As a new homeschooler, I wanted a handbook and a checklist. There is no such thing. However, knowing a few things before you make the leap can help you make the right decision for you and your children. It’s more than about getting an education. Homeschool is personal, rewarding, and different for every single mom, dad and child.
File an NOI
You will hear a lot of new words as a homeschooler. Don’t be nervous, and don’t be afraid to ask. In fact, DO ask a lot of questions! The Notice of Intent is the first thing you need to do to let CCSD know you intend to homeschool your child. It can be printed out at home and sent to CCSD. Mom tip – get a return receipt with the post office to show you’ve sent it, and just peace of mind. You really don’t have to, but I’m that type. So I did. For full details, we’ve broken down the NOI filing process here, along with the address and timeline.
Homeschool can be done for free. If you choose to purchase a full online curriculum, those tend to run between $20 to $50 a month per child. If you want to hire a math, language or special needs tutor, budget at least $150 a month per child for the minimum number of hours. The loss of income for a stay-at-home parent should be calculated into the cost, however, many homeschool families find a way to operate with two parents working full time. Reach out and find help where you can. Homeschool only takes a few hours a day and, in today’s digital world, can be done anywhere.
You don’t have to spend a lot to get an annual assessment, either. While assessments are not mandatory in Nevada, and your child will be just fine without one, many parents get an online assessment for free. If your child has an IEP or requires services, check with Child Find for a free evaluation.
Gather the Groups
Homeschooling can be isolating, and it can also be incredibly social! That is up to you. There are any online and local groups that can help you in your homeschool journey. As a new homeschooler, I found it very inspiring to know that other families had struggled with the same issues we did and were willing to talk about how they overcame struggles and share wins in their homeschooling. Don’t be shy! See you out there! (Have a group that is helpful to homeschoolers and want to add? Please let me know!)
Each child learns differently. Know their learning style to find and you can save time and money. The more you know about how your child best processes and understands information, the easier and more successful your homeschool will be.
Here are the basic learning styles:
- Visual (spatial)
- Aural (auditory)
- Verbal (linguistic)
- Physical (kinesthetic)
- Logical (mathematical)
- Social (interpersonal)
- Solitary (intrapersonal)
Homeschooling is a family affair. On the one hand, having everyone on board is beneficial, and knowing that it is you and your child’s business and decision, will make the process smoother.
- How does your child feel about homeschooling and is this something they want to do?
- Is my partner/support system on board with my education standards?
- Have you considered why you want to homeschool and understand what it is? (The at-home school many public-school parents have been doing is not homeschool. That is more reviewing previously learned information.)
- What are your expectations for your homeschool?
- What are your expectations of your time commitment?
- What are your expectations of your child?
- More importantly, what are your child’s expectations?