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Here are a few of my tips for beginning the homeschool journey.

1) Make the Decision
Making the decision to homeschool is not to be taken lightly or quickly. It is a daunting task to take on the full responsibility for your child’s education. Here are some considerations to help you think through the process.

2) Read books
Yes, reading books is actually much better than reading blogs or websites mainly because there is just so much information available that it can be totally overwhelming. I suggest starting off with a few good books on the topic.

3) Understanding Homeschool Laws
It is very important to know and stay within the laws and requirements of your state. In general, it is not wise to start by asking your local school what the homeschooling law is – often they don’t know, and they may give you misleading information. They may quote policy as though it were law…you need to find out the laws regarding home education in your state.

4) Finding a Support Group
If you’re reading this then you’ve already started this step. Join AussieHomeschool and meet others in the forums.However you may also like to get involved with a non online support group. This often takes a great deal of patience and time as you find a group that is a right match for your family. Homeschoolers are very diverse! However, a support group will generally meet on a semi regular basis for outings or parent meetings where they offer encouragement and help along the way. They can help with choosing curriculum, record keeping, meeting the state laws, and much more.

5) Choosing a Curriculum
Selecting your curriculum can be overwhelming. It is possible to over purchase more than you will ever need. Generally I would advise that in the beginning, less is best!

6) Record Keeping/Documenting Learning Activities and Opportunities
It is very important to keep good records of your child’s homeschool years. Your records can be as simple as a daily journal or as elaborate as a purchased computer program or notebook system.

7) Schedules and Routines
Homeschoolers generally have a lot of freedom in setting up and living within their schedule and routine, but it sometimes takes a while to find out what works best for your family. It’s helpful to hear about what others are doing.

8) Learn a little about Homeschool Methods
There are many methods to homeschool your children. Most families find that they do not use one method solely rather take bits and pieces from all approaches as the needs of their family dictates. A method should be seen as a tool to assist you in homeschooling…it is not an approach that needs to be strictly adhered to.

9) Locate curriculum providers.
Peruse their websites as they often contain a lot of valuable information. Continue to look through resource suppliers, vendors and the ‘Homeschool Mall’ section at AussieHomeschool.

10) Consider becoming a member of the HEA:
The Home Education Australia site has been formed to support, promote and encourage the practice of home education. There are many benefits to becoming a member.

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