How To Get Started Homeschooling

Momisteaching received a question about how to start homeschooling, and asked people to comment on her blog. Here’s my response. Enjoy!

1) This is the first, and most important step when starting homeschooling. Get it out of your head that someone’s going to hold your hand and show you the way to get to A->B->C—->Z. If you want that, homeschooling is not right choice.

2) Find out what your laws are in your area. A search for “homeschool” and “yourstate” will give you many results. Look at several of the websites, not just one.

3) When you did that search for your local laws, you probably found a website or two for support groups in your state. Look all over their websites, and join their online/offline groups. Get to know the people in your area. If the group you joined doesn’t seem right, search for another until you find one that fits. If any groups tries to tell you “this is the right way to homeschool” run far, far away.

4) Time to get to the library/bookstore/Amazon and find yourself some books on homeschooling and education. Not all helpful books will have the words “homeschooling” in them. Books like “In Their Own Way” and “Dumbing Us Down” are excellent books about *learning* and education that will help a lot in homeschooling. So check out the homeschooling section, but also education. If you aren’t sure which books to get, check out A2ZHome’sCool.

5)  Attend a conference. Take your kids. They are fun and educational.

6)  Do NOT buy curriculum. Not right away. Deschool first.

That should get you on a pretty good start. The most important thing – enjoy the journey! If homeschooling is painful, take a vacation. Homeschooling should never be painful.

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6 Responses to “How To Get Started Homeschooling”

  1. Matteroffaith.com » How I Started Homeschooling Says:

    […] T at Just Enough wrote a post about getting started homeschooling that I think is excellent. I thought I would put a […]

  2. Sheri Says:

    Great list Tammy.

    Posted one my blog too.

  3. Becky Says:

    Two books I always like to recommend to prospective hs’ers, one about hs’ing and one not (which I also recommend to all prospective parents…),

    “Family Matters” by the novelist David Guterson, and

    “Hold on to Your Kids” by Neufeld and Mate.

  4. Tammy Says:

    Sheri – your list is awesome. Everyone should click over and read it. Thanks for sharing it.

    Becky – those are great books. Neufeld spoke at one of our state conferences last year. It’s funny, because he’s not a homeschool “supporter” per se, but his is perspective is so appropriate for homeschoolers.

  5. Ronii Says:

    Tammy, I think everyone considering homeschooling should be aware of and encouraged to join Homeschool Leagal Defense Association. In many communities home schooling families come under fire. HSLDA can help, they also stay up to date on the requirements in every state.

    Blessings,
    Ronii

  6. Tammy Says:

    Ronii,

    I have to say I don’t think it’s a good idea to encourage everyone to join HSLDA. Only people who agree with their overall politics should join.

    Joining HSLDA for homeschooling issues is like joining the Republican party for homeschooling issues. It’s only one of the many parts of their overall platform. HSLDA does fight for homeschoolers, but only a certain subset of homeschoolers. And it must be made clear that their perspective is solidly rooted in evangelical Christianity.

    I also want to make it clear that homeschooling is not under fire that often. At least not often enough to warrant fear. The best recourse against legal issues revolving around homeschooling is to become an informed citizen. That can absolutely be done without paying someone.

    Most states also have at least one state-wide support group. There are other national information centers like NHELD, NHEN and A2ZHome’sCool that have the same state-by-state info as HSLDA. These groups also have no specific religious or political affiliation.

    I’m not saying nobody should join HSLDA. But just as with everything else, there is no one right place to be. If anyone is interested in HSLDA, or any other group or organization, please do your research before you give them money. Find out who they are, what their purpose is and what they have done in the past with the money members give them. Don’t rely on them to tell you – ask people who don’t benefit from the money. Do a search on Google.

    *Especially* new homeschoolers. If you are new to homeschooling, don’t let any group or organization scare you into paying them money. If you are going to pay anyone money, do so because you believe in what they stand for, and it’s a decision made in an empowered way.


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