Getting Started with Homeschooling
How do I start to homeschool?
Mostly, determine to start and then start.
You will need to notify your local ESD within 10 days of beginning your homeschool if you have removed your child from public education. Also, you need to notify your local ESD if your child has turned 6 years of age by September 1st. Notification is not a request, it is an announcement.
(Also see our Know the Law section)
It is best if you can do some reading about homeschooling methods before you jump in. There are lots of articles and information available to help you begin homeschooling.
We also highly recommend Dr. Ruth Beechick's books which demystify the process of education for the homeschooling parent. We especially like her "The Three R's," "You Can Teach Your Child Successfully," and "The Language Wars."
Exodus Provisions is a local homeschool store that provides homeschool advice and additional helpful links on its website.
OCEANetwork is our statewide Christian homeschool support group which provides lobby updates, a quarterly magazine, a search to help find local support groups, and some getting started articles.
You can also find many homeshooling books at your local library by browsing their homeschool section.
Further helpful websites for general ideas of beginning to homeschool are:
Debra Bell's Homeschool Resource Center. Debra is the author to the Ultimate Guide to Homeschool. This website contains a number of Debra's articles (hosted at Crosswalk.com) covering getting started, learning styles, co-opting, etc.
Cathy Duffy's Reviews. Cathy Duffy is the author of the famous Christian Curriculum Guides for homeschooling that were extrememly helpful to the new and veteran homeschoolers over the years. As more and more curriculum came onto the market, Mrs. Duffy consolidated her favorites into a 100 Top Picks book. This is her website which is currently being constructed to include the reviews and articles from her earlier books. A VERY helpful site.
Home School Digest In the Home School Digest, a quarterly homeschool magainze, you'll "find practical tips, simple suggestions and bold Biblical challenges that make up an open forum for wrestling through the complex issues that affect homeschooling families." Good magazine journal, and their website offers some helps as well.
Practical Homeschooling/Homeschool World. A homeschool help magazine that is edited by homeschool guru Mary Pride, author of the Big Books on getting started in homeschooling (which are very helpful...find them at the library). Scan the home page to read the articles posted online by top homeschooling experts.
Barbara Shelton's site includes many homeschooling articles from "how to get started" to "how to keep from burn out."
Final thought before jumping in...
Homeschooling is a great choice for many families. However, it is important to remember that schooling choice is a highly personal decision for each family. Parents should wisely contemplate immediate and long term effects, time and resource commitments, and consider an older child's input when discussing options. In today's educational world, there are many choices and pathways.
We do believe that homeschooling has unique qualities which recommend it over other methods.
What can homeschoooling do?
Teach directly to a child's learning style and needs
Pursue unique interests and abilities in each child
Integrate topics and worldview study
Mentor the whole person
Allow extra time and attention to areas of struggle
Maintain friendships beyond age-segregated classrooms
Efficiently use your child's best learning time
What can homeschooling not do?
Magically fix a rebellious child
Cure a broken family relationship
Guarantee spiritual outcomes for child or family
Save you time and effort
Protect your child forever from the evils of this world
So keep your expectations realistic.
But the first step of every great journey is simply to get started. We are here to help you do that.
the CHOC Board
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(Permission is given to print for personal use or link to this article as long as credit is given to Tammy R. Arp at the CHOC Board and our website address is shown.)