Whatever the reason they have begun searching. They all seem to have some of the same questions, I had them as well. So I am going to attempt to put forth some answers to some of the basic questions I often hear.
From one homeschool parent to a hopeful, it can be done. I just located a program for us that did all the teaching, took out the guess work, and removed me as the teacher. I don't do this in all subjects but math was my biggest concern. My piece of advice, though homeschooling does not have to be expensive, spend the most on the subject you are least proficient in.
After removing 3 of my 5 children from the public school system this was a hard won lesson to learn. I had been taught in public school and that was what I knew. I thought I had to recreate the skeleton thereof complete with recess and gym class. What I failed to realize was that I was boxing myself into a corner. We now (through much trial and error, mostly on my part) have come to a much happier place where we have structure and form to our homeschool day but we make it our own.
If we want to read literature aloud over cocoa and coffee (mine of course) for our history, we can do it while sitting on the trampoline outside in the sun.
If we have trouble focusing (mostly my boys) on a task, sometimes a quick "gym class" of laps up and down the driveway makes focus a whole lot easier.
When we want to allow a nature walk to find some of the insects we are learning about in science, we can take off.
This is what works in our homeschool, each of us has to find what works and step away from the idea of how we are supposed to do it. There really aren't rules to the manner in which you teach, it is what suits your students best.
What I quickly learned though was there were some groups that were helpful and others that I really didn't fit with. I am homeschooling with a Christ centered base so I did not fit into a secular homeschooling group. I didn't have time to commit to a co-op so i forfeited that as well. I settled on an amazing local group that offers moms nights out as well as field days and all manner of organized field trips. It is free, full of like minded moms and it helps us.
The other HUGE benefit to becoming involved in homeschool groups is the ability to get first hand reviews of curriculum you may be considering. One of the best things was when I started homeschooling this group's leader invited me to her home and showed me all of the curriculum she used. I asked questions, I thumbed through pages, I talked to the kids. I found that some of it would not be a good fit for us but some of it was SPOT ON. This was such a help to me when I was but a newbie. Find other moms like this.
If you need to save money HERE is a post I did for another blogger regarding how to do that.
If you need to attend a convention with children HERE is a post I did for another blogger regarding how to do that.
Even I still make a point to go yearly HERE is why.
Even if your state is one that requires more of homeschooling parents, know that it is legal in all 50 states to homeschool your child. There are even a number of legal defense advocacy groups just to protect that right.
The laws really aren't difficult to navigate, HERE is a listing of all 50 states, click on any state for details.
The technicality of it is that yes, your child is at home. However, know that the entity providing the materials is the one in charge. Meaning, if you don't want public school indoctrination and you want say, a creationary standpoint discussed in the education for your children, this may not be the option that would best suit you.
The second option is what I call Parent Driven Curriculum. This is where the parent chooses either a particular company to adhere to either on a per subject basis or an all-inclusive grade level basis. Or, totally different than that, the parent develops their own curriculum to teach their child. This is where the homeschool resurgence began, with parent driven curricula, however the public schools losing money as children began staying home for school are now offering their own brand of homeschooling, via the online avenue.
Then begin reading...There are a number of books I read when I began this journey, I gleaned bits and pieces from each of them and I felt better about my decision after each read. Here are a few of my favorites.
During the learning curve though, know that a bad day here and there, or even a bad week for that matter doesn't define your homeschool. We all have rough spots, even teachers in traditional school settings will tell you that, just ask any teacher who has taught a classroom full of children the week before Christmas Break and the week before Summer break.
Do know that if you jump on this train, and you stick with it...you will begin to see amazing results. It may not be immediate, but then again nothing worth having ever is. You will get to know your children better than you ever have, you will see relationships in your home in an entirely new light, and you will be amazed at just how much you too will learn along the way. Give yourself some grace if you begin this journey, you have to. It isn't easy, but it is SOOOOO worth it!