I’ve received quite a few messages from moms recently who are wanting to know how to get started with homeschooling, so I thought I would tackle that multi-layered question to the best of my ability…from my personal experience.
Get Some Confidence
If you’ve already decided that home school is the best option for your family, don’t second guess yourself. You can do it!
Who knows your kid more than you do? How they operate, how they learn? You do.
Its ok, if you don’t have an education degree, you’ve been teaching your kids from day one. How to hold a fork, how to tie a shoe, how to get dressed…you’re amazing! Guess what? You can teach academics as well.
If you have an open mind to learn and grow, and a willingness to ask for help when you need it, you will have no trouble educating your children at home.
Learn the Home School Laws
Every state has their own regulations for homeschooling families. You can visit hslda.org and find the specifics for your state.
Do your due diligence to make sure you are in compliance and your home school is protected.
Talk to Some Homeschooling Families
Find your friends who are homeschooling as ask if you can pick their brain. Observe what other families are doing. What do you like? What would you change?
Ask what they like about it and what their struggles are.
If you don’t know anyone specifically, find a blogger or a facebook group and start asking questions. (Usually, homeschooling moms love to share what they’ve learned, and are willing help out anyone who would like to get started. ❤)
Learn the Different Styles of Homeschooling
Many people have the misconception that home school is sitting at the kitchen table for hours on end while laboriously pouring over books.
Don’t be misled, there are so many different approaches you can take. Six of the main ones are: Classical, Traditional, Charlotte Mason, Eclectic, Unit Study, and Unschooling. (Here is a simple break down of the different homeschool approaches.)
Read and Research
Establish what you want your home school to look like and start your research. Of course, you are not confined to a specific approach, but it does help to have a basic guideline to get you started.
Books, podcasts, support groups, and various facebook groups can be very helpful for preparing you to teach with the approach you’ve decided on.
Some questions you might like to ask:
- What are my goals and priorities for my kids education?
- What do I want the day to day look like?
- How can I make this functional for my family?
- What is my personal philosophy of education?
- What are the pros and cons of this approach?
There are a ton of great resources out there for homeschooling parents, here is a book and podcast list I’ve compiled if you need a place to start! 😊
Don’t get too hung up on curriculum choices. If you’ve already picked an approach, it should be easy to find lists of appropriate resources. Read through reviews and forums and pick. Keep it simple, you can always add more later.
Plan out your first quarter, half, or whole year, while leaving room for change and flexibility.
Your planning might involve:
- Day to day scheduling (what will your daily school routine look like?).
- Long term planning
- Any prep work that might need to get done
- Curriculum choices
- Extra curricular choices
- Days of the week you plan to school, Summers, etc…
Create a Great Learning Environment:
Kitchen table, outside, or a school room, it doesn’t matter. But having a space that sets a tone for organized learning, really helps.
Keeping your learning space clean and cheery will be welcoming to your kids, and a little organization might save you some serious bouts of insanity. 😉
Build a Community
Home school can be a very socially enriching experience. Taking the initiative to build a community will be fulfilling, not only to your kids, but to you.
Some options to look into might be: Home-based charter schooling, Co-ops, Sports leagues, Church, local home school groups, and more.
Don’t do home school on your own and if you come across something that you don’t feel equip to teach, enlist some help (private lessons, tutors, or perhaps swatch with another home school mom for a specific subject).
Stick With It
Homeschooling will be a huge learning experience for you. It will also refine you in many ways. Prepare to have really hard days, and moments that you feel like a failure. BUT stick with it.
Because you will ALSO have amazing days…You will get to see your kids eyes up with curiosity, you will be a part of a million milestones throughout their education, and you will see them reach big goals. And all the while, knowing you had a part.
What interests you about homeschooling?
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