Are you fed up with having your children on Zoom six hours a day? Are you thinking of putting a toe in the water to try homeschooling this fall if your local schools don’t open? You are not alone!
Here are some important steps and links to programs from a veteran K-12 homeschooler.
- Talk to your local school district. They are not going to be surprised, and they may be far more supportive of your decision than you might expect.
- Check out your state laws. Some states are very strict about homeschooling, some require absolutely nothing in the way of reporting. You can find out more from your local school district, your state’s Department of Education website or this (possibly out of date) Propublica compilation from 2015.
- In most places, children in grades K-8 can move in and out of homeschooling with no problem. In many regions this is not the case in high school. However, even if your school district is one of the “all or nothing” homeschool areas, you may find that these standards are considerably relaxed during COVID 19. Districts that are not supportive of homeschoolers coming in and out of school may completely support your efforts and even supply you with books and resources if you are short-term homeschooling because of COVID-19.
- If you are thinking about moving permanently into homeschooling, check out my video Homeschooling 101 for long-term homeschoolers.
Most homeschoolers use a mix and match approach to finding curriculum. This is usually less expensive than buying a boxed curriculum and offers more flexibility. Most students are a little ahead in some subjects, a little behind in others, and mixing and matching allows you to teach the student at exactly the right level.
Here is a list to get you started. There are many, many other options, but if you want something open and go, here is a starting point. All recommendations are secular. There are no affiliate links.
Option 1: Full curriculum package
You can buy an entire year’s worth of school in a single package from vendors such as Oak Meadow. (This can come with or without professional teacher support.)
This is the most “like school” and with the teacher support provides a complete, accredited academic program for a year of homeschool. (Note, accreditation is normally only important if you are returning to a public high school; colleges generally don’t care, and very few elementary or middle schools care.)
Option 2: Budget homeschooling for a couple of months
Check out Math Mammoth for Grades 1-8 (Placement tests are available). (PDF or paperback). Add poker chips for the younger grades. ($18.75 for half a year). Math Mammoth books are listed as 1-7. Book Seven is pre-algebra, which most American students study in either seventh or eighth grade.
Learn to Read: Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons ($15 new; used copies available)
2nd Grade Reading Level or Above: Read free choice books. Check out your library’s digital book collection and Project Gutenberg for free books.
Elementary & Middle School: Documentaries and free reading
US Presidential Election / US Government on iCivics
Full Year of Homeschooling, Mixing and Matching Curriculum
Check out this blog: School in a Box, Out of the Box
Check out this blog: No Calvert? No Problem
My next blog will be on homeschooling a single year of high school.
Kate Laird is the author of Homeschool Teacher: A Practical Guide to Inspiring Academic Excellence http://amzn.to/2avsAnH