You think you want to home educate your children. But, you don’t know where to start? Let me help you with a simple plan on how to begin this wonderful journey of home education.
Be in agreement with your spouse. This is the number one thing before starting. If you both don’t want this for your children, don’t start.
Legal requirements to home educate your children vary by state. You will need to find out what the rules are for your state. You can find out here: http://homeschoolingbystate.com/.
There are many different reasons that people home educate their children. People home educate their children with various beliefs, worldviews, and opinions about how to educate their children. For these reasons, it’s important to research what type of curriculum you want to use, so that it matches your families belief system.
A huge amount of home education curriculum is on the market designed for the Christian home education family. This worldview is greatly represented by numerous home education conventions, magazines, online websites, and the large service http://www.hslda.org/. For any Christian family considering home education, this is the website that is recommended for the ultimate resource.
Some who home educate want to use a neutral curriculum, and use textbooks or secular curriculum. These families may utilize the website: http://www.secularhomeschool.com/content/ to find what they need to home educate their children. This website offers a wealth of information, including: conferences, forums, support groups, articles, curriculum information, and more.
After you decide if you want to educate as Christian or Secular, then you can begin to search for specific curriculum for your children. This is very exciting and also expensive. Taking your time and doing some research will be well worth it. Make a list of your child/children with their age, grade, and birth date. Next, look at a Scope and Sequence. http://www.abeka.com/Resources/PDFs/ScopeAndSequence.pdf. You can find other sources for this. This was a good one for my family, as I used this curriculum for my first five years. Using the Scope & Sequence as a guide, you can select a curriculum that covers that material for your child in each course for that grade and age. In this way you will make sure there are no gaps in their education. It gives you the freedom to plan their education using a variety of educational plans, such as: traditional textbooks, workbooks, unit studies, online, etc…. Planning your child’s curriculum is so exciting! The sky is certainly the limit, but be careful. You can surely plan more than you can accomplish!
After you plan, you must purchase. You can save money by shopping carefully. By using your computer and Google, you can find many used curriculum products and save hundreds of dollars every year. Home educators sell used curriculum every year on: e-bay, half.com, many websites, state home-school conventions, and local support group sales. Join local support groups and Facebook groups to meet other home educating families to find out where these sales are to be found
Select an area of your home to “do” school. You do not need to have a schoolroom set up like a miniature school. You don’t need a severely structured school day with bells ringing and classes starting on strict times. Flexibility is something that is very important. You will need an area that can stay organized with your school materials. If you only have the kitchen table, have the children take their books and materials back to their rooms each day after ‘classes’ in a box or backpack, so that the table stays clean for dinner.
Plan a home education schedule, with amounts of time needed to finish the curriculum. For very young children, you won’t need the entire day. Plan many other things to supplement, including field trips and play. Remember that breaks are important for them and for you. Reading in their rooms quietly can give them a benefit and give the teacher a coffee break, too. Plan breaks into your schedule. You will also have to schedule in your chores, errands, doctor’s appointments, and other events.
Home education changes your family lifestyle, but it is a positive change. The children must adjust, but the parents must also adjust. Everyone will need to be patient and be willing to make compromises to make this new lifestyle work.