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Learning to home school and providing a great curriculum for kids can take some work. It does help to start with information on homeschooling that can be found in books. Vast numbers of books on how to home school exist and they may not always the share the same opinion. However, reading some different opinions can give parents a sense of what methods of teaching to employ at home and what the goals of homeschooling should be.
Local support groups are fantastic resources for parents who would like to home school. There may be one or more local groups dedicated to supporting parents and kids through the homeschooling process. These may not only be great places to get emotional support, but they also can be a terrific way to find social activities for kids. Another advantage is that meeting with other homeschooling families gives parents access to a wealth of information on the subject. Other families may have sample lessons, theories on what works best, ideas on where to find inexpensive supplies, and lots of other advice.
Parents may also want advice from larger organizations that specialize in homeschooling or some aspect thereof. One good resource in the US is the National Home Education Network, which has significant Internet presence and plenty of online reading material. If parents are homeschooling kids with disabilities, they may be interested in organizations like the National Challenged Homeschoolers Associated Network (NATHHAN). There are plenty of other larger groups with lots of information on the Internet.
Some parents find that groups of homeschoolers seem to be largely separated into non-religious and religious (usually Christian) groups. There can be some tension between these groups, especially when it comes to curriculum involving science or religion. It’s important to observe this potential area of disagreement and consider personal values and how they might conflict with local or national groups. On the other hand, so much good advice exists regardless of religious orientation that parents can simply pick and choose advice and ignore what doesn’t work.
Parents may feel confused by how to begin home school practices, especially when it comes to deciding what and how to teach. Curriculum for just about every subject can be found online — sometimes for free, or a nominal fee. One alternative is to research home school options though the local school district. They may be able to loan books, create lesson plans and oversee homeschooling. Some school districts have home school programs that are able to give parents a certain amount of funds to help pay for school supplies.
Alternately, there are now distance learning schools available online. If parents want children to be homeschooled but would like someone else to provide the lessons, they can investigate different online schools, mostly available at the secondary school level. Some parents find these schools too structured and prefer to choose their own curriculum.
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