Homeschooling—Getting Started

Know Your State Law

  • Homeschooling is legal in every state in the United States.
  • Obtain information about your state homeschooling law.
  • One source is to contact your local school district who can provide a packet of information concerning homeschooling, including a synoptic paragraph about legal requirements. Inquiries can be made with no strings attached.
  • Another source of information is to contact your state homeschool organization which also can provide information about homeschooling in your state. Other homeschoolers can provide you with the proper telephone number.
  • In addition, those interested in homeschooling can contact Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA.org), a national homeschool legal organization. They can provide information regarding legal requirements as well as membership into their organization.
  • All of these suggestions are made as points of reference and are not necessarily considered to be endorsements.

More information about homeschooling and the law

Obtain Curriculum

  • Most states expect you to obtain a reliable curriculum, although some states have the authority to approve or disapprove your choice.
  • Many states expect you to teach the academic disciplines such as spelling, handwriting, English, reading, math, science, and history.
  • Most state homeschool organizations hold curriculum fairs during spring or summer.
  • You should purchase basic curriculum first and then add extras such as charts, globes, maps, science kits, manipulatives, and flash cards.
  • You should look for a curriculum with daily lesson plans that take the guesswork out of what you need to teach your child on his grade level.
  • You should purchase curriculum early (possibly 2-3 months before teaching) in order to become familiar with the format and to prepare lesson plans.

Christian vs. secular textbooks (www.christianvssecular.com)

Set Up Your Homeschool

  • Establish a special place in your home.
  • Equip your teaching area with necessary teacher and student school supplies and resources, including encyclopedias, dictionaries, etc.
  • Use student desks or tables and chairs as well as a chalkboard or marker board.
  • Organize your curriculum and resources in bookshelves.

Begin Keeping Records

  • Many states require a record-keeping system.
  • Store records in a filing system by school year and child.
  • Store samples of your student's work as well as standardized test results.

Organize Your Time

  • Develop a school schedule based on the number of days your state requires.
  • Consider a year-round schedule vs. a nine-month schedule as well as a daily schedule.
  • Include long-term projects, seasonal activities, ministries, holidays, and vacations in your schedule.
  • Develop a teaching plan based on the number of children you have.

Prepare Lesson Plans

  • Plan at least one week's lessons ahead of time, gathering materials for lessons, collecting resources for lessons, preparing visuals, etc.
  • Use a daily lesson plan book for lesson number and pages, activities, and student textbook and workbook pages.
  • Review the evening before to refresh your memory and to put materials in place for the next day.

More information about lesson plans

Find a Support Group

  • Attend several meetings to become acquainted with the group and its purposes.
  • Assess group goals and standards to be sure they are in keeping with those you want and have for your family.
  • Inquire of the group or other homeschoolers about how to obtain good magazines and helpful newsletters.

Still Have Questions?

Our homeschool consultants have a combined total of 24 years of homeschooling experience and 19 years of classroom experience. They want to pass on their wisdom to help make your homeschooling experience a success. Call or e-mail today.

email | hsconsult@bjupress.com
phone | 800.845.5731
  M-F 8am-5pm ET