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Tips for Getting Started With Homeschooling

Aug 17, 2007
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.

* 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.

* 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.

* 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.

* 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.

* 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.

* 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.
About the Author
Pam Connolly is a professional educator with the San Diego School District. She
has been teaching kids how to type for over 11 years. To teach your child typing,
visit http://www.1stoplearntotype.com.
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