Each spring BHC hosts informative workshops to help new homeschool families explore educational options, legal issues, curriculum choices, and basic homeschooling how-tos.


Check events here for upcoming workshops, and please explore the basic overview we offer below:

Step 1 - Know Your Why

We start every Homeschooling Workshop with an encouragement to begin homeschooling with purpose.  Often, families jump into homeschooling without direction, and when things get tough, it's easy to give up.  We encourage you to Know Your Why and establish your purpose to keep you on track through the valleys that will come.  For more details, explore blog posts about this first step to homeschooling.

 

Watch our 2020 workshop:  https://birminghamhomeschoolfair.com/first-steps-to-homeschooling/

Remember to come the Homeschooling Workshop for more.  Check the Events for upcoming dates.

Step 2 - How You Can Homeschool

There are lots of opinions about "memos" and what a school board employee says about how to homeschool in Alabama, but we encourage you to know and understand the law for yourself!  Please do not rely on Facebook posts or notes from people who are not attorneys.  Read the law for yourself and seek true legal counsel before withdrawing your child from public or private school.

We are not attorneys here.  But, we truly want each family to walk in integrity for the sake of their children.

We suggest that all new families review the information available for FREE from the Home School Legal Defense Association at https://hslda.org/hs101/AL.aspx?

You can also read the Code of Alabama for yourself.  Title 16 will contain most of the law that relates to homeschooling.  Remember that the State Board of Education does not write laws or create laws - they are not your source for legal homeschooling.

Please note that the current compulsory attendance law requires enrollment for ages 6-17 in a church school, private school, public school, or with a private tutor.  Simply withdrawing and schooling at home is not currently a part of the law.


Most families enroll in a church school for homeschooling in Alabama.  There are lots of different options.  Check out CHEF of Alabama for a list of schools, and don't forget to explore the Places here too.  If you want to establish your own private school, please consider connecting with HSLDA for direction and legal support.

If you want to enroll in a virtual/online public school, you will need to contact your local school board for Alabama's online school options.  Enrollment in an Alabama public school's online program fulfills the compulsory attendance law.  (Remember that not all online schools are connected to Alabama's public school system.)

 

Watch our 2020 workshop to Homeschool Responsibly:  https://birminghamhomeschoolfair.com/homeschool-responsibly/

Remember to come the Homeschooling Workshop for more.  Check the Events for upcoming dates.

Step 3 - How Do I Teach

We encourage you to explore the different teaching methods available to you as a homeschool teacher.

  • Your teaching does not have to be school at home.
  • You can create a home and an atmosphere that promotes a love of learning.
  • Look at the options or methods for ideas to help you create the atmosphere and experience.
  • Know that nothing is completely perfect and be ready to adjust as needed.

CLICK HERE for a couple of blog posts with links to different homeschooling methods.


Many families now begin homeschooling using "co-ops" or tutorials which offer teachers and weekly classes.   You can explore these options by checking out the Places listed here.  Most tutorials or classes are following an educational method, and you simply oversee the work being done at home in preparation for those classes.  An excellent program will give parents tools and education about how to interact with their students between class days.

 

Watch our 2020 workshop for more info:  https://birminghamhomeschoolfair.com/homeschooling-methods-how-do-i-teach/

Remember to come the Homeschooling Workshop for more.  Check the Events for upcoming dates.

Step 4 - What Do I Teach

Curriculum (the books, the worksheets, the activities) - there's a world of choices out there!  It can be overwhelming.

Look at your Why and start making choices based on what works for you as a teacher.

Start with the Basics:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Math

Once the basics are covered, then add the good stuff like History, Science, Foreign Language.  Don't get overwhelmed with having to add it all at one time.

This is where community is so important.  Explore things that others are using.  Go to a homeschool convention or used book sale.  Look here under Events for opportunities to touch, explore, and see curriculum options.

 

Watch our 2020 workshop for more info:  https://birminghamhomeschoolfair.com/homeschool-curriculum-what-do-i-teach/

Remember to come the Homeschooling Workshop for more.  Check the Events for upcoming dates.  We'll have curriculum options there!
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Step 5 - Planning

Why should you plan?  Is it really necessary?  We believe:

  • A Plan gives you Direction - you wouldn't go to DisneyWorld without a plan on where to stay or what to see or how much it was going to cost - you shouldn't start homeschooling without direction
  • A Plan is a Record - how will you know if you've actually accomplished something or if your student needs additional help?  - you should keep records of what is being done and how it is being done
  • A Plan can be Protection - you never know when you will be called to account for your homeschooling - let's keep accounts, so we can stand against false accusations or misunderstandings.

Ways to Plan

Planning does not have to be a teacher's lesson book or even a gradebook, though many find this easiest to manipulate.  You can also keep a daily or weekly journal/blog, or develop a portfolio of your student's work each year.  Find what works for you.  Maybe you start with a formal lesson book, then change to a journal.  It's OK to develop what works for you and your family.

We love to get to the end of a school year and look back over all that our students have accomplished!  It will make you feel good too.

What's Required?

Attendance

The principal teacher of every school is required to keep an attendance register for every school day of the year.  This is in the Code of Alabama.  Attendance does not have to be sent in to the state or local school boards, but a record is to be kept.  Most church schools will require records to be submitted to them due to this law.  Independent private schools have additional attendance stipulations that often do not apply to homeschooling families.

Private schools and church schools are not required to complete a certain number of days per school year in the law, but some schools do make a certain number of days required for enrollment.

Testing

Standardized testing is not required for private or church school students in the state law, but again, some schools do require testing as a school policy.

We encourage you to expose your students to testing experiences.  Most post-graduation offerings will require testing of some sort, and your student needs to know how to navigate this experience.

Grading

Grades are not required by law for private or church school students, but many schools will require report cards to be submitted at least once a year, if not quarterly.  You will want to keep something that accurately reflects your student's achievements even it it is simply a personal transcript.  This does not have to be submitted to your local school board though.

High School is a totally different "beast" though.  Transcripts are often required for admissions and even some employers.  Make sure you set up your high school student for success and easy entry into future pursuits. (Watch for BHC's Homeschool High School workshops!)

 

Watch our 2020 workshop for more info:  https://birminghamhomeschoolfair.com/planning-a-key-to-survival/

Remember to come the Homeschooling Workshop for more.  Check the Events for upcoming dates.

The Homeschooling Workshop originated from a New to Homeschooling series offered by Kristy Trent.  You can visit her blog at http://kristytrent.com for more information and encouragement for homeschooling.