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How to Get Started Home Schooling

Are you thinking about home schooling and wondering where to start?  People want to start home schooling for different reasons and at different times in their children’s lives.  Home schooling your children requires a commitment to learn and grow for them and with them.  You will need to educate yourself  about what homeschooling is and is not, if you plan to succeed in this endeavor.  Home schooling your children is an opportunity to create a new lifestyle that liberates your family to learn and grow together. This journey takes some effort on your part to make it a successful endeavor but it's worth it.

You’ll need a “goal”, a reason why you want to do this. Do you have one?  You’ll need to educate yourself about the laws, filing your notice of intent and what curriculum to use.  That's not hard but you do need to understand these basics so you are confident about what you are planning to do. You will need to listen and read the information recommended below to give yourself the information you need to decide the “why and how” of home education.  Getting the right information about homeschooling will help you get the confidence you need for this journey.

If you think home schooling your children means taking a box of books and putting it in front of them and saying “here you go, get to work,” then you’ve come to the right place to learn the truth. Home schooling is so much more than workbooks, paper and pencils.  It's a unique opportunity to connect with your children and share your ideals.  It does require you to read and plan; daily, weekly, monthly and yearly.  You want to give your children the best and it will take a little work on your part to prepare for this, but don’t worry, there are books to help you learn and guide you, but it will require some time if you plan to succeed.  Personal help is available too.  Our group has meetings to help you with many different areas of homeschooling.

If you are brand new to homeschooling follow the plan outlined below.  If you’ve homeschooled for a while and just moved to Virginia, purchase the CD about the Law and Testing to learn about our state law  at this link.

          1.  Listen to Yvonne Bunn with Home Educators Association of Virginia's online webinars.   

          2.  Read:  Find some books about homeschooling and choosing curriculum.  Most  libraries in  the area have some books about homeschooling. 

               Mary Pride’s Complete Guide to Getting Started in Homeschooling

               How to Homeschool, A Practical Approach by Gayle Graham

               Anyone Can Homeschool- How to find What Works for You, by Dorian & Tyler

               You Can Teach Your Child Successfully by Ruth Beechick

               How to Teach Reading, Math, and Writing.   

              The Successful Homeschool Family Handbook and Better Late Than Early Dr. Raymond Moore 

              The Christian Homeschool by Gregg Harris is a great book for Christians who want to understand why public or private school may not be the right choice for them. 

           3.  Attend:    Attend our home school support group meeting to meet other homeschoolers in our area.  Check our calendar for our meeting dates.  Attend the HEAV Convention in June, Thursday offers 4 FREE workshops for new homeschoolers and a preview of the exhibit hall after the workshops end. 

If you follow this plan you will be well on your way to gaining the confidence and knowledge you need to succeed at this endeavor.  I often refer to homeschooling as the “Ultimate Freedom”.  It is the chance to spend your days learning and growing with your children in a way most will never understand or experience, and having the freedom to do things together you would otherwise never get to do.  

Suggested Resources:

Home School Legal Defense Association

Yearly fee $130, discount price $115 with membership to TCHE or HEAV.  If you choose the monthly debit you will pay a little more but you can pay monthly.  TCHE Members receive a group discount. Ask the leader for the discount number, it is only available to paid TCHE members.  HEAV will do a monthly debit or you can pay the full price at the time of your application.  They also have scholarships, please visit their website for more info.  They will give you legal counsel and representation for any home school related situation or question.  Your membership helps them protect homeschooling in all 50 states and around the world. 


Home Educators Association of Virginia   Membership $45 a year, discounts on books, activities, convention.

Our state organization keeps us up-to-date on changing legislation and home school events throughout the state.  They offer Home School Success Seminars during the year and a home school convention in June of each year with an attendance of over 10,000.  You will receive a magazine, email newsletter and legislative alerts. 

Making the Most of the Preschool Years by Valerie Bendt

How to Homeschool: A Practical Approach  by Gayle Graham  1st Choice for new homeschoolers to learn about planning

The How and Why of Home Schooling by Ray Ballman

The Christian Homeschool by Gregg Harris

Better Late Than Earlyby Raymond and Dorothy Moore (must have before kids start elementary school)

The Three R’s: Grades K-3 by Ruth Beechick

The Way They Learn by Cynthia Tobias (about learning styles, visual, auditory, kinesthetic )

The Ultimate Guide to Homeschoolingby Debra Bell

Transcripts Made Easyby Janice Campbell-highschool level information