New|Prospective Homeschoolers

Welcome to the Jackson Metro Homeschool Social (JMHS) homeschool resource page for new and prospective homeschooling, unschooling and life learning families!

Before you get started here, please know that you have many resources available in the Jackson, MS & surrounding areas to support you in your choice to homeschool. There are many groups, classes, co-op’s and social activities for our homeschool families! You will find what works and you will find your tribe! So, relax and take this slowly! Links to all of this good stuff are located above!

First, the laws for homeschoolers in the state of Mississippi. Click Here and click here for this information. Very useful information! Once you read through this, you will need to contact your school attendance officer and request a certificate of enrollment. Once you receive this form, you will need to provide a simple description of the curriculum you choose and return the form by September 15th if your child is age 6-17 by September 1. You will have to do this every year.

Here are some general questions and answers:

Who can homeschool in MS?
Any parent can homeschool their children in MS. Parents of any educational level can homeschool. There are no specific educational requirements or certifications required.

Can you start homeschooling any time?
Yes. You do not have to wait until a school year is over. You can start mid-year however, remember to send in your certificate of enrollment when you do start homeschooling!

Does our curriculum have to be approved by the state of MS?
No. You can select the curriculum you feel works best for your child and your family. A legitimate home school program is defined as one that is not “operated for the purpose of avoiding or circumventing the compulsory attendance law.”

Are homeschool children required to take any tests?
No. State law doesn’t require standardized testing.

 We asked our members what they feel is most important to share with families considering homeschool or families just starting out on their homeschool journey and this is what they have shared. Our members are both new and seasoned homeschoolers. We have a wonderful variety of styles, philosophies, methods and suggestions. While most websites will start listing curriculum suggestions and so on at this point, we feel it helpful to list comments of real experience and suggestions that have been most helpful for other homeschooling families.

 

Elizabeth D. says: 
“I would say, now that you have decided to homeschool, take some time to sit with your reasons why. This will help you define how life goes as a homeschool family. Please remember homeschooling isn’t a thing…it is a way of life, so it is important to ask yourself what you want to share with your children and how you would like to see that manifest within your family through your homeschooling experience. When I suggest taking some time, I mean time as in, this answer may seem simple but will evolve…over time! It will change and grow along with you and your children but, there are some basic reasons and, once you have those, you can feel a better sense of direction in choosing the path to fulfilling your why through curriculum, activities, methods and so on. Breathe, relax and take it one small step at a time. I see parents over and over get very excited, nervous and then completely overwhelmed (I have been one!). There is a homeschool crash and burn that can be avoided with support (like you can find here and in other area groups), patience and the understanding that it may take a while to find what works. :-)”

Holly B. says:
Never ever, compare your homeschool experience to another homeschooling family. Homeschooling is always a work in progress. Do not expect perfection and adjust when needed. Expect progress but not perfection.”

Rachel C. says:
Let go of expectations, especially trying to recreate “school at home”. RELAX!  Join groups ASAP (for well-needed support), write down your reasons for homeschooling & remind yourself of these when things get tough. DON’T COMPARE (it’s you & your children’s journey, no one else’s) & most importantly enjoy watching your children grow/learn…”.

Heather Y. says:
First thing- laws. It’s so easy to feel overwhelmed when beginning this journey and so knowing simply that all that is required is that we fill out the attendance card was a big relief.

Next, this group! Just having a community of homeschooling parents to go to for questions & opinions about curriculum or co-op options.

People told me not to go crazy buying homeschool and “classroom” extras. That was valuable. Sticking to the basics helped me survive my first year.

People said the first year is the hardest… That it was normal to feel uneasy about things. They were right. The second year has been better. I have been able to relax and enjoy more.”

Amanda J. says:
When you’re having fun while learning, you remember it! Don’t get fixated on a structured school routine. The best thing about homeschooling is having all day for teachable moments! Measuring and following instructions while preparing breakfast. Throwing in a fraction when we cut something up and disperse equally. Looking up our word of the day during meal time. Making observations on a walk and adding it to our nature notebooks. Reading many books curled up on the couch because we just love to read. Life provides all the learning and the more joy, the better 😊!”

Ashley S. says:
As a former public school teacher I would take time to deschool yourself & your kiddos 😊 Enjoy your time together, play games, read together, etc. If I had to do it over in the beginning that’s what I would’ve done. You don’t have to do school at home. Homeschooling is different & you now have the freedom to find your family’s groove. Just do the basics for the first year & let history & science come from his interests. Then as time goes on you will find what will work best for y’all. 😊”

Letisha B. says:
“I agree with taking time to deschool and see where your children’s natural interests lead. Go to the library. Let them pick out books, both fiction and nonfiction. Cook and bake. Take nature walks. Enjoy the summer and then start looking for a curriculum, unit studies, lapbooking, or anything that will best suit your needs.

You will have ups and downs, question yourself, think “I’ve got this” and have a great span of time, and then question yourself again. We all do it. Even the veteran homeschool moms. You might try several curriculums before finding the right fit. We went through 4 before finding a good fit for us and even now it still evolves, changes, and gets manipulated to fit our needs.”

Heather Y. says:
I would try to choose curriculum that fits your child’s learning style. This is our second year. It takes a while to get out of the stressful mindset a public/private school makes you accustomed to. I’m learning to relax and enjoy it more. Schooling when it’s best for us not when I think they should be and for so long. Advice the first year, give yourself grace and when all else fails read!!”

Jennifer Mc says:
I will agree on taking time to deschool both yourself and your child. When I first started, I thought that homeschool had to literally be school at home. I ordered one of those boxed sets. It was tossed out halfway through the year as neither myself or my daughter were happy. Use the deschool time to see what interests your child has and to see how you want your school time to be. We are very much about learning through experience…”

Cher A. says (summation):
Try not to re-create the classroom in your home. This will be a great temptation. I’m not saying don’t have a place to get work done. I’m saying foster a mentality of learning in every area of your life and home. And give yourself some grace! There’s so much curriculum available that it may take some time to find a fit. There is no one size fits all. Not even within one family.”

Laura S. says:
“…I would take some time off to “de-school” first and find your rhythm as a family before trying a curriculum. I would then ease in with lots of library books and hands-on exploring (playing with manipulatives to discover math concepts, observing nature, etc). Then start adding in curricula. I usually recommend starting with math since that is the most intimidating to “free form” then handwriting then add in from there. In the spirit of full-disclosure, I am generally opposed to formal pen-and-paper curricula (excepting math and handwriting and, possibly, reading) until age 8 or 9. Each family and child is different, however, so I never preach it as a hard and fast rule, but my own experience within our own family and observing others is that those who gently introduced “formal” learning over a period of years had less frustration and burnout than those who dove in to a full curricula early.

The best and worst characteristic of homeschooling is its flexibility. It is both freeing and intimidating. Take it slow, surround yourself with a supportive community, and trust your mommy gut when it comes to your kids and family and that will take you far.”

Melissa B. says:
” If you are having a hard day, week, month, don’t hesitate to go to park day, or just hang out with other homeschool families. Having that support got me through many difficult times in the beginning. Things always seem a little more doable after I talk with other families who have been there.”

 

 

Thank you for visiting our website! While you are considering if homeschool is right for you and your family or if other options might work better, feel free to bookmark our website for cool homeschool and unschooling information! When you start homeschooling in Jackson, Mississippi, we would love to have you join our group!