By J. E. Burke
It is the first day of the 180 days of homeschool. You've purchased all of your supplies, created a daily or weekly curriculum and you're ready to go. Why then do you have a big lump in your throat and think that you're making a big mistake? Don't worry; you are one of the thousands that have made the decision to leave the comfort of public schools and brave the homeschool frontier. A few homeschool basics will help reinforce your commitment to see this project through. Help is never farther than a phone call to a local homeschooling chapter member or a click of your mouse. Three homeschool basics include finding the right curriculum, finding support and navigating the legal issues in your locale.
The Right Curriculum
The right curriculum for your child depends on their style of learning and what you as a teacher hope to accomplish. One of the best ways to choose a curriculum is to attend a homeschool fair in your state. These fairs have lots of vendors and free catalogs, guest speakers with great advice and attending one will give you an opportunity to network with other homeschooling parents in your area. Plan to attend one of these each year you homeschool to keep you on top of the latest news as well as the most current teaching materials. Many parents will agree that you shouldn't buy something until you need it. If you buy a bunch of books but don't have an idea of when you will use them, put off buying them until later. Child-centered learning will lead you in the direction that the child wants to go- you may never have an opportunity to use that Mount Rushmore activity book that you spent too much money on!
Many parents agree that you need support, especially if this is your first go-round with homeschooling. It is easy to get discouraged, especially if your family keeps asking you questions like 'how will your child ever get socialized if they don't go to regular school?' Stick to your guns and explain that children in regular school don't get to socialize constantly- they usually only socialize during lunch and recess. The rest of the time a child spends in school is focusing on the work at hand. Joining clubs, school sports teams or dance and gymnastics classes will help your child make friends and become 'socialized.' If you feel discouraged, contact other homeschooling parents in your area that have done it successfully for a few years and express your concerns.
Know the Legal Issues
Finally, contact your local school prior to the beginning of the school year to find out what the homeschool requirements are. Generally all you will have to do is fill out a few forms indicating that you are homeschooling and what your curriculum plans are. If your child wants to play on a sports team find out what the rules at your school are for homeschooled children. If you follow these three homeschooling basics you will be off to a great school year.
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Magic Learning Systems also provides excellent products to enhance the homeschool experience for teachers and students. Read more about this excellent learning system in our Homeschool Success Newsletter.
Copyright 2005 Burke Publications All Rights Reserved
Dr. J. Elisha Burke
Editor, Homeschool Success Newsletter
Dr. J. E. Burke, a college instructor, has been involved in various educational and business enterprises via Burke Publications for 11 years. Dr. Burke is an educator, writer and motivational speaker on a variety of topics. He is also known for his expertise on nonprofit organizations and grant proposal writing. Dr. Burke may be contacted at email@example.com