How to Start Homeschooling in Pittsburgh
Maybe you always envisioned your family learning at home, or perhaps circumstances have led you to it. Either way, you are here because you are ready to start homeschooling in Pittsburgh. As you boldly embark on a brand new adventure, Time4Learning is here to help you get off to a confident start. On this page you will find information on everything from what to do first to choosing curriculum to homeschool field trips. Let the adventure begin!
- How to Homeschool in Pittsburgh
- Time4Learning Curriculum for Homeschooling in Pittsburgh
- Field Trips in Pittsburgh and Beyond
- Additional Resources Related to Homeschooling in Pennsylvania
This information should by no means be interpreted as legal advice. It is your responsibility to interpret and understand the laws that you will be homeschooling under.
How to Homeschool in Pittsburgh
Homeschoolers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania need to follow these steps to start homeschooling their children:
- Thoroughly research the homeschool laws for Pennsylvania.
- File a homeschooling affidavit for all the children in your household, along with a list of educational objectives for each child, with your local superintendent’s office by August 1 of each homeschool year (for first time homeschoolers, you may file this at any time).
- Once you are notified that your home packet is complete and accepted, you can officially withdraw your student from his/her current school (if enrolled).
- Choose the best homeschool curriculum that fits your student and family needs.
- Make note of the deadlines for your upcoming homeschool year including dates for your renewal affidavit, standardized testing, evaluations, and when to submit your documentation at the end of each homeschool year.
- Start having fun learning together!
Time4Learning Curriculum for Homeschooling in Pittsburgh
When you begin homeschooling for the first time, you need more than just a curriculum. You need a partner in this new adventure! Time4Learning has been at the forefront of the homeschooling movement for almost 20 years. We know homeschoolers. We understand that you need a program that not only provides comprehensive, standards-based instruction, but makes homeschooling fun for your children and seamless for you as a parent.
Through the years, Time4Learning has become increasingly popular with Pittsburgh homeschooling families. Here are just some of the reasons why our curriculum is at the top of the list for homeschoolers in Allegheny County:
- Time4Learning’s comprehensive curriculum for grades PreK-12 includes many of the subjects required by PA homeschool law, including English Language Arts, Arithmetic, Civics, History of the U.S., Health Education, Science, and Geography.
- Parents have access to many tools that help them schedule and organize their homeschool year.
- Membership includes access to award-winning curriculum in PreK-12 as well as time-saving automated grading and reports that automatically track and record your student’s progress.
- Each grade’s curriculum is aligned to state standards and can help prepare homeschoolers for required standardized testing.
- The multimedia lessons combine video and animation to keep students engaged. Concepts are taught in short chunks and are followed by interactive software exercises for reinforcement and discovery learning.
- Virtual labs, interactive projects, guided notes, and much more help enhance material, bring concepts to life, and allow students to apply what they’ve learned.
Time4Learning is accessible to kids with widely varying learning aptitudes. Because of the flexibility of the curriculum, and how each student can move at his or her own pace through the lessons, T4L works well for kids who are gifted, kids with learning disabilities, and kids with all learning aptitudes in between!
Field Trips in Pittsburgh and Beyond
Choosing homeschooling is to recognize that education is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor. You understand that learning happens everywhere–not just in a classroom or even within the walls of your home. One of the other things that makes Time4Learning ideal for homeschooling families is that it is so flexible. Many families schedule their weeks so that they are logging into their Time4Learning lessons four days a week and then using the other weekday for things like extracurricular homeschool classes in Pittsburgh, homeschool group or co-op activities, or field trips.
If this sounds appealing, we have a sampling of field trip ideas in the Pittsburgh area to get you started.
Carnegie Science Center– The Science Center is one of four Carnegie Museums in Pittsburgh, but it might be the most popular. You’ll have four floors of interactive exhibits to explore, and an opportunity to enjoy STEM-related shows at the associated planetarium and theater. Are you studying robotics? The museum hosts the world’s largest permanent robotics exhibition. The museum hosts multiple homeschool workshops through the year targeted to specific age groups.
Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens– What better way to study botany and ecology than to do it in person and hands-on? Pittsburgh historic gardens offers your homeschool the opportunity to explore the beauty and wonders of nature within 15 acres of 23 distinct gardens and a 14-room glasshouse. Educational programs abound, including science camps, cooking classes for kids, discovery programs, and even internships for high school students.
Beechwood Farms Nature Reserve– Just outside Pittsburgh in Fox Chapel, PA, you’ll find a 134-acre protected area for exploring flora, fauna, and wildlife. With more than 5 miles of walking trails through woodlands, fields, and streams, this is the perfect way to interject your homeschooling with outdoor education and exercise. Wildlife is abundant on the reserve, so be on the lookout for deer, red fox, skunks, raccoons, or screech owls during your visit.
Senator John Heinz History Center– Are you studying Pennsylvania state history? Then don’t miss a visit to this affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution which focuses on telling the story of Western PA. The six floors of permanent and changing exhibits include areas focused on the life of Senator Heinz, the history of the city of Pittsburgh, the Western PA Sports museum, and much, much more. The museum hosts dedicated Homeschool Days as well as regular homeschool programming.
Mattress Factory – When you are ready to inspire your homeschooler’s creativity, it’s time for a visit to the Mattress Factory, a campus of three buildings in the Mexican War Streets neighborhood of Pittsburgh’s Northside. This contemporary art museum features exhibits that use sound, video projections, sculpture, painting, photography, and other art forms. Experience the museum through a guided tour, or even take part in dedicated art workshops designed for kids and teens. If you have an artistic homeschooler, they might enjoy taking part in an interactive summer camp at the Mattress Factory.
Meadowcroft Rock Shelter and Historic Village– Less than an hour’s drive from Pittsburgh is a historic site definitely worth the trip. This archaeological treasure seems to indicate human activity in the area for over 19,000 years–the longest sequence of continuous human occupation in the New World! Experience what life was life for the earliest Native Americans while getting a unique look into an ongoing archaeological excavation. You can also experience a historical timeline of the area by walking through a series of interpretive villages designed to resemble various time periods of the past 500 years. A full Teacher’s Guide for Educators is available on the website.