Homeschooling How-To

Homeschooling your children can lead to some unanswered questions for parents and if they are not fully prepared. Fortunately, it is not difficult to find information about how to home school or to implement homeschooling methods and a curriculum. The Internet is one of the best resources for homeschooling including how-to information. Online, parents can find support groups and associations, curriculums, lesson plans and the laws concerning homeschooling. When incorporated into a curriculum, the Internet can serve as a resource tool, instruction medium or a way to connect children with a classroom. This article provides novice and experienced parents with information and additional sources on how to homeschool.

Identifying Requirements

Laws on education are established and administered individually by each state. Because of this, every state defines homeschooling differently and has different requirements for home schooled children including any parents acting as teachers. The majority of states do not require homeschooling parents to be certified teachers, and a few do not even require parents to have a high school diploma to teach their children. Many states require the amount of time home schooled children spend on their studies to be equal to the amount of time non-homeschooled children spend in a classroom. Depending on the state, homeschooled children may be required to complete competency exams to demonstrate completion of schooling requirements.

Prior to beginning homeschooling your children, it is important to determine your state’s laws for curriculum and class requirements, attendance laws and other pertinent regulations. The Home School Legal Defense Association provides information about each state’s home school laws. The Association operates an interactive website through which users can determine their particular state’s laws. Additionally, many states have homeschooling associations which provide this same information.

Materials You’ll Need

The materials required to home school a child depend on the selected teaching method, subject and child’s age. In general, parents must determine and purchase or create lesson plans. Curriculums for each subject must also be developed or bought. Other materials include workbooks, craft supplies or textbooks. If the chosen method uses television or the Internet, DVD’s and software may also need to be purchased. Fortunately, many curriculums and lesson plans and other materials are offered online for free. New materials are also sold, and sometimes used materials are sold for a discount.

Choose a Method

There are 11 main homeschooling methods: School-at-Home, Unit Studies, Eclectic Homeschooling, Unschooling, Classic Homeschooling, The Charlotte Mason Method, The Waldorf Method, Montessori, Multiple Intelligences, DVD/Video Schooling and Internet Homeschooling. The School-at-Home method consists of students using a standardized curriculum and grading system but studying at in their homes. Unit Studies refers to the teaching style where a child’s interests are tied into an entire curriculum. If, for example, a child is interested in Russia, the child would read about Russia during their language arts studies and compute the size of the country’s largest lakes in their math studies. The Waldorf Method emphasizes nature, self-awareness and decision-making in a child’s studies.

Information about the different methods can be found online. The method used depends on the parent’s teaching style and the child’s learning style. Sometimes, more than one method can be used. Research each method to determine which one is right for you and your child, and which seems as though the easiest to implement for your lifestyle.

Developing a Curriculum

A homeschooling curriculum should be based on the child’s age, learning style and the chosen instruction method. The most important aspect of developing a home school curriculum is for it to be realistic. Lessons should be able to be completed in a reasonable time and conform to the child’s current mental development. If a curriculum satisfies both of these aspects, it is likely that the child will learn what is intended to be taught and that neither the parent or child will become worn-out by the schooling.

Joining an Association or Group

Local and national home school associations and support groups provide homeschooling parents with guidance about developing curriculum, choosing a method or provide unique lesson plans. These groups operate online forums to answer questions, curriculum reviews and other information. Students, too, can join associations or groups to meet other home schooled children. Sometimes, local home school groups offer parents and children a way to meet and develop friendships with other homeschooling families. 


Determining how to home school you child is not a complicated task. Ideally, the method and instruction materials should be enjoyable and informative. Don’t hesitate to make changes if you feel that an aspect of your homeschooling is ineffective; one of the benefits of homeschooling your child is the ability to alter their education to suit their needs. For more information about homeschooling, visit the sites below.