Homeschool Questions and Answers
Hopefully you've already read the article on the home
page. It was designed to answer several common questions
Be sure to also consult the information on Takara's
Homeschool Tips, Advice, and Ideas for a Better Education.
Where do I start? I'm thinking about homeschooling. Now what?
1. Understand the law. The first thing you must
do when considering homeschooling your child(ren) is find out
what the laws are in your state.
This step is critical. Every state has a law about children being
educated. If you plan to do the job yourself, you have to dot
the i's and cross the t's the proper way, or you could get in
unnecessary hot water.
Don't worry. In most places it is very clear what to do. Usually
a simple form must be filled out. Often it can be done online.
2. Join a group. Find some local homeschool
groups and join their mailing lists. Then ask online what you
need to do to get started.
If the law in your state offers multiple options, then talk to
the group before you send in any paperwork or fill out any forms.
3. Determine your method. Decide how you plan
to educate. Will you use an all includive curriculum? Will you
unschool? Will you enroll your child in local classes? Will you
use an online program? When, where, and how need to be figured
You don't really need to sweat this too much. As you get used
to it, you will probably change your methods over time.
Having said that, you might consider not choosing an expensive
all inclusive program until you've spent some time teaching your
child(ren) and figured out their learning style. A curriculum
may be great with tons of endorsements from other parents. But
if it doesn't work to your child's strengths and primary learning
style, then you will be wasting a great deal of money and causing
huge frustration for yourself and your child.
4. Fill out the appopriate paperwork, turn it
in, and get started.
5. Keep updated with the current law. States
change the rules from time to time. Make sure you stay up to date
and in compliance.
How will my child get a high school diploma?
There are several ways actually.
1. Some homeschool correspondence programs are accredited and
offer a diploma upon graduation.
2. Many homeschool students attend community college. In New
Mexico students could enroll as early as age 12. In Virginia,
I believe it is 14 or 15. Check with your local community college
for details. Many community colleges offer GED prep classes, sometimes
for free. After passing the GED exam, they receive the General
3. You can create your own. There are some very good recommendations
If homeschooling doesn't work out for us, can my child return
to public school?
Many homeschool students are educated at home for their elementary
education. Then some time during middle or high school they enter
the public school system or attend a private school.
Other students start in public school, home school for awhile,
and then return to public school.
Sometimes a homeschool child will want to attend public school
and they will do so for a year, just for the experience.
Just check with your state on how to enroll your child in public
If I homeschool my child, can they get into college?
Many home educated students go on to community colleges, 4-year
universities, and other institutions of higher learning.
Read the article on the home page of this website to read what
Stanford University thinks about homeschooling.
How far in advance and how much detail do kids need concerning
People need different things and sometimes it's not obvious what
it is they need until you talk about it further.
One thing I do know, though, is that there are basically 2 kinds
of people. According to DISC, a personality profiling exam used
often for work groups, there are 4. But I lump them into 2 when
I'm trying to help people understand the other people they are
After a team I was facilitating went through their DISC exams
and training, I'd go over it in more detail back at the plant.
I'd give them this scenario I made up to drive home the point.
This is what I'd say:
"Let's pretend that it's 2:30 p.m. on a Friday. I'm holding
in my hands some free tickets to Jamaica ~ or some other exotic
location that is "hot" right now for vacationing ~ all
expanses paid. Here is the deal. You have between now and 5 p.m.
to get what you need and meet me at the airport. Who will be there?"
Several hands would typically fly up into the air. And then everyone
in the room starts looking very strangely at one another. Why?
Because everyone thinks the other people are nuts.
People like me would absolutely be there. A free trip to Jamaica,
you bet, no hesitation. And there would be several others who
would also absolutely be there. You see those people are spontaneous.
They live in the moment. They adapt to change. They need little
supervision. They get bored easily. And they hate repetition.
But there is this whole other group of people that would never
in a million years even consider such a thing. There are too many
things to think about, too many details to put in order. They
would not even be tempted to go. They are great at details and
prefer repetition and a "routine" of some kind. And
for the most part those people need structure. They need a plan.
In a corporate environment, I would tell supervisors and managers
that the first group just needs a little bit of direction and
they can run with a change. But they need to give those people
in the second group about 2 weeks notice before they want some
"change" to be implemented. That way the person can
think about it, ask questions, and slowly and comfortably adapt
to the change.
At my house, I'm the one who is spontaneous. My son likes to
know what is going to happen. He isn't an extreme case, he just
needs to know more than I do. So we are spontaneous and adapting
inside a bigger structure.
What I mean is I've put together a weekly schedule that includes
the broad topics we are covering and when, as well as all the
things that happen weekly like classes with others, park days,
even the typical times he is open to hang out with friends. These
are just big chunks of time with the topic listed.
I have this on my google calendar and it is color coded. A certain
color for our classes. Red for events we have signed up for or
I have paid for. Green for events we are invited to attend, but
are not obligated to attend like park days. I pull it up all the
time to stay on track. I also have it printed and put inside of
our homeschool notebook where I keep track of what we are doing
and my favorite resources online.
These are the things we are trying to accomplish each week. The
red things have to be done. The green things we try to do as many
as possible. Our at home classes are flexible. If we have to move
something around because I'm on a phone call or he is skyping
with his dad, it's O.K. if we miss the time. But we will make
it up some other time during the week. And we both know that.
If I had more than 1 kid, I would probably use one of those pin
up boards that is half pin up board and half write on wipe off.
I would post the weekly schedule on the pin up part and hand write
on the other side any unusual events that are not on the recurring
weekly schedule like a doctors visit, along with the time we need
to leave for it. Then everyone is on the same page and those who
need to know about things before they happen have that opportunity.
Those are my thoughts. Hope they are helpful.
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