• Home Education

How to Begin a Home Education

by Nita Lve



  🏠   Yay!!!!!!!

   So you have decided to home educate your child! Home schooling takes dedication, time, patience, perseverance, and most of all, LOVE.

  Parents have been teaching their children at home since the beginning of humanity. Why do you want to home educate your child? Your reasons to homeschool may be because of your child's school environment is not safe or too much pressure with state testing. A lot of parents are not pleased with the new national standards that has been recently implemented in most public schools across the country. You may not have any of the reasons stated. You might just want to be close to your child. Whatever your reason or reasons, you are not alone. Millions of children in the US are now being home schooled. Home schooling have benefits that outweighs the rumored myths since it became legal in the late 1980's. Do your own statistic research on how homeschoolers do without a public school environment. You might be pleased of the results you discover.

  When I investigated in home education for my children, it seemed overwhelming at first. As time went on, the process became like second nature. To get started, here are the integral steps I experienced while starting the home education process:  

NOTE*: I am NOT an expert in law or a lawyer! I am just a mother who have been home schooling my kids for almost 7 years. This is from my own experience and I am not responsible for another person's decisions, actions, circumstance, outcomes, and/or legal issues.

1. Read your state's home education laws.

 Homeschooling is legal in all 50 states but each have their own laws. Most home school laws in your state can be found in the department of education. You might want to plug into other homeschool parents or groups for recommendations and valuable info to get you initiated in the home education process. Most families are more than happy to help you. Although some people are nice enough to lend a hand and offer advice, its best to read the laws carefully for yourself. Some states are very strict such as Pennsylvania and New York. In some states, you don't have to do anything but send a letter stating you are homeschooling for that year. In certain states a sworn affidavit or a notice of intent letter must be filed with your local school district along with medical statements and educational objectives. Depending on your state, a portfolio at the end of the year may be needed as proof that your child is receiving an education. The portfolio may have to include end of the year test scores, attendance sheet, samples of the child's writings or workbooks, and a letter from an evaluator stating that an appropriate education is occurring in your home. Again, please check with your state for your home education laws.

2. Withdraw your child from his/her school.

  Each school district or individual school will have its own procedures on when and how a parent can properly withdraw their child from the education system. Again, PLEASE READ YOUR STATE'S HOMESCHOOL LAWS.  Never ask anyone in the school on how to withdraw your child. Instead, ask for a written copy of the school's policy and procedures. The school policy should be clear and updated. Following state laws and proper withdrawl procedures from the school's policy may prevent and avoid having any truancy issues with your child's school district. If you have to mail a letter of some sort, always send it certified with a mandatory signature. This is your proof that the school have received your request to withdraw from their system.

3. What kind of education style will benefit your child?     Most parents learn a lot in their first year of the do's and don'ts for the following years. For example, I used to count hours and typed everything my kids did. It got so bad, my hands ached and locked on me. The following year, I did not count hours or write every iota of their day. I now sit back and laugh at myself because it was just not necessary and a complete waste of time. My advice is, unless your child is under special circumstances, counting hours is a tedious job that will make you go crazy. Lets get back to the subject at hand, shall we?

  There are 3 learning categories that children fall under:

   a. Spatial Learners: These are children who learn visually.

   b. Kinesthetic/tactile learners: These learners are on the move and like the hands on approach to education.

   c. Auditory Learners: These learners process information best by hearing.

Some children can learn with two or all of the above but whatever your child falls under, choosing their educational style should be tailored to their curriculum for best results. Here are a few ways children may be evaluated before deciding what is best for their educational needs:

Look close on your child's demeanor. Is their behavior a factor? How is your child's communication with you?

Concentrate: Experiment with the do's and don'ts. The first year is usually your best teacher. Remember to concentrate on your child's strong abilities first and gradually work on his/her lacking abilities.

Think outside of the box: Expand your mind to all possibilities. The relationship between you and your child is your first priority. All the things stated above may lead you to how to choose your child's curriculum.


What is Curriculum? When most people ask what curriculum means, it refers to the lessons and/or academic information taught in an educational setting or in the environment that corresponds with a course or program. Incidentally, teachers uses the word broadly. They also interpret or refer to curriculum typically relates to the understanding and abilities that students are expected to learn, which includes the learning appropriate benchmarks or educational objectives. Since children learn at different levels, I would do what is best for my child and keep an open mind. If you want to know about different learning styles, take the time to research and educate yourself on "unschooling", "classical", "unit studies", and "eclectic" homeschool approaches. You may only use one or more of the approaches mentioned. You might even come up with a learning style on your own.

   Looking for curriculum can be overwhelming especially for first time home school parents. I remember looking for hours for the "right" book or the "right" way to teach. I wish I was more relaxed back then. It would of saved me from growing the extra grey hair I received from panicking! The first mistake a lot of home school parents do often is go to large educational conventions. While they may be beneficial to some, (I am not lecturing or condemning those that do) the best way to get curriculum is to try to get it free, FIRST....or close to it!  Numerous times, I have seen people go out to homeschool conventions and the materials they represent are either too expensive or not diverse to everyone's needs. Some speakers may have other agendas like politics or may be involved in a certain group. I have decided never to go to a homeschool convention. I don't plan on it because its just another book store with a wider space to roam around in. On top of that, I feel uncomfortable in large crowds.

  So where do you get free curriculum? Your local public library is the NUMBER ONE place to start searching for your child's curriculum. If you don't have a library card, this is a great time to apply for one. In fact, maybe make it a family event for everyone in your home to posses one, including your spouse.  At times, you may have to order certain books and other materials or even ask the librarian to put items on hold such as DVD's/ CD's, but at least they are free to borrow! The library is an awesome place to also teach kids responsibility by knowing how the system works, checking out books and materials, caring for the items received, and returning everything on time.  

  Choosing curriculum don't have to come from a book! It can come from pamphlets like art galleries, your city's local neighborhood crime prevention, community centers, and so much more! Newspaper articles, internet, and magazines are great resources for education. Amazon.com have some books that are very cheap. If you own a certain computer or other devices that are compatible with their service, you may be able to download some reading materials for free!  Flea markets and dollar stores are also excellent resources. The internet is filled with free printable worksheets. I strongly encourage parents with young learners through 8th grade to research educational sites that target home educators. Some have hundreds of available worksheets. Several companies also have a "members plus plan" that you can take advantage of.  I invested into an educational site and received special benefits such as printable workbooks from grades pre K-5 and other material that only members receive. I entered this plan last year.  Since I have a daughter who was on a 1st grade level, I downloaded their workbooks. I saved money using the site because buying workbooks individually is expensive, so the investment was worth it in my own opinion. OH yeah......your local thrift stores, documentaries, DVD's, and videos may have great educational finds as well.

   Last but not least, ask family and friends for help. Maybe have a book swap with other home school parents. My point is, home education DON'T have to be expensive. At the same time, don't invest in too much all at once because you will more likely not use everything and money may be wasted. Maybe use/invest one to three books at a time, per subject.

5. Setting up your homeschool space

  When setting up your home education area, it should consist of three basic concepts: time & convenience, space, and organization.. Don't stress yourself out about how the area looks. It don't have to be glamorous in appearance. Just an area that works best for you & your family. I seen some really beautiful home school rooms with the mega works and some very small but practical learning spaces.

  a) Space: Whether you have a home or an apartment, where and how the space is going to work for your family can be a hard decision to make, but it don't have to be! Whether large or small, is that space going to interfere with learning? Will that space provide everything or would you need to compromise and add or delete other areas of your room/house to fulfill what you are looking for? Do I need to rearrange furniture to get the space I need? These are some questions to ask yourself before start stocking up with materials, supplies and books.  When looking for space, too tall ceilings can be dangerous if materials are stacked too high. You may want to keep the space at an eye level view especially if you have little ones. Reaching to high can cause injuries.  No matter how large or small the space you provide, make sure that the height and width of the area is safe, practical, and out of the way of dangerous items such as lamps, plug outlets, cords, and heating devices.

  b) Time & convenience: A lot of people will disagree with what I am about to say but I really don't suggest having a home education set up in a kitchen. I live in a fairly large home and with all the appliances, I don't like children being near a stove because it scares the daylights out of me and I fear someone can get burned or hurt. I can't concentrate on dinner and educating my three children all at the same time. I have seen some parents put their children's artwork and writings on cabinets. I have a problem with this because if a conventional oven, toaster, waffle irons, or any other heating appliance get even a hair on the paper, a fire can break out. Artwork is fine on the fridge with magnets that are strong and secure enough to hold the item. Overall, I would consider using a  pin board of some sort to admire and demonstrate your child's creativity and is free from potential fire issues. In the future, I will show how I made our pin boards.

      When speaking of time and convenience, are you able to see your child in an eyes view? Can you fold laundry while your hear them read out loud? If an emergency arises, can everything be put away in a quick manner? These are some questions you may want to consider before choosing a space. I may not of covered all the questions but I believe you get the point. If the time and convenience don't work for you, you may have to tweak some things like paintings, furniture, or even move the space all together. Just be cautious of your decision and make safety the number one priority.

   c) Organization: An organized well thought out space is ideal for any home school parent. Without being organized, it can make your home school life chaotic. All books, supplies, learning toys, computers, and other things have to have a place to go. Using plastic bins, crates, all sorts of boxes, drawers, and pillow cases, is a start to put your home school in an orderly and organized fashion. Being fancy is OK but not essential because your overall goal is to educate your child. Sometimes explaining how to organize is difficult so looking at educational spaces on the internet or in another home school parents room can help you visualize and decide what you need to achieve the goals in your child's learning area.  I provided a picture of our first homeschool organized area below:


Our homeschool storage area in our first year. It's nothing fancy but practical.

 As I wrap up about my first year of home education experience, remember that patience is also an integral part of educating children. Learning to break down big obstacles into smaller ones can be less stressful on your day. Home education can strengthen family unity and values that may have advantages for the next generation. Giving rewards, high fives, and cheering each other on can help build self esteem and confidence. Parenting and home education can be overwhelming at times but it is truly rewarding. If this is your first year or your millionth, remember you are only human. I can't promise you everything will be easy but take it one day at a time and watch your child grow into a beautiful individual .

May you have a blessed and memorable homeschool journey.   pot_of_flowers

                                                Nita Love   


                    Copyright © 2014 2015 Nita Love All Rights Reserved

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