After you make up your mind to homeschool, the next big decision is which curriculum is best for your child.
Step 1: Understand your options Know your options, which include the traditional method used in public schools; a classical approach that emphasizes language and art; Unit Studies, which organizes lessons around a common topic; literature-based learning, which instructs through fiction and nonfiction; and "unschooling," which lets the child lead the curriculum.
TIP: Feel free to tailor a program for your child using a mixture of all the methods.
Step 2: Consider your child's personality Consider your child's personality, interests, and skills when picking a curriculum.
Step 3: Think about your own abilities Think about your own abilities. If you don't have the time or desire to work out a detailed teaching plan, pick a packaged curriculum that tells exactly what you should accomplish on a day-to-day basis, and includes the materials you need.
Step 4: Take your budget into account Take your budget into account when deciding on a curriculum, because some involve more – and more expensive – teaching materials than others.
Step 5: Consider a computer program Consider using computer homeschooling software, which takes all the guesswork out for you, and may be ideal for the tech-loving, self-starting child.
TIP: Religion-based homeschooling curriculums are available if you want to incorporate your spiritual beliefs into your child's daily lessons.
Step 6: Decide if you need an accredited program Decide if you need an accredited program to fit national education standards. Some colleges do not accept homeschooled students unless the curriculum they have completed is approved by an outside agency.
FACT: Did you know? Homeschooling was illegal in 30 states until the 1980s.