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Q:

We are considering home schooling our child.  Where do we begin?https://www.aop.com/homeschooling/explore-learning-styles

A:

I frequently suggest three resources for beginning home schooling. The first is Diana Johnson's The Starting Point. This booklet was produced by a local home schooling mom, who also works at The Scroll - Christian Bookstore in Tyler. You can read some of the chapters on-line at www.thescroll.org.

The second resource is the WEB.  Start with Home School Legal Defense Association's http://www.youcanhomeschool.org/This is a great place.  Then check out the Texas Home School Coalition's web site: www.thsc.org. Click on the Getting Started section. 

The third, Alpha Omega publications gives an excellent overview of some crucial questions to ask.
*What kind of Homeschooling Method is right for you?  https://www.aop.com/homeschooling/choose-a-method
*What is your teaching style and your child's learning style and so forth?  https://www.aop.com/homeschooling/explore-learning-styles

There is a world of information and curriculum out there for the Christian home school family. Be careful not to get overwhelmed all at once! It is a good idea to list your goals at the onset. For instance, some of our family goals are to raise our boys with a Christian world-view, to be close as a family, and to customize the material to fit our boys' academic needs and interests.

You can also research "curriculum fairs" that are hosted in large metroplexes.  They are great places to look at several curriculums before purchasing.  It's crucial to look through material before purchasing.  The way one book is laid out will be perfect for some learning styles but awful for others, including you - the teacher.  i.e. the spacing...the fonts...does it have pictures....white space...

It is also helpful to know that there are different approaches to home schooling. "School-at-home" curriculum is a subject-by-subject approach, like you would find in most schools. You work on science for 45 minutes, then Math, etc. This approach takes several hours (or more) each day, and can be less intimidating for the parent. You can do it all on the Internet, from CD ROM, from books, or even as a part of a "class room" with a teacher and counselors. There are really great resources out there.

In "Unit studies" almost all your subjects are centered around a theme, with the possible exception of math and phonics for younger children. For example, one study we did was on LIGHT. We read about the Light of the World (Bible), we studied prisms (science), we drew rainbows (art), we read about light houses (history / literature / geography). You get the idea. This approach usually takes less time, is more fun for all and seems to cement the lessons in the child's memory. There are great resources out there that can guide you in this method, or provide all the material for you.  This is also a great way to homeschool kids of different ages or abilities.  You make sure each gets something to challenge their minds during the lesson, then assign different activities based on ability (i.e. the preschooler colors the rainbow, the older child learns the names of the colors in order).

Don't feel that you need to stick to one method for 12 years! Many families mix and match curriculum and experiences. Your child will have different needs, as the family as a whole will also.


Time Each Day

Elementary Grades you can estimate 1 hour per grade.  So a third grade child can expect to take 3 hours per day of study.

Children with Attention or Learning Differences may take as much as twice that, with close parental involvement. 


Budget

Elementary grades may spend $100-300 on books, curriculum and supplies for the first child.  With younger children who can grow into the material there are considerable savings.

I've seen High Schoolers spend over $1000 on one very good class.

There is an incredibly broad range of possibilities out there and some very good free resources on the internet. 

The hardest part for people coming out of the public school system is adjusting to paying for education; whereas, before, it was rolled into the rent or mortgage.  It's a tradeoff and there's no easy way around it.  It just is.

Q:

How can I get involved in the home school community online, especially around Tyler?

A:

Below, we have listed some good ways to tap into the home schooling community in East Texas and beyond. 
 

  • "Homeschool Tyler "                                                          

Features a bulletin-board type forum for posting questions and answers, buying or selling curriculum, offering encouragement, and sharing stories and information on a broad range of topics related to home schooling. You may choose to receive the automatic postings continuously or in digest form.  https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/HSTylerTX/info


  • Texas Home School Coalition (statewide)

E-mails providing detailed information from the Texas Home School Coalition regarding issues affecting Texas home schoolers.  To receive these updates, send a message to THSC News: staff@thsc.org.

Check out their web site for some great information sources:  www.thsc.org.

 

  • Home School Legal Defense Association

This national organization's web site is www.hslda.org and they also have a great site for beginning:  www.youcanhomeschool.org .

Q:

Since we are joining TACHE, do we really need to join Texas Home School Coalition?

A:

It is highly recommended that you become a part of the Texas Home School Coalition. It is run by Texans who, for the past 20 years, have worked with the policital processes in our state so that we can enjoy the freedom we have to homeschool our own children. 

Take a look at their web site, attend their convention and see what you think.  You'll find a committed group of Christians who work to ensure the right of all Texans to educate their own children.

TACHE members also receive a $15 discount off of annual THSC dues. 

Q:

Our family wants to join Home School Legal Defense Association, and noticed that they will give a discount if we are members of a local group.  What is TACHE's HSLDA number?

A:

297252