How To Home School

As promised, this is the second part of my series on home schooling. If you have decided that you're interested in finding out how to homeschool, but don't know how to start, or you just need homeschooling information, then this article is for you. Here you will learn where you can go to research the applicable laws in your state, where to find new or used homeschool books and other home schooling curriculum at a decent price, along with lots of other information and home schooling resources. In short, you'll get the first steps for how to home school.  For the new home schoolers out there, I hope you will find this information useful as you get started. For you veterans out there, I hope you find at least one tip that will make your homeschooling journey more successful.

How to Home School: Learn the Law of the Land

Before you can start to decide how to homeschool your child, you need to learn which state laws apply to your particular situation. For example, some states may require you to register the fact that you're home schooling, or you may have to jump through hoops to withdraw your child from public school. Standardized testing is required in some states, but not others. These are all things you need to know. The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) provides information on all states. If you join them for a small annual fee, they will also provide legal counsel if you do run into issues with the local legal system along the way. In addition, they will help you stay abreast of any pending legislation in either the Federal or State legislatures that might affect your home schooling rights. You can find a link to the HSLDA Web site, along with other sites that will be mentioned in this article, in the blue sidebar further down the page.

How to Homeschool: Choosing a Home School Curriculum that fits your needs

One of the most difficult and confusing aspects of figuring out how to homeschool, and often the most discouraging, is determining which homeschool curriculum to use, and then trying to find it at a reasonable price.

The answer largely depends on your situation and your child. If you work outside the home on top of trying to teach, then one of the computer products, like Switched on Schoolhouse might be right for you. If you want to be right there, teaching your kid every step of the way, then a Beka or Sonlight might be your best bet. In our case, my wife chose different curriculum for different subjects, based on which material seemed to best fit our son's learning style.

There are a lot of places you can look to find good curriculum at reasonable prices. There is a local store (in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex area of Texas), called The Book Cover. If you live in this area, I can't recommend them enough. The owner is very good at helping you find the right materials for your needs. If you don't live around here, then you can find them online (I'll provide a link in the sidebar to the right). You may also want to look for similar stores in your area. Many of them, like The Book Cover, work on consignment so you can sell some of your materials after your kids have finished with them.

The last really good place to find cheap home school curriculum is at used bookstores. Around here, we visit Half-Price Books. They have an entire section of home school books at great prices. It's also a great place to compare different options side by side. If you don't have Half-Price Books, you may have something similar and they can help you find some really interesting stuff. With these resources, you find the best information to decide how to homeschool your child.

How to Homeschool: Getting Connected

Probably the best resource for finding great home school information in your area is other home schooling parents. They can help you learn the techniques they struggled with when they were trying to figure out how to homeschool their own kids. They can point you to the place with the best prices in the area, or to other great deals that you might not find out about otherwise. One of the best reasons to seek out other home schoolers is because they provide a great source of socialization. There are many groups comprised of home schoolers that offer sports leagues, academic clubs, like chess or debate, as well as simple "let's get together and play" groups. Within these groups you can also find assistance in teaching subjects that you might find difficult to handle yourself. I have included a link that will provide you with information about groups in nearly every area of the country.

How to Homeschool: Additional Information

Finally, you should check around to see what kind of specials are offerred to home schoolers. For example, Half Price Books offers a 10% discount for home schooling parents. You just fill out a form and get a special card that you show whenever you make a purchase. Barnes and Noble have an educators discount that applies to home schoolers as well as school teachers. The Texas Rangers have a special home school day ever year, where the kids get to come to the game, and hear a special speaker discuss how to homeschool, for a discounted rate. Things like this are available in your area too, and your local home school group will be able to point you to it if you can't find the deals on your own.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I hope you find the information and resources helpful. Please feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions or additional information to provide.

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Comments 2 comments

rednckwmn 7 years ago

HSLDA is without a doubt one of the best resources.

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Neil Ashworth 6 years ago from Ireland

Like the content. Well put together!

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