As soon as you decide to start homeschooling, you will need to choose an accredited curriculum for your child.
1 Get a grip on the basics before you start homeschooling
The child’s age and his/her strengths, weaknesses, and individual learning needs should be considered while deciding on which curriculum to choose.
A vast variety of curriculums is available for homeschoolers, both online and offline that cover grades K-12 and also preschool.
2 Get a grip on the basics of homeschooling
According to the U.S. Department of Education, homeschooling is legal in all states; however, each state has its laws/regulations regarding homeschooling curriculum requirements, teacher qualifications, mandatory tests & subjects taught at home through a program of supervised instruction.
3 Why homeschool
There are several benefits to homeschooling, including learning at one’s own pace, no homework or spelling lists, and studying what one is interested in. Other benefits include the ability to take lessons on subjects that would otherwise never be learned around a traditional classroom, studying material that is more interesting than the usual textbooks, and getting to spend time with family. Homeschooled children are also free from peer pressure.
4 How do I get started
Check out teacher-reviewed resources from leading publishers or try an online curriculum. You will also need to choose your state’s testing requirements and organize yourself for the time needed to teach independently. Here is a list of steps one can take to get started:
(a) Assess the child’s education needs, using his/her report cards, evaluations from school if available, and the results of any diagnostic tests done by your family doctor or an educational consultant. This will help you choose a curriculum that is suitable for the child’s learning style, abilities, and needs.
(b) Once you have decided on a curriculum, read it thoroughly to understand what is required in terms of textbooks, workbooks, other teaching materials, and equipment. Make a list of what you need to buy/get for the first year of homeschooling, as most curriculums do not include all required materials.
(c) Assess your child’s progress at least monthly by giving tests and assessing his/her performance in comparison with what is expected from him/her as per the curriculum. You can find such objectives on each lesson plan or you can create them yourself as required. Make sure to include some lessons that are fun and interesting to maintain your child’s interest in studying, especially if he/she is a below-average learner.
(d) Decide a homeschooling schedule. A full-time curriculum requires about 30 hours a week. Part-time programs require 15 to 20 hours a week.
5 Where do I begin
Read about homeschooling, curriculum options, testing requirements, and other related topics in books such as “Homeschooling for Dummies.” Find out how other parents feel about the topic from online discussion forums like The Homeschool Forum.
6 Keep Up With Your Child’s Education
Remember to keep your child engaged and interested in his/her lesson plans by making the material interesting and relevant to him/her. Try not to bombard him/her with too much information or try to make them memorize facts; rather, make sure the material is acquired naturally and that he/she is asking questions. Try to make the lessons short and sweet (about 30-45 minutes each) and end with a fun activity.
7 Make it work for you
Homeschooling isn’t easy, but if you’re interested in doing what’s best for your child, it can be a rewarding experience. Remember that you are your child’s first teacher and it is up to you to make his/her learning a fun, engaging, and rewarding experience.