Hi, I am new. (Help for new homeschoolers)

Below are common questions that have come up in many of the emails I have received over the years to this site.  Since I get these questions quite often, I decided to take a moment to answer for the benefit of anyone who has recently found the website.

I am new to the area. How do I found the local groups?

Click on the tab “Valencia Area Groups“or click here for link to Area Groups to find the newest information that I have on area groups. Everything that is emailed to me is posted here. Did you find something wrong or something is missing? Please email me so that I can correct it. “Valencia” is the name of our local county that includes Belen, Los Lunas, Peralta, Bosque Farms, and many surrounding smaller communities.

Most of the local groups (P.E. and Valley Homeschool Fellowship) you can participate at anytime during the school year, by just showing up. Some groups are more seasonal or join at the beginning of the school year, such as Valencia Co. Wildcats and Homeschool Band.

I am new to homeschooling or would like to know the rules (requirements) for homeschooling?

Click on the tab “National and State Groups” and look for New Mexico Public Education Department for links to help you get the information you need directly from the New Mexico Education Dept. August 1st is the date for new and returning homeschoolers to submit documentation to the NMPED. I have heard that they are not really strict on the date. Please try to fill out the information to register by August 1st or as soon as you decide to homeschool to show that we are responsible as parents. You can decide to start homeschooling whenever you want, but you will need to contact NMPED by filling out the documentation. It only takes a few minutes. They ask very general questions, who will be doing the homeschooling (a parent is required in NM), ages, DOB, grades, and address is all they need.

What curriculum is required to use to teach homeschool? (or what do you use)

Parents are allowed to choose the curriculum. The State of New Mexico does have some requirements as far as the subjects you teach and when.  Check with the New Mexico Ed. Dept for the latest requirements.

My family researched several different types of curricula and chose to use A Well-Trained Mind designed by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise. A Well-Trained Mind: a Guide to Classical Education at Home by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise is available through the Albuquerque Public Library. There are other books that I recommend reading for new and old homeschoolers listed under books under the “Links and Resources” tab.

If you are overwhelmed by the curriculum choices and need someone to talk to I suggest joining the Homeschool Legal Defense Association (there is a $20 off membership code  210324 on this website). They have expert homeschool Mom’s who have taught different curriculums and are very educated about the different curriculums available. They are knowledgable about different learning styles and special needs also. HSLDA is definitely the place to go for expert opinions. They do not sell any of the material and so are not trying to make a profit/sell.

You can also reach out to other homeschool Moms through facebook groups the local group is Valley Home School Fellowship, or the Educational Resource Center in Albuquerque. My family personally researched different curriculums before choosing. We also spend about $150/ year/child on curriculum, when we buy full price new books. We try to find things on sale Well Trained Mind for History, Language, and Writing. Buy Signapore Math and Spelling through Amazon. We have also found great A Beka Science books at local book sales. The main thing you need to homeschool is a willingness to teach your child. You can rely on the internet (starfall.com for K-2) and library books to get started. Also, don’t be afraid to ask on facebook post if people are willing to sell or donate curriculum to you. ERC in Albuquerque will allow you to check out as much curriculum as you need for $10/year. The ERC is located in NE Albuqueruqe and is open generally on Friday afternoons. TitleWave bookstore in Alb also use to have a used homeschool book section.

My own personal recommendation is to make a list of why your family is homeschooling. Make sure as you add things (co-op, play dates, sports, extra-circular activities) that you revisit your list to make sure you are meeting your family’s priorities. It is very easy for those who are new to homeschooling to become overwhelmed.

I hope this helps those that are new. Welcome to the area and/or homeschooling! I truly believe that most Moms email to find someone in the area that is homeschooling, and I completely understand as I also had that desire and that is why my family designed the website. You are not alone, there are plenty of opportunities in our area! Everyone is new sometime.

I am reposting this to the first page due to the COVID-19 panademic. Don’t be afraid to homeschool. It’s ok to have a “reading day” or a “coding day” (tynker.com, scratch.com etc) when you need to regroup, catch up on laundry, or kids are just looking a little down. I homeschool year around and I plan on Fridays being a little unconventional, we always do something school realted, but than reward ourselves with a reading/coding day while mom runs to the grocery store or catches up on laundry (don’t worry my kids are always supervised by an adult when I leave the home).



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