If have decided that home schooling really is right for you and your kids, you will likely want to know what to do next. Here are some quick points for getting started with home schooling:
- Locate your state’s home school group. You can do this online easily by typing in your state and the keyword “home schooling” at your favorite search engine. Then go to your state listing.
- Locate your local support group for parents of home schooled kids. These groups will help you to get good tips from other parents and is a great place to find like-minded people to share your troubles etc.
- Know the laws in your state about home schooling. If you have questions, arrange for an evaluation with your local school board so that you can verify that your child is approved for home schooling. They will also check for a proposal from you about home schooling your child
- Get any magazines, books and/or other supplies that you will need in order for you to have steady resources on hand to offer tips etc.
What Happens next?
When it comes to the home schooling of your children, quite a few factors play into not just what you will do about it, but also how you will make sure that you are approved to do it. Like everything else, this is a process. Many people have questions that they need to answer about home schooling.
As the parent/teacher of your child, you must do the following to get started with home schooling:
- Develop your home schooling curriculum that is both approved by the school board or state, as well as meeting your ability to teach.
- Schedule a meeting with the school board or state education officials so that they can offer you any help with tutors etc. that are approved. You will also be presenting your proposal at this meeting.
- Get information about and register for evaluations with your school board or state to ensure that your child is meeting with the approved standards in your area.
- Get yourself certified to teach your child
- Create a home schooling proposal for what you are planning to teach your child and how you plan to go about it.
The court says clearly that school officials and parents must agree on a method of evaluation that may include one of the following approaches:
- standardized testing,
- periodic progress report,
- or dated work samples.
- Home visits may not be necessary as a condition of this approval.
Dated work samples mean just what they sound like in that, they are a few samples of work with dates on them. You do not have to compile an extensive portfolio in order to submit it to the school although you might like to keep these kinds of records for your own use.
Progress reports can also serve as your plan for the coming year if you include information about how current learning will be extended into the next year, and what new areas will be added. While the law does not specify that a home schooling plan needs to be submitted annually, many towns have come to expect them.
It is important for you to include in your education plan what form of evaluation you are planning to use. That way if the school later asks you for a form of evaluation that you’d prefer not to use, you can refer them to your approved education plan in which you already said that you would submit your preferred evaluation.
Adding a line in your annual report such as, an annual progress report/dated work sample/standardized test results will be submitted upon request; is a good idea if you aren’t sure whether or not they’ll ask you for anything. Of course, if they don’t ask, you don’t need to submit anything.
As with anything else, getting everything organized is the first step to getting off to a great start. Deciding to home school is a big decision, getting the paper work in order will keep everything flowing.