You’ve decided to start homeschooling! Now what? It is time to start planning. Getting started with homeschooling is not difficult. But it’s important to know the basics that will ensure your success. Here is my step-by-step process that will help you get going.
#1 Educate Yourself About The Laws In Your State
Every state has different laws for homeschooling. Some require paperwork, some require approval, and some require nothing. Make sure you know what your homeschooling options are, and what you need to do in order to homeschool legally. Don’t worry, even in high-oversight states like New York, you quickly get used to the rules and required documents you need to submit.
#2 Educate Yourself on Homeschool Methods
There are numerous methods to homeschool. My suggestion is to spend some time reading about different homeschool methods to see what you and your children might enjoy. Also, seek online reviews and opinions, and weigh it all carefully. It is important to determine your homeschool approach at the beginning of your homeschool journey. Even though your style may change or evolve along the way. Knowing your homeschool journey will help you choose a curriculum, courses, learning resources, activities, and so much more.
#3 Learn Your Child’s Learning Style
There are easy-to-administer quizzes that will help you determine your child’s learning style. You don’t want to have a child who is an auditory learner using a curriculum that requires a large amount of reading. You don’t want to force a visual learner to listen to podcasts. In addition, you need to understand your own learning and teaching style, so you can find an approach that works for both of you.
#4 Find Your Tribe
It’s good to join a homeschool group or two where you can meet up with other homeschoolers and make friends. Look for one that fits your principles and values. Choose a homeschool group or co-op near your home. Also, consider choosing one where there are people with similar personal interests. You may not find the right group right away. In time, you will make genuine friends with whom you and your kids can connect. Having fellow homeschool friends is vital because they will understand some of your challenges and wins, unlike your family or friends who don’t homeschool. Discussing your frustrations with someone that gets you can help you push through when homeschool feels hard.
Although nothing can fully replace real-life connections, online Facebook communities can be a good addition or alternative to in-person homeschool groups, especially during a pandemic. I would love to invite you to my Enterprising Homeschool Facebook Community. Click below to join!
#5 Go to a Homeschool Expo and Buy Nothing
Most major cities host a Homeschool Expo in the summer or early fall. I’ve been told that this is a great place to meet homeschoolers of all types, sit in on homeschool workshops, and look at all the curriculum that is available. There is a massive amount of homeschool materials, books, and programs available! But don’t buy anything until you have reviewed all of the materials. Take their cards and their info, and go home and think about everything before you make any decisions.
Full Disclosure, Homeschool Expos are a nice to have but not a have to have. Some require travel, and there might not be any happening when you decide to homeschool. I’ve been homeschooling for 10 years and I haven’t been to an offline one yet, because I would have to travel out of my area.
Attend My Simple Start to Homeschool Virtual Workshop
Leave with a plan to start homeschooling that won’t stress you out and allow you to prepare your heart, mind, and family for an enjoyable homeschooling lifestyle!
#6 Choose a Starter Curriculum
The first homeschool curriculum you use will not make or break your homeschool journey. Go cheap and easy the first year. Something as simple as a workbook series from amazon or as easy to use as Khan Academy or Time4learning will help you get started and allow you to keep track of their work while you make your long-term decisions.
#7 Set a start date and begin homeschooling
Unless your child has spent some time in a traditional school, you will be able to start right away. Otherwise, you will have to spend some time deschooling them before you start. If you skip deschooling, then the adjustment period from school to homeschool can be difficult for the family. You will want to start easy. Please pay attention to how they are feeling, how they react, and how well they complete their work. It won’t be perfect at first, but you will make adjustments and find a groove that will work for both you and your children in time.