Getting Started with Homeschooling

Getting Started with Homeschooling

Do you want to homeschool but don’t know where to start? You’ve come to the right place. Here you’ll find several important areas to consider and resources that can make your transition into this exciting adventure easy.

So where do you start?

  • Know the Homeschooling Laws in Your State

    Most legislation concerning homeschooling occurs at the state level, and each state has its own homeschooling regulations. Some states have few requirements; for example, requesting that parents send a letter to the appropriate educational department. Other states require more detailed information, such as notification of when homeschooling begins, a copy of test scores, and/or an evaluation of work completed by a certified teacher. The Home School Legal Defense Association, an organization that advocates for homeschoolers, has online resources you can use to help you get started, including a summary of laws regarding homeschooling.

  • Determining Grade Placement

    If you’re already confident that your child can start homeschooling in the grade level common for his age or that follows the last completed grade, you can skip this step. If you’re not sure what grade you should put your child in, you can use online resources like A Beka Book’s Scope & Sequence to help you decide. A Scope & Sequence shows what children should learn and when, helping you make sure your child won’t miss learning any important concepts.

    Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.

  • Plan How Homeschooling Will Work in Your Home

    Every homeschooling family is different, so when it comes to planning your school year, find what works best for you. One thing that has made homeschooling smoother and simpler for many families is determining at the start who will be responsible for which parts of the learning/homeschooling process. You may end up deciding one person will handle all the details of homeschooling, or that a combined effort works better. The important thing is to have a plan. Here are a few areas to consider:

    • Teaching (which can be broken up by subject)
    • Maintaining records
    • Grading papers
    • Organizing daily activities (schedule, tests/quizzes, field trips, etc.)

    Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge.

  • Selecting Your Homeschool Curriculum

    As you’ve probably noticed, multiple curriculum providers promise exceptional results for your child, and it may seem hard to choose. Following these two steps will help you determine what curriculum is best for you:

    1. Choose a curriculum that supports your family’s values.
    2. Choose whether you want to use several curriculum providers (an eclectic approach) or one curriculum provider for all subjects (a unified approach).

    With an eclectic approach, you select curriculum from several publishers. Because each curriculum will be organized in a different way, you’ll have the added responsibility of ensuring your child learns what they need to learn in every subject area. Because many publishers cover the same topics at different times, each curriculum’s Scope & Sequence has to be examined and compared so that no important academic skill is accidently skipped.

    If you decide to use the unified approach, you only have to choose one publisher. It can be a much simpler way to homeschool because the publisher has already ensured there are no learning gaps. In addition, your child will be familiar with the way subjects are taught, and it makes it easier for them to see parallels between subjects and for the content in one subject to reinforce content in another.

    As you search for a publisher, another thing to consider is what they offer not just for your child, but for you. The best publishers don’t just offer textbooks; they provide the resources and materials you need, from lesson plans for an organized day to teaching support materials and instructions for how to use them.

    If you’re not sure about which curriculum to use or you’re considering A Beka, you can view our products and resources online or request a catalog. Or, see A Beka products in person at Materials Displays or find out more through Online Events. Representatives would love to meet you and help with anything they can.

  • Create a Conducive Learning Environment in Your Home

    Many experienced homeschoolers create a specific area for homeschooling that helps their child stay focused and learn. This place, ideally, is free from distractions such as the TV, toys, etc. It’s a place that’s quiet and different from any other area in your house. You can even use a special table or desk where your child can store his books, papers, and pens. All of this helps create an environment that encourages your child to be ready to learn.

  • Establish Your Support Network

    Just because you’re taking responsibility for your child’s education doesn’t mean you have to do it alone. You can get support from your friends, family members, and even parents like you who write about their homeschooling journey online. If you attend church, find out who else is homeschooling and let them know you’ll be homeschooling, too. They’ll be able to share their experience with you, and they can give you encouragement and advice along the way. They may have discovered local homeschooling resources that can help your homeschooling adventure be even better.

    And don’t forget your best support—prayer. Remember to ask for guidance, wisdom, patience, and whatever else you find you need each day.

    Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

  • Get Started

    Now you know the basics, and you can get started! In your homeschooling journey, your child won’t be the only one who learns; you’ll be learning, too.

    If you have questions about anything, please contact us at 1-877-223-5226, or e-mail us at information@abeka.com. We’re here to provide the tools and resources that help you teach with confidence and give your child an education that prepares them for life, both academically and spiritually.

    Colossians 4:2 Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving.