Homeschooling - Where to start?

Posted on: Thu, 06/01/2000 - 9:53pm
Tammy James's picture
Joined: 06/01/1999 - 09:00

After reading Twinparent's post yesterday, I have EVEN MORE SERIOUSLY thought about homeschooling our PA son. He will enter school in the Fall of 2001. I contacted the elem. school once so far, and met with some concerns, to say the least. The school is in the process of changing principals, so now I don't know when we should try again, sooner or a bit later to give the new principal an adjustment period? If we will end up homeschooling, I don't know the first thing about it, so I think I'll need the year in front of us to get ready!! Where do you start?

Posted on: Thu, 06/01/2000 - 11:43pm
PattyR's picture
Joined: 04/12/2002 - 09:00

I would contact your local school district. Many of them have requirements for home schooling and packets of information. Try calling your superintendents office. There are also some great web sites that you can get info from. There was a recent post here with a link to homeschooling as well.

Posted on: Fri, 06/02/2000 - 3:34am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

It is good that you are starting early to find out information regarding homeschooling. It takes alot of time and effort to research different curriculums and the laws for each state. I would be glad to email some web site addresses and names & numbers of companies that make different curriculums. My email address is [email][/email].

Posted on: Fri, 06/02/2000 - 12:18pm
ihatepeanuts's picture
Joined: 04/08/2000 - 09:00

Tammy James: Homeschooling is my favorite
thing to talk about (besides peanut allergy)!
I gave this info to NaomiR the other day,
it's a great website that I think you will
find very helpful. [url=""][/url]
They have many discussion boards to read and
ask questions. This is also where people
go to sell their new or used school books, you can find some great
deals. Also you can place want to buy ads.
My favorite is the discussion boards. I have
been homeschooling basically since my kids
were born but technically for 3 years, my
oldest is in 2nd. I still really like to
get info from the boards, give help and *get*
lots of help too. Click on the Community
homeschool board and post that you are thinking of homeschooling and need help,
advice....also mention what state you are in
and you will be surprised how much help you
will receive. I really urge you to check it
out. If you do not mind me e-mailing you
I can try to give you any more info that you
are interested in. I can give you #'s to
call to get some great homeschool catalogs.
I also have a book that tells all the
homeschooling laws in the 50 states so I
could help you with a phone number or address
to help you get started. Are you by chance
in WI? We love homeschooling and I am always
eager to share any info that can be helpful!

Posted on: Sat, 06/03/2000 - 4:52am
FromTheSouth's picture
Joined: 03/01/2000 - 09:00

First, educate yourself about the laws in your state re. homeschooling (reporting requirements, subjects to be taught, length of day, etc.) and contact local and state homeschool organizations. The Home School Legal Defense Assoc. website ([url][/url]) lists the laws for every state in this country because it is legal in every state. However, some states try to make it as difficult as possible. New York, for example. Their website also lists support groups for state h.s. groups. The state h.s. groups can help you contact local groups (for field trips, support, etc.) and provide you with lots of info. (conventions, vendors, etc.). I would not contact your school district/superintend., etc., until you are familiar with your rights and all your reporting options. Some states, South Carolina, for example, let you join a state approved agency where you report to them and your local school district has no authority over your school. You are basically considered a private school. Again, the laws vary in every state. Know the law so you can protect your rights. HSLDA membership ranges from $85 - $100 a year and acts as your attorney if your h.s. rights are in question. Search this site, also, as this subject has been discussed before. Good luck!
[This message has been edited by FromTheSouth (edited June 03, 2000).]

Posted on: Sun, 06/04/2000 - 5:38am
Tammy James's picture
Joined: 06/01/1999 - 09:00

Tracy and From the South:
Thank you for your advice! I just visited the vegsource site, and posted a message. I'm looking forward to the replies! Thank you both, again, for helping with the first steps. We are still planning on our son starting public school in a year, so far... but maybe if I can get a handle on this homeschooling idea, we'll change our minds. Just from glancing through some of the message titles on vegsource, it seems that homeschooling is a HUGE undertaking!!! I'm sure it's not easy, but I'm also sure it's A LOT harder than I ever thought it would be!! Wish us luck, either way!! (PS. I know this is a 'personal' question, but how is homeschooling financially? It seems to me it could get to be pretty expensive? I know it would be worth it, no matter what the cost, but we have to consider this all realistically.)
[This message has been edited by Tammy James (edited June 04, 2000).]

Posted on: Mon, 06/05/2000 - 7:25am
ihatepeanuts's picture
Joined: 04/08/2000 - 09:00

Tammy James: I'm glad you checked out the
website. I will have to look for your post.
No, truthfully, I do not personally think
that it is a huge undertaking. We really
enjoy it and it really is fun. My kids often
say how happy they are that they homeschool
and can spend their days with me and each
other. Financially, it all depends. You can
make it cheap or expensive. Using the library can help immensely. They have much
that can be used. I am always amazed at how
much I have found at garage sales. There are
so many ways to learn and teach your kids
that do not cost anything. The VegSource For
Sale boards have allowed many to purchase
materials at a lower price. If cost is a
concern, learn what subjects your state
requires and just stick with those basics
for awhile. As an example, in WI we are
required to teach reading, language arts,
math, social studies, science and health.
Many every day things your family does can
be included in learning (cooking can include
measurement, you probably do lots of reading
already, take nature walks and keep a nature
journal...) Don't let the posts on VegSource make you feel like it is horribly time
consuming and hard. At first it may seem a
little overwhelming but once you start and
become familiar with it, get some sort of
routine really becomes easy.

Posted on: Mon, 06/05/2000 - 10:56am
FromTheSouth's picture
Joined: 03/01/2000 - 09:00

Tammy, I would suggest you contact every h.s. vendor & homeschool correspond. school you can think of to request a "free" copy of their catalog so you can get an idea of cost. Many are on the internet. You can get a lengthy suppier list by obtaining a h.s. book (i.e., Designing Your Own Classical Curric. (my favorite) by Laura Berequist, or The Ultimate Guide to Home Schooling by Debra Bell are just a few). Your library, local book store, is a good resource for such books. Do some research and find out when & where the closest h.s. convention will be held so you can see the books before you buy the curric. The cost depends what you can/want to spend and the type of curric. you use. and whether you put it together yourself (new or used books) or use a correspond. school (which will do the grading, transcripts, etc., which is more expensive). The most inexpensive "correspond." school I have seen has been Christian Liberty ($200 for 1st grade?, i.e.). I believe, $100 if you buy the books and do it on your own. Some h.s. companies (Sonlight Curric., Mother of Divine Grace School, i.e., will let you purchase their weekly lesson plans that outline every day for you without joining a school. Some of my favorite catalogs are Christian Book Distributors (CBD) 1-978-977-5045([url][/url]), God's World Book Club (1-800-951-2665), and Emmanuel Books - which is the main supplier for Mother of Divine Grace School. I also like MCP (Modern Curric. Press) workbooks (very inexpensive). Also, do a search on this site as this has been discussed before. I have heard of books: Homeschooling On A Shoestring Budget, Things We Wish We'd Known, and A Survivor's Guide to Home Schooling but have not read them. The last two years I have spent around $450 each year but the majority of it is non-consumable so my younger children can use it. Kindergarten this year will only cost me $30 in workbooks. Second grade this year will probably be around $200 - $300 mainly because I love to buy books! Homeschooling is not for everyone. Educate yourself about it before you make your decision. Good luck!
[This message has been edited by FromTheSouth (edited June 05, 2000).]

Posted on: Mon, 06/05/2000 - 12:50pm
ihatepeanuts's picture
Joined: 04/08/2000 - 09:00

Tammy James: Just wanted you to know that
I read your post at VegSource and the
responses. I left you a message (my name
there is 2kids@home). My favorite catalogs
are Rainbow Resource Center (1-800-705-8809)
and The Sycamore Tree (1-800-779-6750).

Posted on: Mon, 06/05/2000 - 10:31pm
Tammy James's picture
Joined: 06/01/1999 - 09:00

Thanks again, PattyR, Naomi, Tracy and From the South!! You are all a wealth of information!
Tracy, I read your message on vegsource. Thanks for the encouragement. My husband and I (I'm sure he'll read this at some point, so "Hi there!!") talked more about this last night - he's still pro-public school. I can see his side, but I LIKE my side better!! There are days when our son's allergy 'paralyzes' me. It's all I've thought about for the past week, and now the homeschooling thoughts are consuming a lot of time, too. As I said, I feel like time is limited here; I feel pressured to find out as much as I can very fast! Thank you again for your help. Take care!
[This message has been edited by Tammy James (edited June 06, 2000).]

Posted on: Tue, 06/06/2000 - 1:17am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

I know everyone's reason for homeschool may be different but I just wanted to let you know that we decided to homeschool before we realized our son had a severe peanut allergy. But now that he has been diagnosed with a peanut allergy it has been helpful knowing that we will not (for now at least) have to worry about the school board, classmates, and their parents. I spoke with some teachers recently and they all said that most of their day is filled with snacks, recess, play time, bathroom breaks, etc. They only spend about 1 - 2 hours a day with educational learning. I know that learning to share, manners, and socialization with other kids are important too but we are so involved in our church and we have alot of kids in our neighborhood for our boys to play with.


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