Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool, also blogs about motherhood at Steady Mom
I was CLUELESS about homeschooling several years ago. It seemed like something “strange” people did with their kids.
My, my–how life has changed.
But even after I decided to give homeschooling a try–it was kind of tough to figure out HOW. I felt as though I was floundering in a dark wilderness without a flashlight.
In case you’re considering homeschooling and need help getting started–I thought I’d put together an overview of links that consolidate information in one place.
This way you can spend an hour or two reading a few articles to get a grasp on the topic. Then you can take it from there.
I wrote this article for Parents.com a year ago, and it gives a quick summary of the history of homeschooling and specifics of how families make homeschooling work.
Deciding if homeschooling is right for you
Misha wrote these excellent posts two years ago for those trying to figure out if homeschooling would be a good fit for their family.
Finding resources and curricula
Another article I wrote for Parents.com, this piece gives a summary of educational philosophies, important legal details, and mentions some of the largest curriculum publishers.
HSLDA was started by a group of lawyers in the 1980′s. This handy map I’ve linked to allows you to find your state and read about the laws in your area and what is required to legally homeschool there. They have a separate page with international information, too.
* I got my first introduction to homeschooling by attending a local conference. As a newbie to the topic, it helped me gather a lot of information in a short amount of time. Two of the biggest conferences coming up this year will be organized by Great Homeschool Conventions.
- March 14-16, 2013: Greenville, South Carolina
- April 4-6, 2013: Cincinnati, Ohio (I’m honored to be one of the speakers at the convention in Ohio. I hope to meet some of you there!)
* Often statewide organizations host an annual conference as well. Homeschool World has a handy site where you can select your state and find the groups most active within them.
Network with others
Yahoo groups have been one of my best resources for finding like-minded people nearby and for discovering the field trips and activities happening around us.
I like to receive a daily digest of messages by email, which means I can quickly scan the postings from that day to see if there is anything coming up of interest.
A quick read
Last year I released a short ebook called Secrets of a Successful Homeschool Mom. It’s a starting point on the journey of releasing some of the stereotypes we may hold about education, which helps when considering an alternative path like homeschooling.
The best part is that the ebook is free to subscribers of this blog! Head here to find out how you can get your free copy.
Dealing with fear
After the recent school shooting in Newtown, which happens to be my town, national homeschooling organizations were inundated with calls from frightened parents thinking of removing their children from a traditional school setting.
I do not believe that fear as a primary motivation is enough to carry someone through the challenges of the homeschooling lifestyle.
It could be, however, that some readers had considered homeschooling to some extent already, and an event like this awful tragedy might be a turning point on your family’s educational journey. If that’s the case, my hope is you’ll soon discover that this lifestyle of learning has much to offer for its own sake, and that your fears will be left behind as you move forward in faith and confidence.
Other helpful series
* 10 Days of Homeschooling 101 – From my friend Kris of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers
* Getting Started in Homeschooling – From my friend Jessica of Life as Mom
Find out how to homeschool (in less than 2 hours) – a free printable
It’s easy to get sucked into the vortex of the Internet when researching homeschooling (or any issue, for that matter.) One click leads to another and before you realize it hours have passed you by.
For those of you looking to get the info you most need and head on your merry way, I’ve put together a one page printable that takes you through the links I think most valuable, allowing you to learn how to homeschool in under two hours.
Many of the steps only take 15 or 20 minutes–so you can spread them out over a period of days or go through them all at once.
Is there a specific link that helped you get started on your homeschooling journey? Feel free to share it in the comments!