Monday, February 20, 2006

Steps to becoming a homeschooler

You've heard about homeschooling. Maybe even you've thought about it. But you aren't sure what you would have to do to actually home educate your children. Here are some basic steps:

1) Learn more about homeschooling

Before tackling a big task, you need to do your research. Head to your local library and get a couple books on homeschooling. Do a Google search on homeschool. Find someone who homeschools and ask them questions. If possible watch them homeschool for a couple hours.

2) Find out the legal requirements

Depending on where you live there may be few, or lots of legal issues. Again do your research. Find out what you need to do to teach your children at home. In The United States it is legal to homeschool in all fifty states. But the rules vary from state to state. You can go here and here for more information.

3) Find local homeschool support groups

When trying to lose weight many people find they are more successful when they are in a group. I get out of bed early in the morning to go jogging because friends of mine will be waiting for me. There is energy and encouragement that comes from being with others focused on a similar task.

Find a local support group. Better yet, find a couple and get together with each of them. You'll learn a lot, and you'll have a better vision of how to homeschool.

If you have trouble finding a local homeschool group, check out here, and here.

4) Attend a homeschool conference

If possible, try to attend a homeschool conference. Try a conference which will have a variety of styles. You may think you want to be a classical homeschooler, but at the conference you may find that unschooling or Charlotte Mason better suites your family.

Check here and here for a list of homeschool conferences.

5) Then give it a try

Test the waters. Remember you can always change your mind and put your child back into a public school. The earlier you start homeschooling, the easier it is. You can’t blow a year of kindergarten. Colleges don’t look at elementary or middle school transcripts.

It can be scary trying something totally new like homeschooling, but it may be the best thing you can do for your children. If you are wondering if homeschooling is for you, ask yourself these questions. Then give homeschooling a try.

Here are a couple other places which can help you get started:

Home Education Magazine - click on Dear New Homeschooler
Beginning to Homeschool
Getting Started
Advice for New Homeschoolers

And here is a brief list of internet resources on homeschooling.


Anonymous said...

I just wanted to say thanks for all the helpful information! I've been homeschooling my 6 year old daughter since October 2005 and until recently she was super self-motivated. Now, we're sort of stuck and you posted some excellent help! I'm sure we'll be doing well again soon, thanks again.

Henry Cate said...

Thanks, I am glad you found the post helpful.

Children go through a lot of phases. It is a balancing act, to try to help them keep making progress, and not to overwhelm them. She may snap out of it in another couple weeks. We find it helps to take breaks now and then.

Good luck.

Scott Ross said...

Thanks for the great information. I had a two-part series on how to homeschool on my radio show recently. If you think it would be useful you can find those recordings here: