Homeschooling In Indiana
I am so happy to be able to share information with other homeschoolers or new homeschoolers. I hope some of my experience can help you in some way. I have always homeschooled our children. Our oldest is 12 and our youngest is almost 10. I consider it a great privilege to teach and mold our children. I used to look down on homeschooling. I didn't know any homeschoolers and thought it was a very strange idea. Little by little, I felt God directing me to read about homeschooling so I started by looking on the Internet. If you Google 'how to homeschool', you will find more than enough information to get started. Little by little, I learned and was eventually convinced that homeschooling was for us.
To find out more about the legal requirements for homeschooling in Indiana, articles, and state-specific resources, you can also visit one of these sites:
Legal disclaimer: This section is one family's story and how they meet the mandatory school attendance laws in Indiana. It is not intended and should not be used as definitive legal advice. In most states, parents find a variety of legal methods to pursue the educational approach that they prefer for their child.
Homeschooling Resources in Indiana
We use Time4Learning for math and language arts. After that, my child does math flash card games online, Times Attack or Wrap Ups to practice his multiplication and division. For a math workbook, I like him to use a pencil once in a while, I use Abeka Math. I like to use a lot of variety with him to keep his interest. He's not the textbook type! If he needs extra help in one particular area, I like to make a worksheet from the Internet.
For more reading, I like to purchase books on Amazon. I can often get books for $0.01. Yes, I said one cent. The shipping for media mail is always $3.99, so my total for a book is $4.00. I usually pick books that teach history, science or just general facts. Also, I like to read to our children. I once heard that this is a good (and strange) thing to do even as they reach upper grade levels.
My sixth grader has a different program. For language arts we use Switched On Schoolhouse (Alpha Omega Publishing.) This is a CD Rom program. It is good because it teaches (I help for further explanation if needed), gives schoolwork, quizzes, tests and keeps track of grades. SOS also has math, science, history, and Bible. For math he uses an Abeka workbook. Abeka has a whole line of curriculum, a homeschool academy and is a little more advanced than most.
I really like the idea of schooling both kids together for some subjects. We like to do Bible, manners, cursive, science, history and geography together. I found some great resources for that. Also, some people do unit studies together.
Other Indiana resource links:
Time4Learning is vibrant, engaging, educational, and funny. It sure beats our previous homeschool curriculum which was textbook/workbook based.
Time4Learning is so effective that very little intervention is required. This works great if you're homeschooling multiple children.
Is Homeschooling for Me?
I am a firm believer that a parent's influence in a child's life is the key. No matter which curriculum you use, they will be watching you as the ultimate teacher. Luke 6:40 (NLT) says: "Students are no greater than their teacher. But the student who is fully trained will become like the teacher." In life, the parents teach the children; it may be on purpose or unintentional. Either way, they are taught.
I tend to be eclectic when it comes to a homeschooling style. I mix curriculum and anything else I can get my hands on. I like to do things in an unconventional way. Some of the things that we use to teach our children are: Time4Learning, Switched On Schoolhouse, Abeka Math Workbooks, Wrap Ups, the Bible, the History Channel, movies, books, and I make worksheets on the computer.
We don't do all of these subjects every single day. Things we do everyday are: Bible, cursive, reading, math and language arts. We do science, geography, history and manners once a week.
Homeschooling does NOT have to be expensive! You can purchase plenty of used or discounted homeschooling books or products on the Internet. Ebay, Amazon and Half.com are just a few places that you can get used books.
Of course, Time4Learning has a very low monthly price.
Meeting the Indiana State Homeschool Requirements
The legal requirements for Indiana are quite simple. We have to take attendance in our homeschool and attend school 180 days out of the year. If your local school superintendent or state superintendent contacts you, you have to show proof of your children's attendance. As of right now, this doesn't happen often. In Indiana, you do not have to submit any records unless asked by the superintendents. I have a calendar that I make on the computer each month and I mark the attendance every day. If we go on a field trip or do something out of the ordinary, I mark that also. If a child is sick, I mark it. We often go over the 180 days a year because we like to refresh the children's memories during the summer. Time4Learning is a wonderful tool for summer learning, too!
Summary: The state of Indiana requires compulsory school attendance of children between the ages 7 (or the fall of their seventh birthday) and 18 (or when they graduate). Indiana requires that homeschools operate for the same amount of school days as their school corporation is in session, but they do not regulate what courses of study or curriculum is used. It also does not have any mandated teacher requirements or standardized test requirements.
The software appealed to me because you can change the grade level of their instruction, to customize it for your child's needs.
1st graders learn about "parts of a whole"
Choosing Homeschool Curriculum
Indiana homeschool law includes the freedom for families to pick and choose their own curriculum based on what works best for their child. However, families new to homeschooling quickly discover a dizzying array of choices when it comes to selecting homeschool curriculum. There is no more popular discussion among homeschoolers on the web than the pros and cons of various homeschool curriculum. After sifting through the homeschool curriculum reviews, most parents end up mixing and matching homeschool program, trying to create the best match for their child.
Time4Learning's experience shows that there is no single, best homeschool material. Rather than feeling torn between homeschool resources, parents should select a diverse blend of materials and activities.
For families with more than one child, choosing a homeschool program can be more problematic. What works for one child may not work for another. What works for one subject may not work on the next. What works one year, may fall flat the very next year.
Some of the features that make Time4Learning so successful include:
Time4Learning is proven effective with homeschoolers, has a low monthly price, is easy-to-use, and provides a money-back guarantee so you can make sure that it works for your children!
Sign up for Time4Learning as part of your overall homeschool program.
If you have any more questions or comments about homeschooling in Indiana, head over to the Indiana Parents Forum.
Some Helpful Tools and Resources
Welcome to Homeschooling Guide - Are you new to homeschooling? This guide was written by seasoned homeschoolers to answer some of the difficult questions new families often struggle with.
Curriculum Lesson Plans - An overview of the number of lessons that are included for each grade and subject. All students have access to at least 2 (and in most cases 3) grade levels of curriculum for each subject, so they can move ahead or review at their own pace.
Homeschool Portfolio Information - Answers common questions about homeschool portfolios and evaluations. It includes tips on organization methods, what to include and how Time4Learning can be used as part of your homeschool portfolio.
The Lesson Activity Finder - One of the many helpful tools that Time4Learning offers its members. The activity finder is a shortcut that makes it easy for parents to preview lessons or find extra practice for their child. You can visit our hints and help section for more information about the activity finder.
Lesson Planning Worksheet - Wondering how many lessons to have your child do each day? Estimate the number of activities per day using this easy to use, printable worksheet.
Online Parent's Forum - Reach out to homeschoolers in your area, join discussions, ask questions and trade ideas on our online community of homeschooling parents. Having the support of seasoned homeschoolers can really help make your homeschooling journey a success.
Sign up for Time4Learning and gain access to a variety of educational materials, which will engage and challenge your child to succeed. Make Time4Learning a part of your children's homeschool resources.