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Steps for preparing to homeschool

There are actually quite a few homeschooling families in Henderson County, Texas. If you're interested in becoming one of them, there are a few steps that you need to follow.

Any new homeschooler should be well-versed in the laws and regulations that govern their state. Texans have some of the most relaxed homeschooling laws in the country, but it is extremely important that you know exactly what your rights are. If you don't know your rights, you can't defend them. While you may never have the occasion to defend your choice of education, opposition is not unheard of. There are many websites available for you to research homeschooling laws according to state, one of the most respected being HSLDA (Homeschool Legal Defense Association). Read up on your rights as a homeschooler!

The next step (and sometimes most difficult), is to determine which curriculum you would like to use. The choices can be overwhelming, but there is nothing wrong with a trial and error approach. Make simple decisions in order to narrow your choices down. Would you prefer faith-based curriculum, or secular? Are you comfortable with computerized lessons, or would you rather use workbooks? Are you the type of person who would like to compile a hodge-podge of textbooks on your own, or purchase pre-packaged grade sets? Having a general idea of what you're looking for can make things quite a bit easier to figure out.

Set up your "classroom" well ahead of time! This is very important. Nothing spells disaster for an upcoming school year like disorganization. By halfway through the summer, you should have your curriculum ordered. You will need plenty of time to read through and familiarize yourself with the lessons you'll be teaching. This will allow you to gather together any supplies that you may need for the lessons. Charts, posters, and a bulletin board are also very helpful in setting a learning atmosphere for your student(s).

The last step you need to take in order to prepare for embarking on this journey is to map out a plan of action with your child. Perhaps create a list of classroom guidelines with him/her. Try to define a few goals for the school year. The more that you include your child in the planning process, the more enthusiasm they will have for homeschooling in general.

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