Homeschooling Starter Kit

In this wild time to be alive, many parents are faced with the tough decision of how to proceed with schooling for the fall.

Public/private school with covid requirements? Distance learning? Home education? It can feel overwhelming. As a homeschooling mom I wanted to touch on that specific option for a bit if you’ve considered it. The number one thing to remember about schooling at home is that it is not the same as crisis schooling. If that was a struggle for you so homeschooling feels impossible, its like apples and oranges! Distance learning through your school at home is not homeschooling.

If you choose to educate at home, you have the leisure to choose which ever curriculum works for you and your kids, its on your schedule not a school’s, and you are in charge of guiding – not a teacher managing 30 other students.  You can take your time if you need, there’s no rush at the end of the day to have x, y, & z finished. And school at home doesn’t take 8 hours a day plus homework. 

So, what are the legal requirements? Let’s get started with that. I live in Ohio so I understand our homeschool laws, but whether you’re in OH or not here’s some links to get you started. (.)

  1. If you’re an Ohio parent, I include at the end the link to the form you need to fill out with your Notice of Intent to homeschool.
  2. Full disclosure I wrote most of this with a nursing baby on me, so please forgive any spelling errors!
  3. I am getting zero kickback from any of these links, I’m simply providing them because I wish I had a list like this!
Homeschooling Styles
Homeschooling curriculum

Books and Resources

Instagram pages to follow for helpful advice, inspiration, more resources, and add-on units crafted by other homeschooling moms –

Ohio parents! This is for you.

This is straight from the Ohio Dept of Education’s website.

Parents should start by notifying the superintendent of the school district where they reside about their intent to home school their child/or children. Notification should be provided no later than the first week of the start of the public school building the child would attend in the school district of residence or within one week from the child’s withdrawal from a school. 

OH Dept of Education

What do you need to provide?

  • Notice of intent to homeschool
    1. Confirmation that you will provide a minimum of 900 hours of instruction that must include the following subjects:
    2. Language, reading, spelling and writing;
    3. Geography; history of the United States and Ohio; and national, state and local government;
    4. Mathematics;
    5. Science;
    6. Health;
    7. Physical education;
    8. Fine arts, including music; and
    9. First aid, safety and fire prevention;
  • A brief outline of the curriculum for the current school year;
  • A list of textbooks, correspondence courses, commercial curricula or other basic teaching materials that you plan to use; and
  • Your signature.

Homeschooling form

So per Ohio law I fill out the form I linked above, I write a letter, and include our outline and list of materials. I mail all of this to the superintendent of my local school district. So, even if you had kids previously in a private school, you would send this information to the superintendent of the school district you reside in.

Here’s the cool thing, you are not legally bound to stick with whatever curriculum you included on your list. So if halfway through the year you hate the curriculum you bought and need to switch it up for your kid’s best experience (or your sanity ha) you can, and you do not need to inform the state. You are done until next year!

If you continue to homeschool you will need to include an assessment report with your annual notification to the superintendent. That assessment can be:

  • Results from a certified standardized test that shows reasonable proficiency; or
  • A written narrative from a certified teacher or other person mutually selected by you (the parent) and the superintendent who has reviewed a portfolio of your child’s work and confirms that the student demonstrates progress in learning according to the child’s abilities; or
  • An alternative assessment mutually agreed upon by you (the parent) and the superintendent.

So here’s an example of my letter and outline/list:

My name
Street address
city state zip

Your School District
Attn: superintendent name
address

Dear _______ (superintendent),

I am writing to notify you of our intent to homeschool (child’s name) for the 2020-2021 school year. Enclosed is our notification for and outline of our intended curriculum for the current year. Due to HB 197 because of Covid we are not including an assessment report.

Sincerely,

My name + signature

Enclosed:
ODE home education notification form
Curriculum outline

Home Study Outline
A. Language Arts
Reading and writing instruction, comprehension skills, oral communication, vocabulary expansion, concepts of print and writing process, spelling
B. Social Studies and Geography
Maps and symbolism, world history, US history, concepts of national state and local government, cultural awareness, community service and involvement
C. Mathematics
Number ideas and concepts, computation skills, money value, measurement, time
D. Science
Flora and fauna, the human body, space and the solar system
E. Health
Nutrition, healthy eating and cooking, human developement
F. Physical Education
Solo sports, horseback riding, swimming, outdoor recreational pursuits, team sports/games
G. Fine Arts
Theater, music appreciation, arts and crafts
H. First Aid
Basic first aid and safety, fire prevention education

Resources, Curricula, and Materials:
A. Language Arts
Public and personal library resources, books and materials.
The Good and The Beautiful language arts course
Online supplemental resources and games
B. Social Studies
History of the World and US History curriculum
Maps and materials
Library resources
C. Mathematics
Masterbooks Math Lessons for a Living Education
Online educational materials
Manipulatives and materials in personal and public library
D. Science
Hands on science experiments
Cleveland Zoo classes and field trips
Masterbooks science curriculum
Library resources
E. Health
American Red Cross materials
Cooking With Kids
Personal cooking classes
F. Physical Education
Community and home based programs and activities
G. Fine Arts
Community and home based programs and activities
The Good and the Beautiful curriculum
H. First Aid, Safety, Fire Prevention
Community and home based instruction

Okay guys, that’s just my list. This is just to show an example of what you can offer. So much of what you can do at home and out and about qualifies as educating your kids. It’s honestly so simple! You don’t need to include an exhaustive list of every single.topic you’ll touch on or every single book you might read.

I will likely add to and update my links here for resources, so if there’s something I missed that you think I should include please message me! I’d be happy to add it.

Also, if you’re local and need help or an ear I’d love to connect. Even if you’re not local we can still chat and brainstorm together! I’d love to be a help on your homeschool journey.

Until next time, toodles!

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