Wednesday was the 3rd day of Homeschool and we were about to start class.
The phone rings.
“Hello? Is this the parent of Cassie?”
“Yes, I’m her mom.”
“We understand you filed a district transfer last month? Even though you don’t go to any of our schools, you live in our school district, so we need to know where your child is. It’s CA law.”
“Oh ok. She’s actually homeschooled this school year.”
(chuckles) “Ok. Well have you filed an F4 Private School Affidavit? We need that form if you Homeschool because you’re in our district.”
“Hmm. I’m pretty sure I don’t need to turn anything in. My daughter’s enrolled through a home study program. She’s been in that program since Kindergarten. We just moved here, but this is the first time I’ve been contacted by a district. I was on the HSLDA website that talks about the laws —-”
(cuts me off and chuckles again) “Ok this is like the 2nd time I’ve had to tell a homeschooler about this today. You have to go to the CDE – that’s the CA Department of Education – and get the F4 form and fill it out. But we need it by October 1st. So just go to the website and look it up and print it out. Ok?”
Completely taken aback by her unprofessional and patronizing manner, all I could say was, “Oh-kay. F4? Ok. Bye.”
Do you know how much I was seething with irritation after hanging up?
I mean, seriously. Does this look like we’re just playing hooky around here that they need to police me?
So irritating. I had to call Seton Home Study (the school we’re enrolled in) and tell them what happened.
Then I had to print out a bunch of stuff showing proof that I definitely did not need to turn in a Private School Affidavit.
You see, because we’re fully enrolled at Seton, we’ve basically declared that my home is not a private school. Seton is the private school, not us. We use Seton curriculum, send tests to be graded to Seton, get quarterly and final grades from Seton, and have our student’s records, registrar, etc. managed and kept by Seton.
Yes, Seton is a private school in Virginia, but they have a California office which files the Private School Affidavit yearly. Most of their homeschool families are in California, so they are very, very familiar with California Education Laws.
So am I, to be frank. I taught for 5 years in a regular classroom before becoming a homeschooler. I did not start this path without first researching and making sure what I was doing was legal. I’m not an ignorant, neglectful mother when it comes to my child’s education.
I know the laws. I know my options and the requirements contained within those options.
But that lady caller….she didn’t let me explain anything!
So I had to leave the kids at my mom’s, drive myself to the district office (with my arsenal of documents, lesson plans, curriculum, etc.), and ask to speak with someone. Immediately!
But they were out to lunch. I got the secretary instead. Her name was Mary.
Mary was patient. Mary was understanding. Mary apologized for the person I spoke to on the phone. Mary listened to everything I said.
I calmed down. I left my info and copies of the documents I brought with me. I also left contact information for Seton, both the CA and VA persons I talked to.
I’m glad to say, that I think everything turned out fine because the district hasn’t called me back. I might follow up tomorrow, just to be sure.
My husband thinks that this fiasco was just a typical example of anti-homeschool sentiment that is around us.
That’s pretty sad, really. But at least I’m happy to know that when push comes to shove, I DO have the courage to stand up and be an advocate for homeschool and my child’s education.
Have you ever encountered any discrimination or antisentiments in homeschooling of any sort? How did you handle it?