So you want to homeschool and you don’t know where to start. Here are 10 steps to help you get up and running if you live in the state of Georgia. Please note that these are suggestions!
First, think about the reason WHY you want to homeschool. Do you feel that the curriculum at the school is not rigorous enough or too rigorous? Would simply changing schools solve your problem? Did you see something in your child that you think you would be able to develop further? Do you want your child to have undivided attention? There are several reasons WHY people choose to homeschool, what’s yours?
Who Will You be Homeschooling?
How many kids do you have? This is an important question to answer because it helps you to narrow down your focus as you are looking for curriculum that will fit your family’s needs. The other big WHO is do you know your child’s personality? Do you know who they are? One of the biggest mistakes is trying what works for someone else’s child and pushing it onto your own. Your child is fearfully and wonderfully made. Ask God to show you who your child is and what they need?
What is Your Vision and Mission for Your Homeschool?
A vision provides guidance and inspiration as to what your homeschool is focused on achieving in three, six, nine, or twelve more years, the vision tells the future. A mission defines the purpose of homeschooling. It answers what you do as a homeschool family, who you do it for, how you do it. It is based on the present and should be focused on a shorter time frame, approximately one to three years. In the beginning you will find your mission changing often as you get to learn your family and develop your routines/systems. I recommend your mission be revisited every year.
How Will You Homeschool?
What curriculum will you use? Here are some things to consider:
- Public Virtual Charter School. If you like the curriculum of the public schools, you don’t mind the testing then you might want to consider Public Virtual Charter Schools like Georgia Connections Academy, GAC High School, Georgia Cyber Academy, etc. If you choose this route you do NOT complete the Declaration of Intent.
- Traditional. If you would like to take the brain work out of developing your own curriculum consider a one-stop shop option. One-stop shop curriculum include traditional homeschool programs which require you to pay for their curriculum and resources such as Griggs University & International Academy (www.griggs.edu) and A Beka Book Homeschool (www.abeka.com ) to name a few but there are other options that are even more inexpensive and/or free. Check out the Rainbow Resource Center (http://www.rainbowresource.com/). It is by far the most comprehensive center which offers a review on almost ALL the homeschool curriculum out there. You may even email them and ask for a free catalog to be shipped to your home. It is thicker than the Bible…. I kid you not.
- Online Home School Curriculum. Do you like the idea of doing it online? There are online websites such as www.starfall.com , www.time4learning.com or https://shop.edmentum.com/us/georgia .
- Other Types of Homeschool Styles: Classical, Unschooling, Eclectic, Charlotte Mason, Unit Studies
The next step in homeschooling is know the laws of homeschooling. For Georgia Homeschool Laws go to http://www.gadoe.org/Curriculum-Instruction-and-Assessment/Pages/Home-Schools.aspx . For other states visit Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLD) http://hslda.org/ .
When Will You Homeschool?
Will you homeschool year round or take the typical school calendar? I recommend year round or as close to year round as you can make it to give you more flexibility in your schedule. Will you homeschool in the morning, in the evening? Some parents work in addition to homeschooling and that is not unusual. Schedule your time based on the needs of your family.
Get Your Curriculum, Create Your Schedule
Once you have identified your child(ren)’s learning style and determined your home school approach, it is now time to get your curriculum and create a schedule that works for you and your family. They key is to be flexible.
Where Will You Homeschool?
In the kitchen, in the living room, outside? Do you have an area to designate as the homeschool room? Do you WANT to have an area designated? The joy of homeschooling is that you can do it wherever you want. The library is a great place as well.
Go to your child’s school and show them your printed out version of the Declaration of Intent and formally withdraw your child from school.
Get Support and Resources
EPIC Homeschool Network, Inc. services students in the metro Atlanta Area. Join us. We have monthly meetings and field trips. We even have a yearbook. Go to https://epichsn.com/membership/ to learn more.