Are you thinking about homeschooling? Do you have a friend who wants to homeschool and is turning to you for advice? Need a quick reference for yourself or moving to a new state with different laws?
I often have people ask how to get started with homeschooling. What do they need to do? How to they select the right curriculum? Is it even legal? Where do they turn for support? Most recently these questions came from my kids' karate instructor. I was a week away from attending our homeschool conference and told her I'd pick up some information for her. Now I've done this before for friends and acquaintances, except I did it all wrong. Upon returning, I handed them a big stack of catalogs and papers with a general "ask if you need any help" offer. You know how many called me back? Not one. So this year I took a different approach. I put together a new homeschoooler packet for her.
In order to do this, I still went through that vendor hall to pick up some (but not all) the usual information I get, and instead of handing it to her, I organized into an easy to navigate manner.
My first stop was the HSLDA booth.I picked up an application for a FREE preschool membership along with their brochure "You Can Homeschool Your Preschooler" available FREE on their website! (Can you tell I love free?) I also scanned the table for any handouts they had on getting setup in our state. They didn't have them this year, so I went back through old conference notes to find the Cliff's Notes version of our state laws and printed them off along with step by step instructions for getting all set up with the State Department of Education.
Next, I had attended a wonderful session by Sonya Shafer of Simply Charlotte Mason entitled "The Five Flavors of Homeschooling". What a great "back to basics" session this was for me personally. I found out that she was giving away a DVD of the session for FREE, so I picked one up to include in my packet. You can view the session for yourself at the link.
Finally, I included a list of curriculum companies organized by subject. I also included a list of helpful homeschooling blogs and a few of my own personal tips for getting started. Then I slip in a flyer for our local homeschool support group.
Have you ever put together a information packet such as this? Let's see pictures! What other information do you think would be helpful?