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Become a Homeschooling Expert

As a new homeschooler, one of the first steps you should take is to learn about the law in your state. Homeschooling is legal throughout the United States, but the requirements are different in each state. Some states require homeschoolers to be tested each year. Some states require that you sign up as if you were a private school. Some simply ask you to file a notice of intent to homeschool. The National Home Education Network (NHEN) has put together a list of each states homeschooling laws.

Some homeschoolers do not have to comply with state homeschooling laws because they join independent study programs (ISPs). ISPs file attendance forms and academic records for the student and in some cases even issue diplomas. ISPs may be an extension of the local public school or a separate private company. For example, Clonlara Day School in Ann Arbor, Michigan, has an extended homeschooling program, where children from over twenty-five countries homeschool in many different ways and still receive a private-school diploma.

When some people first learned about homeschooling, they were told that homeschooling was illegal. Of course, that is not true, but the school system loses average daily attendance moneys when parents pull their children out of school, so it is not in the Education Department's best interest to help you with your homeschooling.

The best way to learn about ISPs, charter schools, and the laws in your area is to contact your local homeschooling support group.

Top Ten Books on Homeschooling

  1. Homeschooling for Excellence by David and Micki Colfax

  2. The Teenage Liberation Handbook: How to Quit School and Get a Real Life and Education by Grace Llewellyn

  3. Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory School by John Taylor Gatto

  4. The Unschooling Handbook: How to Use the Whole World as Your Child's Classroom by Mary Griffith

  5. The Homeschooling Book of Answers: The 88 Most Important Questions Answered by Homeschooling's Most Respected Voices edited by Linda Dobson
  6. Deschooling Our Lives edited by Matt Hern

  7. The Successful Homeschool Family Handbook: A Creative and Stress-Free Approach to Homeschooling by Raymond and Dorothy Moore

  8. The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home by Jessie Wise and Susan Wise Bauer

  9. The Homeschooling Handbook, 2nd Edition by Mary Griffith

  10. Homeschoolers' Success Stories: 15 Adults and 12 Young People Share the Impact That Homeschooling Has Made on Their Lives by Linda Dobson

When you first make the leap and decide to homeschool, you feel daring, powerful, and incredibly free. Unfortunately, there are also moments when you feel a bit panicky and wonder how you ever had the audacity to make such a move. Reading books and articles about homeschooling will quiet your fears and build up your self-confidence. The major chain bookstores, particularly Barnes & Noble, Borders, and Amazon.com, carry a wide selection of homeschooling books, and these books can turn you into a homeschooling expert in no time!

    Excerpted from: Homeschooling for Success: How Parents can Create a Superior Education for Their Child by Rebecca Kochenderfer and Elizabeth Kanna

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