Thinking about how to homeschool as a new homeschool parent can be overwhelming at first. You have a bunch to consider—from the course of study to state requirements. But the time invested at the beginning will be well worth it. In the end, you ’ ll have more time to spend with your kids and a more compromising schedule and learning experience. If you ’ re newfangled to homeschooling and wondering where to start or are not surely what you need to homeschool your child, we ’ ra here to offer homeschool help. After years helping families get started homeschooling, we ’ ve gathered a number of steps to follow as you begin the homeschool journey, equally well as many of the questions new homeschoolers must consider .
Decide why you’re homeschooling.
As you ’ re thinking about how to start homeschooling, consider why you ’ rhenium starting on this path. The reasons behind your decision can inform the goals you set. In bend, your goals for your homeschool journey can inform decisions you make about your homeschool method acting, teaching style, and course of study choices. The follow questions can help you decide on your goals .
- Do you want to ensure your children learn from a biblical worldview foundation?
- Do you want to protect your children from an unhealthy environment or certain negative influences?
- Do you want your children to meet higher academic standards?
- Do you want your children to be able to learn at their own pace?
- Do you want your family to have a more flexible schedule for spontaneous adventures or extracurricular activities?
As you set goals for your homeschool, think about where you ’ ll be starting. If you ’ re learning how to homeschool your 4-year-old, your travel will be unlike than person starting to homeschool a one-tenth grader .
What age should I start homeschooling my child?
There ’ s no right age to start homeschooling a child. Whether now is the best time to start homeschooling depends on your kin and, specifically, the needs of each child. If your child is suffering in a public or private school environment and you are confidant homeschooling will help them succeed or thrive, it doesn ’ t count if you start in kindergarten or halfway through eleventh grad. On the early hand, if you believe your children will be more successful if they go through the elementary grades in a public or secret school before starting to homeschool, then that can work equitable vitamin a well.
Can you start homeschooling in high school?
Yes, you can begin homeschooling at any charge. however, you ’ ll have a few more questions to consider if you decide to start homeschooling your child former. But resources for independent memorize and on-line teaching make homeschooling through high school 100 % accomplishable .
Learn your state’s homeschool laws and requirements.
Homeschooling laws vary from country to state. Since some states require notice of purpose to homeschool, you need to learn which laws apply to you early in your research. The Home School Legal Defense Association ( HSLDA ) shares a resource for promptly finding information on state laws .
What states do not allow homeschooling?
Homeschooling international relations and security network ’ triiodothyronine illegal in any state, but some states do have rigorous laws that can make it difficult to homeschool .
States with the strictest homeschool requirements
- Vermont—in addition to standard requirements (notice of intent to homeschool and annual testing), Vermont requires you to submit an academic narrative detailing everything you will teach.
- New York—in addition to standard requirements, you must submit an academic plan that details all the materials you will use as well as quarterly reports on your children’s education.
- Massachusetts—in addition to standard requirements, you must inform your local school board or the state department of education of what curriculum you’ll use.
- Rhode Island—in addition to standard requirements, you must be approved to homeschool and review your district’s homeschooling requirements for additional expectations.
- Pennsylvania—in addition to standard requirements, you must submit a plan, maintain a portfolio, and have your children evaluated by a licensed teacher or other qualified person (this evaluation is unique from standardized testing).
Can you begin homeschooling outside the U.S.?
International homeschool freedoms vary by state. military and missionary families may have unique opportunities for homeschooling that may not be the lapp for families working internationally or for citizens. The HSLDA monitors homeschool freedoms in early countries and may be able to help you get started in your area .
What do I need to homeschool my child?
In most states, you don ’ t need to qualify as a certified teacher to homeschool your children. many states only require that you have a high school diploma or GED to homeschool. But others, like Washington and Minnesota, do require you to be a certified teacher, have a college academic degree, or be overseen by a certified teacher .
Homeschooling requirements for parents
- GED or high school diploma
- A notice of intent to homeschool
- Annual standardized testing requirements met
- A written curriculum covering all core courses
- A plan to homeschool for at least 180 days
What is a notice of intent to homeschool and how do I submit it?
A notice of captive to homeschool is a form required by many states notifying your local school display panel that you will be homeschooling your child. States requiring an educational design will besides require this information with your notice of purpose. You should print and mail your notice to your local school board or email it if your school display panel provides an address. State departments of education may provide a imprint for you. If no mannequin is provided but a notice is required, templates are available on-line .
Decide when to start homeschooling.
You can start homeschooling any time you want, even in the in-between of a school year. Once you are sure you want to homeschool and are satisfied you ’ ve completed all the legal requirements and that your children are detached from any obligations in public or private schools, you can begin your homeschool year. But remember, you must meet report requirements as they come. Be certain to include any report deadlines and requirements in your homeschool design .
Should you start homeschooling in the middle of the school year?
You can start homeschooling mid-year. You may meet some resistance from school administrators if you are pulling your children out of public school, but if homeschooling better fits your children ’ south aroused, spiritual, academic, and checkup needs, you can find support in homeschool communities and legal associations like the HSLDA .
What to consider when starting your homeschool mid-year:
- Can your curriculum be started at any time in the year?
- Will your children need to restart their grade?
- Does your curriculum allow you to skip content your children have already learned?
- Can your homeschool begin fast enough to meet legal requirements?
What is year-round homeschooling?
year-round homeschooling maintains an ongoing teach and learning schedule without extended summer or winter breaks. year-round homeschoolers often enjoy a more relax but consistent schedule throughout the year. They don ’ t normally arrant material faster or proceed through grade levels quicker. alternatively, they might have a four-day-week, more regular breaks, or shorter school days .
How long does it take to start homeschooling?
You can start your homeschool class in 1–2 months with proper planning. With a act of determination and finality, it ’ s possible to start your first homeschool year in one week—the fourth dimension it takes for textbooks to ship to your house. Just make sure you ’ ve fulfilled all your state ’ mho requirements .
accreditation is not required by any state laws and typically does not apply to homeschooling. Depending on your goals, pursuing accredited homeschool programs may not ever be relevant to you. If you ’ ra plan on homeschooling high school, you should review some extra information about accreditation and what it might mean for your homeschool .
How do you get school credit?
States don ’ thymine ask you to submit a list of credits your child has earned, but it may be helpful to know your submit ’ s graduation requirements if you intend to homeschool through high school and issue a homeschool transcript yourself. Your department of state ’ randomness department of education provides gradation requirements on their web page. Once you know your express ’ south credit requirements, you ’ ll besides need to understand what counts as a credit .
Create a plan for your first year.
You don ’ t have to plan the adjacent 18 or more years before you can start homeschooling. You just need a get down place for this class. Experienced homeschool families often say they didn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate find their groove until their second, third base, or evening fourth year of homeschooling. Your design will change as you learn more about your children and yourself. Your freshman design can be very fluid, but you ’ ll want to consider what your teaching schedule will look like, what kind of records you ’ ll be keeping, and where daily learn will take stead .
How do I keep homeschool records?
Depending on state of matter requirements, you ’ ll need to save—and store—records from your years. Recording your grades will help you create a homeschool transcript. You might besides need to track days spent homeschooling. A good homeschool planner will be a helpful resource for these aspects of criminal record keeping .
You may besides want to save copies of grade tests ( chapter tests and finals ), graded essays, writing assignments, projects, and any consociate rubrics. These items can be instrumental in creating a digital homeschool portfolio. Joining a homeschool record-keeping service can besides help. Homeschool record-keeping services take grade reports from homeschool families and turn them into official homeschool transcripts .
You won ’ thymine normally need to keep course of study for your records, but saving and storing books might be helpful for homeschooling younger children .
Decide where to homeschool.
Homeschooling implies your kids will be learning from home, but you should create a homeschool space for focus teach. Your homeschool outer space can be just adenine fluid as you need it to be. many homeschoolers do most of their school at the din room or kitchen table. Some have dedicated homeschool spaces. Others choose to homeschool wherever the kids prefer to be—the living room frame, the front porch, or up in a treehouse .
You should homeschool wherever makes the most sense for your family and your quad. Just note that you ’ ll need to store your course of study for the year and all other resources somewhere accessible for everyone who needs them.
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Choose a homeschool method.
A homeschool method acting is the approach or vogue you take for teaching your children. different homeschool styles impact what course of study you use and may besides affect your daily life. Some methods are heavily child-focused while others are more learning-focused .
Popular homeschooling methods:
- Charlotte Mason
The traditional method of homeschooling most close resembles a brick-and-mortar school. You typically use a standard, big-box, or all-in-one course of study, and you might find yourself with a situate schedule. This is often the method acting new homeschooling families start with because it ’ s what most people are familiar and comfortable with. It ’ s a good starting place, particularly if you live in a hard-and-fast homeschooling express .
Charlotte Mason was an author, educator, and speaker who emphasized teaching the wholly child with quality literature ( besides called support books ), exploration of nature, art, and direct interaction with learning concepts. In the Charlotte Mason method acting, activities require students to fully engage with what they ’ re learning—they have to move and interact with nature, they copy lessons bible for son, journal about their thoughts and ideas. Her method makes learning a room of animation preferably than a undertaking to be done. With consistent use of narration, dictation, and journaling, learning becomes an ongoing conversation between parent or teacher and the child .
possibly one of the oldest education styles, a authoritative department of education is designed to move with children through their own states of development so they learn skills they are mentally and developmentally ready to learn. The three learn stages, called the Trivium, represent the developmental stages children progress through : grammar, logic, and grandiosity .
What is unschooling?
not to be confused with deschooling, unschooling is a homeschooling style that focuses strictly on the child ’ randomness interests. Textbooks and course of study are alone used if they satisfy a child ’ randomness hope to know what is in them. There is no class agenda, there are no assignments, and students don ’ t take tests or complete regular projects .
Unschooling allows children to just be children, and it encourages them to follow and learn about their interests—at their own pace and on their own time .
Learn how your children learn.
The better you know and understand your children, the better you will be able to customize their education according to their unique learn needs. Getting to know your children might mean observing what most often prevents them from learning or discovering the teach style or styles that most much engage them .
What are learning styles?
Learning styles are the ways children action information with their senses. Some children learn better when educational activities fit a certain dash. All children learn best when they can interact with information using multiple senses, or through a multisensory approach .
Styles of learning
- Visual Learners: These learners need to see information. They learn best from infographics, graphs, charts, pictures, and video material.
- Read/Write Learners: These learners prefer to learn by reading information and taking notes. They use their inner monologue and writing their thoughts to understand and process information.
- Auditory Learners: These learners need to hear concepts explained and explain concepts themselves. They do best with lecture and discussion.
- Kinesthetic Learners: These learners must do things to learn. They need to move manipulatives around, act out information, and feel the shape of each concept.
Research your homeschool curriculum options.
Your course of study is a vital tool for your homeschool travel. Given its importance, it ’ s o to devote time to inquiry course of study options and find one that meets your needs. As you research, look for course of study publishers that fit with your family ’ s needs, your goals, and your children ’ randomness memorize needs .
- Does the curriculum publisher offer all-in-one or à la carte resources?
- Do they teach from a biblical worldview?
- Do they offer materials that support multisensory learning?
- Is their material designed for parent-led homeschooling or independent learning?
All-in-one vs. à la carte
An all-in matchless ( sometimes called big box ) course of study option includes everything you need for all the subjects for a whole class in. If you prefer to pick and choose the materials you use from subject to subject from different publishers, you need a course of study that allows resources to be purchased individually .
Christian vs. secular homeschool curriculum
If discipleship and biblical worldview foundations are part of your goals and argue for homeschooling, then Christian course of study resources will support you in your approach .
Top Christian curriculum publishers
- BJU Press
- My Father’s World
- Easy Peasy All-in-One Homeschool
Parent-led vs. independent learning
Parent-led course of study are designed to be taught to each child, while resources for mugwump learning are either given directly to the child for determine or are aboard video teaching resources. Parent-led homeschooling means that you or another chief teacher teach lessons yourself with a teacher edition, answer keys, and early resources. This method is often best for children with alone learning needs. Independent learning resources allow children to take duty for their own education. The teach content is heavily weighted to the scholar edition or video recording lessons. The rear is more of a facilitator who checks each child ’ s progress and evaluates exploit. Curriculum that can support autonomous learn is specially valuable for big families with children in multiple grades .
Best all-in-one curriculum options
- BJU Press—Offers resources and support for both parent-led and independent learning for all subject areas for K–12 as well as elective courses.
- Abeka—Offers resources and support for both parent-led and independent learning for all subject areas for K–12 as well as elective courses.
- AOP—Offers resources and support for both parent-led and independent learning for all subject areas for K–12 as well as elective courses.
- Sonlight—Offers resources and support for parent-led learning for K–12 history, Bible, literature, science, electives, and AP studies and curriculum partnerships that include independent learning for math.
- My Father’s World—Offers resources and support for parent-led learning for all subject areas for K–12 as well as elective courses.
- Time4Learning—Offers resources and support for independent learning for all subject areas for K–12 as well as elective courses.
- Easy Peasy All-in-One Homeschool—Offers resources and support for independent learning for all subject areas for K–12 as well as elective courses.
Can I homeschool for free?
Yes, either by gathering materials and planning lessons yourself or by using a pre-made, release course of study. You could besides join an on-line public school, but make certain the school ’ south requirements don ’ thymine conflict with your homeschool goals. While homeschooling for loose is possible, you should be mindful that a absolve course of study may not be complete for your needs—depending on express requirements or requirements from any other relevant organization—and the resource may not be up-to-date .
Resources for free or low-cost homeschooling
- Easy Peasy All-in-One Homeschooling
- Connections Academy (online public school)
- Homeschool Buyers Co-op
No parent can take on the person responsibility of train and raising their children without adequate support mannequin family, friends, and mentors. While having family that supports and validates your choice to homeschool is valuable, you will besides want friends who share the homeschool experience with you. These friends can offer advice and encouragement based on personal feel .
Co-ops are groups of families that meet up to teach classes, plan field trips, or just provide a much-needed break from the daily routine. The main drawback to co-ops is they ’ re arduous to find. A cooperative may not be available in your area. But if you know respective families in your area that homeschool, there ’ s no rationality you can ’ thymine start your own homeschool cooperative .
Online homeschool communities
Online groups of homeschool families often come together on social media or as followers of homeschool bloggers. search on Facebook for like-minded homeschool communities to join and collaborate with .
A local homeschool convention brings in concert many homeschool families for a special time of learning and growing. Homeschool conventions are normally large events that happen once or doubly a year in each submit. Speakers share wisdom, insight, and boost, and many vendors set up booths to share homeschool course of study and other resources. These events can offer a valuable opportunity to connect with early families attending. Teach Them Diligently and Great Homeschool Conventions are national organizations that set up conventions in many states. There are besides state-level organizations that set up state-specific conventions .
HomeWorks by Precept consultants
HomeWorks by Precept consultants are have homeschooling parents who have been on this travel for a while now. They love connecting with fellow homeschooling parents to offer insight and help form connections. Being able to offer discounts on BJU Press materials is an lend fringe benefit. You can reach a adviser near you either at an consequence or by messaging them.
Starting to homeschool is identical much like researching a individual school or a vicinity to raise your kids in. There ’ s a lot of information and questions to answer, but it ’ s all an investment in your children and their future. But as you research and prepare for your travel, you will be able to recognize what is and is not crucial for your homeschool .
This is the begin of a 12-to-14-year travel with each of your children. It ’ s a big choice, and it might be overwhelming at first. There will be seasons of planting, seasons of growing, and seasons of harvesting. Anyone can homeschool, but homeschooling may not be correct for every family .
Throughout each gradation as you get started, keep talking and walking with God, and include your wholly kin in the decisions ahead .