How does the Mandatory School Vaccination Law (SB277) Affect Me?

nursePlease note that this article intentionally does not address the pros or cons of vaccinations. My objective, as a homeschool consultant, is to help families prepare for the requirements of the new law; it is not to offer advice regarding medical decisions for their children.

Beginning July 1, 2016, all children attending a campus-based school in California will need to be vaccinated against 10 specific diseases. SB 277, recently signed into law by Governor Brown, eliminates the Personal Belief and Religious Exemptions which had been utilized by parents who selectively vaccinate or who do not vaccinate their children.

Listed below are three common school scenarios with details of how each will be impacted by this new law:

#1 – My Children Attend a Campus-Based School.

These children must be vaccinated by the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year unless granted a medical exemption by their doctor. Their schools will be checking for the mandated shots at time of initial school entry, transfer to a new school, and at 7th grade.

If vaccinations are an issue for your family, then parents can request a Personal Beliefs Exemption (PBE) from their medical professional prior to December 31, 2015. The form, CDPH 8262, should be turned into the school office as soon as possible. Continue reading

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Too Many Homeschooling Programs! How do I choose?

books with question markIt seems that the number of homeschooling programs is growing faster than the number of homeschooling families! Here in California, types of programs include PSPs (private school satellite programs), home-based charter schools, online charters, learning centers, co-ops, hybrids – and innumerable variations of each. The sheer number of choices can quickly overwhelm you! Just how are you supposed to choose, anyway?

Before you succumb to glitzy brochures or persuasive recruiters, here are some questions you can ask to help you determine the best program for your particular family in this specific season of life: Continue reading

Often Overlooked in the Prep for College

If you have a college-bound student, I suspect the end of their homeschooling journey is quickly filling up with tests, applications, essays, transcripts, and more. And as for you parents, add in the FAFSA and other financial paperwork to your to-do list.

However, as we get ready to send our precious children off to college, we are often more concerned about whether they are academically prepared for higher education than whether they have the necessary life skills to survive without us.

Here is a checklist of some prep skills you can work on throughout their high school years: Continue reading

Buried Curriculum Treasure

treasurechest-colour Rumors and legends abound about treasure dating back to the days of Blackbeard or Captain Kidd! What do these stories share in common?  It’s treasure buried deep in the ground which is found only after an arduous search following a complex map. Why can’t treasure hunting be easy? Because, DUH, then the prize would have been found already!

What does treasure have to do with homeschool curriculum? More than you might imagine! Continue reading

Group Classes — Choosing Wisely

© GoGraph.com  lenm

If you’re a homeschooling mom, you might have had this conversation recently:

Friend: Did you hear about the Multiplicative Analysis class that Mrs. XYZ is offering?

You: No, tell me about it.

Friend: Everyone I know raves about Mrs. XYZ’s classes. She turns out math geniuses – way better than we could do at home. This class will make your Suzy and my Sally into kids who absolutely adore math!

Continue reading

So Many Homeschool Conventions – So Little Time!

training-iconAs the number of homeschooling families continues to rise, so do the number of homeschool conventions. I’m aware of at least 4 of them in Southern California over the next 5 months. Since I’m a great believer in free-market economics, I love to have these choices available. But I also know that too many choices can be overwhelming. Here is my short and easy guide to the 2015 SoCal homeschool conventions. Deadlines for early bird pricing and early registration bonuses are quickly approaching. Continue reading

When I avoided the LIKE button

mgsloan_Stylized_ComputerLast month, I read this insightful article “I Quit Liking Things on Facebook for Two Weeks. Here’s How It Changed My View of Humanity” by Elan Morgan.

I decided to try the same experiment, to see what my news-feed would look like if I stopped using the LIKE button.

I didn’t really see a change in the type of news articles presented. But that’s probably because most of the articles on my news-feed seem to be there because a friend liked them or commented on them.

But what about the personal posts – the Bible verses, inspirational quotes, family photos, recipes, and dinner postings? Liking is the easy way today to let your friends know that you’ve seen their post. In the space of about a second, you can respond without really having to expend any effort at all. Click! That’s all it takes.

And, let’s be honest; don’t we watch the numbers? When we post a family photo, we may be watching to see if specific relatives acknowledge it. But for nearly every other post, we’re usually monitoring the number count. Last week, 34 people liked my post; how many will like today’s? Why does my friend get 100+ likes when I’m lucky to get 30? It’s become the new way to gauge our popularity – and of course, more must mean better, right? Continue reading