How Do I Get Started Homeschooling?

April WalkerLearning Tools

2020 has left many parents facing the difficult decision of how they plan to educate their child. It can be scary facing a lifestyle change and for the majority of families, the transition to homeschooling would be a huge change. Some of you are not even wanting to consider homeschooling as an option because just starting feels so overwhelming and unknown. Hopefully I can break it down as simple as possible so that you can see its possibility.

Before we begin, let me clarify that online classes through the state are considered public school online and will not require you to perform the steps to homeschool. The details below will not pertain to your situation.

Step 1: Look up your state laws to determine the steps to legally homeschool. You can click on your state on the link above to see the laws. Some states have low regulations and only require you submit a letter of intent to homeschool . You can most likely do this on the Department of Education website for the state. Some states require you join an association (~ $50) which will handle your child’s transcripts. Records, subjects, and attendance requirements are all listed on the website above. If you still are unsure what your state expects there are many homeschooling resources available online. Facebook groups, blogs, instagram accounts, and even some private schools offer help to get you started.

Step 2: Pick a curriculum. This can mean buying a full set of books that are open and go, doing online classes, picking different books for each subject, or joining a group of other homeschoolers to share the teaching. When deciding which curriculum works best for you and your child consider how much you want to be involved, how does your child learn best, what is interesting to your child, what subjects are required by your state, what your budget is and what your schedule is like. Once you have an idea of what your criteria are, you can start looking at samples of different curriculum online. So many homeschooling moms have reviewed different choices in details. Take the time to do some research. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Homeschooling families are happy to help answer any questions you have. Don’t be afraid to try something and if it isn’t working after a couple of months, try something else. You have freedom to adapt what and how you teach at any time something isn’t working.

In time, this becomes one of the most exciting elements of learning at home. Picking what you are teaching that year is fun! You begin to imagine the memories made, lessons learned and personal growth to be had while browsing.

Step 3: Familiarize yourself with your curriculum, read the teachers guides and fine print, buy basic school supplies and get started. Most curriculum offer suggested schedules, scripted lessons, helpful resources, and more to make this easy on you. Prior to sitting down to teach, have an idea of what the lessons will look like. Prepare any supplies ahead of time. Cut out flash cards, insert bookmarks for quick reference, make binders to hold loose assignments, etc. Then make a realistic plan to start learning. Personally, I do not teach every subject everyday. I devote a certain number of hours a day to doing prepared lessons. I typically teach math and language arts daily and I rotate all other classes such as history, science, and electives. This will vary based off of the ages of your children since younger children learn mostly through play. You will also learn to see everyday opportunities for potential to learn. These count just as much if not more than the traditional planned education.

Know that homeschooling requires time to grow. You will not know the perfect routine or method for your family immediately. You will need to offer your child and yourself lots of grace as you discover how homeschooling looks for you. Not everyday will be a good one. But the days that are good, will make you realize how awesome this journey can be! I pray that this is helpful. If you have any questions please feel free to ask me and I’ll give my best answer. You can do this! Your child is naturally created to learn and you are just providing the resources and guidance to aid them.

Be blessed!