It may seem overwhelming when you are exploring all of the curriculum options, local groups, styles and philosophies, not to mention staying on top of the ever-changing state laws, but we’re here for you.
We like to look at homeschooling like a hike:
- You can pick a path but then change direction.
- Some days you’ll go slowly, some days you’ll cover a lot more ground.
- It’s ok to get dirty.
- There will be lots of ups and downs.
- Take the time to stop and enjoy the scenery and be proud of small accomplishments.
- Pack only the essentials, leave the fluff behind.
- You can hike alone, but it can be a lot more fun with a good community around you to encourage you when you need encouragement and inspiration.
Now let’s get into the nitty-gritty of homeschooling.
Below are the most frequent questions we get about starting to homeschool. While this list isn’t comprehensive as there are variable factors such as the state you live in, however, we believe this list of questions and answers will get you started on the right “hiking path”.
What are the laws around homeschooling?
Familiarize yourself with your state or country’s laws about homeschooling, as most education policy is formed at the state or local government level.
This is one website that lists homeschool laws around the world:
These are two websites that list homeschool laws around the United States:
These are helpful websites to start your research if you are in California:
What is a PSA? Do I need to file one?
- A PSA is a Private School Affidavit that you submit to create your own private school for your family if you choose to homeschool independently. You’re the head of your school (congrats on your promotion to Principal, Head Teacher, Administrator, Cook, Yard Monitor, and Janitor). You’ll need to maintain all of the state-required records and you get to be in control of what subjects you teach and how you teach them.
- You must file a PSA every school year between October 1-15 or whenever you switch to homeschooling. You can withdraw your child from public school and file a PSA to enroll them in your own private school anytime. If you decide to start homeschooling for the next year during the summer, make sure you file your PSA between October 1-15.
- Again – pay close attention to any state laws governing your child’s education.
- If you file a PSA, you do not need to take state tests and do not receive any financial aid from the state for homeschooling.
What are charter schools?
Charter schools are independently-operated public schools that have the freedom to design classrooms that meet their students’ needs. Families can opt into a charter school rather than their local public school. Charters operate with a bit more freedom from regulations than district schools. Charter schools do receive funds from the state, so it may be a good place to start if you are looking for some financial support for your curriculum and other educational resources. Charter schools are held accountable for the funds they approve for educational resources, as well as academic results, so you don’t get complete freedom with your curriculum and educational resources, but you do get some support.
Here are some charter schools that have vetted Wisdom Wonder Project curriculum and approved everything we offer as resources that education funds can cover:
- Heartland Charter – Heartland Charter is located in San Luis Obispo, Kern and Santa Barbara Counties, and the family liaison for San Luis Obispo County at this time is Jenn McCune ([email protected] | (805) 242-6841)
- Sage & Oak
- Pacific Charter Institute / Valley View Charter Prep
- Granite Mountain
- Mission Vista
- Ocean Grove
- Cottonwood School
*This list is always growing! We’re willing to work with all charters so if yours isn’t on the list, have them contact us at [email protected]
What is “unschooling”?
As with everything homeschool-related, there are a lot of strong opinions about it, but one might define unschooling as learning through natural life experiences centered around a child’s deepest interests. The general consensus with unschoolers is that learning is most useful when it is meaningful and personal to the child, and often self-directed. Convention can either be thrown out completely, or unschooling families may choose to use some traditional methods and curriculum resources. Whether you choose to stick with tradition or embrace being completely unconventional, we feel that Wisdom Wonder Project provides resources that can work well with all homeschooling approaches and philosophies (check out our blog series about Adapting to the Family Values for some great examples).
Give Wisdom Wonder Project a try! No matter what your methods may be, our resources will give you the confidence and support you need to make your homeschool successful.
We create educational resources such as open and go literature-based lessons plans for Preschool-Kindergarten as well as 1st-2nd Grade and instructional Singapore Math video programs for Kindergarten-2nd Grade, and we think ours are quite wonderful but there are many ways to educate thoughtfully and beautifully. We hope you’ll sample our resources to see if they are a good fit for your homeschool. Everything we create is intended to support and inspire you, and can be taken at your own pace and style.
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