Welcome to the world of homeschooling! It is an adventure of a lifetime, shared by hundreds of thousands of families around the world.
I have tried to answer some of the most common questions and concerns below, as well as give you links to other free and inexpensive resources that I’ve created while homeschooling for the last 29 years.
Q: Is home schooling legal (in the United States)?
A: This used to be the most common question I heard when I first started my own home school journey, but now I don’t hear it as often. Today’s answer is generally “Yes, with some restrictions, home schooling is legal in all 50 states.” Unfortunately, even in the short time I’ve been helping homeschool families through CLC, problems have arisen in several states. So this situation may change at any time. You can go on Home School Legal Defense Association's website, http://www.hslda.org/laws and find the laws for each state.
If you live in Alabama you are required to join a Homeschool Cover/Group, unless you are a certified teacher (I don't know anyone homeschooling under the latter option). You can read the Alabama law yourself (it is very short); though it was amended in May 2012, effective August 2012 to lower the mandatory age to 6, you can see that bill here.
You can also see a list of many of the Homeschool Groups in the state on our Homeschool Groups page.
Q. How do we get started?
A. One of the first things you’ll need to do is to decide what materials you want to use. If you want to do “school at home”, you have lots of options: A Beka, Alpha Omega, Bob Jones, Christian Liberty Press are a few of the more popular curriculums available. We carry many of these in our store used, and you can order new ones directly from the companies.
If you want to go beyond school at home, there are countless unit studies and lapbook kits available to help you get started. We have free downloads giving lapbooking tips and information about Unit Studies on www.CurrClick.com
One of the things you will have to consider as you make these choices is your Philosophy of Education. We sell a small booklet in the store that goes over the primary philosophies; it is also available as an inexpensive download on www.CurrClick.com
Q. What about Record Keeping?
A. We sell many different record keeping options in the store. I also have a Simple Record Keeping booklet on www.CurrClick.com that will give you several different Lesson Plan options, a way to track hours for credits, a sample transcript, and more.
Q. What about Standardized Tests?
A. Different states have different laws regarding standardized tests. In Alabama they are not required by the State, though some Homeschool Groups require them and many offer them as an option even if they are not required.
Q. What about Socialization?
A. Socialization is not a problem for any of the homeschoolers we know! For one thing, many homeschoolers are involved in classes outside their own homes. Homeschool groups often do classes, many of the museums in the area offer homeschool classes, and we offer a number of classes for homeschoolers as well.
Do you have other questions that aren’t being answered here? Check out our inexpensive Questions and Answers booklet for many other Q & As. You can also find my complete book on homeschooling, Organized Ramblings, and books by some of my favorite homeschool authors here.
After years of home educating my 12 children (and numerous others), my biggest piece of advice is that you not try to be a “Lone Ranger”. Stay connected to other homeschoolers, either in your area or over the internet. There are people out there who have gone through the same things you are and many of them are ready and willing to help and advise you. Hang in there - this can be the greatest adventure of your life!
- Catherine Jaime, Mom of 12
Creative Learning Connection
8006 Old Madison Pike, 11-A
Madison, L 35758