Follow these 10 steps to start homeschooling with confidence!
1. Attend a "Start Homeschooling with Confidence" workshop. You'll get an overview of homeschooling in Maine, and meet some veterans! Also, do some reading about homeschooling. A suggested reading list will be provided during the workshop. Making the decision to homeschool requires some discernment on your part. Research and ask questions to see if homeschooling is right for your family.
You can also view our Start Homeschooling with Confidence Video Series!
If you have a highschool student, be sure to register for Homeschooling High School 101.
For a more in-depth course, register for Start Strong Maine!
2. Learn more about fulfilling the law. Read the summary that briefly outlines the requirements for homeschooling in Maine. Contact the HOME Office or your Regional Representative if you need some clarification.
3. Join Home School Legal Defense Association. HSLDA provides legal information and counsel for hundreds of Maine families. They also assist with any regulatory and legislative concerns. Membership for Maine homeschooling families is highly recommended. Even if your funds do not seem to work directly for your benefit, you can be sure that they are working to benefit us as a state and as a nation. Save on a one-year membership through HOME's Group Discount.
4. Subscribe to HOMEschooling in Maine and HOME Email Updates. The HOMEschooling in Maine magazine keeps you informed of state and national news, and annual events and field trips. Also, it provides interesting and informative articles on a variety of homeschool topics.
These avenues of support will keep you updated and connected with all that is going on in the Maine homeschooling community.
5. Choose your curriculum. There are so many choices here! It can seem overwhelming. Plan to register for our Choosing Curriculum webinar for some guidance. Also, an event featuring a curriculum sale or exhibit hall is a great way to learn more about materials and talk with others about them. Ask questions on Facebook, too! OR contact HOME to schedule a free curriculum counseling session.
6. Plan ahead for annual assessments. Maine law requires homeschoolers to submit the
results of assessments, annually. This can sometimes be a cause of stress for those who are just beginning. It needn't be! Read more about the options for assessment, and let us know how we
can help. Also, order a pre-assembled portfolio to aid you in your planning, record-keeping and preparation
for annual assessments. This webinar will be an encouragement, too!
7. Get organized. Decide when, where, and how you will homeschool. A routine and a little organization will help you to accomplish your goals. For example, your day might begin with chores, a quiet devotional time and "formal" school work. After lunch might be the best time for hands-on activities, projects and classes or activities outside your home. In the evening, you might plan to have family read-aloud time. Every family is different. During the first few weeks, you will find what works for you.
8. Remember to be flexible and adjust when needs change. Life changes, people change, situations change. Feel free to adjust and allow for the circumstances of "real life" to enhance and not hinder homeschooling.
9. When money is tight, get creative! There are many ways to homeschool without spending a lot of money. For some suggestions, please visit Homeschooling When Life Gets Hard and read the article at the bottom of this page.
10. When you need support (and we all do), be sure to reach out! Others have walked this road before you. Continue to read and attend workshops. Take time for yourself, with your spouse, or take time out of the regular routine to do something special with the kids.