Homeschooling in the 50 States…and Beyond! Kansas – Faith’s Perspective
Let’s talk about homeschooling in Kansas, in this next post in the Homeschooling in the 50 States…and Beyond series!
If you have been following this series, you may remember that I have already shared Jenni’s perspective in Kansas. But since no two experiences are exactly the same, I think you will enjoy hearing from Faith about how her family homeschools in The Sunflower State.
Faith is a gluten-free, homeschooling, coffee-drinking, Jesus-loving mama loving life in the Midwest! She lives in Kansas with her husband, five-year-old daughter, one-year-old son, and her fluffy friends, Kitty and Pup. She’s a public school teacher-turned homeschool mom, and loves baking, drinking coffee with friends, reading, yoga, music and gardening. Check out her blog, A Fresh Brewed Faith, for more about her and her homeschooling adventures!
Please note that these experiences, while they may discuss state requirements, are not legal advice, legislative summaries, or compliance recommendations. I encourage you to do your own research on your state’s current homeschool laws and seek help from official sources if necessary. The Home School Legal Defense Agency is a great place to start though you may find a more state-specific organization that you prefer to work with.
“I am so excited to participate in this post series and chat a bit about homeschooling in my beautiful home state of Kansas!
How We Follow Kansas State Homeschool Regulations
In Kansas, there are two options for families who choose to homeschool:
- Option 1: Homeschooling as a non-accredited private school
- Option 2: Homeschooling as a satellite of a private school
Even though my oldest is only just Kindergarten age, we will be opting for the first.
Kansas currently does not require record-keeping until children are 7 years old, so homeschooling at the pre-K/K age gives lots of space for creative freedom in terms of scheduling!
Kansas does require you to plan and schedule your homeschool time and, in addition, requires a specific number of school days. Record keeping is optional though highly recommended.
I keep a binder of important projects and samples of school work. My lesson plans are kept in a three ring binder and filed when the year is over.
Planning Our Homeschool
In terms of grades, I keep very little right now! I focus more on holistic learning, reading aloud, themed units, and achieving smaller “educational goals.” These goals, like counting to 100, memorizing a poem, reading three books, etc., act as our benchmarks. When my kids are older, I’m certain I will move to a more streamlined method of grading and record-keeping.
Along with following the state’s guidelines, we keep the fickle Kansas weather in mind while planning our school days. The weather changes with the seasons pretty distinctly here so we save our field trips for the days with the most beautiful weather. Over Labor Day, we visited a local wildlife park and enjoyed the gorgeous sunshine. Earlier last spring, when it was still chilly out, we picked out an indoor museum to explore.
Why I Love Homeschooling in Kansas
Thankfully, rural Kansas is full of learning opportunities, even if city museums and zoos aren’t close by. Often we visit orchards and pumpkin patches, local lakes, tiny rural libraries, farms, or community gardens. With open fields just outside our backyard, we’re fortunate to have rich learning experiences at our fingertips.
One of the greatest things about homeschooling is the creative freedom it allows both teacher and student. I used to feel tied to a specific method and timeline of teaching. If I could give myself advice when we first began homeschooling, I would have said, “Relax!”
Once I let go – and allowed our daughter to more fully explore learning in her own way – it inspired a more relaxed and fulfilling attitude about education. Researching and knowing our state’s homeschooling laws has further helped us find our happy homeschooling rhythm.
Homeschooling came almost naturally to our family. We started homeschooling two years ago by incorporating Montessori/Tot-School-like activities into our schedule when I was running a full-time day care. Our oldest is now 5 and we added another little one to the mix last spring. Our smiley one-year-old is probably soaking up more knowledge than we’ll ever realize!
My children are still very young, so my homeschooling experience has been small, but so very rich. Watching them learn at home right now fills me with joy and is something I’d never give up!”
Are you homeschooling in Kansas? Let us know all about it in the comments below!