Homeschooling Our Kids in Michigan
by Nathan Brabon
(Allegan, Michigan, USA)
This year our middle son is in forth grade and has been having a lot of problems with focusing on work at school. My wife and I have been talking about homeschooling our children. (We also have 5 year old twins). I live in Michigan as well in Allegan, just south of Grand Rapids. We are really looking for guidance on how to get the process started. Your website has been very helpful. Any information you could give us to get started in the right direction as far as what we need to do to get started and any curriculum recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.
Michigan is a great state to homeschool in. You have two options when you homeschool in Michigan: you can register with the state or you have the option of not registering. Most homeschooling families choose not to register; there are also no teacher or testing requirements. You will find answers to some of your questions on this recent "Homeschooling in Michigan Questions" post.
Since you will be pulling your kids out of public school, you will want to notify the school. You can call them to tell them your children will no longer be attending; I would also write a letter to them as well. Keep a copy of the letter for your records. You will want to request their school records so you will know what they have completed, etc.
As far as curriculum, there are many options to choose from: religious, secular, hands-on unit studies, traditional, etc. I would choose an option that will best meet your son's learning style. Many young children, especially boys learn through hands-on learning. I would look for a curriculum that allows your son to move around and learn in different ways, not just seatwork.
Take a look at Learning-Adventures.org. The woman who wrote the curriculum wrote it for her son and included LOTS of hands-on activities, and the literature selections are books boys would love, etc. The lessons are very easy to follow and everything is written out for each day. It does include Bible; I'm not sure if that bothers you. At least take a look at it, so you can see what type of curriculum I'm suggesting you look for. (I just visited her site and saw that she now has units that you can do with your younger children as well. Homeschooling all your kids at one time is definitely a time-saver! The younger ones will do less and your older son will go more in-depth in his lessons, but everyone will be learning the same thing.)
I can give you other options if you'd like, just ask.
Wishing you much homeschool success,