New to Homeschooling

If you are new to homeschooling, GRACEd is a great place to start. We are so happy to have new homeschool families join, ask questions and hopefully find support. Not to overwhelm you, here are a just a few really good places to start as you are learning about homeschooling.

* Virginia Homeschool Laws -HEAV -

*Homeschool Legal Defense Association - HSLDA is a nonprofit advocacy organization established to defend and advance the constitutional right of parents to direct the education of their children and to protect family freedoms - helpful information about homeschooling and laws

* "What curriculum do you use?" This is a common question people considering homeschooling ask. They are really asking, "How in the world do you do this thing called homeschooling?" Before you go out and buy a whole bunch stuff...This is a great video (not made by our group) to help you narrow down your goals for your family and style of teaching. Five Flavors of Homeschooling. Here is a "favorites" guide created by Teach Them Diligently so you can start researching.  

* Once you've narrowed your goals, Hillbilly Book Barn is a great place to look at used homeschool curriculum and books.

* Scheduling your subjects is the next goal. Some people do all subjects everyday, others may have an A, B type schedule to help rotate the subjects. Some find that a time alloted to each subject is helpful, either by time on the the clock or the amount of time dedicated to that subject, no matter what time it is. Others may enjoy the freedom of a looser day. Some families cover certain subjects together as a group in the morning and then breakout for individual needs. You need to find what works best for you and try not to compare yourself to others. Topics to research may include block or loop scheduling, morning time, relaxed homeschooling.

Here are a few other ideas in Getting Started, put together by Teach Them Diligently. 

If you get overwhelmed or discouraged

* Ruth Beechick's books are full of common sense ideas and encouragment. She will help you know you can do this. Don't make this harder than it needs to be. Also, many people recommend Sarah MacKenzie's book, Teaching From Rest. Sometimes podcasts, by long time homeschooler, Sally Clarkson, or the Read Aloud Revival can help get you back on track in finding the joy of being home with your children. If you have a particular "flavor" of homeschooling, other podcasts and conferences exist to encourage you. Ask if you need help

If you suspect a learning disability or processing problem:

A quick screen 

There are many other resources available to homeschool families. Please ask for help if you suspect a problem. Also, the Washington County Special Services department at the school is a good resource. 

If you are facing homeschooling with special needs:

One of our GRACEducators members gave a wonderful talk to our group full of encouragment and resources. This is a link to the audio recording of that meeting. The sound is not the highest quality, but the talk is superb. 

If you'd like some free online resources:

There is an abundance of free online resources for your students, here is a list of some ideas to get you inspired. Additionally, there are free online programs available.