While homeschooling is legal in all 50 states, each state has the right to make its own homeschooling laws. It is important that you check to see what laws apply in your particular location.
Don't go to your local school district, as they are not always fully informed. Ask homeschooling friends, visit state homeschooling websites, and make sure that you understand the regulations that you need to follow. Look beyond the term "homeschooling".
For instance, in our home state of Colorado, it is legal for a family to declare themselves a private school and thus not have to take the regular standardized achievement tests and jump through other hoops required of those legally defined as "homeschoolers".
These articles will give you helpful information about both state and federal requirements.
- Homeschool Regulations by State
- Federal and State Homeschool Laws and Regulations
- Mandatory and Voluntary Homeschool Testing and Assessment
- Do You Know Homeschool Laws? A Quiz
Decide Why You Are Homeschooling
Stephen R. Covey, in his bestseller The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, wrote of how important it is to "begin with the end in mind." If you don't know where you want to go on your homeschooling journey or why you want to go there, it will be difficult to organize since you won't know what tools you are going to need.
Take time to consider these ideas and discuss them with your family. Strive for unity since force never facilitates real learning. Remember, you have left compulsory education behind. Take advantage of your opportunity to exercise individuality instead of conformity.
Looking through these articles will give you some ideas of different philosophies of home education. Don't be afraid to come up with a personalized philosophy that fits your family. What have been the results of standardized education? Surely, you and your family can do at least as well and probably better.
- Homeschooling: The Charlotte Mason Method
- The Well-Trained Mind and Classical Education
- Homeschooling Teaching Styles: Traditional School at Home Method
- An Introduction to Homeschooling Methods and Philosophies
- Eight Different Ways to Educate at Home
How to Set Up a Schedule
Schedules are meant to be tools not slavedrivers. Remember that someone else's idea of how to schedule a homeschooling day may not work out for you in your particular circumstances. Use the information contained in these articles as idea starters rather than rigid things you absolutely must do. Also, keep in mind that what worked one year might not work the next, especially if you have a new baby, move, or have any other kind of family upset or emergency.
- Time Management for Homeschooling Parents
- Plan Your Homeschool Year With This Organizer
- Homeschool Scheduling Software Programs
Scheduling and Recordkeeping Tools and Tips
Now that you have a basic outline of a family schedule, you will be glad to know that there are many scheduling and recordkeeping tools available. Try different ones and see which work best for you and your children. This may take some experimentation, but just keep trying. In general, the simpler the system, the better.
Homeschooling is not about creating more work for yourself or your children. Don't forget that great tool called delegation of responsibilities. Nowhere is it written that the Mom must do it all, or do it all, all at once. Allow yourself time to figure things out and to change your tactics as your family grows and changes.
- Plan Your Homeschooling Year Using This Free Student Planner
- Creating Homeschool Lesson Plans
- Free Printable Charts and Resources for Homeschool Families
- Homeschool Recordkeeping Software
Portfolios, Diplomas, Transcripts, Progress Reports and more
This section covers many different aspects of the home education journey. You can create and issue report cards for his progress. Perhaps you have a child that is about to graduate from your homeschool. You may wish to create a high school diploma for your child. You may be wondering how to make a transcript detailing your child's studies and accomplishments.
Alternatively, you may want to create a portfolio of your child's work. The use of portfolios instead of just transcripts and grades is becoming more prevalent. Even colleges are begiinning to look upon a well-prepared portfolio with respect. during the admissions process. Look for ways to keep track of and evaluate your student's progress in these articles.
- Homeschool Portfolio Evaluation Checklist
- A Guide to Keeping Homeschool Extracurricular Records
- How to Assess Student Performance in Homeschool
- Reading Progress in Homeschool: How Do I Know If My Child Is On track?
- Issuing Progress Reports When Homeschooling
- How to Create and Issue Report Cards When Homeschooling
- Which Homeschool Completion Certificate Is Right For You?