Visit IHEN sponsors in our IHEN Shopping Mall, and you are helping IHEN to Help Hoosiers Homeschool.


Off the Deb End

HomeNew SchoolersContactsResourcesLibraryNews/Media LinksSearchIHEN Store

LIBRARY | IHEN Journal | Book Reviews/Lists | IHEN Articles/Essays | Documents

Off The Deb End

IHEN Support Directory


Check It Out Promo


Mindsprinting Personalize Tutoring 125x125




Write IHEN's Advertising Managers


Click for 30 Days of FREE family-friendly online DVD rentals!


Hot Links Button


FAQ Button



Internet Tourbus Newsletter


by debbie harbeson

When I first started homeschooling, I had to withdraw my kids from the government school they were attending. The school corporation sent me an attendance form to turn in at the end of the year showing that we had 180 days of school attendance.

I looked at the form and wondered what this meant for us as a homeschooling family. We are here every day, aren't we? Even as a brand new homeschooler, I could see that it would be possible to have a school day on weekends, summer months and other days government schools were out. But as time went on and I began to see how learning involves much more than just textbooks, my questions resurfaced as to what would count as a school day. Or, maybe more importantly, what wouldn't count.

For example, on days when my kids were sick, they still read lots of books or watched programs on Discovery or History channel. Does that count?

We were outdoors a lot, taking hikes in the woods, talking, questioning, drawing, observing, and riding bikes. Does that count?

We took vacations and trips where we did a wide variety of activities and learned all sorts of interesting things. Does that count?

What about the days my daughter was outside helping my brother build a deck in the back of our house? She helped design, plan, measure, cut, and hammer. She discussed the business of construction. Does that count?

What about the days my son helped his father at his computer business? Does that count?

My kids volunteered with our church youth group, at the Louisville Science Center, and with other community organizations. Does that count?

But then I found that this question did not go away on days that were spent more traditionally using textbooks. On those days, I generally wondered whether my kids had done enough to consider it a school day. However, there were those days when we did so much that I wondered if we could count the day as two because so much learning happened.

What is the real purpose of this attendance sheet? Is it really about actual education and learning? I came to the realization that the attendance law was really only intended for institutional school accountability where the child had to be in a certain location for "school" to happen. For homeschoolers, it can happen anytime and anywhere in any varied number of ways.

Eventually, I quit focusing on whether a particular day was a school day and relaxed in the knowledge that my kids were learning, growing, accomplishing goals and easily managing the 180 days of "school" required by Indiana law. It took me a while, but I finally learned to count.



Read Deb's Bio


Unschooling.com Web Site


Return to Articles Index


See Article/Author Lists


IHEN's Statewide Directory

Getting Started at IHEN.org

Just starting out, or thinking about homeschooling?
Check out IHEN's New Homeschoolers pages.

is the Vice-President of IHEN and the Co-moderator of the IndianaHomeschoolers Networking and Discussion List.

> http://www.ihen.org
> ihen@ihen.org

IHEN.org Site Design by: Peach Grove Press/eMedia
> Web
> E-mail


Participate in an
IHEN Instant Poll


IHEN.org Site

Points of Interest
Get Started! You CAN Homeschool Now
Shop for IHEN Stuff!
Gifts for Hoosier Homeschoolers

A to Z Home's Coo!l Site
Official IHEN Bookmarks!
IHEN Statewide Resource Directory

Index   |  Top

Copyright ©2002–2008, IHEN.org  All Rights Reserved. > IHEN E-mail Directory >  Read IHEN's Mission Statement

Web production and consulting services provided by:
Bennett and Company

06-01-13 -

WWW www.ihen.org