Where to start?
The topic of homeschooling has become quite commonplace lately.
Have you thought about homeschooling your child? Maybe you’ve wondered if it may be too complicated an undertaking? So many questions. Will I have the time? Do I have the knowledge? Can I do it? Will my child really benefit?
These are all valid questions and just as homeschooling is a personal choice, so are the answers. I’ve put together a series of articles which follow, to help identify the questions and help you formulate your answers. This overview features a few broad tips to ponder, but do click through on each “up next” link (at the bottom of each page) for an in depth look. Best of luck in your journey.
1. Talk to other home-schooling families. Try to talk to a variety of home schoolers, so that you can see how home-schooling works for different lifestyles and family groups.
2. Look online for tutorials and literature.
3. Familiarize yourself with your local laws and requirements. Your local board of education should be able to help you in this regard. Most communities require a "letter of intent" or some sort of official statement declaring that your child will be home schooled in the upcoming year.
4. Join home schooling organizations like co-ops and online communities. There is usually a "main" group to which most home schoolers in your community will belong, and you can find out when you talk to them. Your local board of education might be able to help in this regard, too.
5. Choose a curriculum that is right for your child. This is where many would-be home schoolers get stressed out! But it does not have to be stressful. Think about what makes your child "tick" - if your child enjoys stories and reading, there are curricula that are based on children's classic literature. There are also more "traditional" types of curricula that are fairly structured. Some curricula are based on social studies and geography; others on reading.
Do some research, talk to other home schooling parents, and don't worry if you don't pick the "perfect" curriculum right off. You can always change. It's a good idea to start small and maybe avoid purchasing a big, expensive curriculum right away.
6. Keep good records of your child's schooling. How you keep your records will be affected by your local laws, because different regions have different requirements for tracking a child's progress. Some areas require a portfolio, which is a collection of your child's work in various subjects, and others require standardized testing. Some regions give you a choice. Knowing the rules before you start will alleviate headaches later.
7. Designate an area where your schooling will take place. This can be the kitchen table, or a special chair, or an entire room. It's just a good idea to have a set time and area in the house where you do your home schooling. It helps set the mood and enhance concentration when the time and place are scheduled.