Things to Consider
Take a look at these common questions and or comments before sending us your question. You may find the answer to what you are looking for.
How do I start homeschooling?
There are many things to consider, as you begin this adventure called homeschooling. The first thing to consider is: What is your philosophy of education? For example, perhaps you want your children to love to learn and to know that life is about learning. As you begin to think through these things, you may want to start a journal, writing down all your ideas. One of the next things that you have to consider is what you want your school day to look like? Do you want everyone in their room studying quietly? Or do you want everyone in one room learning together? Do you want to go on lots of field trips? Be sure to jot down those thoughts as well. Now, you need to think about your child/children and how they learn. What is your child’s learning style? Are they visual, audio, or kinesthetic (hands on)? For help with this, please, go to our Observable Characteristics page. After you have made some notes on learning styles, you need to consider how you are going to teach. What method are you going to use? Some of the more common methods are: traditional, classical, unit study, independent study, Charlotte Mason, Montessori, unschooling, eclectic, umbrella program, distance learning program and the list goes on and on. A reference tool that might be helpful is Debra Bell’s Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling. In this book, Mrs. Bell covers a ton of information about homeschooling and the impact it will have on your family. After you have considered all of these things, you must begin to look at your budget. Homeschooling is not an endeavor to be taken lightly. We cannot emphasize enough that a family must count the cost, before they begin this journey. When you look at homeschooling, you must remember that you are going to be in charge of doing all the things a school would be doing for your child/children administration, counseling, teaching. Your budget is not only the financial aspect of homeschooling, but also your time and the physical, mental, emotional, psychological and spiritual well being of your students and your family. When you have considered all of these aspects, we recommend a budget of $200-$400 per student/per year, if you are willing to use used materials. Otherwise, your budget will need to be much larger. Now that you have determined how much you are going to spend, you can begin to look at the books you will use. In the early years of homeschooling, there was not a lot of curriculum to choose from. Today there are literally hundreds of curriculums to look at and consider. There is one book that you might want to consider purchasing before buying any curriculum; you might want to use Cathy Duffy’s 102 Top Picks. In this book, she has taken the time to review curriculums and she recommends them based on learning styles. This may be a helpful resource. We also love to help get families started on homeschooling. We have tons of textbooks, books, and manipulatives to help you on this adventure. Give us a call and let us be of service to you today!
How do I know what curriculum is best for my child/children?
First thing you must know is that there is no “best” curriculum for your child/children. There are three things that you need to consider when looking at curriculum: will it work for my student, does it fit my philosophy and method of education, and will it fit my budget. For a good understanding of the types of learning styles we recommend you look at our Observable Characteristics page. We also recommend that you look at Debra Bell’s Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling and/or Cathy Duffy’s 102 Top Picks. All of these resources should help you determine the learning style of your student and if a curriculum will work with your philosophy and method. Now we have to look at will it fit my budget. When we are considering homeschooling, we have to keep in mind that homeschooling is a way of life. Homeschooling requires doing school around errands, meals, cleaning, emergencies, repairs, and all activities that occur outside of the home. You have to remember that you are not only the parent, but you are also the school administrator, principal, guidance counselor, teacher, librarian, cafeteria worker, janitor, and bus driver. So, when you pick your curriculum you need to keep all of these things in mind. On the financial side of budgeting, we recommend that you set aside $200-$400 per student per year, and that is if you are going to buy used and become regulars at the library. If you are looking at new curriculums, you are going to need to budget a lot more. At Moore Expressions, we work hard to help homeschoolers meet their budget, when picking curriculum. Contact us today and let us “help you help them.”
Homeschooling and the law
The laws for homeschooling vary from state to state. We recommend that you contact either HSLDA.org or homeschoollegaladvantage.com for information on your state laws. In the state of Virginia, we have two homeschool organizations. They are HEAV.org and vahomeshoolers.org. Both of these groups represent, support, and are there for encouragement. Please, visit their sites for additional information on homeschooling and the law. You can also download a notice of intent form letter on the HEAV.org website.
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