Tree City Homeschoolers

Getting Started

If you are new to homeschooling, or just thinking about it, you might be asking yourself, "Now what?" You aren't alone and there are plenty of families that have traveled this road ahead of you. Many are willing to share freely of their experience and wisdom.

Some questions you may be asking yourself:

1.      Can I just start homeschooling? Is that it?  

Any parent can begin homeschooling their children at any time. If your child has previously attended an Indiana School, whether private or public, the only requirement is that the school be notified via email or in writing, that you intend to homeschool. That's it. Some schools will request that you sign a withdrawal form, however, that is your choice and it is not a requirement by the state of Indiana that you do anything more than provide written intent to your school. Here is a SAMPLE LETTER you can send if your child previously attended an Indiana school.

2.       Is it legal to homeschool my child?

Homeschooling is legal everywhere in the United States including Indiana, but homeschooling laws vary from state to state. The Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) provides information on homeschooling in all 50 States.

3.      How will I know if my child is learning?

Children love to learn. Children absorb new information like a sponge. They learn by following their interests and curiosities. Homeschooling families learn together and understand that learning is a life-long process. If you follow a curriculum, these come with worksheets, quizzes, and tests. Parents can also choose to issue a yearly test and see their child's progress. These tests do not need to be sent in to the school district. It will be for your personal view and record keeping if you wish to homeschool this way. 

4.      Am I qualified to homeschool?

You have already been a homeschool expert, you just didn't know it!  Do you remember teaching your child to talk, walk, hold a fork, dress himself, sort blocks, play peek-a-boo, or learn new games? Then you’ve already homeschooled. Homeschooling begins at birth and academics are just one piece of the education we provide them. The resources are endless, and there are so many curriculums available that will help you find the best way to teach your child. You do not need to be a licensed teacher to teach your own children.

5.      How many hours a day must I teach my child?

Indiana homeschool laws does not mandate any number of hours per day to be spent in academics, however, they do mandate 180 days of education. This is a decision that you as a parent need to make as to what your day of education looks like. It doesn't have to be all sit down work with a textbook before them. Children can learn in many ways like building things, playing board games, baking, reading a book, watching an educational documentary, field trips, etc. To check out more about Indiana Homeschool Laws, go here: HSLDA

6.      What about socialization?

Children do not need to be socialized in a large group of same-aged children to become socially well adjusted. Actually it’s quite the opposite.  Also, just like children who attend public and private schools, your children can enjoy friends at church, 4-H, scouting, dance, martial arts, organized sports, and many other activities. If however you are involved in a support group, your children’s social opportunities can include the programs offered through the organization. Parents do need to make the effort to attend, participate and talk to other parents. If your child makes a connection with another child, make effort to connect with that family.  

7.      What if I don’t know how to teach a subject?

Necessary higher-level academics can be done in many different ways. Students can take community college class, utilitize DVD's, YouTube videos, tutors, or co-op class with a parent more knowledgeable about the subject. These are just a few of the options available.

8.      My kids won’t listen to me. How can I get them to  sit and learn?

You won't be the first, nor the last to ask this question about yourself. This is normal. The transition from parent to teacher might take some time for your children. Our best advice is to find homeschooling friends, whether in person or online, and support each other. It helps to hear that others have similar struggles and how they've managed to overcome them. Ask questions and gather ideas. 

9.      Can I afford to homeschool? Isn’t curriculum expensive?

Homeschooling can look different for every family. Some families choose to utilize their public library or free resources found online. Easy Peasy All-in-one Homeschool is one example of free curriculum online. Homeschooling materials have come a long way in the past few years. Packaged curriculum can be expensive at time unless you order during sales or at conventions. Used products are now more available than ever. Support groups often host curriculum sales, members post their items for sale to their group. 

10.     How will homeschooling affect my family?

Since every family is different, the effects of homeschooling will be unique to each. Homeschooling can be life changing. Ideally it creates personal growth for both parents and children. Homeschooling will have a profound effect on your child and your family's future. Some days might be a challenge however; every part of the journey can be exciting, adventurous, and rewarding. 


For more information about homeschooling in Indiana, visit the Indiana Association of Home Educators (IAHE).

Here are the Indiana Homeschool Laws at a Glance through HSLDA.