So you’re considering homeschooling? Where do you start?As with everything in life, those who prepare are more apt to succeed. This is true for homeschooling too. The majority of the structure and organization of the homeschool is up to you. Planning ahead will reduce pitfalls and improve the effectiveness of your homeschool.There are many ways of creating your plan but there are some basics you should address. Here are guidelines to help you get started with your homeschooling preparation.o First and most important, get a commitment from everyone in the household who will affect or be affected by the homeschool. Make sure they understand that they are going to contribute to the success of the homeschool.o Gather information and resources. You can get valuable information by visiting homeschooling web sites, signing up for free online newsletters, visiting homeschooling message board and join homeschooling chats and email lists. Find homeschooling events calendars online and attend homeschooling conferences. Subscribe to homeschooling magazines. Visit a book store or go to your local library.o Become familiar with homeschooling laws in your state. It is usually simple to satisfy the laws. There are many websites that provide this information. The local public school district office and the public library can also help you in this area.o Join a homeschooling support group in your area. It is very important to exchange ideas in a group. This can be a group of homeschooling friends or families associated with your curriculum. You can also find regional homeschooling support groups and state level homeschooling associations. Other homeschoolers can offer a wealth of information on a variety of subjects. They can help with many aspects of homeschooling, i.e. choosing curriculum, record keeping, meeting the state laws, and group activities. Some have been homeschooling for a long time and have solutions to difficulties you might encounter. You too can contribute by bringing new and fresh ideas. Even if you want to keep your autonomy, find a group that fits your needs. These groups can streamline your homeschooling and prevent common pitfalls.o Choose your curriculum. You can choose a complete program or create one yourself. It can new, used, shared or borrowed. It can be expensive or cost nothing. This is where a homeschooling network is valuable. Get input from other homeschoolers. See what has worked them and what fits for you. Takes cues from your children. Use the Internet or go to the library to research your options.o Set up a record keeping system. There are many different styles of record keeping. You can develop your own style of record keeping. Your record keeping can be as simple as a daily journal or as complicated as keeping track of daily schedules, and setting short- and long-term goals. Also, your curriculum may determine how you keep records. Determine what final result you want. Check out local colleges, trade schools universities and see what they require. Find out what record keeping is required by law. Consult your support group and find what has worked for them.Planning ahead both short- and long-term goals will go a long way towards your homeschooling success.
One of the fundamental questions that every homeschool family will face at some point in their homeschooling is, “Are you using an accredited school?” or some version of that question. The topic and choice of accreditation is one of the “elephants in the room” issues that many homeschool families try to avoid, however, it is really a fairly simple question. When the emotion around this issue is removed, accreditation boils down to a few simple facts that should be considered in order to decide if this issue will affect your choice of curricula and programs in your homeschooling choices. If it does matter to you after learning the facts, then you will be able to make some informed decisions about your homeschooling program. If you decide that accreditation doesn’t matter, then you will be able to address this topic easily and effortlessly with your friends and family who ask about it.Accreditation means that you have met a standard for coursework. That is all that it means. Being accredited by an agency says that you have met their standard of academic rigor and that you have their endorsement. But the purpose in having a standard in the first place is so that any given college can look to a consistent set of endorsements in order to admit students. So in essence, the purpose for seeking accreditation is to meet a standard that will ultimately be accepted by a college. Therefore, colleges drive the accreditation terms, but it is also colleges that decide if an accrediting agency is an acceptable one. There are other leveling endorsements, though, such as standardized tests – SAT and ACT – so accreditation is only one of those endorsements.You should know that state issued accreditations are the only constantly accepted standard for accreditation by most colleges. However, those accreditations will not be issued to homeschool families, as they are set aside for public schools and public school programs only. So as a homeschooler, you will not be able to earn a state endorsement unless your child is enrolled in a public school, thus contradicting your reasons for homeschooling.Outside of the state issued accreditations, there are other agency endorsements that can be sought. Many private school accreditation agencies exist and each has varying standards for achieving their approval. If you are using a private school program or a homeschool program whose has achieved an accredited status, then that means that that curricula program has met a standard as outlined by that particular agency, not by the colleges. Therefore, if you are in a private school program or using a homeschool program that is accredited by a particular agency, it is important to realize that some colleges will accept that endorsement and some will not. Accreditation therefore, does not guarantee acceptance by a college.Some of these outside accreditation agencies are very rigorous in scope when you consider what it takes to become accredited. Some are not. Some agencies require affiliations with particular denominations or influencing groups, and some only require that you purchase a membership in their program. Some accreditation agencies have regular reviews and assessments of their students, schools, standardized test scores, etc., and some only require that you pay an annual fee.As a result of these widely varying standards, you can see the problem that is created for colleges. Colleges do not see all accreditations as equal because of this. If your long-term goals for a particular college will be better served by being in an accredited program, then knowing which accredited programs are appropriate will also be a question that you will need to consider. If your long-term plans include preparing for standardized tests to be the independent source of learning validation, then accreditation becomes less of an issue.Ultimately however, there will need to be some sort of outside verification of abilities, mastery, and cognitive development for each of your homeschooled students, so knowing the purposes and reasons for the varied types of standards will help you to determine your best homeschool options well in advance.
If you’ve ever thought about homeschooling or just wondered what people do that homeschool, here is a basic outline.1. Parents decide to homeschool their child or children. They use their own resources or purchase books that they want to use to educate their child. Some states have online programs that can be used at home. When you use an online school you are still enrolled in your local school. You just do your work online at home. Parents who don’t use an online programs are free to choose the books and resources they think they will need. Students can also have input here on what courses of study they want to pursue.2. All students must meet the state guidelines. Depending on what state you live in, your guidelines will be different. Some states just require you to take attendance. Some require a letter declaring you will provide 900 hours of instruction and a list of what you intend on teaching. And some states require even more than that. Some states require testing at the end of the school year and some just require an assessment by a certified teacher. Again, it depends on what state you live in and what they require for homeschoolers.3. Education is now the responsibility of the parents. Just as some public school teachers do a better job than others, some parents do a better job of homeschooling than others. Most parents know their children very well and can do a very good job of helping their children learn.4. Different learning styles and personalities can now be addressed on a more personal level. Public school classrooms tend to have to cater to the masses, while homeschooling can be more of a tutoring environment. Just as no 2 public school classrooms will be the same, no 2 homeschools will look the same. The personalities of the students and parents will determine what is taught and how it is taught.Overall, homeschooling can be a very positive experience for both parent and child. The relationship is the most important factor in determining how positive an experience it can be.