Where to Begin? A Jumpstart Guide

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” Lao Tzu

Step

Taking the first step in any adventure is an act of determination and faith. Home education is no different.

Vision

Prayerfully seek God’s vision for your family. Write a Mission Statement and Purpose for your path. Your vision will determine your path and unless the vision is inspired by God, you will lose your way.

Know the Rules

Home educators must know the rules of their state and local school systems. States vary in requirements for students who wish to study at home. Contact the local Board of Education and request a list of requirements for your student(s). Home School Legal Defense (HSLDA) is a legal advocacy service for homeschooling families. Since 1983, this organization has been supporting the freedom to home school. Your family can join this group each year and receive valuable resources like:
– state requirements
– legal counsel from lawyers who focus on homeschool law and are homeschooling parents
– Pre-school to high school consultants
– special needs consultants
– forms and sample letters for your state
– DMV advice and work permits
– Discounts on products nationwide www.hslda.org

Curriculum Choices

Your choices are limitless. From classical co-op groups to online study, you can custom create a program for your student. (We will soon be adding blog reviews of all the various curriculum choices we’ve tried over the years for your reference.)

“You will soon discover that often it is you, not your children, who are being educated. So, loosen up and accept the fact that some of what you buy will be a total waste of time, energy, and money.”

-Chris & Ellyn Davis, I Saw the Angel in the Marble

Know Your Student. Know Yourself.

Home education has flourished in the last 20 years. Colorful curriculum choices are more numerous than ever before. Your options are abundant. Know your student. Know yourself. You can’t teach a hands-on, messy course of study if you can’t enjoy the “mess”. However, your creative, hands-on student won’t enjoy the process if they only have a limited exposure to workbooks and videos. Here are some resources to help you:

K-8th Grade For the Children’s Sake, Susan Schaeffer McCaulay
K-8th Grade A Charlotte Mason Companion: Personal Reflections on the Gentle Art of Learning, Karen Andreola
High School I Saw the Angel in the Marble, Chris and Ellyn Davis
All Student Levels The Way They Learn, Cynthia Tobias
All Student Levels Educating the Wholehearted Child, by Clay Clarkson

 

Record-keeping and Organization

You are your child’s teacher. Approaching this from a perspective of excellence and thorough record-keeping will give both you and your student a solid foundation. Samples of work, books read, curriculums used, photos of projects, attendance sheets, summaries of the year… these are all possibilities for your records. Some states require letters of intent to home school and yearly summaries. Know what your state requires. More importantly, recognize this as a chance to honor God with the work of your hands. This will be a record of His Providence in your journey. Simply begin with a file folder.

K-8th Grade How to Home School: A Practical Approach, Gayle Graham
High School Setting the Records Straight: How to Craft Home School Transcripts and Course Descriptions for College Admissions and Scholarships, Lee Binz
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