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GETTING STARTED

The Law:

Support:

  • Become a member of the North Dakota Home School Association (NDHSA). See benefits under “Membership”.

  • Attend the annual convention.

  • Find a support group in your area. For a listing, click on the “Support Group” button and scroll down until you find a town near you.

  • Request our free monthly e-newsletter, The Eclectic Report, by contacting our editor at billbiby@msn.com

  • Consider subscribing to a homeschooling magazine or e-zine.

  • Talk to other homeschoolers. You may want to ask a veteran home educator to be your mentor.

Philosophy and Goals:

  • Write out the reasons why you want to home educate.

  • Read books on homeschooling. These will encourage you and strengthen your resolve.

  • Write a list of goals for each child. Reevaluate these annually.

Curriculum and Resources:

  • Decide what method you will use. Look over the list of common teaching approaches.

  • Look at websites; attend the annual convention or a curriculum fair to see materials. There are various links listed under “Resources”.

  • Consider your child’s learning style as you look at curriculum (visual, auditory, hands on).

  • If teaching multiple children, would it be possible to combine some grades in certain classes?

  • Work at building a good home library.

  • Cost for materials will vary according to what you have available and used resources you locate.

Organization:

  • Be sure to file your paperwork at least 14 days before you begin. A Statement of Intent must be filed annually for each child between the ages of 7 and 16.  Other documentation only needs to be filed once unless there are updates.

  • Organize a place for school whether it be an entire room or a cupboard and bookshelves for supplies.

  • Keep records of attendance, progress reports and a listing of curriculum used. It is also nice to keep a book list and sampling of student work in each subject area.

  • Find a routine that works with your family and stick to it. You may have to give up other activities for a time as you teach your children.

Discipline:

  • Having a foundation of respect and obedience is essential for successful homeschooling.

  • You may need to discipline yourself to maintain an organized home and schedule. This will make homeschooling much easier.

  • Set up chores for the entire family so everyone pitches in.

Other Tips:

  • Plan on taking the first year to adapt; it may take time to correct gaps in your child’s learning and to get your routine established.

  • Naming your school helps give your child a sense of belonging.

  • Homeschooling is as individual as each family. Find what works for you.

  • Be flexible. There may be another curriculum or approach that works better, especially in an area your child is struggling.

  • Don’t feel like your homeschool needs to look like the public school. If using traditional textbooks, adapt them for homeschooling.

  • Remember, if God has called you to this, He will help you accomplish it! (I Thessalonians 5:24)