Is Homeschooling on Guam regulated? Is it legal?
Homeschooling on Guam is legal and is not a difficult place to homeschool in terms of regulation. We do not have to report to a school district or the government. Homeschooling on Guam currently falls under the private tutoring policy which requires 170 days (3 hours/day) of studies in the typical subjects of the public schools. Although homeschooling isn’t regulated here on the island, we highly recommend that homeschoolers get tested regularly with standardized testing and keep good records. The Guam Home School Association offers end of year testing to its members for a fee.
Is there anything that I have to do if I choose to remove my children from school and homeschool them?
You should inform your school that you will be homeschooling and you are withdrawing your child. It is recommended that you have a copy of the Guam Board Policy on hand to show the school administrator in case they are unaware of the Guam law regarding homeschooling. You are not required to show them anything.
To whom do I register with in order to homeschool? How do I apply?
You do not need to register to begin to homeschooling on Guam. You simply familiarize yourself with the Guam law regarding homeschooling and use that as a guide to plan your school schedule.
How do I get started?
After you have read and understood the Guam Law and withdrawn your child from a school you should then begin schooling with curriculum that you have acquired for your student. Before you begin you may want to do some research since there are many approaches to homeschooling. One of the advantages of homeschooling is that it allows parents the freedom to determine how their kids learn and what materials to use. Educating yourself about the various routes you can take is the best way to define why you are making this decision and what you hope homeschooling will accomplish for your family. The best thing you can do to find the best style for your family is to talk to other people who have done it.
Where can I find Curriculum?
Check out our Online Resources Links page for links to curriculum information and purchase. Just keep two things in mind: 1) Sometimes finding the right curriculum is a matter of trial and error. 2) There is no perfect curriculum. What is a great fit for another family, may not work well for yours…and vice versa.
Can I actually find curriculum on the island?
YES! Finding curriculum on Guam can be different than for our stateside counterparts. While we don’t have massive curriculum fairs, many local homeschoolers have found stores like Faith Bookstore, Twinkles, School Essentials and local thrift shops to be helpful. The library has some of the classics you might need. Oftentimes members share, swap or sell materials. In the spring GHSA holds an annual curriculum fair where members sell used material. If you become a member you will also receive regular emails from group members and sometimes they are selling their used homeschool materials. What you can’t find locally, you can order online. Many companies are used to shipping to Guam and have reasonable shipping rates. Others may not however, that may sometimes be remedied by a direct phone call to the manufacturer or distributor. Our Homeschooling on Guam/Guam Resources link has some information that may be helpful.
Should I choose to homeschool on Guam what are some of the unique opportunities available to supplement our studies?
One new homeschooler writes: “One of the things I like about homeschooling in Guam is that there are so many things we can be involved with. The tropical weather enables us to play sports year round. There are all sorts of different sports teams/clubs my kids can get involved with — swimming, soccer, American football, baseball, etc. Our kids are also involved in our church’s children’s programs. We plan to enter the music scene next year when my son enters second grade. We have found that homeschooling our kids enables us to put them in more outside activities as they are not at school until mid-afternoon. Come mid-to-late afternoon on a school day, my kids are ready to go out instead of needing to have down-time at home. Various groups in Guam offer so many opportunities!”
Guam has some unique learning opportunities related to its surrounding coral reef, World War II history and local island and Asian cultural learning opportunities.
What about sports? Can my homeschooled child participate in school sports on Guam?
Yes, your child can affiliate with a PRIVATE SCHOOL. They may not play on a public sports team, however.
Will all private schools accept homeschoolers on their sports teams?
No. They are private schools, with their own standards and practices. Some schools welcome homeschoolers, while others do not. If you are new to the island, ask a veteran homeschooler for a recommendation.
Athletes (including homeschoolers) are allowed ONE affiliation. For homeschoolers, playing for one private school is your one affiliation. So if a homeschool student wanted to play volleyball at GAA, but really wanted to get on the soccer team at Harvest, the student would have to choose which he wanted most. If the selected school doesn’t offer the sports you want, apply to another school. If you play soccer at Harvest and your teammate says he’s going to FD to play football, yet Harvest doesn’t have football, you cannot join him. That would be his one affiliation. You already have your one affiliation, which is Harvest. To reiterate: You may only affiliate with one school, so choose the private school (from the start) that offers the sports your child wants.
Are there community sports opportunities teams that my student can be play with?
Yes. There are numerous opportunities for your students to participate in swim teams, ball leagues, summer sports camps and private sports lessons.
What about socialization?
New homeschoolers are often pleasantly surprised at all the opportunities their students have to interact through our group’s activities, field trips and socials. In addition there is ample time for play with siblings, neighbors or during sports and other clubs. Socialization is not a reason to shy away from homeschooling since the majority of homeschoolers are well adjusted from their interaction with both adults and kids of all ages. Most find they have to limit social opportunities as there are so many options available.
Where can I find support?
If you live on Guam, join our association. We have support group meetings, fairs, academic programs and social opportunities. In between these activities members communicate through our yahoo group and are very helpful to one another. (see our link to join the yahoo group and follow the application process) In addition, many of the curriculum producers offer online support.