I’m homeschooling… I have no idea where to start! HELP!
First of all, congratulations on deciding to take a pro-active approach towards your children’s education. Secondly, I know how scary this can feel, much like you felt the first time your oldest child was put into your arms and you had to start parenting and had no idea what you were doing. As you look back, I’m sure you, like most parents, would’ve told your younger self to relax and enjoy it as much as possible. You really CAN do this! You’ve successfully taught them to walk and talk, and you can take it the rest of the way! You are not alone and there are great resources available, more now than ever before.
In this article I would like to guide you a little on where to start with some practical tips to make the process move along a little smoother.
1. In my previous article about where to start, I listed some steps to consider, but here are some more.
2. Join as many local support groups as you can find and know where to find information for local homeschooling. Then start attending some of the events and field trips to get connected.
For Santa Clarita, that is easy, because we have a lot of support out here and hundreds, if not thousands, of homeschool families. There are TONS of social activities and if you hook up here, you will find out about all of them.
Here are some links to get you started:
3. Attend a homeschool information meeting where you can ask questions and get some basic homeschool information – there is one about once a month and details about it is available on the LearnBeyondTheBook.com website
4. Read "how to" books about homeschooling.
Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
Discover Your Child’s Learning Style by Maria-emma Willis, ISBN 978-0761520139
The Three R’s by Ruth Beechick, ISBN 978-0880620741
Dumbing Us Down by John Taylor Gatto, ISBN 978-0865714489
How Children Learn by John Holt, ISBN 978-0201484045
101 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum by Cathy Duffy, ISBN 978-0929320151
The Teenage Liberation Handbook ISBN 978-0962959172
5. Attend a local park day and listen to all the veteran moms talk about curriculum and classes and ask your questions. Most likely someone else has the same question or has used that curriculum before that you have a question about. You can talk while your children will form important friendship bonds with the other kids.
6. Attend your first Used Curriculum Sale – these are always in the summer months, the next one coming up July 26. It’s a great time to look at curriculum hands-on before purchasing it and the prices are a fraction of the cost of new curriculum. Definitely go to one of these before buying new curriculum if possible.
7. Go to your local teacher's store. They have great workbooks, educational toys and games, and school supplies. You can find these at Learn Beyond The Book’s store that will be opening on Sep.2,2014 or if you need something sooner, check out Barnes & Noble or Education Station in Northridge.
8. Attend your first curriculum fair/convention. These usually also occur during the summer months. They provide lots of great talks and discussions where you can learn more. If you missed it this year, don’t worry, they happen every year.
9. “Like” the Learn Beyond The Book page on Facebook. Our Facebook page provides inspiration, current news, homeschool humor, and lots more and it's LOCAL!
10. Familiarize yourself with the California Homeschool Network (CHN) website where you can find answers to questions about if it is legal to homeschool and tons more information. It is also great to refer friends and family to, if needed.
11. Take a look at the California Department of Education website if you are wondering about standards and what would be covered in different grades in a public school.
12. Decide if you are going to file your own PSA or if you are going to register with a charter school. Feel free to read my other article about charter schools so that you can get a better understanding what that involves. If you decide on a charter school, make sure to apply ASAP.
13. ENJOY your children and being together as a family!