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Homeschooling Basics 101 - Beginning Tips!

Deciding to take the plunge into homeschooling can definitely be a whirlwind of emotions! One incredibly important tip to remember is to have faith in you and your children! This is the perfect time to explore your children’s interests while teaching them in a way that best suits their learning styles and needs. Thankfully, there are ENDLESS resources, videos, groups, and blogs to utilize to get pointers and to guide you on your journey so you don’t have to feel alone! A resource that we recommend checking out is HSLDA, a website dedicated to making your homeschooling experience as simple as possible. Below we have outlined some basic tips to help you have the confidence to begin this exciting adventure! Stay tuned for weekly posts with activities and curriculum-based resources!

  1. Know your state’s homeschooling laws! Each state requires different things. Colorado requires 172 days of instruction, with an average of four hours per day, in multiple subjects including, but not limited to, The United States Constitution, math, speaking, reading, writing, civics, literature, history, and science (Colorado Department of Education, 2020). You can find more about Colorado’s laws through the Colorado Department of Education, HSLDA, and Time4Learning
    1. Colorado State Laws https://hslda.org/legal/colorado
  1. Notify a district of your decision to homeschool and fill out a letter of intent. District 60 - Homeschool has everything you need.

  2. Curriculum: Take your time and research different curriculums to decide what’s best for your family. Make sure you’re teaching the required subjects, but don’t be afraid to also explore things your children are interested in! 

  1. Find how schooling best fits you and your family: Homeschooling isn’t public school and your schedule doesn’t need to look like it if that doesn’t suit your family. Take breaks, get creative, go exploring on field trips, find crafts, and other activities that match your curriculum, make learning adventurous!  

  1. Learn your child’s learning style through Homeschool.com’s quiz or other quizzes then read our previous post, The Common Ways we Learn about the different styles. You might even find ways that best suit your own learning and teaching style!

  1. Remember why you are choosing to homeschool! It may be stressful finding your homeschooling rhythm - set goals as a family. Not a help choosing? Here are some options to start:

    1. Instill a love of learning

    2. Teach independence 

    3. Be closer with your children

    4. Help them find and strengthen their interests and talents

  1. Reach out to Homeschooling Groups: Facebook parenting groups, Colorado Homeschool Associations, and Colorado Homeschool Groups and Co-ops. You are not alone in this journey! 

  1. Plan your time: You can find numerous Planning Schedule Forms online to keep your thoughts straight. Plan by week, day, or month depending on your preference. Check out Pam Barnhill’s downloadable forms

  1. Keep organized! Keep your home and school time separate with some simple hacks:

    1. Crate with weekly folders  

      1. Color Coordinate if you have more than one child!

    2. 3 ring binder for daily work 

      1. Pocketed folders by subject

      2. Clear folders for work or art projects 

    3. Folder by subject for grading 

    4. Checklist by week so your kids can track their progress and learn independence!

  1. Resources 

    1. PCCLD's Online Databases

    2. Homeschooling books available through PCCLD

    3. Colorado Department of Education’s list of resources

    4. Parent’s.com’s Online Resources 

    5. Learning Liftoff’s List of Resources

  1. Tutoring! Don’t be afraid to get help when you need it! All three of these resources are available for free through PCCLD:

    1. HelpNow: Free online tutoring and test preparation in Math, English, Science, and more for Kindergarteners through College ages. (Tutoring available daily from 2 – 11 pm). Tutorial 

    2. Junior Achievement Program Resources: Access to learning experiences and resources - organized by school level and can be used whether or not you've engaged in a JA program in the past.

    3. Learning Express Library 3.0: Free online practice tests (GED, SAT, ASVAB, ACT) and computer lessons. 

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