Getting Started Homeschooling
in Wood County,
- Seek the Lord's will and guidance.
- Have a family meeting and get all members input.
- Research homeschooling by reading some books and talking with those already homeschooling.
- Attend one or more of the local group meetings. Bring your questions and concerns with you.
- Contact one of your state local groups, Christian Home Educators of West Virginia (CHEWV) - web page http://geocities.com/athens/forum/8045 or West Virginia Home Educators Association (WVHEA) - web page http://members.tripod.com/~WVHEA/about.htm about joining with them. (Check out homeschool links)
- Check out the law in full detail and make plans on how you will comply.
- Two weeks prior to pulling out your child from the public school or before the new school year begins, send the Wood County Board of Education you notice of intent. (Example) Please note that this is in rtf form so that you can save into your own word program. You will be able to type directly onto this form, but to get back to this page, you will need to hit the back button on your tool box.
- Get your home and life organized. This is a wonderful time to weed out all the extra stuff. You will find simplifying your life is one of the keys to successful homeschooling.
- Plan how you will manage your child's records and papers and designate a special spot in your home as your school corner.
- Choose curriculum and materials that you feel comfortable with. There are tons of magazines and resources. However, you needn't spend a lot of money to provide your child a quality curriculum. Our libraries are great for social studies and science information, for instance.
- Plan what you wish to accomplish this year with your child. Write those goals out. Some may wish to use the state instructional objectives that the Board usually sends out at the beginning of the year. Whatever you chose, take a moment and decide how you will accomplish those goals this year. Do a rough plan for each month's main focus in each of your subject areas. For example, September's math might be understanding place value. Don't over complicate this step!
- Plan at least a week in advance lesson plans. Don't forget to include Bible studies first and foremost. Most would encourage you make your plans in pencil since even the best plans sometimes get waylaid.
- Keep a positive attitude. The best means in providing this is to start each day on your knees at the throne of the Lord, seeking His wisdom and guidance.
- Attend your local group's monthly meetings. Encouragement from others in the trenches does much to lighten the journey.
- Evaluate each quarter or trimester what your child is learning and if the methods or curriculum being used is doing the job. Remember, you do not have to finish every book just because you have it. If it isn't working, move on to something else. However, don't play yo-yo. It takes a good quarter or semester to sometimes judge a curriculum fairly.
- Know up front that there will be days that you will wonder why God has ever led you down this path. It is good to start right now writing down the full conviction on your heart from the Lord because you will need to refer to it at some point. Just keep the faith and keep on keeping on when your get-up-and-go has done got up and gone. Again, your local support group is very valuable for these times of refocusing.
- Don't become so focused on the academics that you fail to see all the wonderful surprises that the Lord has in store for your family and yourself. Your growth spiritually will be the greatest of all gifts.
- Know from the beginning that there aren't any experts in homeschooling. We each have our own ways, and though we are usually willing to share our thoughts and successes, we know that it may or may not work for you. You are the expert of your school! Do what works best for you and don't waste time searching for the perfect method. If God is your focus, his grace will cover the imperfections as you walk with Him in educating your child.
- Be prepared to encounter negative comments from family, neighbors, and even church members. The only person you will really have to answer to is the Lord. Let not your feeling or their actions make you forget that fact. Answer them with a kind tongue, and remember that not all are called to homeschool.
- Pray continuously!