1. LEARN about home education. It is very important to know why you are making this decision. Homeschooling is a wonderful journey, but when difficult days come, you will need to be confident that you made a sound, informed decision.
- Seek God’s wisdom
- Read books, newsletters, magazines
- Talk with other home educators in your area
- Attend available seminars and support group meetings
2. FAMILIARIZE yourselves with Oklahoma law concerning home education.
3. PERSONALIZE homeschooling information.
- Evaluate family goals, lifestyle, and ministries
- Evaluate each child’s needs: spiritual, emotional, academic
- Note each child’s talents, interests, strengths, and weaknesses
- Consider finances
4. FORMALIZE your reasons for choosing home education in writing.
- Determine your philosophy of education
- Write a statement of purpose or a constitution
- List your general objectives and goals for each child: spiritual, academic, and character maturity
5. CONNECT to others for support, encouragement, and to share ideas and information.
- Find and join an established support group
- Seek out like-minded families in your church
- Team up with a close friend who is also teaching his or her children at home
- Subscribe to home education magazines and on-line newsletters
6. EVALUATE each child’s level, including his/her academic needs and strengths.
- It is common for students to work at many levels other than their actual grade level – tailor your curriculum to meet specific needs and interests
- Scope and sequence charts may be helpful
- Children coming out of a traditional school setting may benefit from testing to determine an appropriate course of study
- Preschoolers benefit most from attention, reading, discipline, and discovery rather than a rigorous school format
- Kindergarteners may express no interest in school or be excited to get started. Keep each day brief, basic, and fun. Let them work alongside you during the day, read together, and explore the outdoors daily
- First grade (not earlier than 6 years of age) is the time to lay a firm foundation in reading and math skills. Teach at an appropriate level, focusing on a positive attitude toward learning.
- Elementary grades 2-5 are full of exploration and discovery.
- Junior high begins the transition to high school. Seek to fill learning “gaps,” practice test-taking and good study skills, hone writing skills and chart a course for high school study. Offer support, encouragement, and direction.
- High School involves classes for credit, career goals, college preparation, work, volunteer experience, driver’s training, and social development. Take these years seriously – once you start, be prepared to follow it through.
7. CHOOSE and purchase an appropriate curriculum for your homeschool.
- Knowing your child’s primary learning style is helpful as you choose curriculum
- Curriculum resources are listed in the Oklahoma Home Educators’ Handbook
8. SET UP your school environment.
- Designate specific areas for books/supplies
- Acquire resource materials and supplies
9. CONSIDER community resources that complement your curriculum
- Church-related groups and activities
- Museum, zoo, cultural exhibits or nature center classes
- Music, art, drama, and dance
- Gymnastics, physical education, and organized sports
- Internships, public speaking, paging at the state capitol
10. ESTABLISH your own schedule.
- School hours per day (structure…with flexibility)
- Number of school days per week
- 180 days per year required by OK law
- Length of term noting holidays, vacations, etc
- Household chores – everyone can help!
11. CHOOSE and PREPARE your record keeping. It is wise to keep records even though it is not mandatory in the state of Oklahoma. There are a variety of ways to accomplish this.
- Attendance Record
- Lesson Plans
- Evaluation of the child’s progress: grade book or journal
- Daily work: cumulative record file or notebook
- Achievement Test Scores
12. CONSIDER a Home School Legal Defense membership.
If you have further questions, please contact HSOK.