The first step to homeschooling is to look up individual your state’s requirements. Each state varies in what is required to register a child for homeschool. Many states will need you to register with your local truancy officer, and this will mean filling out a form with your basic information and information about the curricula you will be using.
Research your individual state’s requirements, and know what you need to have ready before you go to register. Once you know what you need for your state, you can begin to make a plan for your homeschool program.
Picking Out A Curriculum
Once you know what you have to have as a bare minimum for your state, you can begin researching curriculums. Some general guidelines to follow are:
- How much time do I have to commit to homeschooling?
- What is my budget for homeschooling?
- Does my child have any special requirements?
- Does my state have any special requirements?
- Do I need or want accreditation (or Carnegie unit credits)?
- What are my future plans?
One of the first misconceptions for homeschooling is that it has to be a heavy time commitment with planning. This is untrue. There are many curriculums that have ways for you to set up a lesson plan in just a few clicks of a button through a parent dashboard or have a set lesson plan that you follow. You can choose a curriculum that does the planning for you, or you can choose to set up the lessons yourself in a Google Classroom or Spreadsheet for your child to access or just an approach homeschool from day to day.
Get an idea of what kind of structure you want and time commitment, and then make sure that what you have planned matches all requirements for your individual state and child.
Homeschooling does not have to be expensive. It can be hard to navigate search engines for free or inexpensive curricula for your child, but there are plenty of options for homeschooling on a budget. Determine your budget for homeschooling, make sure that you can find a curriculum that meets all requirements and is in your budget before purchasing.
For a breakdown of different curriculums based on price, time, and other requirements, check out our handy curriculum guide here.
While you need to make sure you dot every I and cross every T for your state and local requirements, you also need to consider your child’s own special requirements. If your child is gifted, nuero-diverse, or has any special needs for an appropriate learning environment, you may want to consider programs geared towards your child’s individual developmental requirements. Some parents may also want religious-based or non-religious based curriculum, and will want to take into consideration if the curriculum of their choice is meeting those needs.
For most lower grades, credits are not required. However, for some middle school and high school students, you may want an accredited program over one that is not. You may also want to confirm that they are Carnegie unit credits that can be transferred to a high school or college. Not all schools will require them, but this is something to consider for teens. Especially, if you intend to only homeschool for a portion of their high school career.
If you are only planning to homeschool for a brief period, you will want to consider what your child will need to reenroll in a public school at a later date and be kept at their same grade level. If you know what school they will be attending in the future, call the school and discuss what goals need to be met for your child’s grade level to make sure they can re-enter when the time comes.
Register For Homeschool
Once you know what you need and you’ve had time to find a curriculum that fits your family and schedule, then contact your truancy officer and set up an appointment to register your children for homeschool.