Thinking About Homeschooling? Don't Know Where to Start? Or did you already make the decision to homeschool, and now your a little lost on what to do next?
A good place to start is by knowing your state's laws on homeschooling, and understanding your rights as a parent. Join the Home School Legal Defense Association. It's $120 a year. It's not mandatory, but some like the security of being a member, especially when you have older kids you're homeschooling. They keep you informed on the latest laws, and current homeschool bills in your state. If anything were to come up, like truancy, daytime curfew, or CPS etc. they fight your battles for you:
Local Associations and Co-ops:
Look into your local Homeschool Associations. We are members of the Gloucester County Christian Homeschool Association (you don't have to live in Gloucester County), but best to live within the county or surrounding counties) and it's only $36 a year and they do sports, seasonal crafts days, moms' meetings, family fellowship events, group park outing twice weekly (in the Spring), an annual end of the year family field day, and a field trip a month, which most are free or a very small fee... I know soccer in the fall is only $10 to join too. There are over 150 kids in our soccer league. This association also organizes standardized testing (optional); and 8th and high school graduations ceremonies.
Find more info here:
A couple local co-ops near us are LEARN:
And Classical Conversations:
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Homeschool Conventions and Magazine Subscriptions:
Even though I live in New Jersey, Pennsylvania has amazing resources for homeschooling. Perhaps because of their large Amish community? The Christian Homeschool Association of Pennsylvania is a great resource. Visit their website at https://chaponline.com . They are always updating this site with all kinds of information. CHAP has an annual Homeschool convention, which is amazing. Its great to be able to tangibly compare curriculums side by side. They also hold workshops at the convention. The convention is usually sometime in May or early June. The next convention will be held June 1-2, 2018 at the Lancaster Convention Center. Find more details on the website. Also, you can sign up to get a free subscription to CHAP magazine, which I get. It's filled with family testimonies, and great for comparison on different homeschool approaches, resources, teaching styles, and the different curriculums.
Also, go to https://christianbooks.com and sign up for their homeschool catalog. This is a great resource that puts a ton of curriculum all in one spot for comparison.
As far as which curriculums are best, or rather; which are best for your children? Here's a site that gives reviews and compares most of them:
There are probably hundreds out there but my favorites are:
Heart of Dakota is what I used my very first year homeschooling my oldest. I started her in Kindergarten when she was 4. (She was very ready, and eager). This a great choice if you have children very close in age as it is not grade specific. It can be used with multiple ages at the same time.
Abeka is what I use for Kindergarten, and for phonics, and language arts throughout most of the elementary levels. They have a thourough reading program as well, if you so choose. It's great all around and the kits come with a ton of stuff. Both Heart of Dakota and Abeka are about the same price online.
Saxon Math is what I use for Math after Kindergarten. The teacher editions give you word for word lesson plans so it does all the work for you, which is great for busy moms! And the manipulative kit is good for grades k-3 so you get a ton of use out of it, especially if you have more than one child.
Five in a Row is a comprehensive curriculum that is also not grade specific. "Five in a Row is comprised of 4 manuals. Volumes 1-3 contain units that are all written at about the same level based on books at about the same level, and the units can be completed in any order. The units in Volume 4 are based on more difficult literature, cover more challenging concepts and designed to be completed over a two week period of time. Together, the four volumes of Five in a Row contain 70 unit studies covering Social Studies, Geography, Language Arts, Applied Math, Science and Art in a way that causes children to fall in love with learning." & reading... Basically it's literature based and the teacher guides provide lessons in all subjects based off of whatever book your child is currently reading in the curriculum. It has the shortest amount of preparation time for the parents, and is best for parents with kids close in age and whose kids love to read. My friend used it with her two daughters who are a little over a year apart. I may consider it in the future, the concept seems interesting, and I love the idea of less prep time, but I'd want to look more into it.
Another Literature based, comprehensive curriculum is Prairie Primer. We are HUGE Little House on the Prairie fanatics at our house! So I knew this curriculum was one I definitely wanted to try out. My oldest Sophia is on her 3rd book in the Laura Ingles Wilder series and the curriculum that goes along with it is a lot of fun.
Based on the Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder, The Prairie Primer opens a door to the 1800’s world of the homesteader on the American frontier. Discover that Pa and Caroline were married in the year Abraham Lincoln was elected president. Understand why men moved their families to the frontier.
This award-winning curriculum has been utilized by government, private, and home schools for both regular academic programs and as a summer supplemental course. Although developed for students in grades 3–6, it has been used successfully with younger as well as older students.
In addition to literature and history, The Primercovers social studies, geography, writing, science, health, nutrition, Bible, character building, and life application.
The wide variety of subjects and activities allows the instructor to tailor the study to the age, ability, and interest appropriate for your child. (www.cadroncreek.com ).
I purchased the book series, the Prairie Primer Teachers manual, and The Little House Cookbook (as we love to learn in the kitchen!) The Little House Craft Book is next on my list of books to own. Many other of the suggested materials that go along with the curriculum can be found at the library.
My Father's World is what I'm using this year for Sophia's Science and History because it was given to me... I like it. It is very God-the-Creator centered. Which is a plus in my book!
Internet Resources and FREE Printables:
Here's a list of other resources I use as "extras" or for subjects like: social studies, science, history, geography, health, etc. that I don't usually order a specific curriculum for. Most of them offer free printables. (Which I plan to do more of too, by the way, in the very near future!)):
http://blessedbeyondadoubt.activehosted.com/subscribe_confirm_result/1//fd2b55accf310feaba1549709947f9ab If this one doesn't work, you may have to subscribe first, just go to which I recommend anyway, lots of great tips and articles. Subscribe at: http://www.blessedbeyondadoubt.com/
Those are just a few online resources. Some sites even have a worksheet generator where you can create your own worksheets.
There are assistance programs for low-income families, single moms, military families, special needs in the family, etc.
Additional homeschool resources, including Facebook resources:
Curriculum and Planning:
Art and Playtime:
My Facebook group is called Nourish the Body, Nourish the Soul. It's not strictly about homeschooling, but I share a lot about homeschooling in the group:
Also, I have a board on homeschooling on Pinterest. Lots of great ideas and resources in there too. Follow me.
This may seem all overwhelming, but it's all pretty user friendly.
I'm here if you have anymore questions. I hope this helps.
Here are some great book options to help get you started on your homeschooling journey:
Here are some of my favorite homeschooling toys... er I mean tools hehe:
If you're interested to learn more about why we homeschool check out my post titled, Why We Homeschool here:
If you would like to discover how we overcome "the obstacle" of socialization check out my post titled, But What About Socialization? here:
I hope you enjoyed this post and found it informational and useful. If you have, please continue to spread the information by sharing this post with others! After all, sharing is caring! God bless!