How to Educate Yourself about Homeschooling

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 11,173
    Homeschool expert Leslie Nathaniel discusses how to educate yourself about homeschooling.

    Leslie Nathaniel: Hello, I am Leslie Nathaniel, homeschooling, mother of two and a member of the Board of Directors for the Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers. We are talking about how to begin homeschooling your child and in this segment, I will show you how to educate yourself about homeschooling.

    If you are watching this video, chances are you've already decided to homeschool your child or seriously considering it. You want to know more about homeschooling and what it can offer your child and family as well as what will be involved. Each state has its own regulations regarding homeschooling and requirements very widely. For specific information about what is required in your state, the best place to start is with your state's homeschool organization. Although there are many resources on the web that claim to describe the requirements of each state, regulations do change and many sites contain outdated information or broken links. Local school division sometimes give out inaccurate or outdated information. Your state homeschool organization should be able to direct you to an up-to-date source for your state's laws on homeschooling as well, as simple guidance on how to comply with the regulations. If your state doesn't have a statewide organization, get in touch with a local group.

    To find your state homeschool organization, use an internet search function like Google to search on your state's name and state homeschool organization. You will also want some general information about homeschooling, including some ideas on how to begin. We have lots of good information available on our website, www.


    org. Another popular site is the the A to Z Home's Cool website produced by Ann Zeise. You can find that site using an Internet search or the link at the bottom of your screen. There are variety of authors who have written books on homeschooling and many are available at public libraries across the country. You can also find popular books at the Virginia Homeschoolers online bookstore. John Holt wrote some of the earliest and best known books on homeschooling and child-led learning. Linda Dobson is a popular conference speaker and author of many books on homeschooling including the 'Homeschooling Book of Answers' and the 'Ultimate Book of Homeschooling Ideas'.

    Homeschooling author Mary Griffith has written several comprehensive and well-balanced books about homeschooling including 'The homeschooling Handbook' and 'The Unschooling Handbook'. John Taylor Gatto presents a truly radical view on education and homeschooling philosophy, while Jessie Wise and her daughter Susan Wise Bauer have written 'A Guide to Classical Education at Home: The Well-Trained Mind'. Kathy Kuhl's books on homeschooling high school and college admissions offer much valuable information for families with teens. When it comes to choosing curriculum, it can help to have some good catalogs on hand as well as product reviews. Rebecca Rupp's book, 'Home Learning Year by Year', provides an excellent summary of what is typically taught at each grade level and can be a great starting point for planning your own curriculum and figuring out what topics might come next for your child.

    Rainbow Resource is one homeschooling vendor that publishes a huge catalog over 1300 pages of curriculum materials and product reviews. One of your best resources for learning more about homeschooling is going to be families like yours that have already chosen homeschooling. Seek out other homeschoolers in your community or online and ask them about their reasons for homeschooling and what it offers their families. When you find a family with an approach to homeschooling that appeals to you, ask them about their resources and what works well. Remember though that every child and family is different, what is a terrific fit for your best homeschooling friend, might not work at all for your child.

    A homeschool conference or resource fair is a terrific opportunity to hear speakers on homeschool topics, ask questions, and see a variety of curriculum materials. Your state or neighboring state homeschool organization may put on annual conferences or there may be a commercial conference near by. Many homeschool conferences are family affairs with sessions for children and adults.

    Finally, as you begin to discuss your plans to homeschool with family and friends, you may encounter scepticism and concern. Sometimes one parent is reluctant to homeschool because, he or she may be uncertain about how homeschooling will work or whether the children will be prepared for college in adulthood. Grandparents may have similar concerns. As you find books, websites and other materials that answer your own concerns, you will be better prepared to address the concerns of family and friends. You can offer to loan them a book or print a few pages of online articles for them. Grandparents might enjoy accompanying your family on a trip to a local homeschooling conference. You can remind them too, that as your child's parent, you are making a decision you feel is in your child's best interest. You have done some research, and believe homeschooling is the best educational choice for your child at this time. You are always free to reevaluate your situation and make changes to suit your child and family as things change.

    We hope you've enjoyed this introduction to living and learning through homeschooling. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about home schooling in Virginia or if you are interested in learning more about the Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers. Best wishes to you and your family with your homeschooling adventures.