PreK - 8th Grade
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Homeschooling in Michigan
Hi, my name is Kathy, and I homeschool in Michigan! I have lived in Western Michigan all my life. One of my favorite things about Michigan is the change of seasons. I have been married for 16 years to my husband Dan. We have two children: Eli, 13, and Isaiah, 10. I work full-time, second shift in an assisted living home caring for the elderly. When I'm not studying, homeschooling or working I enjoy taking naps, baking chocolate chip cookies and just being with my family. I also love to write and enjoy maintaining an online blog where I share my thoughts and feelings.
To find out more about the legal requirements for homeschooling in Michigan, 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 Michigan. 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.
My Favorite Sites for Support and Resources
As I mentioned above, I have some favorite sites for finding support and resources for homeschooling in Michigan. The following is a listing of some of these:
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.
How I Fulfill State Requirements
When we decided to homeschool, our oldest was going into second grade at the local public school. We have a great school system but our son needed a different atmosphere to learn. We have found our community and local school district to be very supportive of homeschooling. I cannot speak for the entire state, but where we live there are numerous homeschool support groups and co-ops. I will list some of these later.
Michigan doesn't require homeschooling families to report or test. However, homeschoolers are required to be taught in the major subjects of reading, writing, math, art, and social studies. In order to obtain testing by the school district, homeschoolers must be registered with the state.
The way I fulfill my state requirements is by providing my son a curriculum that teaches all the required subjects. We also provide social interaction through a local homeschool service that provides classes in a variety of subjects with an adult experienced in the subject as the teacher or the facilitator. These classes are typically complementary to the student's core curriculum. It's important to keep track of what you are using to teach and the student's progress or work. I simply create a portfolio with all their work in it for each year. I also keep any workbooks, art work, etc. in a box labeled for the year.
By using Time4Learning I am able to provide a core curriculum. I can access reports, print them and keep them in the portfolio. This was very helpful when sending my youngest son back to public school this past fall. I was able to give the school a copy of the subjects he covered as well as his test scores in each subject. I also supplement.
Advice to New Homeschooling Families
My best advice to new homeschooling families is to find what works for you. My sisters who homeschool really enjoyed using unit studies and hands on projects. While this worked great for them, I can't teach this way. I had to find a method that I was comfortable with and that was effective for my children. It's taken time, but we have found what seems to work for us. Secondly, be flexible. Teachable moments come all the time, not just during school hours. Watch for those times when you can teach a lesson, value or make a point. Homeschooling families learn all the time. Finally, find support. My parents live just five doors away and are both retired teachers. Mom teaches my oldest son piano, dad teaches history. Last year when both boys were homeschooled, mom did an entire unit on Africa.
Time4Learning is a fun software, entertaining and I really like the way it explains things in a way that the kids can understand, without making it boring.
In the lesson, you can click on the highlighted word and hear it spoken.
Our Homeschool Day
This year our homeschool day looks different than last year when we homeschooled both boys. This year dad gets up with our youngest and gets him ready for school. Because I work second shift, I sleep until about 7:45 a.m. I get up and spent time with Isaiah before the bus comes. Eli gets up at 8:00 a.m. and follows his daily agenda. We are learning that structure and routine work well for him.
After he finishes his morning routine, we start school -- usually around 9:00 a.m. He does Time4Writing Monday through Thursday and then Time4Learning math daily. Sometimes I have him do a lesson in every subject on Time4Learning -- it just depends on the day. He practices piano each morning as well. We work on school work, the two programs listed above, spelling and science or another subject until about 11:00 a.m. He takes a break so he can work out on the Wii-Fit or do some other activity. He also has developed an interest in cooking. I teach him how to cook different things for lunch. Sometimes, he fixes lunch for both of us independently. He then helps with the clean up and has free time until 1:00 p.m.
From 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. he can either read or watch educational t.v. He gets grandpa's mail every day and delivers it between 2:00-2:30 p.m. Any work that is not completed in the morning he can do in the afternoon. We find though, if he sticks to it, it only takes a couple of hours a day to complete the necessary work. Grandma and Grandpa teach him once a week. I send his work and he takes his piano lesson that day and gets a history lesson as well. When both boys were home, we were more traditional with doing school in our school room where they each had a desk and I had a whiteboard to use. We don't need that now and prefer the kitchen table. On Fridays, we go to the homeschool building where he has three classes. I use this time to go to a local coffee shop and study for my classes or go out to lunch with a friend.
After his first day using Time4Learning, my son looked over at me and said 'I'm really smart mom!' That statement is priceless!
Time4Learning started out as a supplement, but has now become more of a center piece to our homeschooling. I wasn't expecting that at all!
Choosing Homeschool Curriculum
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 Michigan, head over to the Michigan 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 what's available for each grade and subject.
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.
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.
Hints & Help Section - Whether you're new to Time4Learning, a long term member, or a future member with questions about how the program works, this section answers questions about navigation, lesson planning & previewing, how the teacher guides and worksheets work, and more!
Puffin Academy App - Learn how to use Time4Learning on most mobile devices with the Puffin Academy app for iOS and Android! Get details on this kid-friendly app, including how to download and use it on the go with Time4Learning.