Where to Begin
You can start homeschooling any time of the year. Depending on the state you live in, there may be reporting requirements to comply with. We'll guide you through the process.
Home schooling is legal in all 50 states, and you can begin homeschooling at any time. Many families choose to begin home schooling mid-year due to problems at the school, kids falling behind, illnesses, or just feeling that it's time. The semester break is a perfect time to make the change; however, you can take them out at any time.
If you are considering taking your child out of public or private school during the school year, be sure to do your homework and follow the laws and requirements of your state.
Steps to take:
• Check out your state laws. It is important to follow the laws and take the appropriate steps required by your state.
• Your statewide home schooling association can offer advice on the steps to take to remove your child from school.
• Your local home school support group can also help with the specifics and can usually assist with the procedure by providing forms, requesting the school records, helping with curriculum advice, etc.
• You'll need to make curriculum decisions and purchases. Sometimes, it is possible to use the school books that the children were using in school, but don't count on it.
• Socialization - Your child might miss his friends and feel lonely. You can help him through this period by inviting his friends over and getting involved in outside activities. Home school support groups offer many opportunities for kids to get together for field trips, park days, and classes. There are many opportunities for field trips in your own community - go as a family or invite a friend.
• De-schooling - you might need to begin slowly and give your child time to heal and adjust to the change. You might want to spend a couple of weeks just keeping up with math and reading some quality books. Spend some time doing hands-on projects and letting him pursue topics that interest him through unit studies.
• Course of Study - If you are using graded curriculum, you can pretty well trust that everything is being covered. If you are going to put your own curriculum together, you can refer to the Typical Course of Study for guidance.
• For online support, visit the homeschooling forum.
Home schooling is a big step and takes teamwork. It is a good time to get to know your child again. Talk with him and be sensitive and understanding to his feelings. Be enthusiastic, start slow, have patience, but most of all - relax and have fun!
10 Things to Consider in Making Your Decision
Making the decision to home school is usually very difficult and not one to be taken lightly. It is a personal decision that I can't make for you, but maybe I can help you think it through.
Consider these things:
1. Time Commitment… Home schooling tends to take up a lot of time in your day. It is more than just sitting down with books for a couple of hours. There are experiments and projects to be done, lessons to prepare, papers to grade, field trips, park days, music lessons, and the list goes on.
2. Personal Sacrifice… The home school parent has little personal time or time alone. If care is not taken to set aside time for yourself, it is easy to never have time alone. Parent and child are basically together 24/7.
3. Financial Strain… Home school can be accomplished very inexpensively; however, it usually requires that the teaching parent will not be working out of the home. Some sacrifices will need to be made if the family used to two incomes.
4. Socialization ... More attention will need to be given to getting your children together with others. The beauty of home schooling is being able to have more control of the social contacts your child makes.
5. Household Organization ... Housework and laundry still have to be done, but it probably won't get done first thing in the morning. If you're a stickler for a spotless house, you might be in for a surprise. Not only does housework need to be let go at times, but home schooling creates messes and clutter in itself.
6. Both Parents in Agreement… It is important that both parents agree to try home schooling. It is very difficult to home school if one parent is against it. If your spouse is against it at this time, you might need to do more research and talk to more people.
7. Is Your Child Willing?… A willing student is always helpful. Ultimately, the decision is the parents to make, but if your child is dead against it, you might have a hard time of it.
8. One Year At A Time… It isn't a lifetime commitment - most home schoolers take one year at a time.
9. Intimidated By the Teaching? … If you can read and write, you should be able to teach your children. The curriculum and teacher materials will help through the planning and teaching. You can get help from others if you get stuck or hire tutors for the difficult subjects.
10. Why Others Began…
It might be helpful to hear why other families chose homeschooling. Can you relate with some of them?
You can also ask any of our contributing authors:
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