Sunday, February 17, 2013

How to homeschool?

In the last year or so I seem to be the person that when a friend of a friend begins homeschooling, they point them my direction. This just happened recently. Someone I went to high school with pointed one of their friends to me, and I do not know this person at all. How do you start homeschooling? I remember when I was in those same shoes of excitement, confusion, and downright anxiety about possibly messing up.

With this most recent person I recommended a How to Homeschool Guide. This one has some really invaluable basic information. One of the most important things when deciding to homeschool is to make sure what the regulations are in your state, as each state is different. Here in our state I figured it out by going to the Division of Non Public Education.  (I'm guessing every state has one) There you will find out the requirements which may include yearly homeschool standardized testing, portfolios, and attendance policies.

It's important to recognize what type of learning style your child/children could best learn from. There are many great books that discuss this. Then there is curriculum. This alone could overwhelm the strongest homeschool parent. There is so much available now! We do at least half of our learning online which works well for A and Z, with most everything else being bordering on unschooling. Which isn't exactly what it sounds like. It doesn't mean they are not learning. For us this means they get their required "work" done in the morning and the afternoons are free for music lessons, soccer, homeschool group events, swimming, my daughter works at a barn when the weather is nice, going to work with (and helping) dad, and learning more about the things that interest them.

Homeschooling curriculum can be expensive. There are a lot of awesome products out there for every type of learner. (we LOVE trying out new things through the Old Schoolhouse Review Crew!) BUT...if someone is truly creative, and you had access to the internet, the library, museums....that it would be quite possible to homeschool for practically free. (some might disagree ;)At the very least there are many free things to supplement the curriculum you already use. For our family we prefer to have our mornings already planned out using Time4Learning. Each family is different and each child is different.  I am so thankful for so many choices to fulfill the homeschool educational goals for our family!

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