You can homeschool.

Home Schooling: Start here.
Home Schooling: Start here.
Home Schooling: Start here.

Introduction















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Library Tips

Homeschoolers love the library. Did you know you don't even need to step foot in the library to find books? Libraries have online catalogs where you can browse, place books on hold, renew books, access e-books, and even join book discussions! It is great to be able to log on and do extensive searches on school topics from the comfort of your own home.

I personally like the time it saves me by having the library pull all my books and phone me when they are available. It is an incredible blessing to just breeze in, check out the books, and be out of the library in less than three minutes!

—Geni Hall


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Useful Tips


Homeschooling is rewarding, but hard work. You’ll need friends and resources along the way. Here are a few ideas to get you started on your homeschooling journey:


Get plugged in
Join your local and state support group, participate in local homeschool events, and talk with veterans who can show you the ropes. Plan to attend a homeschool convention—every state has at least one. You can find contact information for your state group—usually the host of state or regional conventions—and local support groups by visiting www.hslda.org/orgs


Tune in to your child’s learning style
Homeschooling enables you to tailor your child’s education to his unique style of learning. “Children’s overall learning style includes both the channel through which she/he learns (eye, ear, or hand) and the ways in which she/he is most motivated to learn—‘thinking style’” (Mary Pride’s Complete Guide to Getting Started in Homeschooling*). Other resources:


Select a type of curriculum &
method of homeschooling

There are almost as many curriculum combinations and educational philosophies as there are homeschooling families. Many families find their teaching style and curriculum choices altering to meet their growing children’s changing needs. Here’s a nutshell description of some general categories: (See Mary Pride’s Complete Guide to Getting Started in Homeschooling* for a much more thorough description of curriculum types.)

  • Traditional—Textbook/workbook approach, emphasizing reading, writing, grammar, and spelling through drill and practice.

  • Classical—Following the medieval “trivium,” a child’s education progresses from fundamental facts and skills to logic and advanced language abilities. Students study the great works of Western literature.

  • Unit studies (instructor-designed thematic studies)—Progress in several disciplines is woven around a particular theme.

  • Child-directed / Delight-directed / Unschooling—Allowing a child to learn by encouraging and equipping him to pursue his own interests (guided or unguided exploration).

One of the great things about homeschooling is that you don’t have to be limited to just one approach—you can mix and match, taking what you like from each approach, to maximize your child’s learning. You can find curriculum to suit your child's learning style from Home Ed Expert at www.homeedexpert.com.


Attend a convention or curriculum fair

Kirk & Beverly McCord, Founders and Coordinators, Arlington Book Fair (Texas)

Curriculum fairs, often held in conjunction with state or regional homeschool conferences, provide you with an opportunity to check out the curricula you’ve been researching. Not only can you look through the materials, but you can ask questions of the publisher representatives as well. Beverly McCord, who founded the Arlington Book Fair with her husband Kirk, offers this advice: “Just stand at a publisher’s booth for about 10 minutes and get an earful of what homeschoolers think about some of the titles of that publisher—which ones are the jewels that everybody’s using and which ones are really not that helpful.”


Choose a place to do school
In the kitchen? Living room? In a school room? Each family finds solutions that work for them. For some creative ideas for streamlining and maximizing your space, check out these resources:


Be creative with field trips
Start with nearby chambers of commerce, tourism offices, historical societies, town halls, craft guilds, fire/rescue companies, other support groups, and yellow pages. Next, try your local library or book store for family travel guides for the region in which you are interested . . . and then use your imagination!

TIPS FOR OVERCOMING OBSTACLES

Many parents have faced and overcome the same obstacles you may encounter in your homeschooling journey. In addition to asking homeschooling veterans for their advice, consider some of the following suggestions:


Winning over friends & relatives
If you have some skeptical relatives or friends, you’re not alone. Many homeschooling families have won the respect, and even changed the opinions of nearby critics through simply providing positive social interaction and allowing their children’s educational success to speak for itself. You can make a difference by explaining why you are homeschooling, having your child put together a scrapbook or portfolio showing samples of his best work for the year, reporting standardized test scores, having your child write articulate letters, or encouraging him to perform some voluntary service demonstrating strong language, math, and/or social skills.


Tackling the subjects that are out of your comfort zone
Maybe you could trade science labs for French lessons! Many homeschooling parents have found they can round out their children’s education by trading teaching time in their areas of expertise—usually referred to as co-oping. Or get help from a private tutor (could be a friend or coworker).

  • The Complete Guide to Successful Co-oping for Homeschooling Families by Linda Koeser and Lori Marse


Adjusting to life on one income
Many families have faced this challenge and share the innovative ways they found to meet their goals.


* Formerly The Big Book of Home Learning, vol. 1-3

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