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  #1  
May 14th, 2010, 07:15 AM
*Mrs.T*'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Sorry if these have been asked before!

What is required for me to homeschool my children? (I live in Georgia if that matters) My daughter will be 4 next March, so she will start preschool in Fall 2011. Are there courses that I would have to take? About how much does it cost a year to homeschool? It's something I've been thinking about a little, just can't make up my mind! Any information you have to share would be GREATLY appreciated! I'm really not sure how DH will feel about this, so he will probably be my biggest obstacle lol
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  #2  
May 14th, 2010, 07:28 AM
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Cost is really entirely up to you. It can be pretty much free, or it can cost thousands per year, it really depends on what you choose to do. In the early years (PK-3rd) an average cost is probably about $200 for the first kid and less for any following IF you use at least some reusable materials.

I don't believe there is a state anywhere in the USA that requires a teaching degree/course, though there are some that make it easier if you have one. Here is a write up about the laws in GA http://www.hslda.org/laws/analysis/Georgia.pdf
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  #3  
May 14th, 2010, 07:29 AM
BensMom's Avatar Ephesians 4:29
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Welcome!! Everyone has to ask those questions before they can begin, so don't worry about it.

Georgia is a fairly easy state. There are a few regulations, but not like some places that are crazy-strict. http://www.hslda.org/laws/analysis/Georgia.pdf

Cost depends on you. It can be completely free if you find all of your materials online (with the exception of supply costs, but you'd have those for public school as well). You could also spend hundreds on purchased curriculum. On average, I'll spend $400-500 per year, and half or more of what I buy is reusable, so it'll only cost $100-200 for my 2nd child.

You're going to have LOTS more questions, I guarantee it. Stick around and get to know us. We love helping. Everyone here has a different background and reason for homeschooling, so someone is bound to have an answer to your questions.

Why do you want to homeschool? Maybe we can help you formulate a response for dh.
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  #4  
May 14th, 2010, 07:42 AM
*Mrs.T*'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Thank you so much for the fast responses!!

Well two of the first reasons that come to mind are...
The negative influences children get from school (cussing, agression, and later on drinking, smoking, etc.)
I feel like if I keep our girls home, then I can bring religion into everything they are learning about. I know there are some Christian schools, but from what I understand they are pretty pricey. Schools just don't allow religion any more, and I want my child to be taught to pray and to constantly ask God for guidance.


I think the things that worry me the most are...the show, Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader? I'm really not!
My kids not getting interaction with others, they are VERY social and love people, but never really get to see other kids. We have our church but there aren't many children, and I really don't have any friends. I got married so young and all of my friends got busy with normal teenage things.

I have taken a year in college, but I feel like God is leading me in a different direction now, just haven't figured out exactly where yet! I guess right now it's just an option that I would like to keep open and learn more about in the mean time.

Do you have any suggestions for a Christian curriculum that isn't too expensive?
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  #5  
May 14th, 2010, 07:46 AM
BensMom's Avatar Ephesians 4:29
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Gotta run... Ben has therapy and the grandparents are coming for lunch. I'll be back later, though. (Funny we responded at the same time. )
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  #6  
May 14th, 2010, 07:57 AM
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My best friend is outside Savannah and homeschool's her 4 kids.. GA is a really easy state to HS in.

If you have concerns about them seeing other kids then I suggest finding a local hs group..check Yahoo groups..HSing is huge in GA... go to the park, sign them up for karate or ballet if you can afford it.. network..you will find a place for your kids to have friends.. and you also at the same time.

I'd google homeschool curriculum and sign up for every one of the publishers catalogs..it's a great way to see what's out there!
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  #7  
May 14th, 2010, 08:10 AM
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I really like the idea of getting them into some outside activities!
I will definitely see what I can find as far as catalogs, thanks!
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  #8  
May 14th, 2010, 08:18 AM
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Hey I'm in Ga, its easy to homeschool and there is a lot of homeschool groups out there for support.

Legally, you only have to fill out the forms on this page and send them in and keep records of the work. Doing a homeschool blog and keeping file folders of the work are good for this.

You only need a high school diploma. The only thing you would need a college degree for is if you wanted to do the standardized testing yourself for some reason. But you can send them to test with other schools or test centers easily. Feel confident in your abilities to teach your children. You do not have to know everything or have a high IQ, you just have to teach the passion for learning.

We homeschool for hardly any costs. We use the internet for a lot of free resources, we have to pay for computer, printer, and ink costs and we use our neighbor's internet for free. The library has a lot of amazing resources. And we are able to even find a lot of free workshops and events at local museums and special events. We do have random costs for small supplies like art supplies and other things, but at my daughter's age, we are able to do a lot for very cheap.
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  #9  
May 14th, 2010, 09:13 AM
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A Christian publisher that I really like is Christian Liberty Press (and they're super low-cost for high quality stuff), but there are also other popular options such as ABeka Publishers, Bob Jones University Press, Rod & Staff (has a GREAT set of PK/K workbooks that are really inexpensive!!), and Alpha Omega. There's also Konos, which is a lot of work for the parent(s) from what I've heard, and Sonlight, which is a nice gentle approach for the very early years, but it doesn't get overly academic, which is a drawback for many.

If you're interested in the Charlotte Mason style of homeschooling, there is a free curriculum guide at www.amblesideonline.com, which my niece and nephew LOVED the readings for. I didn't do the rest of the stuff (music studies, art studies, nature studies, etc), but we did the 'core' material from there and they learned a lot-- they STILL talk about things we read in those 4 months that we did it, and that was almost two years ago now! The majority of the books on their reading list can be found at a good library, or you could purchase the books and have them on hand at all times (Year 0 books cost about $200, and cost for the Year 1 books is about $250, but they're all reusables). Personally I prefer having them in my hands... and there are some that DH and I have decided we do not want.

We're not exactly strictly leaning toward a CM method either-- we're rather eclectic in our approach to schooling... right now Rebecca is really just a baby/toddler, so she learns by doing, participating, and trial and error until she gets it right... which is more like a Montessori style of learning, but as we move toward school age, activities will become more CM/unschoolingish, so that it's mainly child-interests-led, and gradually we'll make it to resembling something more 'traditionally' academic by 7th grade or so... MAYBE! LOL!
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  #10  
May 14th, 2010, 09:31 AM
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Wow, you ladies have given me so much to look into!
I have looked at the Sonlight stuff a little bit, but their curriculum for 3/4 is nothing but books to read to them and then some child scissors, construction paper, and crayons. It's about $265, and for that much money I can get stuff to do my own lessons, and more than just book to read to her.
I like things being structured, well some what anyway, I know with a preschooler that isn't totally possible but I want to do more with her than just read books lol
Thanks again for all of the info and if you have any more I would love to have it!
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  #11  
May 14th, 2010, 09:41 AM
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Oooh, you might like the looks of the Horizons Preschool program from Alpha Omega Publisher's then

We've been thinking of doing that with Rebecca when she's ready for it. But... I like letting my kid be a kid, and want to just go with her lead. Right now she's quite happy reading the same book a thousand times over (seriously, I'm sure she knows the story of George Washington by heart-- she laughs and shakes her head when you say the wrong words!), and she'll sit and colour with crayons for 10-15 mins at a time. She loves chalk and blowing bubbles... I think she's pretty much set for 'preschool learning' for the moment... and thinking anything beyond 'baby is coming in 3 weeks or possibly less' is pretty much impossible for me right now, LOL! Maybe we'll figure out what we want to do in a year or two...
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  #12  
May 14th, 2010, 10:03 AM
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My only problem with that is it looks like it's all on CD/DVD. I'm all about going green but I really like to have those types of things in my hand so I can look at it when ever and where ever. I feel like I'm being so picky haha

I really like what I've read from the CLP preschool curriculum but I hate that I can't see what everything looks like. $87 sounds wonderful but I wonder if it would be enough to last a full school year?
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  #13  
May 14th, 2010, 12:05 PM
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Lol... the Horizons Preschool stuff has workbooks and a teacher's guide as it's base, and then the multimedia pack is the CDs and DVDs (really, that's the expensive part of the Horizons Preschool).

I haven't actually seen the CLP preschool curriculum in person, as it is pretty new (came out for the current school year in fact), but I would think considering how thick the workbook and such are (300+ pages?) it would keep a preschooler occupied for the full school year. I just really like the sounds of Horizons because the teacher's manuals give you activity and field trip ideas and all that, not just a 'complete these pages on this day' type of thing.

This is the actual curriculum kit for Horizon's Preschool: Horizons Preschool Curriculum Kit: 9780740314520: Christianbook.com

And then this is the same thing with the multimedia stuff included (and totally worth the price if you're actually *wanting* the CDs and DVDs and stuff!): Horizons Preschool Curriculum and Multimedia Set: 9780740314537: Christianbook.com
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  #14  
May 14th, 2010, 12:58 PM
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Lol, ok I was looking at something totally different!

Wow they both look great, but I wonder if I could get some CD's and DVD's elsewhere and save some money? It looks like they are just movies and songs...I don't know, I'm torn but that's a huge price difference!

I need to get DH to agree to this first anyway haha
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  #15  
May 14th, 2010, 01:31 PM
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Lol... I priced the CD's and DVD's already, and seriously CBD's deal is THE BEST you're going to get. DH and I are even possibly thinkin of just getting the multimedia set without the Horizons curriculum because the stuff in the set is GREAT! It's stuff we'd want for our kids even without a curriculum that makes use of them.
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  #16  
May 14th, 2010, 01:37 PM
BensMom's Avatar Ephesians 4:29
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Look around for yahoo groups in your area. It's a great way to get to know people in person, meet friends for your kids, and ALSO to find used curriculum sales or "petting zoo's" as they're called around here (not sure if that's the term everyone uses). Petting zoos aren't sales. They're set up like sales, though... tables or booths for everyone to lay out all the materials they've used so others can flip through books, look at manipulatives, and so on. Also look for bookstores that sell homeschool curricula. I go to Mardel's, but I know there are others out there... usually smaller ones like teacher stores.

She gave you a lot of great ideas for curricula. I like R&S because it's cheap, easy to follow, and very structured. I also like Abeka, but it's much more expensive. My next choice would be BJU or Sonlight, probably.

I'm sort of a mix between eclectic and classical. I may have a little CM in my approach, but not on purpose. I just do my own thing without sticking to a particular style.

You can find lots of information in the resources at the top of the forum.
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  #17  
May 14th, 2010, 08:35 PM
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I just wanted to say hello!

I don't have a lot to add. I agree that signing up for curriculum catalogs will help you see what's out there. I love sitting and reading all the descriptions. I'm afraid I will become a curriculum junky someday. haha (I love Christian Book Distributors' catalog... I think that's their name, anyway. ChristianBook.com)

Maybe get Cathy Duffy's 100 Top Picks (of curriculum) if you get serious about it.

I also agree that homeschooling and socializing aren't mutually exclusive like people make it sound. There are all sorts of options from Homeschooling co-ops, to dance classes, to sports, to YMCA activities, etc, etc. It's not like the choice is either homeschool and keep your kid indoors 7 days a week and not have any friends, or send them to public school. Besides, kids can go to public school and STILL not have any good friends (that you want them to have anyway!!). It often takes some parental "help" to get kids together either way (hence "play dates" for kids who aren't in elementary school yet).

Hope you won't get much resistance from your dh if you decide you'd really like to homeschool. If it's socialization he'd be worried about, I would talk to him about the above. If it's academics he's worried about, there are some great studies that show that homeschooled kids do significantly better academically than their public school peers, so there's no question there in my book. Most people just aren't aware of the truth of the matter.
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  #18  
May 15th, 2010, 10:39 PM
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Miguel goes through things fast so I buy 2-3 years of curriculum at a time. This year is going to cost us around $700 but for the amount of things we are getting it's not bad. Our year has 6 math workbooks, 3 math textbooks, 2 science programs w/ lab, 2 extra science textbooks, 10 us history books, 8 writing books, 8 response books,a grammar book, 2 spelling books, 2 response books, a reading book, a test skills book, a essay writing book, and 5 unit studies. Hopefully he wont complete this all this year. He also does other low cost things however most of the things we buy would be completely reusable if we had other children.
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  #19  
May 16th, 2010, 07:08 AM
BensMom's Avatar Ephesians 4:29
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I also buy several things at once. Sometimes it's because I find them on sale, and sometimes it's things I don't know if we'll get around to this year or next. We've slowed down quite a bit, but last year we ate through stuff way faster than I expected. I think we've found a groove now.
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  #20  
May 16th, 2010, 07:56 AM
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Yeah I have a shelf that is all future use stuff..LOL.. occasionally I clean it out in case I decide we just won't use some of the stuff I've collected..lol
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