Maybe you have been planning to homeschool for some time or perhaps you have just decided this past week that you are determined to give it a try. In either scenario, you want this to be the best year ever, right? And you are ready to get off to a great start! That's wonderful.
Would you like a few tips on how to get a great start in homeschooling? I have 10 steps that will give you a quick start in homeschooling - in fact, you'll be ready to begin in 48 hours.
1. Since it is summer, you do not need to notify your child's teacher that he won't be coming back to school tomorrow or the day after, BUT you still do need to notify the school district administration in writing that you will be homeschooling your child. At least this is the case in most states. To find out what your state's requirements are, visit the HSLDA website (Home School Legal Defense Association) and click on your state to read up on its laws concerning homechooling - http://www.hslda.org/laws/default.asp. Since homeschooling is legal in all 50 states, it only makes sense to comply with your state's regulations.
2. Choose a subject of special interest for your child. This could be just about anything, but here are a few suggestions... horses, transportation, navigation, energy, magnetism, inventions, architecture, weaponry, colonial living, pioneer days, insects, flowers, watercolor painting, etc. Once you have chosen a subject of interest, head for your local library and check out books on this topic. You may even find some on your own bookshelves. Try to find books that are both fiction and nonfiction. These books are going to form the core of your delight directed study. A delight directed study means that you will center all or most of your studies around this main topic. For example, if the subject is flowers, flower petals can be counted, sorted and multiplied during math time; the anatomy of a flower can be studied (and dissected) for science; a poem about flowers can be copied for handwriting; types of flowers can be the spelling words; and a particularly beautiful flower can be drawn and painted during art time. And, of course, those books will be read and devoured all through the day and even as bedtime books before lights out.
3. You do not need a handwriting/writing curriculum in order to get started with school. At least, not right away. Use a sentence from one of the books that you are reading (from point #2 above) and write it down in your neatest handwriting at the top of a piece of lined paper. Have your young child copy it from your writing. If your child is very young (say kindergarten), you will want to start with just letters, not full words or sentences yet. If your child is older (say 4th grade and up), you may want to skip right past the copywork stage described above and use dictation instead. In place of writing the sentence at the top of the page, instead dictate the sentence slowly and clearly to your child for her to write down from your reading of it. The older the child, the more lengthy the dictation can be (not more than a paragraph though).
Would you like to know the remaining 7 steps to a quick and great start in homeschooling? You will have to visit our new website - www.HomeschoolingABCs.com - to get the rest. It will be live on August 5th. Stay tuned!