Let’s Help Each Other Home School!
Are you a parent or caregiver with experience in home schooling? Are you willing to coach a parent or parent co-op that is just getting started with home schooling? We are exploring the idea of setting up mentoring or coaching for parents new to home schooling.
Make a new friend and feel good sharing what you know that another parent needs to learn!
Even a couple of hours can help.
If you are interested in offering support for another parent who is exploring home schooling, or you would like to receive home schooling support, please email Melanie at firstname.lastname@example.org. Include your location, ages and current schooling plan for your kids, and the best way to reach you.
What’s in this Post
This post presents support and resources for parents who are considering or planning home schooling. It includes:
• The Situation
• The Challenge
• Good News
• NM Home Schooling Legal Requirements
• How to Start: Home School Coops and Groups
• Approaches to Home Schooling
Please scan below for the topics of interest to you.
Many parents are having second thoughts about putting their kids in New Mexico public or private school in 2021 for reasons which may include:
• not wanting to mask their children for 4 – 8 hours because of negative impact on their health and development,
• seeing that children don’t learn as well when teachers and students are masked,
• concern about COVID vaccination,
• not wanting to segregate children based on vaccination status, and concern about the bullying environment this may cause,
• not wanting the children to be exposed to curricula or belief systems they don’t agree with, and
• reluctance to allow the government and school systems to make important decisions for the parents.
At the same time, the idea of homeschooling can feel overwhelming, especially for parents who work full time, have children of different ages, are single parents, or take care of elderly parents or grandparents at the same time.
Home schooling can be provided in creative ways that are effective and manageable, and it’s possible to collaborate with other parents. Your kids don’t need to be without peers when they home school, and you can find help! Below is some important information and some resources.
Choosing alternatives for educating your children in ways you think are safe, healthy, and effective lets your representatives and government officials know what you want and need for your children. Our children are our collective future. Together we can let our government know what we think is and isn’t ok, for our kids, and the future of their lives.
Please share this with parents outside New Mexico to help point them in the direction of the types of local information and resources they can find that will help them organize home schooling in their own areas.
NM Home Schooling Requirements
New Mexico home schooling requirements may not be as difficult as you think. Here they are in a nutshell. For details, visit https://hslda.org/post/how-to-comply-with-new-mexicos-homeschool-law
• To be qualified to home school you must have a high school diploma or GED.
• Notify the NM Public Education Department online or by writing to the NM Dept. of Education, https://hslda.org/post/how-to-comply-with-new-mexicos-homeschool-law. The form and instructions can be accessed from https://webnew.ped.state.nm.us/bureaus/options-parents-families/home-schools/. This needs to be done within 30 days of withdrawing your kids from public/private school, and annually by August 1 of each year thereafter.
• Teach for the required number of days that your public school is in session, generally 180 days. (NOTE: NM does NOT require homeschoolers to submit any attendance or other records for homeschooling.)
• Teach the required subjects, including reading, language arts, math, social studies and math.
• Maintain immunization records. You can obtain a waiver for religious or medical reasons. See https://www.nmhealth.org/publication/view/form/454/
• The home school operator must be the parent or legal guardian. However, someone else may provide instruction in a given subject, but the parent or guardian is responsible for notification, record keeping, and ensuring that the person providing instruction has at least a high school diploma or GED.
How to Start – Homeschool Co-Ops and Groups
It’s helpful to find like-minded parents in your area to collaborate with for home schooling. Connecting with a group of other local homeschoolers is one of the most important steps for homeschooling success. Homeschooling groups provide support, field trips, and resources to each other.
There are several types of homeschooling co-ops.
• In the simplest version of a homeschool co-op, parents may teach one specific unit or subject to a small group of children.
• In a more extensive type of co-op, a group of parents can work together to home school their kids on an ongoing basis, such as with five groups of parents getting together so that each can provide one day a week of home schooling. They can also bring in guest tutors to teach special programs.
• In the most structured homeschool co-ops, there is essentially a mini-school with different classes offered each semester. These classes are generally taught by parents in their individual areas of proficiency.
Parents can cooperate for some or all of their children’s home schooling. Note that home schooling doesn’t need to take place only Monday – Friday. Especially if you are working, you may wish to do some of your home schooling on the weekend.
Here are some links that may help you find, learn from, and collaborate with home schooling groups and co-ops already up and running in New Mexico:
• New Mexico Homeschool Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/newmexicohomeschoolgroup/
• Home Educators in Las Cruces and Southern New Mexico: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1012817028807040
• Santa Fe Homeschool Support Group now forming – Email for next meeting date. David Gordon, email@example.com
• Albuquerque Homeschool Resource List: https://www.facebook.com/groups/418081578253435/
• ABQ Area Secular Homeschool Co-op: https://www.facebook.com/groups/217109589774552/
• Albuquerque Christian Homeschoolers: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1597821683771001/
• NW Albuquerque Homeschool Friends: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2385909278190013/
(There are MANY homeschool groups on Facebook. This is NOT an all-inclusive list for NM, so be sure to search for homeschooling groups in your area if you don’t see what you need here.)
NM Homeschool Network
PO Box 274
Maxwell NM. 87728
The Home School Legal Defense Association, www.hslda.org, provides legal resources for parents who want to home school, as well as information about home schooling grants for families in need, https://hslda.org/community/grants-for-homeschooling
Make Americans Free Again has resources and coaching available for parents who want to begin or continue home schooling, https://makeamericansfreeagain.com/protecting-our-children/
Approaches to Home Schooling
Here are a few resources that will help you consider your approach to home schooling:
Blog posts from Sarah Smith (of NMFA), www.nourishedandnurturedlife.com
• Why I Stopped Pushing in Our Homeschool, https://www.nourishedandnurturedlife.com/post/why-i-stopped-pushing-in-our-homeschool
• How to Create a Sustainable, Joyful Homeschool, https://www.nourishedandnurturedlife.com/post/how-to-homeschool
• Our Homeschool Routine, https://www.nourishedandnurturedlife.com/post/our-homeschool-routine-with-a-13yo-and-a-10yo
• Daily Quiet Time, https://www.nourishedandnurturedlife.com/post/daily-quiet-time
A few recommended books:
• Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling by John Gatto – This is written by a NY State Teacher of the Year, and he talks about what is wrong with the government school system
• A Thomas Jefferson Education by Oliver DeMille – This is a solution to the problems laid out in Gatto’s book. DeMille’s mission is all about freedom and teaching kids to find their own unique missions in life.
•Leadership Education: The Phases of Learning by Oliver and Rachel DeMille – This is a book filled with practical information for “how” to homeschool effectively.
• Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life by Peter Gray – This book is written by a developmental psychologist, and explores the foundations of learning through play.
And an overall approach to the situation:
|For most parents, the question of what curriculum to use is likely to pop to mind early on. Certainly, having some guidelines is useful and important. However, you can pull from different curricula, and also create your own. A search online will show you a lot of resources quickly. |
Overall, the most important thing is for children to learn in a way that meets requirements AND:
• is fun
• fits their learning style
• allows the kids to explore their interests
• is experiential
• prepares children practically for life
There are many homeschooling curricula available. Some are free and some are expensive. It’s important for parents to review the curriculum and make sure the approach, philosophy, learning methodologies and content matches what they feel is best for their children.
Here are some resources:
• Free, https://www.amblesideonline.org/
• Free, https://www.khanacademy.org/
• Free online public schools homeschooling platform, https://learn.connectionsacademy.com/new-mexico
• Ron Paul Homeschool, https://www.ronpaulhomeschool.com/
• TJED High, classics-based liberal arts mentoring for high school kids (which includes an online forum for students), https://learning.tjed.org/courses/tjh-trial
• Sarah Smith’s homeschooling curriculum plan year-by-year: https://www.nourishedandnurturedlife.com/curriculum
• Sarah Smith’s curriculum resources for specific subjects: https://www.nourishedandnurturedlife.com/specific-subjects