Welcome to Homeschooling Guide
Since opening Time4Learning in 2003, we've spoken with thousands of parents who chose homeschooling for many different reasons. And regardless of the circumstances that led them there, we've observed that all homeschooling families have at least one thing in common: they want what's best for their children.
If you are just entering the world of homeschooling, you're probably feeling a little exhilarated, a bit unsure, and somewhat overwhelmed. You are not alone! Many parents who make the decision to oversee their children’s education have similar feelings at the beginning... and they also have questions.
Since Time4Learning has many experienced homeschoolers, we gathered some of our seasoned members to create the "Welcome to Homeschooling Guide," which answers the basic question that most new homeschoolers call us asking: "How do I start?"
A Welcome to Homeschooling Guide for Families
As a growing number of new homeschoolers called Time4Learning asking "how do I start?" it became clear that the question had not been answered elsewhere. Instead, new homeschoolers were being bombarded with an endless array of curriculum descriptions, methodologies and wildly-enthusiastic websites offering information that doesn't make sense without a working knowledge of the basics.
The Welcome to Homeschooling Guide has a clear purpose: to give new homeschoolers a tool that would answer basic questions and help them take the first steps of homeschooling. It includes tools, tips, resources and advice that seasoned homeschoolers wish they had gotten in the beginning. Here are a few excerpts from the guide:
...Understanding Your Child Academically
When starting to homeschool, many parents’ first instinct is to go shopping. Often parents start buying expensive curriculum prior to having a good understanding of what might actually work for their child. This turns out to be one of the most common errors that parents make.
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.
...Learn the laws.
Be sure to know and follow your state's legal requirements. Many have a choice of rules under which you can homeschool. For instance, Florida’s compulsory education requirement can be met by homeschoolers in a number of ways such as by enrolling in a private “homeschool cover school” or notifying your local school board that you're establishing a “home education program”. You should seek competent legal advice if you have questions.
...Learn about “Learning”.
Learning is a broad concept that has to do with learning styles, memory access & usage, meta-cognition (learning how to learn), as well as reading, writing, and arithmetic. Since every child is unique in their way of learning, our primary teaching role as a parent and teacher is that of a role model or mentor. When children see that you value learning, they will respond by returning the investment.
Find some mentors and friends. Speak to some like-minded homeschooling families and ask them what they do and recommend. Try to find local families with whom you can share ideas and activities on an ongoing basis...
Over the past ten years, the web has exploded with information about all-things -homeschooling. There are fantastic websites with oodles of homeschooling articles, recommendations, and forums...
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!
...Plan your year.
Once you’ve identified the courses or materials you want to cover, come up with a logical way of working through them in a school year....
...And plan your day.
Most children do best with diverse activities, but a predictable schedule. Younger children will particularly want to know which times will be set aside for one-on-one work....
...Use the right materials at the right time… and for the right child.
We suggest avoiding any program which claims to be THE COMPLETE SOLUTION for your child. Each child's needs are different. NO program, either online, video, or text-based should be a stand-alone homeschool curriculum, especially for younger children....
...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.
...Learn the lingo.
As you are beginning this journey, you have probably already noticed that homeschoolers have a language of their own. Here are some terms and definitions that will help you make sense of this new lingo....
Homeschooling is unlike any other adventure you will embark on with your child. You are sure to have successes, failures, frustrations, and victories....
My daughter always liked learning, but Time4Learning has turned "like" into love! I've never seen her so excited to do lessons, before!
It's amazing how quickly my kids are learning difficult concepts. The animation really helps them apply the lessons to something tangible!
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.