WOW! You're asking for a LOT of information in one question. Entire books have been written that have this info - I couldn't possible answer it all here. I would suggest you find a homeschool support group in your area. They will be very willing to answer all your questions about legalities, curriculum, testing, and anything else that might come up. A local group will be a HUGE help to you during the first year (which is almost universally the most difficult).
For a quick overview of your state's laws (each state is different), check the HSLDA website (below), but verify their information through your state homeschool association. You can find a link to your state association through the HSLDA page. HSLDA also has *some* links to local groups, but you'll find more if you search your state's website or do a general search for "(your town) homeschool".
AAGH! and don't listen to old lady (above). The vast majority of public school administrators are NOT well-versed in their state's homeschool laws and requirements and will either give you misinformation or ask for more than the law allows/requires (after they've tried to dissuade you from taking your child, and the money they receive for that child, out of their system). Using public school materials means your child is still enrolled in the public school, even if s/he studies at home. You will NOT be under the homeschool statutes and will have to submit to whatever testing and curriculum choices the local (or virtual) school makes. Again, this is all info you can get from a local support group.
Check with your local school board. In many school districts, the home schooler is supported with information, materials, curriculum, course content etc. And there are teachers' stores in almost every city that can provide assistance. Beyond that, you can put 'home school' in a search engine and be flooded with information.
Be ready to drink from the hydrant.
You may want to go back through Yahoo!Answers and find other sites that people have given for new home schoolers. You will need to read about home schooling so you will decide your style, your child's learning style, philosophy concerning education, and basically be prepared.
I love home schooling. My son is in the 10th grade this year and has been out of the public school for 2 years. I wish we had 10 more years to teach him, because I think we could get through part of our resources ,all that were free or cheap, by that time.
As 'homeschoolmom' stated, the school district is not a good source of info for homeschoolers. We have a homeschooling advisor at our school district, and they try to get every family to school through the disctrict... no, thank you!
Try to find a homeschool support group in your area. Yahoo Groups can help you find them easily! Moms who have been homeschooling are often the best resources for information for new homeschoolers. We are members of four support groups in our area... they have get-togethers, mom's night out, park days, do field trips together, and help each other with advice whenever needed.
For books we went through www.ABeka.com when we first started, it is a high level curriculum and very good for moms who aren't familiar with homeschooling yet. They even have meetings at hotel rooms in many areas so you can see the books before you buy them. Eight years later, we still use them for a lot of subjects. They have curriculum guides that will even tell you what to say and do each day if you are nervous about starting... it's all laid out for you!
AND make sure you find out who gives homeschool discounts in your area! We get into the museum for free, and many bookstores and such give a 10-20% discount to homeschoolers!
I could go on for 20 pages with advice... but I hope that the info I've given you helps a little!
go to your local library they have lots of books with lots of websites
I good website with lots of information about homeschooling is
This website has lots of information about different curriculums:
I also suggest searching your library for books on the subject.
A lot depends on the type of curriculum you plan to use. Christian or secular schooled or unschooled. OK I love ACE schooloftomorrow.com Last year we tried Sonlight and if you love to read to your kids that's a great program a little on the expensive side but you get all of the books you need and a lesson plan to follow. You will go through about 20-30 books with them in novels 2 at a time one a silent reader and 1 a read aloud depending about on the age of the kids. you will have to pick a math and science program with them. sonlight.com
I bought a copy of "The Well Trained Mind" (can google them, they have a site) and was quite impressed. I intend to use their ideas as a foundation, and change or add to it as I see fit. I don't see any reason for my daughter to learn the American constitution, for example, since we are Australian. I also intend to incorporate a lot of the handcrafts I'm currently learning myself through our SCA involvement. Currently we attend a Steiner playgroup, so I'll take parts of their philosophy too. Basically the short answer to your question is "Google!" Google is your friend, it will link you up to a whole range of different styles, then you can choose what suits your family.
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