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FAQs

Q:

What does the state require?

A:

Nebraska – Completed forms and a materials list for math, science, social studies, language arts, and health. This can be done through submitting forms or through the Nebraska Department of Education website for exempt schools. Learn more at that link.

Iowa – Depends on which option is chosen; you may have to submit forms or nothing at all. More information and forms for Iowa can be found here.

Q:

How does one decide what curriculum to use?

A:

Each family has a unique set of circumstances, goals, gifts and challenges that determine what will work best for them.

One source of information on a wide range of curricula is Cathy Duffy Reviews.  Here is their list of specifically Catholic curricula.The Homeschool Legal Defense Association has a helpful article on "Selecting My Curriculum" here.  

 

Q:

How long does it take (each day)?

A:

The time you spend depends  on age, grade, personality, number of kids in the  family or other family considerations, program (or lack thereof) being used, time students spend working on their own or with mom/dad. In general, an average day could range from one to six hours per day. Some families follow a traditional calendar year (August/September to May), while others school year round.

Q:

How much does it cost?

A:

You will be happy to know there is no fee to file as a homeschooler in the state of Nebraska. The state however does not provide educational funding to homeschoolers. This means the cost is solely covered by individual families. The cost of homeschooling varies greatly based on the number of children you are educating, reusability of materials, purchasing vs. borrowing from others or the library, and ability to get new vs. used materials. If you have one child starting in kindergarten, you can probably do it for less than $100. Extra costs can include music lessons, art lessons, sports leagues, extra classes, performing arts experiences, amongst many other things.  High school materials cost more, but if you acquire materials in the lower grades and work your way up, you will have built up your own library. In all honesty, it is easy to spend more. There is a lot of great stuff and parents can usually rationalize it by saying two (or five or eight…) kids are going to use it (or could use it). Families who don’t follow any specific curriculum plan can spend a little or a lot.

It is helpful to think in terms of VALUE rather than merely COST.  Some expenditure

Here's a good article that provides thoughts and links related to 5 Costs of Homeschooling:  Curriculum, Supplies & Equipment, Field Trips, Extracurricular Activities, Lost Income (if applicable)   

Here’s some rough estimates on a few curriculum programs (enrolled) that some CHAO families use:

Mother of Divine Grace

$300-$1250 per family per year based on the grade of your oldest student you are enrolling (doesn’t include $100 new family one-time fee). Books and materials are extra but does include lesson plans (not printed version). Middle school and high school assisted classes & directed classes are extra ($150-$530/class).

Seton

Cost varies based on grade and number of students. One Kindergartener costs $250 whereas one High School Student costs $880. They provide a slight discount with each additional  student. Cost includes books and lesson plans, not materials like microscope, etc. Book discount if you already have a title in your home.

Homeschool Connections

Live Courses -  Interactive web-based classes which include grading vary in cost based on a variety of factors (ex. from $167-$275 for 12 class sessions, 1/2 credit)

Recorded Classes - Recordings of previous live classes are made available (along with supporting materials such as essay topics, quizzes, answer keys, etc.) for self-paced learning. Cost is $11.97/mo. for Single-Access (1 class; the whole family); or $34.97/mo for Unlimited Access to all recorded courses for the entire family. Grading and even tutoring support are available for an additional fee for some recorded courses.

There are additional book and supplies costs for some courses, but quite a few include free resources provided by the instructor.

Q:

Where can I buy materials?

A:

This is not an exhaustive list...just something to get you started:

New New & Used

Apples & More: A Learning Store  Bellevue, NE

CHAO Used Marketplace (for Registered Families)
Lakeshore Learning 120th & Center, Omaha CathSwap (Catholic Curriculum Swap)
RainbowResource.com Homeschool Classifieds
ChristianBook.com Thriftbooks.com
Online Curriculum Publishers Bookfinder.com
Costco, Walmart Office Max, etc. Abebooks.com
Target ($1 section at during late summer has many school items) ebay.com

 

Q:

Is there a chance to meet other homeschoolers?

or

What do you for socialization?

A:

The Catholic Homeschool Association of Omaha, CHAO,  has many opportunities to gather with other students and families. The homeschool Mass/Fun Friday workshops & bowling field trips, Little Flowers, scouting groups, junior high girls’ group, dances, youth group, Mom’s faith & fellowship, a back to school pizza party, study groups, Latin club, and informal get togethers are some examples of what CHAO has to offer. The Omaha Homeschool Learning Center in Omaha offers classes in many subject areas including: math, science, art, test prep, languages, taekwondo, and performing arts for all homeschoolers in the area. There are several area homeschool sports teams that provide the opportunity to participate in volleyball, flag football, basketball, track and field, and cross country. Opportunities abound!

Q:

How do I know my kids are going to learn what they need to learn?

A:

First of all, you need to ask whose standard you are using to determine ‘what needs to be learned’. There are books at the library with lists of what each grade should know. You can also find state standards on-line. If you have concerns your student is falling behind you always have the option of standardized testing.

Q:

What about standardized testing?

A:

Seton offers several standardized testing options for families even if you are not enrolled in their program. CAT tests are $29 and require no bachelor’s degree. The Iowa Tests Form E ranges in price from $32 to $45 and can be administered by someone with at least a B.A. degree. Residents of Iowa, though, are not able to use the Iowa Tests. The TerraNova complete battery tests are $43 and like the CAT test, does not require the administrator to have a bachelor’s degree.

Q:

How do I meet religious education requirements for the reception of sacraments?

A:

This varies by parish and pastor. There are some parishes that require homeschool students to attend parish religious education classes in order to receive sacraments. Some do not; most of those pastors ‘interview’ the students to ensure they are adequately prepared.

Q:

How are high school transcripts created?

A:

If your family is enrolled with a program, then they take care of the transcript. If not, you can create your own or use an online service. There are many resources available. HSLDA has some helpful information here. Lee Binz (thehomescholar.com) has several resources, books, website, newsletter, and services. You can find lots of printables and templates, all free, at donnayoung.org .