Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Way to go! You have made the decision to home school! Now what?? The first thing you need to do is join an umbrella group. This group is who you will report your attendance to in the younger years and who will calculate your child’s transcripts and diploma in high school. They will keep you informed to the laws of your state. As well as, provide you with a membership card. This card can provide you with discounts to most museums, zoos, and aquariums. This card is also great to have if you happen to be questioned about your child being home schooled.
There are a few choices. The attached link lists the most common groups in South Carolina. However, the group we use is not listed there. Grace Homeschool Association has been a great group to be apart of.

Once you have joined your group, now the big decisions start. There are many paths to choose from. Those paths can vary for each child and family. They often depend on the age of the child and the goals of the parent. Remember, it is important to begin with the end in mind. Then make the daily decisions that will slowly bring you to your desired location.

Now you must decide on how you want to home school. There are MANY ways to home school. does a great job explaining each choice here: The most popular here are Eclectic (REACH), Online schools (K12) and Classical (Classical Conversations).

These three groups vary greatly. K12 is public school online. It is very convenient for a lot of parents because they send you everything you need for free! All of your books and supplies are mailed to you and all you need is a computer. With all those free things comes mandatory time spent on the computer. There is not as much freedom in this type of program.

REACH is a homeschool group in Florence. They offer a co-op which meets once a week for 20 weeks (ten weeks in the fall and ten weeks in the spring). The parents decide on the curriculum to teach at home and you come together once a week to take classes. These classes are taught by parents and vary from week to week.  You must teach or help in at least 2 of the three classes offered. REACH is very affordable. Classes tend to be less than $40. This is a wonderful group. I love the community I found here.

Classical Conversations is a group that is world wide. They meet for 24 weeks (12 in the fall and 12 in the spring). Parents are required to attend class with the child. The tutor (teacher) is introducing the material to the parent, as well as, the child. CC would be your foundation curriculum and you would add math and language to the memory work. CC provides the memory work, art project, and science project every week. CC is more expensive than the other options. However, CC pays their tutors. Paying the tutors raises the bar and provides more accountability. It also pays for all training for the parents, tutors, and directors. CC is a wonderful community. They encourage the parents to pack a picnic lunch and eat together each week. It is wonderful that everyone is working on the same work from week to week. The 4k and 6th graders are doing the same material, but on different levels. There are three levels: 1. Foundations (4K-3rd grade) 2. Foundations + Essentials (4th grade – 6th grade) 3. Challenge (7th -12th grades). We absolutely LOVE Classical Conversations!!

Choosing the day-to-day curricula can be very overwhelming. The most helpful thing is to first decide your approach and then search for the curriculum to fit that style.

I used Singapore Earlybird Math, Horizons math, Horizons Language Arts, Before the Code, My Father’s World, and Sonlight. I did not do these all at the same time. This list is for both girls over 3 years.

Elementary School
I am planning on using My Father’s World this year with Horizons math this year.

High School
As of now, I am planning on doing Classical Conversations for high school.

**Cathy Duffy does a great job reviewing the most popular curricula.**

I hope this helps!!

With Love,