If you have ever thought of homeschooling in Alabama, but was not sure where to start, this post is for you! When I first began homeschooling, I was overwhelmed with all that was required, and all that I felt I needed to do. Luckily, I had a great friend walk me through that first year. Here are some tips she recommended, and some I would like to add. These are great recommendations to help you out when you first begin homeschooling in Alabama!
- Find someone who homeschool. It may be a friend, a friend of a friend, a family member, or a stranger you meet in the library. Ask around and see if anyone you know, knows someone who homeschools. Believe me when I say you can find SOMEONE who homeschools if you look hard enough.
- Research curriculum. There is no perfect curriculum out there so I recommend you get a bunch of catalogs and look over them. Try to find somewhere to look at curriculum. This could be a used book store, or a homeschool convention. If you know other homeschoolers ask them if you can look at their curriculum. Seeing the books in person is a lot different than just peeking at them online. You can get a better feel for it in person. Also, do not spend a lot of money your first year. Just buy a few things to get you started. You will learn more about your style and what you and your children like after that first year.
- Find a Homeschool group. If you do not know if there is one near you start one. The homeschool group I started began with 3 moms who had preschoolers, but had the desire to homeschool. Our first “official” year we had 6 families. We are on our 4th school year together and now have over 50.
- Enjoy your children. This is the most important! I wish I could go back to my first year and relax. There were so many tears and I pushed too hard. It was not fun! The 2nd and 3red year was much more relaxed and now that I am ending our 4th year I feel I have learned so much. If you slow down and just enjoy the time you have with your kids it will make your life so much easier. Yes there needs to be time to learn, time to teach and time to do school, but most importantly their needs to be time to enjoy each other as a family!
- Research the homeschooling in Alabama laws. If your children are in public school find out whom you need to notify and when, BEFORE you pull them out. If you have preschoolers and plan on homeschooling long term get acquainted with the laws before your child is school age. The laws vary from state to state so check out Homeschool Legal Defense Association to find out more information.
- Read books on homeschooling and different philosophies. You can also look into homeschool magazines. Some of my favorites are Homeschool Enrichment and Home Educating Family. You can also read blogs from families who homeschool and get ideas.
Attend Homeschooling for Excellence 101 at the Homeschool Expo
Beginning homeschooling in Alabama can be overwhelming. But, remember the hard work will be worth it! Hopefully these recommendations will help you as you start your journey. Also, don’t forget to attend Homeschooling for Excellence 101 in June!
Author: Misty Bailey
Misty is a homeschool mom of three and has been homeschooling for over 4 years. You can read about her homeschool journey and more on her blog, Joy in the Journey.