Register as a Homeschooler and then Re-Register With Your Local Public School as a Part-Time Student
This method gives you the flexibility to use the schools for the services you want and to be exempt from the requirements you don’t like. For example, if you really like the electives at your local school but aren’t too impressed with the core classes, you can use the public school for electives and find alternatives for the rest. If you don’t want to deal with dressing rooms and health class, enroll your kids in everything but P.E. and Health. You can use the schools for as little or as much as you want. Send them to school for just one period, for six periods, or for anything in between.
When your child applies for college, you can submit your own transcript for the courses you teach at home. So many homeschoolers apply for college each year that universities have systems in place to work with alternative transcripts. If you want everything to be on one transcript, use an accredited online high school or a local or online private school to fill in the courses you don’t take at public school. The accredited online school will then send your child’s online school transcript to the public school and the public school will merge those grades into a single transcript. Both of these methods—homeschool supplemental transcripts and merged accredited transcripts--have worked well for Nebraska families.
You pay crazy high property taxes to support the public schools and you can use the schools however you feel is best for your children. Many parents are already doing this, and LPS has been very cooperative and helpful in arranging part-time schedules and including part-time students as if they were there all day. Students in other parts of the state are also welcome to use Nebraska Revised Statute 79-2, 136 to take control of their children’s educations.
How Part-Time Public School Works in Nebraska
In high school, part-time students who take at least four classes per semester, are eligible to participate in high school sports. Many part-time students also participate in music programs, clubs, and other activities. Check with your local district regarding participation in clubs and music programs. Many districts, such as Beatrice, require that students be enrolled in four classes per semester to participate in extracurricular activities for grades 7 through 12.
We previously published a post with detailed instructions on how to register as a part-time student. Please CLICK HERE for that information. Note that the link in Step #2 is specifically geared to residents of Lincoln. Each Nebraska school district will have their own application for part-time enrollment, so contact your district’s offices about acquiring the correct paperwork for your district if you’re not in LPS boundaries.
Additionally, parents have recently discussed ways to cooperate in providing alternative options for courses such as physical education. There are also many existing groups in Nebraska that provide co-op classes, homeschool resources, extracurricular activities, and social events. Many private schools offer part-time school as well, so you can create your own private/public hybrid. UNL also offers several programs such as their online high school and their Advanced Scholars program, which gives high school students college credit at a reduced tuition rate. Once you start looking outside of the box, you’ll find a world of educational options available to you, and you’ll get to be in the driver’s seat, regardless of what the federal government or the local school board thinks is best for your children.
For questions about how to navigate the paperwork of enrolling for part-time school, contact the Nebraska Exempt School Program. To get in touch with existing parent organizations for alternative education in Nebraska, click on the links at the bottom of our previous blog post. You can also leave information in the comments section below or on our Facebook page if you’d like to get in touch with other parents or start a new group of your own.
They’re your children. Take the reins. The paperwork deadline for the 2016/2017 school year is July 15th, but the sooner you get your paperwork taken care of, the sooner you’ll enjoy arranging your children’s education just the way you want it. You're the one in the saddle.