Friday, August 26, 2011

Back to School

I never realized how little parents of public school children know about the laws regarding schooling.  As a homeschool mom, I know the homeschool laws inside and out, I know how it is regulated, by what General Statute, what agency oversees homeschooling, who works in that agency, and how to contact them.  If I have questions I ask.

When I was at the dentist with my son a few weeks back, the hygienist had finished cleaning his teeth and we were waiting for the dentist to come in and do an exam.  She asked Phillip about homeschooling a bit, then turned to me to chat.  She asked what grades the boys were in, so I explained that Dallen, my oldest, is not of compulsory age anymore so he is not in school, he has "technically" graduated.  She was surprised by that and asked about it, since he is only 17.  Her thought was that you had to be in school until you were 18.

Well, no, in North Carolina compulsory attendance is from age 7 until 16, so the day Dallen turned 16 he could "graduate" from homeschool.  She was shocked that the minimum age was 7, thought every kid had to start preschool at 4.  Well,, preschool is not a requirement, even for public school children.  AND you do not have to enroll your child in any school, public, private or homeschool, until they reach the age of 7.  Now I don't know much more about public school law, as the laws regulating public school are different from homeschool, but compulsory age applies to all children in NC.

She was also surprised that when a child turns 16 they do not have to attend school.  So I did clear that up a bit....unless they want a driver's permit they have to be enrolled in school somewhere or have a diploma showing graduation.  But if the driver's permit is not an issue, attendance is optional after they turn 16.

So why don't public school parents know the law?  Are the schools trusted to be abiding by the law?  And should these public school parents put that much trust in the public schools?

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