|How about a checklist for getting a homeschool started?|
A publication of the Christian Home Educators Confederation of Kansas, 1996
Taking charge of your children's education is a big responsibility. Thus, parents need to understand exactly what homeschooling entails before they jump in with both feet. Some background research is essential.
√ Read books about homeschooling. (See Suggested Reading)
√ Check out audio and video tapes on homeschooling topics. (Several support groups around the state maintain tape lending libraries.)
√ Attend homeschool support group meetings. (Member support groups are also listed each month in the CHECK News.)
√ Attend homeschool conventions, workshops, and how-to classes.
Investigate the Legalities
Each state has its own rules and regulations that affect home schools. These rules range from states requiring annual notification, testing, and oversight, to states where home schools operate as private schools and are thus virtually unregulated. It is essential that homeschooling families determine exactly what their state requires.
Evaluate Your Family's Needs
Homeschooling allows the opportunity to make the school accommodate the family, rather than the other way around. To do this, families must take time to analyze and identify their specific characteristics and needs. Some of the things to be considered are:
√ Is this the family's first year of homeschooling?
√ Will there be more than one student and grade level?
√ What are the students' learning styles?
√ Is the teacher confident and experienced, or insecure and in need of guidance and assistance?
√ Is there access to other resources (public or private school programs, museums, libraries, homeschool resource centers, etc.)?
Select a CurriculumOnce your family's characteristics and needs have been analyzed and identified, these should be used to guide you in acquiring a curriculum. For example, families desiring a strong measure of structure should consider curricula offering pre-planned lessons and a well-defined course of study, perhaps even considering enrolling in a satellite school offering ongoing counseling and oversight. On the other hand, families desiring less structure might consider a unit study program or perhaps even developing their own curriculum from resources available at home and in the community. The purchase of a curriculum is one of the most important homeschooling decisions your family will make, so care should be taken to thoroughly investigate all the options available.
√ Consult curriculum and educational materials catalogs and homeschool curriculum guides (e.g., Mary Pride's Big Book of Home Learning; Cathy Duffy's Christian Home Educators' Curriculum Manual).
√ Attend curriculum fairs and homeschool seminars.
√ Visit a homeschool resource center.
√ Most importantly, talk to other homeschooling families using a particular curriculum for a first-hand evaluation.
Plan the Paperwork
Once your curriculum decision has been made, the next step is to put that curriculum into action on a daily basis.
Now that your homeschool program is ready, create an environment conducive to learning.
Establish Your Homeschool Legally (Kansas Information)
Before your homeschool can be officially ready to open for business, you must fulfill the legal obligations of the state.
In all the hubbub over curriculum, lesson plans, and registration, take care not to lose sight of the social element.
Points to Remember
√ Homeschooling is not an "easy way out." It will not allow you to escape or even avoid family problems. However, it does provide the best opportunity for family members to spend quality time together so as to work to build a strong family.
|Last Updated ( Tuesday, 30 October 2007 )|