How to Home School – A Guide for New Homeschooling Families
Countless families have chosen to start homeschooling their children for a great variety of reasons. Time4learning recognizes one common goal of homeschooling parents: they want to help shape the best future for their children.
If you are unfamiliar with homeschooling, it can be a little frightening and you may feel a little discouraged. You are not alone! Many home educators who make the decision to administer their children's education have similar qualms at the beginning and endless questions about how to home school.
Time4Learning has a dynamic group of homeschooling families. We have pooled our resources to provide you with a "How to Home School Guide for New Homeschooling Families," which will give you a foundation as you embark on your homeschooling journey.
How to begin Homeschooling
"I don't know how to home school... Where do we begin?" That was the unanswered question we kept hearing as we opened our doors in 2003. New homeschooling families were being inundated with verbiage on agendas, regimens and curriculum that was meaningless without a basic understanding of the fundamentals.
The "How to Home School Guide for New Homeschooling Families" has been designed to give beginning homeschoolers the answers to the basic questions that will help them in the challenging beginnings of the homeschooling way of life. It includes tools, tips, resources and advice that seasoned homeschoolers wish they had received in the beginning. The guide includes some of these homeschooling basics:
How do I start homeschooling?
While wondering how to homeschool, many parents' first impulse is to go shopping. Before you spend your money on expensive curriculum, our recommendation would be to spend two weeks working with and observing your child across all subjects. You don't want to end up with a program that isn't suited to your child's learning style.
When starting to homeschool, you should learn about your state homeschooling laws and educational requirements. Many states have a choice of rules under which you can homeschool. It's important to speak with local families who know how to home school and can explain how it actually works. You might be interested to read about how to home school from some of our members, who have interpreted and written about the home school laws for your particular state. You can find these write-ups in the Time4Learning state homeschooling information pages.
As you move forward, you will likely need to try different homeschooling methods at different times. It is common to eventually arrive at an "eclectic" approach, which mixes and matches different methods. Time4Learning believes that this is the most valuable since every student learns differently and therefore benefits from an education culled from a variety of styles.
I LOVE Time4Learning! It holds the attention of my kids, plus I can keep track of their learning without hovering over their shoulders.
I am really pleased with Time4Learning. It has made a world of difference in my son's academic performance in school!
Meet Other Homeschooling Families
If you don't have personal contacts, try checking with your community library, watching the community activity listings in your area newspaper, or searching online for local homeschool support groups (try Google - your city name – homeschool support groups.)
Use the Internet
If you have questions, consider asking them in newsgroups, websites, chat rooms, blogs, forums, and search engines. The Internet is rife with online methods for homeschooling parents to easily share information.
Create a Calendar
Be sure to allot enough time to complete all activities in your homeschooling curriculum without feeling rushed, but not so much that your children become bored. This will become easier with experience.
Schedule your Day
Make a plan and stick to it. Of course there will be flexibility since it is a home study schedule, but children do best with a predictable schedule.
My children's favorite part of the day is their time on Time4Learning. This is the easiest and most consistently productive program we've used!
My kids can work independently or with my involvement. Time4Learning has enriched their education and simplified my life!
Be Flexible with your Curriculum
What works for one child for one subject might not work for that same child in another subject. Many families rotate curriculum and approaches so that every semester there is the thrill of a novel approach.
...Keep a portfolio.
Homeschool portfolios document educational progress. They illustrate what your child has learned and are as unique as the families who make them. And although keeping portfolios for your kids might seem scary at first, it doesn't have to be. In fact, some parents approach homeschool record keeping almost as a keepsake.
Talk the Talk
When learning how to home school, understand the lingo. This handy glossary is a good way to familiarize yourself with homeschooling terms.
Time4Learning hopes you will find our How To Home School Guide helpful, and we wish you the best in your homeschooling journey. We hope that you will find a way to integrate our online curriculum into your day, so you and your child are assured of a homeschooling approach that's engaging, motivating and success-oriented.
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!
Some Additional Tools and Resources
The "Welcome to Homeschooling Guide" is just one of many resources Time4Learning offers families. Parents also find these to be useful:
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.
The Lesson Activity Finder - The activity finder is a shortcut that makes it easy for parents to preview lessons, hone in on an area of study 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.