Before you begin schooling, investigate and select a curriculum or lesson plan—or build your own multi-faceted learning plan from several different teaching styles. To get you started, Homefires suggests the following options:
- Recreate traditional schools at home: Some parents are more comfortable with mimicking their own school experiences, complete with schedules, textbooks, and even play time, music class, and recess.
- Public school–run home study programs: Your local school district may offer a home-study program. Often parents and teachers work together to teach children at home. Teachers assist in developing course studies and supplying materials, and parents then teach at home and report back regularly to the school district.
- Charter school–run home study programs: Charter Schools can be a good source for curriculum and teaching support. Some provide families with $1,000 per student in credit to put toward the purchase of educational materials.
- Private school independent study programs: Check with your area private schools to see if they offer these programs. Although they vary widely, most programs supply record keeping, guidance, support, and curriculum counseling.
- Tutors: Look to your area learning center, university, public school district, or local online message boards and hire a tutor or older student to instruct your child at home.
- Educational software and the Internet: The Internet offers you the ability to have a reference librarian, science teacher, mathematician, or historian, in your home, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can watch pandas eating bamboo (www.smithsonian.com), learn about space and watch the stars at (www.nasa.gov) or travel to different cultures on a virtual expedition (www.questconnect.org). You can also purchase educational software and curriculum packages. From pre-K activities to complete curriculum packages for grades K–12, to online interactive homeschool classes and college courses, to audio and video courses—there are countless opportunities.