Northern Nevada Home Schools
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Before You Shop for Curriculum
There is one legal form required to homeschool under the Homeschool law in Nevada: The Notice of Intent to Homeschool

Gia D GallegosยทMonday, May 23, 2016

WHICH CURRICULUM SHOULD I USE? That's the most common initial question from parents starting out in homeschooling. Here is my opinion of the first 4 steps to take when you've decided to homeschool, long before you go to a curriculum fair, search for resources on the internet, or spend a single penny.

1. Research the various styles or "flavors" of homeschool. In very broad terms, there is a continuum with just-like-a-classroom, traditional on one end, and no-schedule, no-textbooks unschooling on the other end. On the continuum, there are also Charlotte Mason, Unit Studies, Classical, eclectic, Waldorf, Montessori, Thomas Jefferson... Once you figure out which style(s) you lean toward, you can reduce the shopping for any of the other styles that you don't believe will fit you and your family.

2. Decide if you prefer secular or religious curriculum. That doesn't mean decide if your family is religious or secular. Some families choose religious materials when they are secular themselves, and vice versa. This can eliminate half the 2500+ curriculum providers for you. A secular family might choose religious curriculum otherwise a lack of understanding of Christianity makes a tour through Europe less rewarding while viewing art and architecture. Some religious families prefer secular science. Choose what it important to you.

3. Determine how much organization, structure and schedule you AND YOUR CHILD will work best under. This is a huge key to setting your expectations, and setting up your shopping for materials. If you are loose and free in every other area of your life, try not to doom yourself with a strict, minute-by-minute curriculum or schedule. Also seriously consider what kind of child(ren) you have. Will they flourish in structure or a more relaxed approach? Do they love working on the computer? Or prefer hands-on activities?

4. Decide if you really do need the whole curriculum-in-a-box for each and every child. Can some resources be shared? Can you lean more heavily on free resources? (Yes, homeschooling can be free, with effort.) Do you prefer using Online resources or do you want to limit or avoid screens? Can you get started with a few less-expensive materials, and then buy the whole kit later, after you've tried a few things for a short time? Start easy.

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