Monday, October 15, 2007

Homeschool links for Northern Nevada

In Nevada compulsory school is between the ages of 7 to 18 years-old.

Some helpful links about homeschooling...

Nevada Homeschool Network
This website has a lot of useful information about how to start homeschooling in Nevada.

Nevada's Department of Education website on Homeschooling
This website includes the letter of intent that you need to send to the school district, and the form for if you want your homeschool child to participate in certain programs and activites.

Homeschool World
This particular page on this website lists homeschool groups for Nevada.

Reno Homeschooling
This homeschool group helps support people in Lyon, Douglas, Churchill, Storey, Carson City, and part of Washoe Counties. Their calendar hasn't been updated in years, but their main page was just updated today.

Northern Nevada Homeschools
I cannot tell if this website is related to the Reno Homeschooling website. They both cover the same area and list some of the same activites. There is a $20 fee to join this group, but they seem to offer a lot. Theme kits are available to borrow, programs they run, a newsletter and tips.

Of course we don't homeschool yet, Jasmine is only 13 months-old. So, as I find information I will add more links.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Nevada students test poorly

News stories like this make me glad that we decided to homeschool our daughter, even though she is only 13 months-old at this time.

Nevada students remain among nation's poorest performers on test
Associated Press
Nevada fourth- and eighth-grade students showed modest improvements overall on a national standardized test, but still lagged behind their peers in other states.

The 2007 National Assessment of Educational Progress results, released Tuesday, showed Nevada students remained among the nation's five poorest-performing states.

Nevada fourth-graders showed slight increases in math, receiving an average score of 232, up from 230 in 2005. That was well below the national average of 239. A perfect score is 500 points.

The largest gains were in reading by the state's fourth-graders, who improved the state's average score to 211 from 207. The national average was 220.

The reading scores of Nevada's eighth-graders dipped slightly, from 253 to 252.

About 12,000 students statewide took the exam between January and March.

The exam, also known as the nation's report card, compares student scores from those grades in math and reading with their peers nationwide.

Nevada Schools Superintendent Keith Rheault focused on improvements and said Nevada has challenging student demographics.

"Not all student populations are the same for every state," he said.

Rheault said 23 percent of Nevada's students who took the exam in 2007 were considered deficient in English, up from 17 percent in 2005 and second only to California nationally.

Lower scores are to be expected of Nevada students who are not proficient in English, Rheault said.

Charles Smith, executive director of the National Assessment Governing Board, which oversees NAEP, said the exam lets federal and state officials gauge student achievement.

But the exam does not explain why student scores increase or decrease, Smith said.

Federal officials chose students to take the test based on information provided by the Nevada Department of Education. The sample of students chosen must proportionally represent the demographics of a state.

National scores mirrored Nevada's performance. Elementary and middle school students nationally posted solid improvements in math and modest gains in reading.

The test scores bolstered calls in Congress for renewal of President Bush's No Child Left Behind Act with minimal changes.

The 2002 law requires schools to test students annually in math and reading. Schools that miss benchmarks face increasingly tough measures, such as having to replace their curriculum, teachers or principals.

The federal law requires students in all states to participate in the National Assessment of Educational Progress. But states use other standardized test results to determine whether schools are failing or passing.

Friday, June 1, 2007

In the beginning...

Before my daughter, Jasmine, was born my husband and I decided that we would homeschool her, at least until middle school.

Jasmine is nine months old now, so not yet ready for school. But I want to be able to gather information so I can teach her the best way.
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