Hello, and welcome! If you're here, it means you've decided to take the leap and homeschool. Congrats! While it can be overwhelming in the beginning, it's wonderfully freeing once you find what works for your family. Below, you will find important links, tips and guidance to help you get started with homeschooling.
*Much of the information here is location-specific. We are located in Hagerstown, MD, and serve homeschool families in the local community. Check your local regulations if you live outside of Maryland.
Decide whether you will report to the local district or use an umbrella program. Some churches and private schools in MD offer homeschool oversight and support.
*For more info, click here.
File your intent to homeschool. This is a simple form that lets your district know that they should not expect your kids at the local school, and that they should plan to schedule portfolio reviews for your family. It should be filed in your local district office 15 days before you "officially" start your homeschool program.
*Tip: it is a good idea to submit electronically and/or ask for a stamped copy after it has been received. Keep it in a folder for your records.
*Click here to print your intent form.
Decide which curriculum you would like to use. Do you prefer online or physical books? How do you think your child will learn best? You can use different curriculum for each subject, or you can purchase an all-in-one. You might find that you prefer to use an assortment of workbooks or combine physical and online resources based on subject matter. Your family may ultimately end up experimenting with a few different things before you find your favorite system, and that's totally okay!
Get your portfolio ready! If you have opted to review with a representative from your local school district, you will likely have one review in January and a second near the end of the school year, usually in May. Your portfolio can be as simple or as elaborate as you desire, but should generally contain 2-3 work samples per subject (pictures alone are usually fine as evidence for PE if you choose not to keep a log). Some people prefer to keep a binder with dividers for each child, some prepare separate 3-prong report booklets, some even create a digital record on the computer (Facebook and Instagram are great for this, and you can make them private).
*Tip: However you choose to document your year, it really helps to add work samples and/or pictures as you go rather than scramble to get it all put together right before your review.
*For more on creating/maintaining a portfolio, click here.
Enjoy! Homeschooling is a rewarding experience, and the time you and your children will spend learning together is priceless.