Where on earth do you start if you’re considering homeschool? In this post, we’ll take a look at three good starting points: reading, reflection, and research.
Considering Homeschool? Research First
Other than much time in prayer for guidance, the first thing I’d recommend when considering homeschooling is to start reading. There are tons of great books out there than can be helpful as you explore whether homeschool is right for your family.
One of my favorites was Lisa Whelchel’s So You’re Thinking About Homeschooling. This book was a great read for me because it gave several different homeschool scenarios and explained reasons a family might choose homeschooling and the methods/homeschool styles those families use in their homes.
Looking for more books for homeschool parents? Try these:
10 Great Books for Homeschool Parents
10 More Books for Homeschool Parents
I highly recommend this one. See if your local library has it; if they don’t, snag one of the used copies on Amazon and read up. It was so beneficial for me to see how homeschool looked among different family dynamics and situations.
Considering Homeschool? Reflection Time
Once you’ve read So You’re Thinking About Homeschooling, consider your educational experiences. Where did you soar and where did you struggle? Did you enjoy lectures and textbooks or were you more of a hands-on learner? Are you satisfied with what you learned throughout the years?
Although my kids have always been homeschooled, I attended large public schools my entire life and my husband attended very small private schools. Neither of us feel that our educational experiences were negative.
Despite the fact that we don’t have ill feelings about our educational backgrounds, we agree that homeschooling allows approaches and freedoms that aren’t present in public and private schools. What’s equally important, if not more important for us, it that it allows a family lifestyle that we wouldn’t have otherwise.
Also worth considering at this point is why you’re considering homeschool. I know homeschoolers who, like us, have always homeschooled and have done it for lots of different reasons. I know some who started because something about public or private school wasn’t working for their children.
Some do it strictly because of religious reasons or strong feelings about education and curriculum choices. Some homeschool because of the social pressures of public and private schools. What are your reasons for considering homeschool?
Considering Homeschool? Know the Law
Next up on this fun to-do list is to look into your state’s laws regarding homeschooling. What registration procedures are in place? What is allowed and not allowed? Do you meet your state’s requirements for teaching? What ages must be schooled? Is standardized testing required? There’s a whole slew of questions that need to be addressed before starting.
The Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) is a great place to start. You Can Homeschool is really easy to navigate, but simply searching for your state’s department of education through Bing or Google will get you the same results in the end. We’ve homeschooled in two states now and we’ve learned first-hand just how different requirements are from state to state.
This brings us to a good stopping point for now: there’s some homework to do with all of that reading, reflection, and research. The next stop in my Considering Homeschool series will be a look at preschool at home, past and present.
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