Tag: what is homeschool

How do I officially begin my Homeschool?

You have made the decision to begin your Homeschool, but where to start?

I preface everything below with, ‘Please reference your state laws. It is vital that you know and follow the laws of the state in which you live in / domicile from. Be sure to follow your state’s laws for legally beginning your homeschool.’

We are sharing our experiences as Florida residents and how we transitioned from public school to homeschool. The laws will vary from state to state so be sure to do your research for your state.

A great resource is www.HSLDA.com.

You will need to submit to your state / county an official notice called a “Letter of Intent”. Typically this will include your child’s name, address, and your signature. This letter is usually required within 30 days of beginning your homeschool.

Here is an example of what your Letter of Intent may look like. https://florida-homeschooling.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/NOI.pdf

Example of a Letter of Intent

We planned and researched and read dozens of books, articles, and our state’s laws prior to beginning. We knew we were “ready”, if not necessarily with everything we needed to know, at least with an understanding of what to be prepared for.

Submitting that official letter caused me so much anxiety in preparation to sending it. It would become official. Like official, official, from the time they accepted our letter.

I hit send, looked over at my husband, sighed deeply, and said, “It’s official! We are Homeschoolers!”

Instantly, every bit of anxiety and stress I had leading up to sending in our formal notification was gone. It was immediate relief and a thrill of excitement for all of the potential that would be coming up in the months and years following.

Our Family of Four on a Homeschool Field Trip in Georgia

YES! We are Homeschoolers!

Well, actually we were just submitted homeschoolers. It didn’t become officially official until we received our e-mail confirming they received our letter the following day. Nonetheless, we celebrated both days.

Now, I will share with you some things that you may also read during your research on becoming a homeschooling family. What is, and what is not allowed from your public school when you withdraw your student.

If you have never enrolled your child in a public school, and are starting out as homeschoolers, you may not even encounter any of these but it is good to know what your rights are. There are age requirements for each state for when your child must begin an education program.

If you are withdrawing your student from public school, the ONLY thing you have to submit is the single form, the Letter of Intent to your school board. You are not required to have an exit meeting with the school or its administration, you do not have to give them a reason why you are choosing to homeschool, nor do you have to follow up with any further education plans.

We have heard stories about what I would describe as harassment from the school systems, especially since students in enrolled in school equate to funds allocated to the school systems. This was exponentially seen with the influx of homeschoolers during the Pandemic.

Our family personally has / does receive phone calls, text messages, and emails asking to bring our homeschool students back into the local public school system. We are in our fourth year as a homeschool family and have no intention at this time or future plans to reenter the public school system.

As a homeschool parent, I continue to follow our state laws, submit required forms and updates as required by the county we are from and I do not provide any additional information than what is required.

As stated above, this was our experience with the process of filing our Letter of Intent for the state of Florida. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of knowing your state laws. A good resource is www.HSLDA.com and other reputable sites.

My name is Tricia. I am sharing homeschool tips from our experiences

If you missed my first article about the Basics of Starting your Homeschool, you can find a link in the “How to Homeschool” section.

Coming up next I will discuss how to decide what you want to teach in your homeschool. Follow the Social Media pages for UNschool Travel Mom for updates of when new articles are published.

Did you find this article helpful? Please leave me a comment or other feedback, so I can make sure I am providing useful content.

How to start your Homeschool: the basics on getting started

How do you start your homeschool? Well, you’ve already made a huge step by doing your research, and reading this article. There are many things you will need to consider before initiating your homeschool, but first, breathe!

While peering into the world of homeschooling you may quickly get overwhelmed. Honestly, just breathe. I am here to share the secret with you! There is NO right or wrong way to homeschool. You being present for your child is the number one most beneficial thing you can do. Not because you have a degree in teaching, not because you have all of the answers, not even because you are the cool Mom or the one doing all of the arts and crafts. Just being with your child, and wanting to look out for their best interest is all you need to start.

You know your child better than anyone else. You know what makes them happy, what makes them sad, how to help them push past their fears, and will be their biggest cheerleader for them when they succeed.

These are some of the homeschooling books I read before we got started

Now, when I first started our homeschool journey, I read dozens of “How To” homeschool books. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, how to do it “correctly” or what the next steps would be. Does this sound familiar?

I would first start by figuring out your ‘Why’. Why are you wanting to homeschool? It is because you want to spend all of your time with your child? Or because you do not agree with the current education they are receiving in public or private school? It is because you have a child you feel like you can help educate better due to their needs? Whatever your reason is, that is your WHY! Remember this, because there will be times when you feel like you are questioning your decision to homeschool. Lean into your why and it will always ground you.

This is me and the girls during our first year of homeschool

Next, you will need to know your state’s laws on homeschooling. A great resource may be www.HSLDA.org . This website has a lot of information with each state’s laws that must be followed by your homeschool.

For instance, your homeschool may be required to keep daily attendance, or a complete record of all subjects covered. Some states only require once you begin your homeschool, to have your student evaluated each year by examination or by a certified teacher. Some states require specific subjects to be taught, and for certain ages. You will want to know what your state requires, so you can be prepared of what it expected by law.

From HSLDA website – Homeschool Regulations by State

Ok, so now you know your ‘why’. You know what is required by your state. What do you do next? Well, after you have those put together, you will want to decide HOW you want to execute your homeschool.

Do you want to do homeschool online as an umbrella school? Do you want to use a pre-made all in one curriculum? Do you need resources to supplement with these? Do you want to make up your own curriculum? Do you want to use no curriculum whatsoever? These are all ways to do homeschool.

The wonderful part about homeschooling is all of the choices you have to make it right for your child and your family. You can personalize everything you do to make sure it fits best, and if you notice it isn’t working, you can always change it!

Reevaluating your homeschool on a regular basis is a good way to make sure you, your child, and your family unit are all enjoying the experience. If you are, GREAT! Just keep it up, and if not, go back to your WHY. It will always lead you to the right decision.

We make all of our homeschooling decisions as a family unit, including where to go on field trips

I will dive deeper into more homeschooling topics to help you get started, and continue your homeschool journey successfully.

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