Many people consider homeschooling and they start researching it, but it all just seems so overwhelming and they don’t even know where to start. I’ve encountered so many people like that recently. I have been doing homeschool information meetings at Barnes & Noble and Learn Beyond The Book and I plan to continue to help with it, but in the meantime, I thought to write an article to help people know how where to start.
Here are some easy to follow steps, although it will still take some more research on your part, so I will link it to my articles about it to make your life a little easier.
1. Decide what your goal is for homeschooling. Do you have a specific vision? Would you like to let your children have more academics or less? Is your decision mostly social in nature, e.g. not wanting certain influences, certain attitudes or character development needed? This would make a difference to what you do next. If it’s not totally clear to you, don’t worry about it, but just keep it in the back of your mind to think about. This will likely change over the years of you homeschooling as well.
2. Decide if you want to homeschool on your own, keep your own records and take care of your own transcripts, diplomas etc. If your child is in elementary school, this might not be that big of an issue yet and you can always change it later, so whatever you decide is never irrevocable. If you do want to have all the freedom possible, the best option would be filing your own private school affidavit, keep an attendance record and some work samples as well as your own report cards (easily created on your own computer).
If you would like more direction, you could pick to either go with a private PSP who will do the above for you and provide some guidance, but you will have to pay a little for it. If you want more direction, but have no funds, you might want to consider public homeschool charter schools. These are free and give you some funds for materials and classes from approved vendors. There are several options for these charters. All of them have waitlists, but get on the waitlist anyway, because you can always just not join once you get in if you change your mind or got into another one.
3. Once you picked which way you will legally homeschool, you have to do some research on all the homeschool philosophies. Here are some of the main ones:
– Traditional worksheets/textbooks
– Charlotte Mason
– Thomas Jefferson
– Classical Education
– Project-based unit studies
– Hybrid Schooling (some classes and some curriculum at home)
– Eclectic (a little of everything, my favorite)
4. After you’ve determined all this, it would be helpful to observe your child and how they learn best before you will be ready to pick which curriculum you might want to get.
5. There are so many options available for curriculum, but I would suggest checking used curriculum sales first for curriculum at a fraction of the regular cost. The internet also provides tons of free resources. If you need to purchase something, you can check out all the articles and links I have listed. Rainbow Resource and Amazon.com are usually the most affordable options for most curriculum needs.
6. I strongly recommend getting together with other homeschool moms, getting on some yahoogroups, facebook groups and meetup groups for Santa Clarita homeschooling and visiting a local parkday to get input from more experienced moms. There is a parkday every Friday around noon till about 4 at Valencia Glen Park on Via Gavola. You can come and go as you are able. If you live elsewhere, search for some local groups.
7. Know that homeschooling is a journey and you will probably change and adjust your course several times as you find what works best for each child since they’re all so different.
Good luck and I hope to see you at one of our parkdays very soon!