Homeschooling and How to Get Started

Are you new to homeschooling?  Included are tips for choosing your own frugal homeschool curriculum and more. From a veteran homeschooler of an only gifted child, who graduated her and helped her get into each of the colleges that she applied to, with scholarship offers.

Are you considering homeschooling your kids/teens for the first time?  With all the recent changes in the pubic schools regarding covid-19, many parents are considering homeschooling and we welcome you. 

Others are finding that their public schools are not meeting the needs of their gifted or 2e kids or teens, and are wanting to provide the 1:1 that homeschooling can provide.  Suddenly homeschooling can be quite overwhelming, so I thought I would share how we went about starting ourselves, when our daughter was younger.

Instead of having to look through tons of links, I would like to share how we got started, the first year that we homeschooled.

Today I would like to discuss:

  • Educating yourself on homeschooling
  • Finding your state homeschool law
  • Choosing your homeschool curriculum
  • Finding homeschool support
SO let's go ahead and get started.


Our gifted 5yo was more than ready and eager to learn, and would not be able to start kindergarten until she was 6, due to a late birthday.
We had been thinking about homeschooling for awhile, but did not know the particulars that would be involved.

So we read some books about the subject.  One of my favorite resources there, was the The Unofficial Guide to Homeschooling 

It was  full of tips and how to’s for getting started.  Here’s the link to my review of this book.  The Unofficial Guide to Homeschooling That was a big help for us.
Next, my sister introduced us to her homeschool support group, and there we found out all our our state law, and met others who encouraged us on our journey.

Finding out about your state law is an important step to take, as it will outline the regulations and related testing that may be required.  To learn about your state Homeschooling in Washington", which is full 


To find out your state's homeschool requirements, a good source is the site called HSLDA, which lists that information here.

It is important that you follow the homeschool regulations for your state. They will explain what to do to notify the public schools that you are homeschooling.  

When I first looked at that site, I was overwhelmed.  But I found out that it was not hard to deal with our law.

In many states, homeschooling gives families the freedom to choose what curriculum they want to use.  Most states also ask for annual testing to be done.

We are from Washington State, with info on our state law here - Homeschooling in Washington"
Then there’s the curriculum question.....


With some many homeschool curriculum choices out there, it can feel overwhelming. One way to find your curriculum is to inquire in one of our many homeschooling groups on Facebook.  
Many families focus on their children's interests, and build their learning about those topics, using the library, the internet, etc, without needing formal homeschool curriculum.
Here are two more ways to go, if you are wanting to check out established sources for homeschool curriculum:
  • If you are looking for homeschool curricula ideas, there is a site called Cathy Duffy Reviews, that has been going strong for years, and has reviews on most everything homeschool related right there.
  • There are many homeschool curriculum reviews on a site called The Curriculum Choice, which features reviews by homeschool moms who have used the resources in their homeschools.  
Here’s a peek into our favorite curricula for:

- First Grade (with adhd)
- Elementary
- Middle School
High school

which include secular resources, and some faith based ones, too. 
Our own homeschooling method was developed over the years, and focuses on hand-on learning,  child-led exploration, while covering the bases of a quality strong education.

We loved Oak Meadow for some of our elementary years. It focuses on project based learning with a gentle, creative approach to learning, with some leanings towards Waldorf.  
For your first curriculum, I encourage you to make your best guess, and choose something to try, and get started with that.

Watch how your kids react to it, and go from there.

And reach out, to experienced homeschoolers, homeschool groups on facebook, the author’s blogs from The Curriculum Choice, online resources, or for a little Homeschool Help.

You know your kids best!  You can do this!


This really should have been at the top of the list!  Support is so important for starting out, for the kids and especially for us moms.

We found a local Homeschool Support group in our area. There we met lots of experienced homeschooling moms, who helped us a lot.  If you want to connect with one in your area, this site might help.

You are also invited to join my encouraging group for high school moms, called at Homeschooling through High School.  Lots of moms just like you there, sharing triumphs and challenges.  Get your questions answered there, too.  

What about college?  

Colleges accept homeschool credits and homeschool transcripts all over the country.  I don't know of any that do not accept homeschool transcripts.

My book on that subject is called Homeschooling High School with College in Mind - 2nd edition, and includes:
  • how to make your teen's transcripts
  • assigning homeschool high school credits
  • choosing homeschool high school curriculum
  • applying to college, and more

Thanks for stopping by BJ's Homeschool,


Betsy is mom to her now college grad, whom she homeschooled through high school.  She blogs at BJ's Homeschool, about the early yearshigh school
collegegifted/2e and wrote -Homeschooling High School with College in Mind, 2nd Edition.

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