Where to Start?
This is the biggest question when parents choose to homeschool. First, you register with your local Board of Education. Different states have different requirements for reviews, curriculum, and method of informing the board of your decision to pull your child out of public school. Your local Board of Education can let you know your state’s requirements.
Second, know your rights as a homeschool parent. I love my reviewer with our local Board of Ed but, I also know first hand that some reviewers will try to demand more than you are required to do. One of the best ways to skip all the double talk about the regulations is to join a local homeschool network. When you are just starting out, this is a great way to get your feet wet. The seasoned veteran homeschoolers can make you aware of some little-known tips that have worked well for them. Plus, it’s a great way to socialize your kids with other homeschoolers. You can decide if an umbrella group is right for you. Umbrella groups can generally do the reviews for those in their network in place of the Board of Education. It wasn’t my choice but, it works for many others.
Third, breathe! Relax, homeschooling is awesome! You decide what works for you and your family. Want to sleep in and work in your pj’s? Or are you an early riser and want to get dressed first? It really doesn’t matter. You are the deciding factor in how you want to teach. I know you remember teachers from your school days, both good and bad. Teach in a way that works for you and your kids. Every kid is different. Every child learns differently. Some need hands-on lessons to really soak up a lesson. That’s great, means more activities and field trips. Yes, field trips count! Some need a book, they need to have hours pouring over books to learn. Let them, get them as many books as your library will allow.
Elementary School Curriculum
Fourth, you do not need to spend a fortune. Check out your local used bookstores. One of my favorite with my kids when they are young is http://www.education.com A fantastic site with printable worksheets, online educational games to track their skills, great ideas for science projects, crafts and all the core subjects. The price is very reasonable to just sign up and pay a yearly rate for everything. That includes printing out entire workbooks at a time as well as the online games. Another good source is Amazon. I love my amazon prime. We have found some great workbooks. Also, a great series called “The Complete Middle School Study Guide” for each subject. I love the series, but, again the final choice is yours.
High School Curriculum?
Yes, there are high school options. Some choose to homeschool in the early years and finish up at a local high school. It is up to you. There is no right or wrong. I personally chose to keep homeschooling. Once my oldest was ready, we opted to use some fantastic courses. Now, this option can get pricey if you aren’t careful. I watch for the big sales and order the classes when they are 75% or more off. But, it offers both options, books and visual to learn. We love http://www.thegreatcourses.om We have gotten some great courses in photography, oceanography, hieroglyphs, mental math, writing fiction and so much more. These are college courses from around the United States. Best of all, unlike college, once you pay for this course, you own it. You can use it for however many of your kids you choose. Or, resell it on eBay when you’re done.
Most of all, you are homeschooling, you pick the curriculum. Your state sets the requirements, but you decide how those requirements are filled. Have fun with this. Share the joy of learning on your terms. Forget what the schools hours are, set yours as they work you your family. You ARE the school. You are the most elite of private schools that is so selective only your kids can get into it. Remember that, be that teacher you always enjoyed because they made learning fun. Think outside of the box, step outside the doors and look around you. Life is filled with amazing and enjoyable lessons that you are blessed to share with them. Quick example, a trip to the grocery store is packed with experiences. You have a budget, that is math. You can break down food into food groups, that is health. Making lunch, that is a cooking class.
You Are Not Perfect
Do not underestimate yourself or your kids. There is so much information out there on what works for someone else. You can listen to it and stick a pin in it for later. Store all those pins but, in the end, how you choose to teach is up to you. You are unique and one o a kind and s are your kids. Give yourself a break and a chance to learn what works and doesn’t work for you. You and your kids are in this together. Believe it or not, they know you aren’t perfect. They aren’t expecting you to be anyone other than who you are, let that come through in how you teach them.