Once you’ve made the decison to homeschool, the problem then becomes ‘how do you start?’ At first glance it can seem overwhelming, but fortunately this is a road many have travelled before you and there are numerous resources to help you get started.
1. Network with homeschooling families. Talk to a variety of home schoolers in order to see how they make homeschooling work for their lifestyle. It will give you ideas you can incorporate into your own family.
2. Look online for tutorials and literature. Ebooks are a great resource that you can get started with immediately.
3. Get familiar with the your local ordinances about homeschooling. The local board of education will be able to point you in the right direction. It’s normal to have to file a ‘letter of intent’ or some other official declaration that your child(ren) will be homeschooled. Make sure to check at the county/city level as well as state.
4. Give some serious thought to jointing a homeschooling group. There are various co-ops and online communities that can be of great help when you have questions. Again, your local board of education may have a list of these groups.
5. Research and find a curriculum that is appropriate for your child and the goals you want to reach. Of course this is a source of stress to the new homeschooler. However, if you think about what makes your child excited to learn, this should make your decision a little easier.
This is where networking can come in handy. Ask other homeschoolers for recommendations, post questions to homeschooler sites. You can change if it doesn’t work out as planned. It’s a good idea to start small and make big purchases when you’re sure of what you want.
6. Set up a system to keep records of your child’s schooling. It doesn’t have to be elaborate – file folders in a box is acceptable. If you prefer, there is computer software just to track your child’d accomplishments. Keeping a record will come in handy when it’s time to apply to college.
Of course, your record keeping will be affected by your local laws since different regions have different requirements for tracking a child’s progress. Depending on where you live, you may be required to keep a portfolio, which is a collection of your child’s work in various subjects, or records of standardized tests. Some regions give you a choice.
7. Finally, organize an area where your schooling will take place. It can be the kitchen table, the family room, or wherever you decides. Just be consistent because it helps set the mood for learning and enhances concentration.