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Making the decision to homeschool can be daunting. I remember when the idea first popped into my head.
- What are the laws?
- Where do I get my resources?
- What does it cost?
- How do I teach?
- Can I do this?
And these were only some of the questions. I didn’t even know where to start finding the answers. I explored the library and checked out as many books on homeschooling as my library card would allow. To be honest, at that point, the books were just as overwhelming. (Granted, that was almost 15 years ago, and homeschooling has come along way!)
If you’re here, you are in the same predicament I was back then. Here is a helpful list of the basic steps.
1. State Regulations
I know it sounds like a huge undertaking, but the solution is pretty easy. Call your local school district. They should be able to walk you through the documentation required by your state. Another wonderful source is the Home School Legal Defense Association. Their website has the information of homeschool laws by state. Even if you’re still in the “I’m thinking of homeschooling” phase, this is good information to have.
Each state has different laws and different requirements. In Florida, I simply called our local school district and they were able to tell me what I needed to fill out to begin homeschooling. They also informed me of what I was required to submit at the end of every school year. Here in Missouri, there are no requirements. I called the school district as soon as we moved and was informed that no documentation was needed.
How to choose the right curriculum for your homeschool is another question I get asked often. There are many styles/methods of homeschooling. A few are:
- School at Home
- Charlotte Mason
- Unit Studies
Most homeschoolers are actually eclectic, meaning they use a mix of many methods.
Only you can decide which is best for your family. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages depending on what you expect out of your homeschooling journey. There are multiple blog posts about each method, as well as numerous books.
I’m not going to lie, homeschooling is not free. No matter which method you use, school supplies are going to be a necessity. (All children lose pencils, erasures, scissors, and glue sticks! And don’t forget that a notebook can never be found when needed.) For your actual curriculum, utilize the internet! Search for homeschool curriculum. There are many companies from which you can purchase ready-made curriculum, either based on grade or subject matter. (My Things are enrolled in a homeschool academy. This school provides all my lesson plans and materials.) You also can create your own lessons. Pinterest and Teachers Pay Teachers (tpt) are great places to find lessons and activities created by teachers and homeschooling parents who are willing to share their ideas!
I often hear, “But I’m not a teacher like you are!” Yes you are. If you’re thinking of homeschooling, you have kids. If you have kids, you have taught. You’ve taught your children many things..just think of it. Tying their shoes, coloring, eating with utensils, using the potty (that in itself was harder than any homeschooling I’ve done!) Plus any help you need can be found. There are numerous homeschool groups, both on the internet and probably within the area you live in.
Plus remember, I’m here for you along the way!
Yes, you CAN do it!
What are some other questions you have? Are you a veteran homeschool parent and have some advice for those new to homeschooling? Please leave a comment below!