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Getting Started in Home Education

Home schooling is a movement that has grown tremendously in the past 15 years. From a few thousand home schooling families in the early eighties, there are now approaching two million families spread across the United States. The results of home schooling have been phenomenal: the first generation of home schoolers are graduating with good educations, going on to college, jobs, and marriages, becoming good citizens—it works! Even the states seem to be realizing this, as more and more bills are passed to legalize and protect home schooling.

Unfortunately, with the increased popularity, the vision that started home schooling off to such a wonderful start is being watered down and lost. As we speak to people, their emphasis is almost always to give their children a better education than they can get at a public school; it is rarely to bring their children up in the Christian faith. We need to regain that priority!

There are many curriculum options to choose from (we only have a small fraction of what is on the market), many of them making life simpler for both home school parents and students. This has obvious advantages: you can pick what most interests you, choose what works with your teaching styles and your students' learning abilities, etc. But it also has two not-so obvious disadvantages: First, you really have to research your options, to pick what will work best for you, not just pick whatever you see first or hear is most popular. Second, you must realize that although these books may make home schooling easier, they do not make it easy (although it might be easier than you think)! Home schooling, like most anything else, requires hard work, discipline and perseverance.

Legal Requirements

In Oregon it's very simple to get started! You need to tell your local Educational School District (ESD) that you are going to home school. Send them a letter giving the following information: parents' name, address, and phone number; the student's name and date of birth; and the name of your local school district. After that (at least currently; this may change), the only legal obligations you'll face are having your children take tests in 3rd, 5th, 8th and 10th grade. You can certainly test during the other years if you wish, but you are no longer required to do so.

For further information, or for links to other states, please see our State Law page.

Establish your goals:

In preparing to choose curriculum, you should:

  • Examine the purpose and vision of your family.
    God's plan for your family is made evidentby your strengths and weaknesses, and those of your children. Consider these questions: What do you want to teach your children? What can you to teach them? What are your children's desires and aptitudes? Answers to these questions will develop over time, but it's important to set goals now.
  • Determine the needs of each of your children.
    Each of your children are different.Try to identify their unique gifts and help them develop those to the glory of God; also think about the skills or attitudes they struggle with andcome up withstrategies to help them improve.
  • Think of ways to make your home a learning environment.
    This might include creating a classroom specifically for school, or designating a corner just for reading. We would recommend building a library that you and your children can have access to at any time. If you lead by example and provide encouragement, many children will read and learn muchon their own.
  • Determine what kind of teacher you are.
    Do you need products that will basically do all the work for you? This certainly might be easiest, but is it best? Are you a do-it-yourselfer? Would you prefer curriculum that will give you a basic framework and allow you more flexibility and creativity?
  • Decide which teaching approach you wish to use.
    There are several approaches to choose from, including: using textbooks only in well-defined subjects; pulling subjects together in unit studies; or using the "classical" approach; among others.

We consider the few books listed below as some of the most valuable tools and items we offer to help you establish a home school vision and plan your curriculum. There are, however, many other choices.

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Getting Started in Home Education
Getting Started in Home Education
34 Items found Print
101 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum
by Cathy Duffy
from Grove Publishing
for Preschool-Adult
in Practical Home Schooling (Location: B11-01B)
$16.50
102 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum
by Cathy Duffy
from Grove Publishing
for Preschool-Adult
in Practical Home Schooling (Location: B11-01B)
$23.99
Beyond Survival
by Diana Waring
from Emerald Books
History Curriculum for
in Practical Home Schooling (Location: B11-01B)
$12.99 $7.50 (4 in stock)
Big Book of How to Make PROJECTS
from Dinah-Might Adventures, LP
for Kindergarten - College
in Classroom Teacher Resources (Location: B11-03A)
$14.00 (1 in stock)
Christian Home Educators' Curriculum Manual - Elementary
by Cathy Duffy
9th edition from Grove Publishing
for Preschool-6th grade
in Practical Home Schooling (Location: B11-01B)
$4.50 (3 in stock)
Christian Home School
by Gregg Harris
2nd edition from Noble Publishing
for Adult
$7.00
Complete Guide to Getting Started in Homeschooling
by Mary Pride
from Harvest House
for Adult
in Practical Home Schooling (Location: B11-01B)
$18.00 (2 in stock)
Easy Start in Arithmetic
by Ruth Beechick
from Arrow Press
for Kindergarten-3rd grade
in Practical Home Schooling (Location: B11-01B)
$1.50 (3 in stock)
Essential Learning Objectives for Math and Language Arts
by Curt & Jenny Bumcrot
from Basic Skills
for Kindergarten-8th grade
in Standardized Test Preparation (Location: B11-03C)
$6.00
Heart of Home Schooling
by Christopher Klicka
from Broadman & Holman
in Practical Home Schooling (Location: B11-01B)
$12.99 $9.00 (1 in stock)
High School Handbook
by Mary Schofield
7th edition from Christian Home Educators Press
for 7th-12th grade
in High School & College Prep (Location: B11-03D)
$19.99 $14.00 (1 in stock)
Home School, High School, and Beyond
by Beverly Adams-Gordon
7th edition from Castlemoyle Books
for 9th-Adult
in High School & College Prep (Location: B11-03D)
$19.97
Home Schooling: The Right Choice!
by Christopher Klicka
Revised and Updated from Broadman & Holman
in Practical Home Schooling (Location: B11-01B)
$14.99 $10.00 (1 in stock)
Home Start in Reading
by Ruth Beechick
from Arrow Press
for Kindergarten-3rd grade
in Practical Home Schooling (Location: B11-01B)
$1.50 (3 in stock)
Homeschool Answer Book
by Ruth Beechick
from Arrow Press
for Adult
in Practical Home Schooling (Location: B11-01B)
$12.00 $8.00 (1 in stock)
Homeschooling
by Samuel L. Blumenfeld
from Citadel Press
$3.00 (1 in stock)
Homeschooling for Excellence
by David & Micki Colfax
from Warner Books
for Adult
in Practical Home Schooling (Location: B11-01B)
$4.00 (2 in stock)
Homeschooling on a Shoestring
by Melissa Morgan & Judith Waite Allee
from Shaw Books
for Adult
in Practical Home Schooling (Location: B11-01B)
$4.00 (1 in stock)
How and Why of Home Schooling
by Ray E. Ballmann
2nd edition from Crossway Books
in Practical Home Schooling (Location: B11-01B)
$3.50 (1 in stock)
How To Home School
by Gayle Graham
from Common Sense Press
for Adult
in Practical Home Schooling (Location: B11-01B)
$15.00
Katy
by Mary Evelyn McCurdy (formerly Notgrass)
2nd Edition from Notgrass Company
for 3rd-6th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: A09-01A)
$6.95
Language Wars
by Ruth Beechick
from Arrow Press
for Adult
in Practical Home Schooling (Location: B11-01B)
$12.00 $8.00 (3 in stock)
Parent Educator's Ready Reference
by Dan J. McLaughlin
3rd edition from Christian Home Educators Press
$5.00 (1 in stock)
So You're Thinking About Homeschooling
by Lisa Whelchel
from Focus on the Family
for Adult
in Practical Home Schooling (Location: B11-01B)
$4.50 (1 in stock)
Strong Start in Language
by Ruth Beechick
from Arrow Press
for Kindergarten-3rd grade
in Practical Home Schooling (Location: B11-01B)
$1.50 (3 in stock)
Successful Homeschool Family Handbook
from Thomas Nelson Publishers
in Practical Home Schooling (Location: B11-01B)
$12.00 $5.00 (2 in stock)
Survivor's Guide to Home Schooling
by Luanne Shackelford & Susan White
from Crossway Books
$2.00 (3 in stock)
Teaching Children
by Diane Lopez & Elizabeth Wilson
from Crossway Books
for Adult
in Practical Home Schooling (Location: B11-01B)
$3.00 (2 in stock)
Things We Wish We'd Known
by Bill & Diana Waring
from Emerald Books
History Curriculum for Adult
in Practical Home Schooling (Location: B11-01B)
$12.99 $6.00 (2 in stock)
Three R's
by Ruth Beechick
from Arrow Press
for Kindergarten-3rd grade
in Practical Home Schooling (Location: B11-01B)
$9.99
Upgrade
by Kevin Swanson
2nd edition from Generations with Vision
for Adult
in Practical Home Schooling (Location: B11-01B)
$14.95
Way They Learn
by Cynthia Ulrich Tobias
from Focus on the Family
for Adult
$2.00 (2 in stock)
When You Rise Up
by R. C. Sproul, Jr.
from P&R Publishing
for Adult
in Practical Home Schooling (Location: B11-01B)
$7.50
You Can Teach Your Child Successfully
by Ruth Beechick
from Arrow Press
for 4th-8th grade
in Practical Home Schooling (Location: B11-01B)
$11.00 $6.00 (4 in stock)