The decision to homeschool is a significant one that requires pre-planning and budgeting. Homeschooling is on the rise in the United States, with over 1.5 million children educated at home in 2007, the most recent year for which Department of Education statistics exist.
Once you have decided to homeschool, there are several steps involved in setting up your home classroom and getting ready for the start of the school year.
Comply with the Law
Homeschooling is legal in all states, but each state has its own rules. Some states do not require the parents to have any contact with the local public school system at all. On the other end of the spectrum, some states require parents to follow a set curriculum and to report test scores. In some cases, parents are required to have teaching qualifications and submit to home visits. Research your state's education laws and ensure that your plan will comply. Contact your local or state homeschooling association for support and information on starting your school plan.
Set an Annual Budget
There is a cost associated with homeschooling. You will have to plan for expenses like curricula, textbooks and field trips. You will also have some of the same expenses as if you were sending your children to public school, including composition books, lined paper, and pens and pencils. Make a list of everything you will need and price it out so that you can set aside funds for both startup and ongoing expenses. According to experts, the annual cost of homeschooling one child can range from $300 to $2,500 per year, depending on the supplies needed. In some cases, you may consider hiring tutors for teaching higher-level courses.
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