why students choose to drop out. That is much easier to say than do; however our future may very well depend on it.
In the grand scheme of things, the potential issues that may arise with the new compulsory age laws should motivate the homeschool community to be more vigilant in the defense of their rights. Every education bill, and every article or statement proposing more accountability and oversight should arrest our attention. When it comes to educational legislation, we cannot afford to think, that it only applies to public schools, it will not affect the homeschool community. We also have a responsibility to those who don’t homeschool in our community. We are commanded in scripture to, “Love your neighbors as yourself.” Matthew 22:39  You may not send your children to public school, but as long as your neighbors do, you should work with them to improve it. Also, if you are a homeschool parent, you need to know your rights and responsibilities, as well as those of the local school officials.  These are very clearly outlined in the Best Practice Documents that was created 18 years ago by both homeschool leaders and members of the Board of Education.  Unfortunately, CHEK has found that less than 30% of families that are currently homeschooling have even read this document or can state from law what their and the local districts responsibilities are.  We highly recommend that you have a copy of the overview of the law and a copy of the Best Practice Document available in your record book, and that you pull it out and review it a couple of times a year.  When your neighbor or fellow church member then approaches you with the question of pulling their child out of the system, you will be able to confidently help them follow the right steps to creating a bona-fide (legitimate) homeschool.
Homeschooling is definitely newsworthy! The growth of homeschooling continues to outpace all other forms of education nationwide.  CHEK along with HSLDA and the veteran homeschool leaders across our state will continue to educate families that are searching for an alternative to the public school.  We will continue to inform local superintendants, Kentucky Board of Education Members, and our state legislators on the positive job homeschool parents are doing and of the increases in homeschooling participants both here in Kentucky and on a national level.  





To see Devin Katayama’s report go to:
To see video of the school board meeting go to:
For info on drop out and graduation rates in Kentucky go to:
National Center for Educational Statistics on Compulsory Age Laws

Kentucky Best Practice Document
http://chek.org/resources/Documents/Best-Practice.pdf

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