Brand new to home school

My name is Ana. I have two girls and my oldest is getting ready for school. I am new to exploring the home school option. My husband and I both want this for our girls and just don’t know where to being. Any help would be appreciated!

Welcome! You have come to the right place. I love this community. There is a lot of support here and lots of questions already answered. I’m also a newbie as we will be starting in the fall this year. And I have learned so much so far.


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my daughter will be 4 in May so we are stating with the preschool programming… we live in CA and not sure about all of the legislation. Still doing research.

Check out erica’s store.she has a letter of the week and a K4 curriculum. Also you can watch erica’s video on YouTube about the K4 curriculum. It’s a full curriculum and I’m planning on using it for my daughter who is starting preschool this year. We will be doing a mix of pre-k and kindergarten. But lite on the kindergarten.

Perfect. I was looking at that. Does anyone know how to go about letting the school district know she is home schooled or do we have to register somewhere?

That’s not something I know. But for me I googled my state’s homeschool laws. That’s the easiest way to find out what is required

Thank you! I will have to go ahead and do that. Do you all teach the 5 days a week or what kind of schedule do you guys like?

Well we will be officially homeschooling in the fall but we will be doing a 5 day schedule.

I think you as a mom know your child’s strengths and weaknesses and what would work best for your child. For a 4 yr old attention span is short so keeping lessons fun short and to the point is best no matter how many days you choose.

Thank you so much for the advise!

Visit the Homeschool Legal Defense Association website for information on laws concerning homeschool in your state:

I love Erica’s Letter of the Week curriculum and so do my children. We are currently going through it now and I also purchased her kinder curriculum to use next year.

I homeschool in California. We school through a public charter school, so we are technically part of the public school system. I do, however, know if you are planning on doing school completely on your own that you have to file a Private School Affidavit. I believe children in CA do not have to be officially enrolled in school (or have an affidavit on file) until the age of 6. Check with your school district. I’m sure they can give you the specifics.

I recommend Cathy Duffy’s 102 top picks to start with. Also go to a homeschool conference like teach them diligently or great homeschool conventions. Also local homeschool groups are good too.

Hi Ana! Congratulations on your decision to homeschool! It is a wonderful gift and life investment!
I wanted to mention Rainbow Resource as a reference for finding out about different curriculum. Order their catalog; it is huge! When I began to branch out and look into different resources and companies I was told about RR and I discovered many gems in it by reading it front to back - well, almost! - many times. Their prices are usually the best as well, except for if you buy used somewhere else.
Also, when I found COAH I was able to get many ideas and information that I valued very much by reading the blog, new and old posts alike, especially in the area of organization, school supplies, workboxes, fun ideas, and handling the paperwork. We have also thoroughly enjoyed the geography units!
Along with knowing what all is available to you it is also really helpful to read reviews on the curriculum you have an interest in. As mentioned by someone else here, Cathy Duffy has reviews on almost all curriculum available and if you do a quick Google search many others also post reviews on their blogs as well. Being a part of this community is also a huge jumpstart!
And if I should recommend a book on homeschooling (I just mentioned it on another topic) it would be Beyond Survival by Diana Waring. There are other wonderful books on this topic but this one is very special in that it seems like Diana is a loving mother who holds our hands and guides us through the tough and mean waves in a storm. Well, that storm could be anything - especially for those who have been homeschooling. It has been encouraging for me to read it and very helpful too!
But most of all, our children are a gift from God to us and so is homeschooling. We can go to Him in prayer with all of our questions and for direction, as we should. He has a plan for each of us, and that’s really wonderful. Enjoy this gift!!


I began homeschooling by using A Beka. I loved the first year! Eventually I branched out and began to pick and choose what I liked best.
It was really good for me as a foundation. It gave me confidence to homeschool and I knew what a scope and Sequence looked like because of it and that helped me to make future decisions when it came time to switch and pick different curriculum.
If you would feel more comfortable with starting that way, A BEKA is really a wonderful curriculum. We had the Kindergarten songs CD, the finger plays book, the Art and Crafts books, the My community book, the readers, everything. It was so much fun and I didn’t feel like I was forgetting or missing something. I think that’s very important or at least it was to me.
If you feel comfortable piecing together your own or if you would like to start slowly, I would suggest something like Rod and Staff Preschool series (this works well even for Kindergarten) or Character Concepts for Preschoolers. I use both of those now with my younger children.
If I could be of any help let me know. I sometimes forget what it was like to begin but I got thinking about it and then I remembered! Happy homeschooling :blossom:


@AnaHuntley also, Rod and Staff is another excellent curriculum. Although I don’t use it for all subjects I do use their language arts and Bible. My 1st grader is starting out with it and we love it. There are many wonderdul resources at including Rod and Staff and others .

Thank you so much for the great advice I appreciate it! I am very excited even though she wont enroll into kindergarten until next year we can get started now looking and planning. Thanks!

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Thanks for the great feedback I will check out the book you mentioned!

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