Thursday, January 14, 2010

Ignore This, Please

If you've been reading for a while, then you are aware that this blog is partially intended as a detail of records for our schooling. This post is for the purpose of records keeping, so while it may appear to be a bit odd... just nod and smile and say to yourself "Man, she's one smart Mom for covering her bases so thoroughly." and then come back to visit again when we talk about the next set of event. 


Email Sent January 13, 2009 

Thank you again for contacting the Georgia Department of Education. This response has been provided by AskDOE, the Superintendent’s Helpdesk. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this response, please don’t hesitate to contact AskDOE at 404-656-2800 or 800-311-3627 and refer to Help Ticket number 00403717.

Email Received:

I have a question regarding the compulsory attendance regulations for home

My daughter will turn 6 years old on September 8th of this year. Her birthday
falls after the cut off date for entering the 1st grade.

I am aware of Georgia's laws. However, I am uncertain about when we will need
to begin reporting to our local DOE.

Do we begin reporting this year even though her birthday falls after the
September 1st cut off date?

Or are we exempt from the attendance regulations until the following year when
she will be 6 years old prior to the September 1st cut off date?

Please advise.


Shaunalynn Schonder



Response Received January 14, 2009 

Response from AskDOE:

S Schonder

Dear Ms. Schonder:

Your e-mail to State Superintendent Kathy Cox has been received and is being addressed by AskDOE, the Superintendent’s help desk. Thank you for this opportunity to assist you. I am responding on behalf of the Superintendent.

Because mandatory attendance is from ages 6 - 16, you will not need to report intent to home school. Kindergarten is not required in Georgia. However, when she reaches the age for grade 1, you will need to submit a Declaration of Intent and Monthly Attendance Reports to your local school district. Your child will be eligible for public school 1st grade when she is 6 and soon to be 7.

I wish you the best and thank you, again, for contacting the Georgia Department of Education. Please let me know if I can provide further assistance.


(name deleted)
Education Administration Specialist


** We do not need to begin reporting attendance for Kira until September of 2011.**

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


I've talked about Africam before over at The Art and Science of Parenting. As part of our zoo studies, we have been watching Africam for the past few hours. Kira and I sat up until midnight watching the sunrise at the Nkorho water hole. Unfortunately, we only saw a few birds last night. Today we have been a slight bit luckier. Right now there is a night safari group in the camera's range. The group has been busy taking pictures of some sort of large cat - probably a lion - that is barely visible to the camera. The light from the safari group keeps glaring so all we can see is the outline of the cat. The way it is laying in the grass, though, leads me to believe that it is most likely a lioness or bachelor lion. Kira and I are both hoping the lion will venture to the water's edge where the camera can get a good look.

Night has descended swiftly upon the plains, as is common in Africa. There is little transition between night and day. Unless the animals come closer to the water's edge where the infrared light can illuminate them, we will simply have to be content with their sounds. I can actually hear a slight bit of rumbling that sounds like it might be from a lion. It isn't exactly a roar - just chatter.

Africam is such a cool website and resource. I discovered it some years ago when Angel was finishing the 9th grade and embarking on her home school journey. We spent many nights sitting up (sprawled on the couch...) watching the goings on at the watering hole. We were both somewhat obsessed with the camera that watched over the African Plains. We wondered every day what beasts might present themselves for our viewing.

Now, Kira is becoming just as captivated with the camera over in Africa. She sits for extended lengths of time just watching the screen and chatting with me about what we might or might not see. It took a while for me to get her to understand that the camera was watching something that was going on right this moment. After all, the time there is not the same as it is here. Sunrise there finds us cloaked in darkness of night. Sunset there finds us in the midst of our day. It's a difficult concept for a child to comprehend. She's learning, though.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Texas School Board Suspends 4 Year Old Child for Long Hair?

Apparently I am behind on the times. Some few weeks ago, the principle of Floyd Elementary School in Dallas, Texas decided that it was appropriate to suspend - SUSPEND FROM SCHOOL - a 4 year old child. Now, was the child misbehaving? No. Was he being disruptive to the education of others? No. Was he being sexually inappropriate towards other students? No.

So you may wonder what infraction this child has committed that would call for such a harsh response from the schools. After all, the child is barely even old enough to attend school.

What horrible incident has caused the school to suspend the child? 

His hair is too long. 

That's right. The child's hair is too long and the parents refuse to cut his hair just because the principle of the school insists that his hair must abide by the school's code.

The parents refused to cut Taylor's hair. The school responded by suspending him. After a length of time, the school decided to allow Taylor to attend school - under in-school suspension. For the past few weeks, this 4 year old child has been sentenced to live out his days separated from all of his friends and all other children at the school. He is isolated in the library without the benefits of social interaction or play time, being taught by a teacher's aide.

The parents are currently engaged in a fight for their child's right to wear his hair as he pleases. I agree with their choice to fight the schools on this matter. In fact, I would need to point out that if his hair is too long then every girl in the class should also be forced to cut her hair or braid it daily as the Board has ruled their son can keep his long hair as long as he braids it every day.

Learn more Here .

Sunday, January 3, 2010


Kira is progressing fairly quickly with her reading. I have a friend who is an elementary school teacher - Jen. Jen has offered to assess Kira's reading level to help me determine what I need to do next to help Kira continue to progress with her reading skills. I'm really looking forward to that assessment.

The key part of home schooling is knowing where to go for information and/or assistance whenever you may need it. I've been trying to explain this to many of my friends. Home schooling does not mean that I am the only person who will ever provide educational instruction to my children. What it does mean is that I have a greater control over what my children are exposed to and how quickly they progress with information.

Either Wednesday or Thursday I will be visiting with Jen to let her spend some time with Kira. After that, Jen and I will work together to formulate a plan for what I need to do next to keep Kira moving forward with reading. I imagine she will tell me what I already know. (Kira is ahead of her "age" in her reading ability. Keep doing what I am already doing in order to continue our progress.) The reassurance is always a good thing.