How to Get Started in Home-Schooling

Copyright © 2013 Karl M. Bunday, all rights reserved.

To get started learning in freedom, you simply start taking initiative for your own or your own family's learning. Thomas Edison had a lot of trouble in school: I remember that I was never able to get along at school. I was always at the foot of the class.1[Link to Endnotes at Bottom of Page] Edison's mother thought that wasn't right, so she pulled Thomas out of school and taught him at home. Thomas Edison gave his mother's homeschooling credit for his success in later life: My mother was the making of me. She was so true, so sure of me; and I felt I had someone to live for, someone whom I must not disappoint.2[Link to Endnotes at Bottom of Page] You can do that too. Here's how.

1. Get some information.

Read everything else (more than forty Web pages) on the Learn in Freedom™ site at least casually to become familiar with the variety of information sources available for learning in freedom. Go to your public library and look for books on homeschooling. (Ask for help if you need it; most librarians are happy to help people with an interest in homeschooling.) Call a local homeschooling association to find out if there are any information meetings scheduled for your area.

Be sure to get advice on any peculiarities of your local law from persons who are already learning in freedom, as well as from government officials. Often government officials who enforce compulsory instruction laws are not familiar with the details of the laws. Check with multiple sources, especially the primary source for law in your locality, which is usually a printed collection of statutes and regulations. One point of law to watch out for is a prior notice requirement before your family members can begin learning outside of school. A minority of states in the United States have such a requirement, but if you live in such a state you can't begin as conveniently as persons in other places.

This advice applies not only in the United States, where I have lived whenever I haven't lived in Taiwan, but also in Canada, New Zealand, Britain, Australia, South Africa, and other countries. Feel confident, because hundreds of thousands of families all over the world have been learning without school for years. In several countries, school attendance is optional, not compulsory. In all states of the United States, homeschooling is legal and commonplace. More than 2 percent of all school-age children in the United States, more than 1 million, are homeschooled, with a higher proportion being homeschooled each year.

2. Set a date.

It can be as soon as you like. Today is fine if your family is agreed and local law permits that. Know when and how you are going to start taking initiative for your own family's learning and then take the next step.

3. Make whatever legal notification is required.

Only make whatever legal notification you are required to make to local governmental authorities after you have learned what your local law is from a homeschooling association, and have checked that law in a statute book or code of regulations for your locality. Homeschoolers in Minnesota and some other states of the United States are required to notify their local public school district once a year of their intent to homeschool their children of school age. (Remember that in many states and countries the required ages of school attendance are fewer than the commonplace ages of school attendance, so your child may not even be required to attend school under a certain age or over a certain age. Check your local law.)

4. Get involved with a local group.

Most parents find local homeschooling support groups to be very helpful. Teenagers who are taking initiative for their own learning with their parents' consent can also participate in support groups. In some places there are resource centers for teenage or older learners who learn outside of school. If no support group or resource center exists in your area you could form one. That would be a learning experience in itself, and helpful to other people. The statewide or provincewide and national homeschooling organizations in many countries try to keep track of the many local support groups in their territories; call the statewide, provincewide, or national organization where you live for information about local support groups. You can find Web pointers to many homeschooling organizations in various countries through the links on the Learn in Freedom! site's links page (

If you can't find a local support to your tastes after contacting statewide or provincewide organizations for referrals, you could start your own support group [link to a different Web site] which will likely attract some experienced homeschoolers as members even if you are new to homeschooling yourself.

5. Join an Organization.

Join a statewide (or provincewide) organization or national organization related to learning in freedom. Most such organizations publish a newsletter, organize an annual conference, and otherwise work to support you with information about learning in freedom and to defend your right to learn in freedom.

Notes on Sources

  1. Thomas Edison, quoted in Matthew Josephson, Edison: A Biography (1959), page 20 [back to text above[Link Back to Text Above on This Page]
  2. Thomas Edison, quoted in Neil Baldwin, Edison: Inventing the Century (1995), page 20 [back to text above[Link Back to Text Above on This Page]

[Last revision 9 March 2013]

Feel free to come back to the Learn in Freedom™ page ( and to this "How to Get Started in Homeschooling" page ( again soon!

This School Is Dead: How to Get Started in Homeschooling page is copyright © 2013 Karl M. Bunday, all rights reserved.

A general State education is a mere contrivance for moulding people to be exactly like one another: and as the mould in which it casts them is that which pleases the predominant power in the government, whether this be a monarch, a priesthood, an aristocracy, or the majority of the existing generation in proportion as it is efficient and successful, it establishes a despotism over the mind, leading by a natural tendency to one over the body.
John Stuart Mill On Liberty (1859)
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Karl M. Bunday
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Minnetonka, MN 55345