Home Schooling Information – What You Need To Know To Get Started With Home Schooling

When looking for home schooling information, there are several basic things you need to know to get started. Whether someone is just looking into the option or really feels a strong need to home school their child, the steps are basically the same.

Laws – The first thing a parent needs to do is to investigate the laws in their state. They can usually do this by talking to another home school parent in the area. If there are no other home school parents around that can offer support, then the HSLDA website will give a breakdown of the laws by state. Once parents are familiar with their laws, then they can contact their local superintendent or county board office and see what needs to be done to either pull their child out of school or start teaching their child at home. I have to include a word of warning here. If a parent isn’t familiar with the home school laws in their state and the first thing they do is speak to a public school representative, they may get incorrect information. Many times public school representatives are not familiar with the rights of home schoolers and tell them things like, “You can’t pull your child out of school during the middle of the school year.” or “You have to have a teaching degree to be able to teach your child.” or some other incorrect information. Often it is not the intent of the representative to mislead the parent, they just aren’t familiar with the laws. This is where a local home school parent really comes in handy. They are familiar with the process and know what needs to be done and can easily point the parent in the right direction.

Learning Style – Before a parent starts choosing books or curriculum for their child, they need to take a good look at their child’s learning style. There are tests and resources on the internet where parents can get learning style assessments done for their children. Basically, a parent just needs to pay attention to how their child learns best. Does the child learn best by seeing, hearing, or doing? Do they see things broken down into parts or are they more of a big picture thinker? These and others are good questions to ask when thinking about the resources a parent wants to use for home schooling. It will save them lots of time, money, and frustration if they choose materials most suited to their child’s learning style.

Methods – There are quite a few methods available that parents can use to teach their children. Some enjoy a school at home approach while others prefer using unit studies to teach their children. Other methods available are unschooling (interest led), relaxed home schooling, Charlotte Mason, classical, eclectic, and online or computer learning.

Subjects – Parents can make a list of the subjects that they want their students to cover and then start writing down resources and books that can be used to teach those subjects. When they are ready to purchase materials, they can just circle their top choice in each subject area and use that resource to teach that subject.