April 17, 2009, Newsletter Issue #275: The Steps To Homeschooling

Tip of the Week

•Step One: Ask yourself why you are considering keeping your children at home.
Answering this question will steer you in the right direction when you consider a method. Your answer will also guide you if and when you decide a homeschooling support group for field trips and social and other activities. Beyond that, every relative you've ever had will ask you why you homeschool, so if you know the answer in advance, you can ward off many of the ensuing arguments that will come your way.

•Step Twp: Find out how to homeschool legally in your state. - In the state-by-state information section, look up the state in which you intend to homeschool. You'll find information you need to know about your locale - laws, procedures regarding homeschooling, as well as descriptions and contact information for resource centers, support groups, conferences and other organizations. Homeschooling is currently legal in all states. Do the research and make a general decision about how you will go about it. This is especially helpful if you are removing your children from a "regular" school. Summaries of each state's homeschooling laws are provided in the State-by-State section, however, be aware that these laws can change. You need to check with your local association every few months to be sure you know your precise legal standing. Note: Do not construe anything you read in these tips as legal advice.

•Step Three: Talk to homeschoolers. Go to a local association meeting and talk with some parents. Make sure that you talk with some that have been homeschooling for a few years as well as with some newbies.

•Step Four: Roughly define your family's educational goals. Keep in mind that you are an individual that your family is an individual family. A great strength of homeschooling is that you can customize everything to fit your family and your children's personalities, tastes and interests. Once you define your initial outlook and goals, then choose which books, materials, or tools, if any, that you wish to use.

•Step Five: Find other parents who are homeschooling for the same reason you are. In the beginning stages, surround yourself with those of like of mind. For example, if you are homeschooling for religious reasons, find other homeschoolers of the same background. After you become more experienced and comfortable, branch out and meet other homeschoolers.

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Thanks so much for reading the the Homeschool Tips Newsletter.

The new 2006-2007 Sonlight catalog is hot off the presses! In addition to new educational resources, we've also made some significant improvements to our curriculum, such as expanded flexibility in Reader choices for Levels K through 2.

The catalog also provides several articles with helpful homeschool tips. For example, check out the "Top Ten Goals" article (pp. 146-147) which can help you think through your personal philosophy when it comes to homeschooling. And "Why we use certain books that some homeschoolers won't touch" (pp. 144-145), that gets into some pretty important issues about the content of books. And you won’t want to miss “27 Reasons NOT to Buy Sonlight”—a perennial favorite (beginning on page 148).

To take a look at our catalog online go to:

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Sarita Holzmann
Sonlight Curriculum, Ltd.

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