Support for Home Schooling

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Contemplating home schooling for the first time can seem overwhelming for parents. Here are some support and resources for parents who are considering or planning home schooling.

This page has information about home school legal requirements, getting started with home school co-ops and groups, approaches to home schooling, and curricula.

The Situation

Many parents are having second thoughts about keeping their kids in public or private school for reasons which may include:

  • concerns about the negative impacts of masks on children's health, development, and education,

  • concerns about COVID vaccination,

  • not wanting to segregate children based on vaccination status, and concern about the bullying environment this may cause, and

  • not wanting the children to be exposed to curricula or belief systems they don’t agree with.

 
 

The Challenge

At the same time, the idea of homeschooling can feel overwhelming, especially for parents who work full time, have children of different ages, are single parents, or take care of elderly parents or grandparents at the same time.

Doing Homework

Good News

Home schooling can be done in creative ways that are effective and manageable, and it’s possible to collaborate with other parents. Your kids don’t need to be without peers when they home school, and you can find help!

There are also grants available to help cover the financial costs of homeschooling here: https://hslda.org/community/grants-for-homeschooling

 

Below is some important information and some resources.​

Please share this with other parents, too.

 
 

Home Schooling Legal Requirements

  • Home schooling legal requirements in your state may not be as difficult as you think. For home schooling requirements in your state, go here: https://hslda.org/legal

  • In most states, you will need to notify your Public Education Department of your intention to home school. Look on the Home School Legal Defense Association web site for links to the forms for this process in your state.

  • You may need to maintain immunization records. In many places you can obtain a waiver for religious or medical reasons.

  • In some places, the home school operator must be the parent or legal guardian. However, someone else may provide instruction in a given subject, but the parent or guardian is responsible for notification, record keeping, and ensuring that the person providing instruction has at least a high school diploma or GED.

How to Start - Homeschool Co-ops and Groups

Connecting with a group of other local homeschoolers is often one of the most important steps for homeschooling success. Homeschooling groups provide support, field trips, and resources to each other.

There are several types of homeschooling co-ops.

  • In the simplest version of a homeschool co-op, parents may teach one specific unit or subject to a small group of children.  

  • In a more extensive type of co-op, a group of parents can work together to home school their kids on an ongoing basis, such as with five groups of parents getting together so that each can provide one day a week of home schooling. They can also bring in guest tutors to teach special programs.

  • In the most structured homeschool co-ops, there is essentially a mini-school with different classes offered each semester. These classes are generally taught by parents in their individual areas of proficiency.

 

Parents can cooperate for some or all of their children’s home schooling. Note that home schooling doesn’t need to take place only Monday – Friday. Especially if you are working, you may wish to do some of your home schooling on the weekend.

Search online to find, learn from, and collaborate with home schooling groups and co-ops already up and running in your area. There are also many homeschool groups on Facebook.

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Approaches to Home Schooling

Here are a few resources that will help you consider your approach to home schooling.

And an overall approach to the situation:

Educational Options with Home Schooling, Unschooling, and Deschooling

 

Blog posts from Sarah Smith, of Nourished and Nurtured Life:

 

A few recommended books:

  • Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling by John Gatto - This is written by a NY State Teacher of the Year, and he talks about what is wrong with the government school system

  • A Thomas Jefferson Education by Oliver DeMille - This is a solution to the problems laid out in Gatto's book. DeMille's mission is all about freedom and teaching kids to find their own unique missions in life.

  • Leadership Education: The Phases of Learning by Oliver and Rachel DeMille – This is a book filled with practical information for “how” to homeschool effectively.

  • Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life by Peter Gray – This book is written by a developmental psychologist, and explores the foundations of learning through play.

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Curricula

For most parents, the question of what curriculum to use is likely to pop to mind early on. You can use a boxed curriculum or mix and match resources to create your own.

Overall, the most important thing is for children to learn in a way that meets requirements AND:|

  • is fun

  • fits their learning style

  • allows the kids to explore their interests

  • is experiential

  • prepares children for life

 

There are many homeschooling curricula available. Some are free and some are expensive. 

Here are some resources:

 

Summary

 

We know starting to home school your kids can feel very daunting. You are not alone. Many other parents are looking for options, and teachers across the United States are leaving the existing school system and seeking alternatives. New collaboratives are being formed across the country, including educational institutions in the form of Private Member Associations which are not subject to the same rules and regulations as other forms of business. For information, see The PMA Team.

 

Reaching out to like-minded parents in your area may give you many connections and possibilities for you and your children.