So, you've decided to homeschool - but where do you begin?
- The first step is to get your curriculum. (ABLE or other support groups can help if the need is immediate)
- Then you need to lay out a list of the curriculum and supplies you plan to use this year. (you will need this to notify)
- Now you're ready to notify your school district. You may need to notify the school superintendent. In the case of a "local school" (such as Bethel local, or Tecumseh local school districts) you will need to contact your county superintendent. To notify you can send them this notification form with the above curriculum list.
Be certain to send this certified mail!
- The Superintendent has 15 days to respond. You should receive a letter letting you know that your child has been excused from attendance for the year, but you may not.
- Create a "school schedule" This helps kids and you! If you have a "schedule" the children will know that this is school time not play time. (There are a lot of distractions at home!) Stick to your schedule, but be flexible!
- Create a portfolio. If you add to your portfolio throughout the year, you will save yourself hours of hassle at the end of the year! Even if you choose to have your child tested, the portfolio will make a great keepsake of this year's work. (And you won't be buried under mountains of papers!)
- Gather 3", 3 ring binders for each child.
- As your children take tests or completes writing assignments, place their work in the binder.
- Take photos of field trips and add them to your portfolio with a brief explanation of the trip
- Take photos of large projects and add these to your portfolio as well.
- You may also add copies of your notification forms, and response letter.
- At the end of the year you will need to have your child assessed. You can either have your child tested, or have a certified teacher review a portfolio of your child's work. You will send in the correct assessment form with next year's notification to your superintendent.
Before you begin to homecshool your children you should be aware of how great a commitment you are making. Homeschooling demands a sacrifice of your time and treasure. Ohio regulations for homeschoolers require 900 hours of "school" time. This time can include anything educational (videos, sports, or other recreational activities etc). You are not required to keep a record of this time, but you must guarantee that you will commit this time.
Many mom's find it helpful to become a part of a homeschool co-op or support group.
(Like ABLE - but there are many other groups around too!) Mom's in your support group can help you get started. But there are other reasons you may choose to join a support group:
- Advice from seasoned homeschoolers can make all the difference in the world when you encounter difficulties!
- Homeschool groups often offer "used curriculum sales" that help you save a fortune on your curriculum!
- Fellowship with people who understand your choices, and agree with your reasoning makes dealing with unsupportive families members bearable!
- Children make friends with common experiences
- Discounts on HSLDA, field trips, and so on.
- Group competitions, and activities.
Find curriculum and other resources here!
Still have Questions? Check out Homeschool FAQ
OR for specific questions; Ask a Homeschooler!