So you decided that you want to begin homeschooling.
Congratulations! Homeschooling is a big decision to make for your family.
The successful homeschooler will be sure to do research first and cover all your basics before embarking on your terrific journey!
First of all, you might want to check out this video on what homeschooling is all about. This may answer some of your questions about what homeschooling is, who homeschools, and why they choose to homeschool.
Also, here are a few initial steps to consider when getting organized for a successful homeschool.
1.) Check with your local state homeschool laws. This is a crucial step for getting started with home education on the right path. The Homeschool Legal Defense Association (www.hslda.org) has information about each state laws concerning homeschooling. You can also get a head start over at the National Home Education Network.
Though homeschooling is definitely legal in every state, it is still imperative that you do your research first and find out what the requirements are for homeschooling in your state. Remember, don’t neglect this step! Homeschooling laws are different in each state, so it’s important to find out first hand, and not after the fact, what your state requires.
2.) Follow through on your state’s recommendations for compliance- whether that is to fill out a letter of intent for the public school board or list your planned curriculum. Again, each state has different laws that determine what you should to begin homeschooling. Visit the HSLDA website, and make first steps toward solidifying your family as official homeschoolers.
3.) Choose your curriculum. In most states, you can use whichever curriculum you choose. The choice is yours! Decide which types of curriculum would fit your children best- based on their learning styles and your lifestyle choice.
Consider grade level, age level, and the foundational subjects first (the three R‘s- reading, writing, and arithmetic for the younger years, and required courses for credit in higher grades such as biology, math, etc.). Then add any additional courses that your children might enjoy or have a passion or interest in (such as art, music, or dance, for example). You can find plenty of homeschool curriculum online and review them first hand at curriculum fairs or used book sales from other homeschoolers.
4.) Decide on a schedule. Whether it’s year-round school, or nine months out of the year like in traditional school settings, you need to decide how your school schedule will look for the upcoming academic year. Also decide on which classes you will offer and when. If your fifth grader will be taking algebra, science, american history, and geography, for example, you will want to decide on a daily schedule to keep him on task. Some families enjoy an 8-12 noon schedule. Others prefer school in the evenings or weekends. Select the type of schedule that will fit your family’s needs, and begin.
Listen in on my podcast on managing your time in your homeschool.
Homeschooling is a very rewarding journey of watching your children learn and grow. If you follow your initial steps into homeschooling properly, you will have a successful homeschool journey to look forward to.
Check out this article for an overview of more homeschool startup help.