Saturday, April 6, 2013

Homeschool Options Part 2

So now that I've covered the boxed curriculum options, I thought I would go over how I come up with my own curriculum. Here are some tips on how to do just that and how to homeschool on your own. 
The first and MOST important thing you need to do is look up your states requirements for homeschooling. I'm fortunate that in my state it's not horribly difficult to homeschool. Here are the requirements in Washington State for homeschooling
1 - be supervised by a certificated teacher for one contact hour per week, OR...
2 - have earned 45 college-level credit hours or 1 year of college, OR...
3 -be deemed sufficiently qualified to homeschool by the superintendent of the school district in which you reside, OR...
4 - have completed a course in home-based instruction at a post-secondary institution or vocational-technical school

 5. file annually a signed "Declaration of Intent" to homeschool for any children between 8 and 18.

6. You are also required to have your child either tested or assessed annually.

7.The other requirement is to ensure that test or assessment records and immunization records are kept in the child's permanent record. These records are pretty much for your own record and to personally access how your child is progressing. The only time you would need these records are if you ever want to enroll your child in public school again.

See! Not too bad! 
Now you need to decide what kind of approach you want to take. You can do a traditional school type approach where you model what they do in a typical school setting. There are also different models like Thomas Jefferson Education, Charlotte Mason, unschooling . . . just to name of few. I won't go into detail what the differences are between each of them, but you can easily Google each of them and find out what they are about. I personally like a little bit about each of the different models and so I try and find ways to incorporate some of the various aspects that they each have to offer and it seems to work for us. But as said in the previous post it's all about what works for you and your family. So once you decide what type of homeschooling you want to do you can start planning.
 This is what I do. I sit down and list the subjects that I want to cover for each of my kids 
Language Arts
Then I go to work. I research, then research, and then I research some more. It takes a little time, but before I spend money on something I want to make sure I think it might be a good fit. Once I find the materials I want to use I then go and find the best price. Most of the time it's on Amazon with prime shipping (I LOVE AMAZON!!), but sometimes I find a better deal elsewhere. But most of the time it's Amazon. I also try and find what I can use that's free. You'll be surprised that there's quite a bit of quality stuff out there that you can utilize for free. Later I'll post what sites I use for free stuff! Everyone likes free, right?!
So once you find the materials you want to use, order all your stuff and then receive that familiar brown box from Amazon, you're probably wondering "Now what?!"
This is where a little organization can really help. I'm not talking anything super elaborate, unless thats your thing, but just some little things that can make your school days run a little smoother. At the risk of sounding redundant, this is what works for me. You have to decide what is going to work for you. 
First off, I use a bag like this one.
It fits one of these hanging file folders perfectly.
I put all of our daily use stuff in this tote and I have hanging files to separate the kids work. The pockets also hold all of our pencils, sharpeners, rulers, tape, glue, crayons, etc. I love this option of organizing our supplies cause if we want to pick up and go somewhere everything is in one place and is easy to grab and go. It's a little heavy, but totally doable. 
I also have a notebook for each of the kids. Each notebook contains five file folders, one for each day of the week. On Saturday or Sunday I take about an hour and go through all of their independent work (more on that later) and put each days work in it's corresponding folder. That way when I tell the kids to go and do their school work they just go and grab their folder and get to work. This method works VERY well for us. 
So there is a rough idea of how I go about selecting materials and then organizing it all. I'm sure I am leaving something out, because that's how my brain is now days, but I think this covers it. 
Next post I will write about the actual materials I use and maybe even how to homeschool multiple children. I might be getting a little ambitious, but we'll see how far I get tomorrow!


  1. Thank you for posting!! Love all of the information, especially if this is something I will be doing in the near future!

  2. Glad to know someone is reading my posts! Let me know if you have any specific questions and I can try and answer them!


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