Advocates for Home Education in Massachusetts, Inc.

News & Events

Home with Kids 24/7

With the cold, sloppy New England winter dragging on, it seemed like a good time to reshare this article from our archives. We hope that it will encourage you, whether you are new to homeschooling, a veteran, or just considering.

By Sophia Sayigh

Maybe you have subscribed to our list or are visiting our website because you have decided unexpectedly to homeschool and now find yourself at home all day with your kids. Here I draw on the wisdom of practicing homeschoolers with tips for managing your day. Trying to recreate school at home can be stressful. And goodness knows, none of us need more stress in our lives. So here is a short list of tips for being around your kids 24/7 that have been successful strategies for many a homeschooling family: Read more ▸

AHEM Needs YOU!

Your skills, expertise, and helping hands!

AHEM is staffed by a handful of currently homeschooling or formerly homeschooling parent volunteers. To stay viable, we need young families with skin in the game who care about keeping independent homeschooling as an educational option to step up. Help out in order for Massachusetts homeschoolers to keep the right to homeschool the way they want to homeschool.

Several opportunities are available: Read more ▸

In-Person Presentation: Identifying Your Homeschooling Style and Finding Curriculum

Join us!

Thursday, March 7, 2024, 10:00-11:00 am
Plainville Town Hall, 190 South St., Plainville, MA

A program for new and experienced homeschoolers alike. AHEM will be offering a presentation on Identifying Your Homeschooling Style. This free, in-person program will be sponsored by the Friends of the Plainville Public Library, Inc.

We will walk through a five-question quiz designed to help you identify the homeschooling style that best fits your family.

Topics to be covered include:

  • From Classical to Unschooling: Finding what works for you
  • Lesser-Known Approaches: Enki, Reggio Emilia, and more
  • Following up: Where to find resources and curriculum

The program will be presented by Roberta Van Vlack. Roberta is a seasoned homeschool mother of four children. She's a board member of Advocates for Home Education in Massachusetts, moderates the Attleboro Area Homeschool Group, and blogs about education at Letters from Nebby.

What: Identifying Your Homeschooling Style and Finding Curriculum
Event sponsored by: Friends of the Plainville Public Library, Inc.
When: Thursday, March 7, 2024, 10:00-11:00 am
Location: Community Room, Plainville Town Hall, 190 South St., Plainville, MA

Admission is free. Children are welcome and activities like coloring pages will be provided.

Please respect AHEM’s mission to empower individuals through education by not soliciting for your business at this event.

Resources for Homeschooling High School

Whether you already have teens or are just planning the future, some of the most common questions we get are: What about high school? Can my homeschooled child get into college? How can my child access standardized testing? How do they get a diploma and how can I create a transcript?

The good news is that our surveys show that high schoolers who were homeschooled thrive in the next stage of life. And our resources page has all the information you will need to help them get there. Read more ▸

"Hybrid" Homeschooling

More and more frequently we are seeing questions abouthybrid homeschooling, the idea being that someone can homeschool but drop their child off at some kind of program, either for a few days a week or full-time. Others when speaking of hybrid schooling may mean homeschooling while taking some classes at the local public school, joining a coop, or using accredited online programs while homeschooling.

Legally, part-time homeschooling does not exist in Massachusetts. You are either enrolled in school, or you are not. When a homeschooler takes classes at a public school, the school does not receive per pupil funding for that student. Theoretically it’s possible for an enrolled student to work out an arrangement with their school to do part of their schooling at home, but this would be up to individual schools, and is not common. So for enrollment, you’re either in or you’re out.

As long as there have been homeschoolers, they have chosen to use the resources of their community to augment their experiences. Many museums, nature sanctuaries, tutoring centers, private instructors, performing arts organizations, and libraries offer classes and activities for homeschoolers. The availability of homeschoolers to enroll in programs during daytime hours offers opportunities to fill otherwise empty spaces. Read more ▸

Unsnarling Charles

Understanding Massachusetts homeschooling law is not a straightforward undertaking. Yet it is an important one. Once you understand your rights, you can stand up for them. Homeschooling in Massachusetts is a purely local undertaking, with each district performing oversight functions. (The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has no authority to approve or disapprove homeschooling plans, and in fact, plays no role whatsoever in the implementation of homeschooling regulation in our state.) The following is our own interpretation of Charles's intent regarding issues such as prior approval, written approval, evaluation, mid-year changes, and testing, and does not constitute legal advice; it is for informational purposes only. Read more ▸

The S-Word

How to Think About the Socialization Question

by Roberta Van Vlack

If you have even considered homeschooling, you have probably had the S-word thrown at you. The first thing I always recommend when someone asks the dreaded question What about socialization? is to ask them what they mean by that term.

I’d like to suggest that there are three main ways that people use the term. Socialization can mean simply social time i.e. time spent with peers. It can refer to specific habits and practices which people are expected to learn and use. I am thinking here of things like standing in line, saying please and thank you, and more subtle social skills like how to participate in a group discussion. Lastly, socialization can refer to one’s ability to be relational—to form,  build, and negotiate relationships. Read more ▸

Word Cloud

A look at the topics tackled by our One-on-One Contacts in 2023

If you have ever sent a homeschool question to AHEM, chances are good someone in the community has had a similar question. According to the numbers, the most frequently used words in 2023 were: homeschool (46%), district (34%), education plan (24%), approval (12%), application (11%), superintendent (8%), services (7%), register (6%), and IEP (5%).

AHEM’s one-on-one volunteers offer information and engage with you to address each question, whether you are just looking into homeschooling, withdrawing mid-year and wondering if your district needs to approve your plan before you start, or need a sounding board for how to respond to your school district. Read more ▸