Homeschooling, how do you get started?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by r.h. in okla., Apr 12, 2005.

  1. How do you go about switching from public school to homeschooling? Where do I buy books, etc? Do I have to be of teacher quality? What about testing and grading? What about special classes such as Physical ed, Art, Spainish, etc.? Can they still participate in sports at a school even if they are not enrolled in that school? When they are in the upper grades can they enroll in a technical school without being affiliated with a public school? Fill me in on everything you know about homeschooling please.

    I'm thinking about pulling my oldest daughter out of public school this next year. Her grades are falling and she seems more interested in learning negative things from other kids then what she is suppose to be learning. She will be in 5th grade next year. I remember when I was her age it happened to me too. I made good grades in the first few years then the rest of 12 years my grades were very bad. My grades never got better until I went to college where I always made the deans honor roll. Never was smart enough to make the presidents honor roll but my college grades were far better then anything I done in high school.

    Thanks for your help, rh in okla.
  2. tobo6

    tobo6 Well-Known Member

    Jan 13, 2003
    Hi rh,

    Here are the laws for Oklahoma

    Sounds like you live in a good state to homeschool, no notification, no qualifications, and no testing required.

    Depending on the style of homeschooling you want to do, books can be found everywhere. From the internet, ebay, garage sales, book stores, even from your public school.

    There is a classroom forum on this site you might want to read through too.

    Hope this helps!

  3. OldFarmGal

    OldFarmGal Well-Known Member

    Mar 22, 2005

    Jump in with both feet!

    I pulled my son out of the public schools in NE OK after 4th grade. His grades were good, and he was fortunate to have had good teachers. But the schools, themselves, were lacking in what I call "teacher discipline". Some teachers were allowed to use humiliation and screaming. The buses carried sweet little kindergartners and profane and violent seniors alike. My daughter was starting 1st grade in the fall. I guess I drew a line and said, "No more." They are now 17 and 13. And it's been a great journey. I have learned as much as they.

    You don't have to be a scholar to teach your own children. Self-disciplined, yes. Research online. There are lots of places to look for curriculum. I "cherry-pick". That is, I don't use a set curriculum. My son excels in math, but my daughter struggles. My daughter excels in the arts. She can write like nobody's business. I have to force my son to pick up a pencil and write two complete sentences. That's the beauty of homeschooling. You can just keep working with their weaknesses until they "get it", or at least, get it enough to get by. And you can let them soar with their strengths. Homeschooling is flexible. And you'll find that most of life presents teachable moments.

    Unless things have changed in OK, testing for homeschoolers was not required. Just a letter to the school stating your intentions. Basic recordkeeping is always a good idea, but not always required. Check your current state regualtions.

    Good luck - and enjoy!
  4. All country

    All country Well-Known Member

    Dec 22, 2003
    To check the laws concerning homeschooling in your state go to
    I highly recommend joining them. It doesn't cost much we pay $8.00 a month. It is nice knowing they are there if you need them.

    Get a hold of your State Board of Education and have them send you an information packet if they offer one.

    Send a letter withdrawing your daughter to your public school superintendent. Keep a copy for your records.
    In mine I was very nice, I let them know my decision had nothing to do with their school as far a public schools go it was a great one, but this is something we felt we were called to do. Even though it is not required in our state I sent them a copy of the curriculums we were going to use. We even met with them letting them know this was a personal choice for us and nothing against them. I was very very nice about all of it. In over 10 years of homeschooling we have never been contacted. For them our being nice about everything left them feeling the doors were open. For us we knew that there would be no going back this was a life changing decision. We have never regretted it. Our children are growing up with a strong moral foundation, and great education. We have two that we have now graduated and three that are still in school, grades 10th, 6th, & 2nd.

    I know of another family that was rather nasty with the school system when they withdrew their children and it has been another story all together for them.

    As for curriculum I would highly recommend A BEKA or Alpha Omega's Switched on Schoolhouse (S.O.S.) Both are challenging. ABEKA requires a lot more work for the parent, we use it for the younger grades. We switch to S.O.S. 7th thru 12th grade levels. It makes it real easy for the parents as it's on the computer and the computer grades 80% of it. The kids love it!

    Here are some phone numbers you can call to get free catalogs sent to you. Now is definitely the time to start looking at and ordering your books.

    A BEKA BOOK 1-800-874-2352

    Alpha Omega Pub. 1-800-622-3070

    Bob Jones 1-800-845-5731

    Christian Liberty Press 1-800-348-0899

    ACE 1-800-925-7777
  5. wormlady

    wormlady Well-Known Member Supporter

    Oct 8, 2004
    This is our 16th year of homeschooling, I have taught every grade at least twice and I have never regretted homeschooling for a minute!

    We started when my oldest was in 4th grade. He had a teacher who was a screamer, wasn't screaming at him, but it was upsetting him to the point of stomach problems. An upper GI revealed pinpoint ulcers. We pulled him out mid-year.

    Our first step was to notify the school in writing and then the state DPI also in writing. Because it was mid-year and the principal was a friend we were allowed to take home all of his uncompleted workbooks (math, spelling, etc.)

    I rounded out the rest of his education (as well as his 1st grade brother's)
    with library books. We went on to build our homeschool library through garage sales, buying stuff from a local Christian school that was closing and putting book titles on lists for Christmas presents (for me!).

    To make a long story short, my oldest graduated summa cum laude from college 3 years ago and will be getting him master's in counseling after his wife finishes her degree (ladies first!). My middle son is in his jr. year of college. My youngest is a jr. in high school.

    We are so thankful we have taken this step. All three (yes, I am bragging here) are nice young gentlemen. We are constantly getting compliments on their behavior and character. They have all three been able to participate in mission trips, my 16yo just got back from Lima a few weeks ago and will likely be heading to Mexico this summer.

    You can do this! When I started, info on homeschooling was very sketchy. Now there is a plethora of available material out there. The internet is a tremendous resource that we didn't have when we began.

    Enjoy getting to know your daughter all over again.
    As far as special classes are concerned: Our boys all played soccer, they cross-country ski, the older two play golf and they all bike like crazy. We worked for the most part on athletic activites they could do for the rest of their life. Their grandpa was an avid golfer, which is why they took that up.

    Spanish: there are lots of tapes and videos available. Art: local craft shops may have classes in basic stuff.

    Most of all: have fun! They are young for such a short amount of time!
  6. JMSK

    JMSK New Member

    Sep 4, 2004
    One thing to consider is how well your daughter does her work. I don't mean how her grades are, but if she'll sit down and do it, or if she daydreams and puts up a fight. There are workbooks you can buy at Office Depot, Grocery stores, Target, book stores that you can get cheaply, to determine if she'll sit and do it, or if she needs more hands on projects.

    My daughter loves paper work, and will do anything I give her, but she hates science. :bash: So it's easier to do experiements around the house, than to do a workbook. There are great books such as science experiements in the kitchen, that use common household products to make stuff (like volcanoes) and then it explains what is going on. Also cooking uses math for fractions, and learning about baking soda, flour bonding to raisins so they stay floating, all sorts of neat projects. Sewing is a great one for teaching math, patience, following directions, community helping (sewing quilts for charity).

    It's lots of fun! Good luck!
  7. moldy

    moldy Well-Known Member

    Mar 4, 2004
    Don't know where in OK you are, or if this will help, but here goes: My biggest problem with curriculum is that there are so many choices. I am a open-the-book, feel-the-paper, look-at-the-problems kind of person. With most companies, you cannot return curriculum after it is opened. The biggest help to me was to attend a homeschooling conference. I did not go to see the speakers, just to look at the vendors. It helped to be able to look at all the different companies to see what would work best with my kids. There is a large HS conference in Wichita, KS on the last weekend of May. If you google "ks homeschooling TPA", you should get the HS support site for KS. It will have info on the conference. Best of luck. I have never regretted HSing my kids, and each day I see more reasons why it was a good decision.
  8. mamabear

    mamabear Well-Known Member

    Oct 15, 2004
    NW AR
    This is our first year of homeschooling, and I should have did it years ago. Our 12 year old was thrilled with the idea of being pulled from public school at first just because it was different. But now he loves it. It takes him half the time to do his work and he is almost a year ahead already. I think his biggest fear was never getting to see another child again, but once he realized that he can still play with his friends and that he has more time to play, he thinks he is the lucky one. The homeschooling group that we are a part of is having a field day Thursday, and that ought to be a ball.
    Don't worry, mom, about your qualifications as a teacher. You've been your child's teacher since he/she was born. It will fall in to place as you go along. The biggest leap forward that we've had is by letting our son help plan "when" he does his lessons. He is not a morning person, so by letting him do his chores of a morning and his lessons in the evening has worked very well for us. And it was his idea. We also take things like cooking and gardening and make those into lessons. It is fun hoeing out a row and listening to him ramble about some facts that he recently learned in science about what makes plants do certain things. So I'm learning also.
    Anyway, I just wanted to act as a cheerleader for you and let you know that we made the leap just this past August. I know you can do it. If there is anything I can do, just holler.
  9. homebirtha

    homebirtha Well-Known Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Every state is different. The first thing I would do is find some local homeschool support groups in your area, or at least, in your state. I'm sure there are yahoo email lists for groups in your area. They will be the experts on how things work where you live.

    Next, I would try to find some homeschool conferences, curriculum fairs, etc. to go to. You can see more in one day than you could ever possibly use. You can see it all firsthand, open the books, look at the work, etc. It's a great way to get started.

    A lot of kids need some time to deschool after a bad public school experience, or even an average PS experience. So your daughter may need some downtime before she's gungho about learning at home. Give her time to unwind and relax before you push her too hard on academics or she'll probably give you a hard time.

    If you find a curriculum you like, great. If not, there are so many resources, the library, internet, museums, nature centers. You'll be overwhelmed with choices. You may decide you don't need a curriculum and that your kids will learn what they need from living life. The great thing about homeschooling is the choices are yours and your kids to make, not the school system.

    One word about HSLDA. I admit up front that I am no fan of there's. They are very deceptive in their practices. They try to speak for all homeschoolers, when their beliefs and goals are very different from many homeschooler's. They also take on a lot of issues, using their member's money, that have nothing to do with homeschooling, but more to do with legislating morality. Now, if you are a conservative Christian, they probably represent your beliefs and you may not mind giving them your money for them to use to lobby for their beliefs. But, look into what they stand for before you send in the check. I didn't realize what a huge lobby they are and I would have been miffed if I had given them my money and then found out they were lobbying for the defense of marriage act with my cash.

  10. Thumper/inOkla.

    Thumper/inOkla. Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2002
    centeral Okla. S of I-40, E of I-35
    RH, Oklahoma is THE SINGLE BEST state to homeschool in we have a consitutional right to educate our children. ......' some public, private or other school..' is how I remember the wording, and there are places I recall the wording is ...' or by other equiviant means..'

    IN Okla. 1st step is take them out of public school...there should be no probems with that, .. getting them back into public shool can be a hassel in some districts,...but there are ways to get around the uncooperatiive ones fairly easy.

    2nd step, sit down and talk as a family, write out your goals, What do you want your children to learn about? What do they really need to know? Do this every month or 6 months or when ever you need to.

    step 3, enjoy, your children, be with your children. learn with them too....
  11. Thanks for the support everyone and website. I'm convinced that everyday things we do around here can be a lesson in itself. I was thinking about how biology can be learned while gardening, health can be learned while dissecting a deer, fish, or farm raised animals, math while cooking or balancing check books, etc, etc,. P.E. while doing farm chores, art for craft fairs. They could get there music lesson while at church (piano lessons, etc.) Raising rabbits should make for good math lessons!!! Learn about different weather patterns on snowy, rainny, or frosty days.

    Well I think I will pull my oldest daughter out first and see how it goes for the first 6 months or year and then pull the rest out after I know what I'm doing.
  12. BamaSuzy

    BamaSuzy Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2002
    We homeschooled our last two (the last graduated in 1999) and I sure miss it! I didn't regret it one minute.

    You made the right first step toward homeschooling by ASKING QUESTIONS! Don't get bogged down in curriculum. You can spend a fortune....go slow at first and don't spend a lot of money on books until you see what you like.
    there is a vast array of helps on the internet...just go to any search engine and type in the subject you are studying! BEST WISHES!
  13. homebirtha

    homebirtha Well-Known Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    What you're talking about is unschooling, and in my opinion, it is the best way for kids to live and to learn. Check out and for ideas, support, email lists, message boards, etc.