Homeschooling is legal in all 50 states, however the homeschool regulations vary from state to state. If you are in Ohio, Click here to learn Ohio's homeschool regulations. If you are in another state, please visit the Homeschool Legal Defense Association's website.
Ohio regulations require that you have a high school diploma, GED or equivalent before you may homeschool your child. It is normal to be nervous about schooling your children. It is an awesome responsibility. Rest assured, you know your child better than anyone else. You are the MOST qualified person to meet the unique educational needs of your child. Join a support group/Co-op, if you feel like you need more guidance and support.
Homeschooled children can have as many friends as a child who goes to a public or private school. In a home school environment children mingle with multiple age groups and become confident socializing with many ages of children and adults. They learn from the adult example that is set.
There are many opportunities for children to engage with peers their own age: playing with neighborhood children, participating in a gym class, church related activities, sports, team activities or clubs, or by taking specialized lessons. The difference between school and home is not IF your children are socializing, rather it is with whom your child is socializing. If you join a homeschool co-op, children can learn and work together in a group setting. Deep, lifelong friendships can be established through these groups. Need a co-op? Why not join ABLE?
You can certainly homeschool on a budget. How much it costs to homeschool depends on how many children you have, if your curriculum is new or used, which co-op you join, and which extra-curricular activities you participate in. Purchasing used materials and joining a fair priced co-op - you could spend as little as $200/year (maybe less!). Of course, you can always spend much more!
Ohio regulations require 900 hours of education during the school year. If you follow the school calendar, this will break down to about 5 hours per day. Some parents choose to school less time, but for more days in the school year. Remember that those 900 hours include any educational time - not just book time. Once you include educational videos, field trips, and extra-curricular activities - the 900 hours goes quickly! Deciding if you can work, or balance the responsibilities of a single mom - well, that is a personal decision only you can make! If your children are able to work independently - you will have an easier time working away from them.
A virtual school is usually internet based schooling for your child under the supervision of a teacher, and authority of a public or private school. Some of these virtual schools are private schools which can cost thousands of dollars. You will be given curriculum to use, which must be returned to the school upon completion of the school year. You must stay accountable to a school official, and the school will test your child.
Some of these schools are public (government) schools. Public virtual schools will use a public school curriculum and forbid the teaching of Christian material in the same way as any public school. Like the private school, you are under the authority of the school and the supervision of a teacher. The public school will send you curriculum and supplies as well. The real benefit to these schools is that they are free of charge. The obvious drawback is the inability to customize your child's education to best suit your child. This lack of freedom is why many homeschoolers avoid the virtual school option.
Math and Language are usually grade specific courses. Still the basic skills can be reinforced with all your grades together. You might be surprised at how much your younger children will learn from listening to you teach the older children. Subjects such as History or Science can be taught for multiple grades. Many curricula are designed with this purpose in mind. Notebooking and Lapbooking are an easy way of teaching multiple skill levels together. This method can be used in any subject. Allowing older children to be more self-directed will free your time to work with the younger ones. Needless to say, there are many ways to work around multiple skill levels. You will find (possibly through trial and error) what works best for your family.
Colleges today do accept homeschooled children! Still, you have to play by the same rules that everyone else does. You need to keep transcript records, grades, and determine credits. There are many resources available to parents homeschooling high-school students. HSLDA offers resources at http://www.hslda.org/high school/
Another option for high-school homeschoolers is duel credits. This is when your student studies a college level course at home, and takes the CLEP tests to show they are competent in the subject. CLEP (College-Level Examination Program) tests can count as a course credit for both high-school and college. College Plus has information about CLEP tests and an organized program to earn your bachelors degree from home.
At the beginning of the year get a 3or 4 inch binder and some dividers. Create a section for each subject. As you complete work through the year, put samples of the work in your child's portfolio. Exactly what you add to your portfolio will, of course, vary. You may choose to add: tests, special worksheets, projects or photos of projects, awards or certificates, descriptions of field trips and photos from field trips, special classes, service projects, and so on. You should NOT add complete workbooks, as the assessor will not have time to review everything. You may include in the front of your portfolio copies of your notification forms, outline, etc, and a copy of the letter excusing your child from school. If you create your portfolio as you work through the year it makes preparing for your assessment a snap!
Would you like to help other homeschool mom's? Contact Us!
(Put help homeschoolers in the subject line!)
Learn how to get started!
Homeschool Q and A page to find answers to frequently asked questions.
Find all sorts of resources for homwschool families!