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What if I want to homeschool?

Homeschooling can encompass a wide variety of education avenues, from the child attending an accredited online program to being taught a curriculum entirely of the parent's choosing and discretion. However, almost all states have some type of regulation or oversight of homeschooling. Some require students to take the same standardized tests as those in public school to ensure they are keeping up academically with their peers, while others review the proposed curriculum each year to ensure it covers what it should.

If you are considering homeschooling as an option for your children, it's important to talk with the other parent beforehand. This courtesy can go a long way toward encouraging open communication and allowing you to attempt to address the other parent's concerns before the homeschooling begins. The other parent may wish to look over the curriculum or see test scores to relieve fears about the child getting a lower quality education.

Some people are adamantly opposed to homeschooling on all levels, and if this is the case with your ex, you may end up having to deal with a dispute in the family courts. If you share joint custody with the other parent, the judge will take into consideration the evidence presented and decide on what he or she believes is in the best interests of the children.

Possible issues that may come up can include the scope of the curriculum, the qualifications of the proposed instructor, how the child will be socialized and how the child will gain access to extracurricular activities. For those considering this option, talking with a family law attorney beforehand can ensure you are prepared for any disputes or legal issues that may follow.

Source: FindLaw, "Homeschooling Regulations," accessed Aug. 11, 2015

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