Friday, September 21, 2012

Tips from the Trenches: 7 Simple Steps to Getting Started in Homeschooling

So, you’re thinking about homeschooling, but you’re not quite sure where to start.  Well, lucky you!  As a veteran with four years under my belt (yes, that was meant to be funny), I do have a little bit of knowledge to share.

Even though the school year has already started, there are parents who are preparing to take their children out of school and begin homeschooling them for various reasons.  There are also new and more experienced homeschoolers who need either a crash course or reminder of the what and why's of homeschooling.  There are even those who are thinking about it, but are not quite sure.  This blog post is for all of you.

I've created a list of steps that will answer some of your questions and ensure a smooth transition into home learning.  Today, I will share the first two.  Please note that this is not a legal document and you should seek professional legal advice for any legal questions you may have in regards to homeschooling.  With that said, let’s begin!

Seek the Lord's will for your family.  Where does He want you to go with this?  Ask Him to reveal anything that He wants you to focus on as you teach and raise your children to His glory.  Most of all, ask for wisdom and patience.  Please know that asking for both means you will have plenty of opportunity to flex and grow those patience and wisdom muscles!  Yet, that's what parenting does.  It helps shape and mold us more into the image of Christ.

Seeking the Lord's counsel also helps you have a foundation for those times when you are ready to throw up your hands (oh, they will come).  Then, you can remind yourself of the reasons why you are doing what you are doing. 

Know the state requirements
Thankfully, as of this writing, homeschooling is legal in every state in the Union.  God bless the USA! It is a great idea to start with your state's department of education website.  In my state, you can find the legal information right there on the site.  Here in Texas, homeschools are considered private schools and must be conducted in a bona fide manner.  Basically, the state trusts you to be honest and honorable when you say you are homeschooling.  No shams allowed! Also, your written curriculum of choice needs to cover the basics in reading, spelling, grammar, math, and good citizenship.  For more information, please visit the Texas Homeschool Coalition’s website.

Readers in other states can find reliable information on the HSLDA website.  

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