Homeschooling is becoming more and more popular every day. It has been estimated that there are over one million homeschooled students nationwide.
Wisconsin also has many families who choose to homeschool their children. According to the 2014 National Home Education Survey by the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), approximately 25% of Wisconsin residents homeschool their children. This makes it the 6th highest percentage of any state in the nation.
To start homeschooling in Wisconsin, follow these steps:
- Research and familiarize yourself with the homeschooling laws and regulations in Wisconsin.
- Notify your local school district of your intent to homeschool by submitting a notice of intent or a homeschooling application.
- Keep records of your child’s homeschooling progress, including attendance, instruction, and assessment, and provide them to the local school district upon request.
- Provide instruction in specific subjects as required by Wisconsin state law.
- Meet the attendance requirements as set by Wisconsin state law.
- Follow any additional regulations or laws set by your local school district or state.
- Start homeschooling and keep records of your child’s progress.
- Be aware that Wisconsin does not require standardized testing for homeschooled students, but it’s still recommended to evaluate your child’s progress regularly.
- Remember that Wisconsin allows for different types of homeschooling options; it’s essential to check with your local school district or the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction for specific guidelines.
Like many other states, Wisconsin requires parents to submit an annual assessment of their child’s progress using results from standardized testing or portfolio evaluations done by certified teachers. It is essential to keep instructional records, attendance, and assessments available should the local school district request to see them.
How Much Time Do You Need
The first thing you will want to consider when starting as a home educator is how much time you can devote to your family’s educational needs. Some people think they can pick up some books from the library, sit down and start teaching their kids immediately.
While this may work well for some families, others prefer to take things slowly, so they don’t overwhelm themselves with too many projects simultaneously.
There are two main ways to teach your children if you homeschool them. One way is called the “sequential method,” and the other is called the “unschooling method.” Both methods require planning but differ slightly in their approach.
This is probably the easiest option because it requires very little organization. If you decide to use this method, you only need to find some interesting materials and read through them together as a family. Then let your child learn about whatever topic he wants to study using these resources.
You won’t be able to provide your child with any structure while doing this. He’ll likely learn everything about dinosaurs before he learns anything about history, geography, science, math, etc. However, since you’re not providing him with formal instruction, his lessons will mainly consist of fun activities and games rather than textbooks and worksheets.
If you choose the sequential method, you’ll need to set aside specific times during the week to focus solely on your child’s studies. These could include mornings, afternoons, evenings, and weekends. You might even want to schedule certain days off throughout the year to give yourself more flexibility.
Your goal should be to spend about 1,000 hours per year educating your child. This means that you would need to dedicate eight 75-minute sessions every week to your child’s schooling.
What Should I Teach My Child
When deciding what topics to teach your child, remember that most states only require you to cover basic subjects. Basic subjects, or core classes, include reading, writing, arithmetic, language arts, social studies, health/physical education, and science. If your child decides to attend school later, he will still be prepared to meet those requirements.
However, you certainly don’t want to stop there! Here are some additional areas you can explore if you’d like to expand upon your child’s current education.
Your child doesn’t necessarily need to know advanced mathematics concepts until he reaches college-level classes. But he does need to understand addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. If you already feel comfortable teaching these concepts, then great! Otherwise, you may want to seek out a few good math texts to help you along the way.
Your child must learn about biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, geology, meteorology, and environmental science. Again, if you’re confident in teaching these concepts, great! Otherwise, you may want to get some hands-on labs to supplement your lesson plans.
Most homeschoolers tend to skip over this area altogether. However, it is crucial to recognize that your child will eventually need to write essays, complete reports, and participate in oral presentations. Plus, if she ever goes on to attend college, her professors expect her to be proficient in written and spoken English.
As mentioned earlier, your child must learn about the American government, U.S. history, world history, geography, economics, psychology, and sociology. She can begin exploring these topics now if she feels ready. Just make sure always to try to tie historical events back to real-life examples whenever possible.
Health & Physical Education
Some states allow homeschoolers to receive PE credits for participating in sports and outdoor activities. However, if your child isn’t interested in team sports or physical fitness, you shouldn’t worry about scheduling PE classes unless you plan to enroll him in a private school near you.
Your child can develop her artistic skills by studying art, music, theater, and dance. As long as she gets plenty of opportunities to practice performing these activities outside of the classroom, then she should be fine.
The Sequential Method Of Instruction
The second way to educate your child is the “sequential method.” Unlike unschooling, this method offers a structured environment where your child builds upon previous knowledge and learns new information in a logical progression.
For example, if your child knows nothing about history, you wouldn’t waste time teaching him about ancient civilizations. Instead, you would move straight onto modern countries and continents. Once he completes these lessons, then you will finally return to the subject of history.
Another advantage of the sequential method is that it allows your child to master one concept before moving on to the next one. This helps prevent boredom and frustration, often resulting from relearning the same material multiple times.
Since this approach involves a lot of repetition, it can get tedious for everyone involved. Fortunately, there are several ways to make it easier to stay organized.
Organizing Your Lessons
One easy way to organize your lessons is to create a monthly calendar. Each month, list the subjects you plan to cover, along with the dates and times you will teach them. This system lets you easily see what assignments you need to complete.
Also, you should devise a list of daily tasks you need to accomplish. Keep track of these items so that you never forget something important.
Finally, you should also create a weekly agenda. Use this document to record what you did yesterday and what you plan to do today. This will ensure you keep track of your progress and do not miss anything.
The final step to staying organized is to plan. Try to determine what you want to cover in each lesson before beginning. Also, determine the amount of time you will need to finish covering each section.
Then, you can break your lesson plans down into smaller segments. For example, instead of trying to fit everything into one hour, divide it into three 10-minute parts. Write out a detailed outline for each part and assign each task to someone in your family so they can prepare accordingly.
How Can We Stay Organized?
Staying organized takes a lot of effort. So if you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the different tasks you need to perform, you may want to hire a professional homeschool administrator to help you manage the workload.
Alternatively, you can also join a homeschool community. Many of these groups offer workshops and seminars where members can share ideas and tips.