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"It seems that there are so many things to consider! Where do I start?"

A few tips from veteran homeschoolers:

Remember: Doing what you think is best for your children and your family works EVERY TIME.

• Read, read, read!! You are at the beginning of a great self-learning experience! Reading is the number one way people communicate and learn. What better example can you, as a parent, set than to learn about something that interests you — by reading!?

• If you don't already have one, get a library card. You can find many resources for homeschooling at your local public library. Consider purchasing a Public Library Access Card (PLAC). For a nominal fee, you will have access to all libraries in the state of Indiana for one year and can save hundreds, even thousands of dollars in curriculum expenses. (Contact your local library for further details.)

• Much of what you need to homeschool, you probably already own or can purchase for minimal cost: blank paper, pencils, rulers, etc. You don't need to buy a lot of "stuff" to homeschool. Don't purchase anything large or expensive until you are sure you really need it, including a pre-packaged curriculum.

• Find a support group or homeschooling buddy. It can be a life-saver to have someone to talk to on days when things don't go as well as you would like. IHEN's Statewide Support Directory is a good place to start looking for resources in YOUR county.



• Check out the learning opportunities available at area parks, libraries, and community centers. If you are taking your child or children out of a public or private school, give them plenty of time to "de-school" and get used to your new lifestyle.

• Remember, you don't have to be an expert on every subject. There are many different ways to approach unfamiliar subjects: homeschool co-ops, tutors, computer courses, or better yet, learning the subject along with your child.

• And last but not least ... keep it fun! Learning with your family is NOT "schooling" — it's a lifestyle. Enjoy the family you've just rediscovered because you have made the simple decision to learn at home.

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