Quick Reference Homeschool FAQs

  1. Need help with a homeschool question? Contact our Homeschool Curriculum Advisors for free unbiased curriculum advice Tel: 1-800-788-1221
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In the US and Canada, each state or province regulates homeschooling in its own way. Some states are more homeschool-friendly than others. When thinking about homeschooling, it’s important for you to know the laws and regulations of your state. Do you need to contact your local school system? Do your children have to take standardized tests? What kind of end-of-year records do you need to submit?

A simple way to find out this information is to visit the Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) website. This is an organization that has been advocating for homeschoolers for the past four decades. HSLDA has compiled the laws for every state and you can find summaries and details of those laws on their website.

Check your state’s homeschool laws but be assured that homeschool parents are not required to possess a teaching license or formal training in education. Some states do require a homeschooling parent to have earned a high school diploma, but in most states, the only qualifications needed are a desire to home educate and an interest in learning. If you wish to homeschool, don’t let a lack of training intimidate you. It’s your hard work and dedication to seeing your children reach their potential that will produce strong academic results, not a fancy degree.

All parents have the legal right to home educate their children, including children with learning disabilities and challenges. In fact, homeschooling can give children of varying abilities an advantage because they are taught by those who are intimately familiar with their strengths and weaknesses and who can integrate new learning strategies and techniques. As a homeschool parent, you have a unique opportunity to provide your child with a learning environment where they are truly loved and accepted. Despite these advantages, teaching a child with special needs at home is extremely demanding. It will require an extra measure of patience, creativity, and dedication, especially if there are other children in the home whose needs must be balanced. You will want to gather a strong support system for yourself whether through family, friends, therapists, church community, or a local homeschool support group (preferably all the above!). Also look for a local or online support group that is dedicated to your child’s specific learning disability. Homeschool publications contain helpful articles to inform and encourage homeschooling parents. And also, remember to trust in God to provide the wisdom you need.

You can homeschool your children, even when they are at different ages and skill levels. It’s a matter of finding the method that each child responds to and a way to stay organized that works best for you. Your best plan could be one of these or a combination of them.

Independent learning is the end-goal of homeschooling, and older children can take ownership of their education. In fact, at the higher grade levels a lot of homeschooling curricula are written to the student. Parents still monitor assignments and grade quizzes, tests, and daily seatwork, but the student manages their schedule and workload and is responsible for reading (or watching) and completing their lessons on a daily basis.

Shared subjects: Bible, History, and Science are subjects that all ages can study together. When your children learn the same material, it encourages shared discussion, experiences, and insights. There are popular homeschool programs that are written with different reading assignments and activities for different age levels.

Unit Studies allow you to organize your language arts, math, science, and history lessons around a central theme and allow your children to dive deep into topics that they feel passionate about. Some examples of themes are topical (like space, insects, or baseball), seasonal (like learning about maple syrup in early spring, or snow during winter), and literature-based unit studies centered around a particular book (like Little House on the Prairie).

Reading together: even if each child is doing their own thing (or you’re doing it with them), bring your family together to share a book, by reading aloud. It can be a classic piece of literature (check off reading for language arts); a historical picture book or chapter book (check off reading and history); a biography (check off reading, science, and history). Little ones might ask a question and your older child will answer and start a discussion (check off reading comprehension and literary analysis)

Computer-based or video-based courses can provide a more traditional, grade-level coverage of subjects. Scheduling can either be a consistent daily routine or your child can complete their lessons when it’s best for them (after all, some kids are not morning people!).

The “socialization” question isn’t as prominent as it used to be, but it will probably never go away. As homeschoolers, your children have more opportunities to connect with the real world than students who are in school for six to eight hours a day and only associating with kids their own age.

In the workplace, in our neighborhoods, at church, and in our hobbies and clubs, not everyone is our age. Grocery shopping during the day when the store employees are adults, visits to community homes, spending the day with older and younger siblings, play-dates with other homeschool families, and volunteer opportunities are just a few ways that homeschooled students learn to develop inter-generational relationships, which is what we do as adults.

As parents, you are your child’s most important model for social behavior and when you intentionally seek out occasions for your kids to connect with the community, you give them the chance to practice compassion, conflict resolution, and communication skills.

Know your state's legal requirements. A simple way to find out this information is to visit the Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) website. This is an organization that has been advocating for homeschoolers for the past four decades. HSLDA has compiled the laws for every state and you can find summaries and details of those laws on their website.

Visit your state’s homeschool organization page. These are private organizations run by veteran and current homeschoolers. Often you’ll find information on activities (like conventions, graduation events, field trips), co-ops, classes, and more. Advice from parents who’ve navigated the laws of your state is invaluable. Click HERE for a link to the current state organizations.

Create a comfortable learning environment for your kids and establish a learning area with space for studying and learning materials. For some families, this is a reason to declutter and simplify their space. For other families, it means everyone gets a desk. And for others, maybe it’s floor pillows and bean bag chairs!

Learn more about homeschooling with online research and reading books about homeschooling methods and learning styles.

Research curricula choices with your child’s learning style in mind. Many homeschool parents begin with a structured curriculum, then improvise and blend various materials as they gain experience and confidence.

Think about how homeschooling will fit into your family’s schedule and culture.

It’s important to find a community to become involved in, other parents and families to support and share interests. Visit your state’s homeschool organization page. These are private organizations run by veteran and current homeschoolers. Often you’ll find information on activities (like conventions, graduation events, field trips), co-ops, classes, and more. Advice from parents who’ve navigated the laws of your state is invaluable. Click HERE for a link to the current state organizations.

Check out a homeschool convention in your area. Usually homeschool conventions happen once or twice a year, usually between March and June. At conventions you’ll find speakers on almost every homeschool topic, from how to teach different subjects to balancing instruction for multiple children. Conventions also often have a Vendor Hall, where you can look at curriculum from top homeschool and education publishers. Click HERE for a link to current homeschool conventions.

The HomeschoolCompass website (sponsored by Christianbook) offers support for your homeschool journey with how-to articles, encouragement, printables, booklists and reading lists, curricula suggestions, and more.

Christianbook’s Homeschool Curriculum Advisors are available to answer your questions, provide introductory homeschool information, and give curriculum options. You can email a question to a Homeschool Curriculum Advisor; remember to include the grade and subject for your child and the name of the curriculum that you’re thinking about (if you have one). If you prefer to flip actual pages, our Homeschool Catalog is jam-packed with best-selling curricula.

  • Christianbook's Homeschool Curriculum Advisor phone number: 1-800-788-1221

  • Click HERE to send an email to Christianbook's Homeschool Curriculum Advisors.

  • Click HERE to request that a Christianbook Homeschool Catalog be mailed to you.

  • Click HERE to view an online version of the Christianbook Homeschool Catalog.

There is no single best curriculum for homeschooling. Many parents use comprehensive curriculums for the first year or so, then experiment with other approaches as they gain confidence. The materials and methods that you choose will depend on your family's specific needs and preferences. You can find so much information about homeschool curricula and programs online that it can be overwhelming. If you visit Christianbook’s Homeschool webpage, you’ll find a lot of the same titles that you’ll be reading about during your research. Questions to ask yourself as you shop for curricula:

  • Does this curriculum fit with your family’s values? Will it help you reach your long-term goals? What worldview is it written from? Does this program mesh with your overall homeschool philosophy?

  • Is it parent-teacher friendly? Does the layout appeal to you as an instructor? How much time do you have available to prepare and teach? Do you prefer a scripted curriculum or an outline that allows for improvisation?

  • What learning styles are most effective with your children? Do they prefer workbooks or hands-on activities? Do your children have special needs or varying abilities?

  • Does this program fit your budget? Will you be able to use this for more than one child? Do you need to buy extra books or materials?

  • How much time will this curriculum take? Will this be a good fit for your family’s schedule?

  • How much prep work will it require of you as the parent? Will this curriculum work well for the season of life your family is in?

  • What are your children's ages and how many children are you teaching?

  • What subjects are you teaching? Are you looking for material to cover an entire academic year? Do you want to use the same material for all subject areas?

There are many ways to educate your child, from unschooling to Classical, from Charlotte Mason to a traditional school format. You don’t need to choose a specific homeschool style in order to homeschool effectively, but knowing which style you gravitate toward will help you narrow down which resources and curricula will be a good fit for your family and what types of co-ops, activities, and support groups to consider.

Remember that what works when your kids are in elementary school may not work when they are in middle school or high school. Allow yourself to be flexible. Lots of homeschoolers are eclectic, drawing from a few different styles, maybe even changing depending on the subject (math = traditional, science = Charlotte Mason), or the student’s age. Research different ways to homeschool. There are many resources online written by proponents of every style that explain how each style works. Christianbook carries titles written by experienced homeschoolers that can help you with this decision. Click HERE to see some of those titles.

The Homeschool Compass has a helpful and interactive Homeschool Style Quiz. These questions will help you think about how you want to homeschool and what’s important to you. Click HERE to take the Quiz and get a general idea of where your interests and priorities lie.

Some homeschool publishers only sell their products directly to the customer. Others are willing to sell us their products, however they want to control the prices that we charge so that we will not be competitive, and we are unable to offer a discount.

Although books sometimes can be defective, the problem is most likely a result of differing editions, especially in the case of curriculum materials such as Saxon or Alpha & Omega. This problem can occur when a textbook is reused with younger siblings. If a new edition of the text has come out in the meantime, when you purchase a new set of student materials it may not match the text book that you used in a past year. Unless it is the first edition of a text, the edition number is normally printed on the cover of the textbook under the title, for example: Second Grade Math, third edition. If you don't see an edition mentioned on the cover, check on the copyright page, which is found right after the title page. The edition will be found printed in italics under the copyright date.

At Christianbook, we carry best-selling homeschooling curricula and brands along with a huge selection of support materials and supplements, like math manipulatives, workbooks, sensory resources, and more. We also have Homeschool Curriculum Advisors on staff and to answer your questions about any of the homeschool products we carry. We go the extra mile to help, whether it’s looking at the product in our warehouse or contacting the publisher to get an answer. Homeschool Curriculum Advisors are available any time our phones are open, as well as by email. If you email, be sure to include the subject and grade level that you’re shopping for.

Our website is the most exhaustive source of the homeschool product we sell. But if you prefer to flip actual pages, our Homeschool Catalog is jam-packed with best-selling curricula and resources to make any homeschooler happy.

However, Christianbook does not administer any homeschooling courses or distribute grades nor do we maintain any homeschool records. We do not sell or facilitate standardized tests.

No. State or Standardized Tests are not available at Christianbook.com.

Christianbook is currently an approved ClassWallet vendor for the following states: Arizona, Arkansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Utah.

What is ClassWallet?
ClassWallet is a company that uses digital wallet technology to streamline the purchase and reimbursement process for individuals and schools who have been approved for special funding through their State Education Department. Homeschoolers, families with special needs children, teachers and schools may be eligible for these funds. Christianbook is currently an approved vendor for the following states: Arizona, Arkansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Utah.

There are two ways you may start the order process:

  • You may email us to request a quote. (customer.service@christianbook.com) Please include the quantity and stock numbers or titles/authors of the items you’d like to purchase from our site along with your full name, email address, phone number and shipping address. We’ll email you a quote that you may upload directly to your ClassWallet account for approval.

  • Or, you may add items directly to your Christianbook online shopping cart. Go through the check out process but stop at the Order Summary page. Upload an image of the Order Summary page to your ClassWallet account. Please make sure any applicable sales tax and shipping costs are included in your submission to ClassWallet. Once the order is approved, we’ll begin processing your order and email you order and shipping confirmations. Don’t submit your web order to us as that would duplicate the purchase. You may clear your cart once you’ve received your shipping confirmation email, so you’ll be ready for your next purchase.

May ClassWallet funds be used for backordered items?
Due to the way funds are distributed to Christianbook from ClassWallet, we are able to process orders for in stock items only.

How do I return a ClassWallet purchase?
Follow our return instructions on the back of your packing slip or click HERE to view them. Once your return is processed, we’ll inform ClassWallet that funds need to be returned to your account.

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