Tuesday, April 15, 2008

How to start homeschooling

The school year is coming to a close and there are some parents who are considering homeschooling for the first time in the Fall.

Here are a few tips I would give if you are "on the fence":
  • Read books and learn about homeschooling. One book I recommend is So You're Thinking about Homeschooling by Lisa Whelchel. You can visit her website at http://www.lisawhelchel.com/.
  • Talk to families that are already homeschooling. Ask questions. Talk to the parents and the kids. Go on message boards. Learn all you can.
  • Consider all of the advantages in homeschooling - family bonding, less hectic pace, customized curriculum, etc.

Once you decide to homeschool, follow these steps:

  • Decide which type of homeschooler you want to be: traditional "school-at-home", unschooling, etc. Many families find a "school-at-home" approach to be reassuring during the first year - with texts, tests, etc. - because it is similar to the school situation. It also is helpful for new homeschoolers to have a set curriculum to follow.
  • Once you decide what you are going to use - texts, unit studies, unschooling - then prepare for some research. One excellent place to go to research curricula is http://www.homeschoolreviews.com/ - they have tons of reviews, and they have saved me a lot of money I would have possibly wasted on curricula that wouldn't suit my kids.
  • Find out the legal requirements in your state and do what you need to do. Don't procrastinate on this! Go to http://www.hslda.org/ for info.
  • Join homeschool groups - both online and offline - to learn from more experienced homeschoolers and to find social activities.
  • Don't get overwhelmed - just do things one step at a time.
  • Be sure to order your materials early! Don't wait until August to place an order and expect it to arrive on time! :o)

I am sure others will be able to add to this list. Above all - relax!! Enjoy your homeschooling journey.


homeschoolmom said...

Many companies also offer discounts and other incentives if you order early, so be sure to check those things out.

LittleMom said...

Make sure your spouse is involved in the process!!

doodle said...

You can also do a search for used curriculum. You can save a lot of money by buying used books.