How to Start Homeschooling
There is not just one way to homeschool your children. A lot of people have different styles and approaches. But from our observations it seems that most people fall into one of three categories. See if one of these fits you:
- Your top concern is a diploma
If you choose not to attend a traditional school, you select a curriculum package that is already setup for you by an outside school (online or correspondence school) and follow it. The outside school will issue your credentials.
If your school district offers a homeschool program, you may decide to follow the prescribed curriculum set up by your local school district. Your children can do their school work at home and still be able to graduate with an official diploma from your school district.
- Somewhat independent
You select your own curriculum (using a set of texts and lessons from one or multiple publishers), but you make sure it falls into the general guidelines of your state. You may have an evaluator (certified teacher) come to look at what you are doing, or have meeting with your local educational officer to make sure you are meeting the requirements for graduation and the equivalent of a diploma. Sometimes the evaluating organization will offer a diploma as an equivalent, but it is not necessarily the same thing as the traditional one.
- You want to do it all yourself
You are not that concerned with diploma-like recognition. You set the curriculum, pace and lessons. Many people refer to this style of homeschooling as "unschooling". You realize that a few colleges may have issues trying to evaluate your system, but so be it. Many homeschoolers that take this approach often decide to pursue a GED.
Tips On Getting Started
Here is a good checklist to help you get started homeschooling:
- Find out what your state's legal requirements are for homeschooling.
- Submit a letter of intent to homeschool (may be also refered to as an affidavit) to your school district, available at your local school district office, as required by your state's laws.
- Connect with a homeschool support-group.
- Find out what learning styles your children have. We recommend reading The Way They Learn, a book that teaches you how to understand the way your children learn best.
- Decide if you want to go through a correspondence school, take online classes, or complete your education independently.
- If you decide to complete your education independently, before you go out and buy all your curriculum, make a plan for the year. Choose the curriculum that works best for you. Our bookstore was designed to help you choose curriculum that best fits you and your child(ren).
- If you would like one-on-one personal advice, feel free to contact us. Our homeschooling experts, Keith and Sherri, would like to take time to answer any questions you may have and share with you practical advice about homeschooling.