There are a few Things To Do Before You Start Homeschooling that is a must. These are things that will help make your homeschool classroom work better, but also keep you in line with local rules and regulations. This list is a great place to begin to keep you and your children in line for homeschooling the right way from day one.
10 Things To Do Before You Start Homeschooling
Check with your state board of education for requirements. Before you begin working as a homeschooling parent, you need to make sure that you are following the state guidelines set out to keep your children on track. Some states have little to no requirements, while others require you to keep strict track of testing and do annual testing.
A phone call to your state board of education will direct you to the necessary requirements for you to homeschool. This may also include letting local school districts know in advance about your choice so you will not end up with truancy cases against you and your child.
Make a choice about how you will manage standardized testing. One thing you will find in each state is that standardized testing is a big deal for both traditional schools as well as homeschooling. While not all states require this, it can be a good way to check and see how your child is doing according to state standards for that age and school grade.
If your state requires testing and you want to abstain, make sure to find out what needs to be done to refuse testing legally. Sometimes it is a simple note stating you don’t wish to participate. Other instances require formal filings with the state. Your local state board of education or homeschool division will assist with how to fix this.
Get in contact with your state homeschool liaison. Each state will have a separate division for homeschoolers within the board of education. Many states will also have a state or even county homeschool liaison. Many of these individuals are there to answer questions, set up meetings, or even help set up oversight of your classroom to make sure you are staying on track educationally. You want to get to know this person and their role in your homeschoool classroom early.
Connect with local homeschooling groups. Local homeschooling groups and co-op opportunities are going to be a life saver. You’ll want to take a look online and especially on Facebook to find out when and where the local groups meet. These are great for discounted field trips, local play dates, and in many instances advanced classes being taught by other parents so you can include your children even if it isn’t your area of expertise. This is one of the most important things to do before you start homeschooling since you’ll learn so much from this community.
Take time to research curriculum options. There are tons of curriculum options out there for you to use in your homeschool classroom. Whether you purchase a curriculum through popular brands like Abeka Book, Bob Jones, Alpha & Omega, Saxon, or printable free programs like Easy Peasy Homeschool or similar options, you must choose what will work for your family. Take the time to go over each of these options to find what will really suit the needs of your child, your budget, and their learning style.
Set up a schedule your family can function with easily. Homeschooling gives you a ton of flexibility. That is one of the best parts of this choice for your family. So, setting up a schedule that will work for your family is important. For some that is just a few days a week for a few hours each day. For others, it is a strict schedule with subjects and breaks just like a public school setup. Work with your children and spouse to figure out the best schedule for your family.
Set rules for your children that will keep you on track. Homeschooling often leaves children feeling like they can just do whatever they please. It is important to make sure you set up rules your children can follow that will keep them and you on track. This can be anything from no electronics until school work is done, to a daily chore list to keep them on a schedule. Rules are a must for your home in general, but also in relationship to your homeschool.
Look into outside activities available to your children. One thing children miss when they move from public school to homeschool is the list of activities available in their school. Sports, drama and more are easily available from outside sources. Take some time to check with local clubs, art studios, gymnastics studios, dance studios, and other organizations to help your children find some outside activities they will enjoy.
Invest in organization and curriculum needs before you get started. There are tons of things to help keep your homeschool classroom organized, and I highly recommend making that investment ahead of time. Things like bookshelves, storage units, filing cabinet, and even a great laminator or 3-hole punch are all great for having on hand. This will make your transition smooth and easy to manage.
Listen to your children about this choice. At the end of the day, this will change their lives a lot. It’s a must for you to check with them and hear them out. That doesn’t mean you will change your mind about homeschooling, but it will give you insight into their concerns and needs.
This list of things to do before you start homeschooling is a must. From a logistic standpoint, you need to follow these basic tips to make sure you have everything needed on hand to begin your homeschool class with the best foot forward.