Many people feel overwhelmed with the decision to homeschool. It is a very big decision, afterall! Then, once they have decided to make the leap to homeschool, they feel overwhelmed with their next steps. Here, I’ve broken down the steps in the most simplified manner possible. I would like to give credit to The Alberta Homeschooling Association and the multiple Facebook Group members who helped me in my journey of homeschooling!
Remember, Tracing Talent can assist you in the whole process!
Look for people in your community/social network who are already homeschooling. There are awesome people out there who have years of experience with homeschooling. They are an amazing encouragement, without whom, many of us would have given up before we began. This is vital to growing your own support network!
Start researching different types of homeschooling options. Some of them include:
- Parent Directed- This is where the parent has control over the education and its plan.
- Shared- This is where the school teaches some subjects and the parent teaches the others.
- Distance Learning- This is where the school provides all lessons and learning materials, but the student learns from home (usually all online).
*Here at Tracing Talent we follow the Parent-Directed method. (The “Parent” in our method is Me, the Teacher).
Start researching different philosophies for your homeschooling teaching style. Some of most common ones include:
- Unschooling & Deschooling – This means that there is no curriculum and the learning is based on the child’s interests. The child guides and directs their own learning.
- Waldorf- This is a very well-rounded education that incorporates the arts, social-emotional learning and physical education. No marks are given out and the learning is directed mostly by the student.
- Montessori- This is all about play and creativity! It is very student-guided.
- Charlotte Mason- This is using books to educate in every subject and every skill.
- Traditional Schooling Approach- This is taking the Traditional Public School Approach and bringing it home.
*Here at Tracing Talent, we combine many of these philosophies into our teaching. Our teaching style follows most similarly to the Traditional Approach, however, we believe that the student’s interests are the best place to start when developing a learning plan. We believe children need to be guided in order to grow but do offer some flexibility and choice. We believe that the child should have a well-rounded education that incorporates arts, play and books! We do give out marks and reports to parents and Home Education Managers (more on this later).
Start researching different school boards and compare them based on your most important needs.
- Large vs Small boards
- Public vs Private
- Secular vs Non Secular
The Alberta Homeschooling Association has an excellent comparison chart on the different boards and the advantages of each type. From our research, all the boards are very supportive and welcoming! The board you choose will assign you a Home Education Manager who will help supervise your child’s learning plan and goals.
*Tracing Talent is associated with Willow Home Education. Tracing Talent will be happy to help you communicate with your chosen board, should you choose.
Register with your board and notify your child’s current school.
This involves filling out a Notification Form that the board will usually send to your child’s school for you.
*Tracing Talent can help you fill out this form.
Start making an Education Plan with your child
- Talk to your child about their interests
- Assess their learning needs and strengths
- Choose which outcomes you would like to follow. You can either choose to stick with all the Alberta Learning Outcomes, like they do in public school, or choose the Homeschooling Outcomes, which are more broad and give you more freedom in the learning goals.
- Relate your child’s interests and needs back to the outcomes you have chosen
- Plan out the units in terms of subjects or themes, gather resources, project a timeline, and develop assessments
*Tracing Talent will take care of this whole step for you! As the parent, you can be as involved as you wish, and your child will be front-and-centre of their learning!
Organize your house to suit your educational needs
*Tracing Talent has designated areas for all activities and has everything organized for the optimum learning environment!
This is a very simplified version of the steps. Please continue to do more research using The Alberta Homeschooling Association website as well as Facebook groups.
I hope this information helps you feel more comfortable when taking on the task of homeschooling. I know there are a lot of steps, but remember, we are here to help you! Take it one task at a time and know that you are making the best decision for your child’s future! You are your child’s best advocate!