OK, so I had no idea what I was doing when I thought “homeschooling is the best way to go!” I felt led in that direction in so many ways, but I had no idea where to start. So, I did what any other American does when they don’t know something…went to bing.com and typed in “homeschool in (insert state here).” I came up with our state coalition website, which helped me in lots of ways. I could read the actual law, along with an explanation of the law. There was a list of homeschool groups in the state, along with tons of other information. I read through the entire site. I had some information overload. So I had to read it again over the next few weeks, and I still refer back to it.
I also went to HSLDA.org, and did some research there. I will say that was not as helpful as my state coalition website. I emailed both HSLDA and my local representative listed at my state coalition website since we have a bit of a unique situation (ie a “blended” family). HSLDA was not helpful without me paying for a membership. Since I was not positive we would be homeschooling at that point, I was not ready to pay for a membership just to ask a question, especially since the answer to that question could possibly hinder us from homeschooling (if I would not be able to teach both children). My local representative was more than helpful. Before she responded to me, she emailed lawyers and other veteran homeschoolers to get a thorough answer. Her answer was just what we had hoped and it was backed up by her informative colleagues!
Once I had the law ‘stuff’ figured out, I was ready to dive in. But math, writing, reading, history, science, art, music, PE…where does one even start?! I am going into this with big kids, kids that have been in school for years, how do I compete with that? How do I decide what they need to learn and how to teach it to them?! What if I miss something? What if I can’t make them understand something? I started really questioning myself; I am going to be 100% responsible for their educations! But I didn’t give up. I just kept reading. I read blogs and websites, checked books out of the library.
Finally, I found donnayoung.org. All of her forms and lists are overwhelming at first. But I found the “how to plan” part of her page and read it all. Then I found the “goals planner” sheets, printed a few off and started filling it in (in pencil)! I sat with my husband since his input is important (especially in the area of history where I have no skills whatsoever) and we listed what we think they should learn, and I jotted some notes of how they would learn it.
I felt a calm come over me. I had somewhere to start, I had something done. I still had a lot of work to do, but I had started…and I still wasn’t positive we would be homeschooling…but I had a start.
Next, I will go into some of our resources! I’m becoming a pro at free and inexpensive resources ;)