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How to Get Started Homeschooling

When you're thinking about starting to homeschool, it can feel very overwhelming. You care so much about your child and want to make sure you're doing everything right. However, my first piece of advice is to slow down and relax. One of the best things about homeschooling is that you can be flexible, relaxed, and work at your child's own pace. There's no rush.

That being said, there is one thing that you'll want to do right away: check with the legal requirements in your state. Since I'm a teacher and not a lawyer, I can't offer any legal advice on this, but I've made this page of links to state resources that can help point you in the right direction.

After you've figured this out, you'll want to start thinking about how you'll set up your homeschool and how to teach. Again, there's no rush with this, so give yourself some time to explore resources and make some decisions. There are a few areas that I think you'll want to consider, and I have a page of resources for each.

1. Teaching Approaches
This refers to the overall teaching approach you want to take...it's the "big picture" framework that guides how you want to teach. It's like choosing one or more overall approaches for how you want to teach. An example of one of these broad frameworks that many people have heard of is ABA. You can view some of my favorite teaching approach frameworks here.

2. Curriculum
Many of the families that I hear from want to know which curriculum to buy. I personally like to make my own lessons and activities for my students, because I've found that many curriculum programs aren't specifically designed for students with autism. However, if you find a great curriculum that you love, you can always make some additional activities to supplement your curriculum if there's anything that your child needs more practice with or a different approach than the curriculum provides. I call these extra practice activities "curriculum supplements." I offer lots of these free on my blog. You can also read about some of my favorite published curriculum programs here.

3. Assessment/Tracking Progress
If your child has been in school and had an IEP, you'll know that the IEP stated goals for each subject area and also how progress will be tracked on each goal. You'll want to do something similar for your child at home. Here's a link to some information about how to do this, as well as a link to a free homeschool portfolio template.

If you'd like more support, please feel free to join our Facebook group for autism and homeschooling. There are so many wonderful parents there that are great at answering questions.