Homeschooling - How to Start
I hear from people all the time asking me how they can pull their children out of school and start homeschooling.
Unfortunately, I'm not surprised by this question. School classrooms are typically set up to provide optimal learning
conditions for girls not boys. Most boys need to be more active than the typical schoolroom allows.
If you're asking yourself, "How do I start homeschooling?" you are in the right place. Here are some helpful tips
to get you headed in the right direction:
Step One - The first thing you need to do is to find out about the homeschooling laws in your state. You can do this
by going to the following website:
Legal Defense Association
Hopefully the state you live in is green or yellow so that you don't have too many hoops to go through to
keep your children home from public school and start homeschooling them instead.
In our state of Michigan, if you start homeschooling your child from the very beginning, you don't even have to notify your school district of your intent. If you are
pulling your child out of public school, then the notification requirements are still minimal. So don't feel that this
step needs to be difficult. Fulfill the requirements of your state and move on to step two.
Step Two - Next, you will need to choose a curriculum. We are so fortunate these days that there are a plethora of curriculum
options out there for homeschoolers. There are so many different products with different strengths and amounts of hands-on learning from which to choose.
The important thing to remember is that just because you decided to try a publisher this year, that doesn't mean you need to continue using it throughout your entire homeschooling experience.
Every year you will want to take a step back and evaluate the curriculum you've been using. Ask yourself how it has been working for you and your children?
Were there enough hands-on activities to keep the enjoyment in your boys' learning?
There are great guides available which will help you to make a well-informed decision before you make a purchase you might later regret. Check out the
Parent Helps section of my bookstore to take a look at these guides.
Step Three - Once your materials arrive, you need to get organized. Look over the entire year of curriculum to
determine what materials you will need to acquire that you wouldn't normally have around the house. Then, every week, take a
look at the next week's curriculum to get the schoolwork organized and ready for your child to perform. This sounds harder than
it is. Simply familiarize yourself with the teacher's manuals, gather the necessary materials, and you're all set. I always put
each day's assignments into separate folders to make daily preparation quick and simple. That way I can get each day ready on the
weekend and just switch folders each morning before we begin.
Step Four - Set up an area where you will store your materials and where your children will complete their schoolwork. You do
NOT need a separate classroom available in order to homeschool. My sons do their schoolwork at the dining room table, on the living
room floor, standing in the kitchen, wandering around outside, and while sitting on the couch. You may want to get your child a clipboard so that they
can take their assignments wherever they feel most comfortable. When the weather is nice it is fun to do assignments at a picnic table outside or
letting them going into a tree fort to complete their reading. Think outside of the box!
Step Five - Get started. You may want to check out a homeschooling support group in your area. There are also
many organizations which provide field trips, sports, and many other learning opportunities for homeschooled children.
With these tips in mind, you should be able to start homeschooling your children with minimal stress. Have fun and enjoy this
wonderful time that you will be able to spend with your children. Remember, your lack of formal training as a teacher will be more
than made up for by your love for your kids and your desire to see them excel to their full and unique potential.
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