HELP: How to get started with homeschooling — The Bump

HELP: How to get started with homeschooling

I am seriously thinking of homeschooling my kids.  I have 4 kids, but only 2 in school.  I would like to start this Fall.  One would be in 2nd grade and the other in Kindergarten.  I have no idea how to start or what to do.  Do you do your own curriculum or do you use an online school?  Is there a program where they provide the materials/books and provide a structured curriculum for you to follow.  How are your kids graded and accessed?  Sorry, I'm clueless how this works.

Re: HELP: How to get started with homeschooling

  • Also, my oldest sees a Speech Pathologist at school.  How can I get him speech help if I homeschool?
  • I'm not currently HSing but hopefully we'll be pulling DS1 out of school after this school year.  First I would find out what the laws are in your state.  Some require no notification, some states need to be notified, some require testing, some don't, some will want to see a portfolio of your child's work to review.  I live in MO, one of the friendliest states for HSing, our state requires no notice, no testing, no reviews by teachers, etc.  We do have to keep an attendance record and it's recommended to keep a sample of work to CYA.

    IF we HS I think I'm going to start with a prepackaged curriculum.  Many (if not most it seems) get a little bit from different distributors but until I'm more confident of what works and what doesn't I'm going to go with an all-in-one (starting with My Father's World and possibly switching to Sonlight the following year).

    GSx1 - 05/13/2013
    GSx2 for T&B - EDD 6/21/2015 - They're having a GIRL
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  • First, you need to look into the regulations for your state.  In my state (Ohio) I simply have to notify my local school district of my intent to homeschool prior to the start of the year.  There are no requirements to have a teaching certificate or anything here.  I also have to submit a portfolio of work at the end of the year or have my child take a standardized test in order to assess progress.  A certified teacher has to sign off on it.

    But I do know that other states have different regulations - either more or less strict.

    As far as speech help goes, I know that some states will allow you to use the public school resources in your school district.  But in certain states, like Michigan, in order to be eligible for certain public school resources you have to have a teaching certificate to homeschool.  It's so strange.  If you aren't planning to use the school resources, they don't care if you have a teaching license.  If you are, you need one.  It seems so backwards.

    Anyways, if you let us know what state you live in, maybe we can help you find out exactly what will be required of you.  Once you know that, you can begin looking into which curricula will fit all of the requirements and what your school year/schedule will have to look like in order to get all of the required teaching in.

    I promise you all of this sounds more overwhelming than it really is. 
  • Thanks Ladies.  I live in Maryland.
  • I would visit and

    They have a lot of great resources and information.  There are so many options it can be overwhelming.  There is a lot of research that goes into homeschooling.
  • I completely agree with the fact that a lot of effort and research goes into homeschooling. But once you're done with the initial formalities of having located your state homeschool group followed by your local support group, the first thing I suggest you should do is join select online communities of homeschooling. There are dozens of communities which claim to be the be-all and end-all when it comes to homeschooling but you need to identify which ones actually suit your needs and join them. This would help you to keep yourself updated as well as bale yourself out of crisis situations when you can post your problem and get instant replies online. It does help in the initial stages when you have no one to turn to (it worked for me).

    The next and most important step is to set up a homeschooling curriculum. What I did for my daughter is this: I didn't pick up any one fixed curriculum and start following it as it is; I did my research, looked at maybe scores of curriculums both online and offline, picked up one which I felt was the closest to what would suit my daughter and then modified it my way. As a matter of fact, I still keep modifying it, as and when required, depending on how I gauge my daughter's strengths and weaknesses. Every three months or so I review it and make the necessary changes. It did pose an issue the first 2 times (the first 6 months, that is) but after that I had got the hang of it and it became quite easy to set it up and monitor it at the same time.

    Take a look at sites like these to begin with: ...It will give you an idea of how to make a start and what all you can include while designing your own curriculum. It does seem a daunting task to homeschool, no doubt, especially when you haven't done it before and your kid is so young that it feels you have his/her entire responsibility on your shoulders. But frankly speaking, you couldn't have it better; as a parent, as the person who has spent the maximum number of hours in a day with your kid right since childhood, you, rightfully, are the best person to know what he's good at and what needs more working on to make it better.

    The beginning is always the toughest part; you'll eventually find your way through the maze and find it to be very encouraging and enjoyable as well. And I'm telling you all this through personal experience... All the very best for your homeschooling journey!
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