I’ve been getting asked how to start homeschooling quite a bit lately. I thought long and hard and decided that I’d tell you all what I wished someone had told me in the beginning.
First, take a deep breath. Making the choice to homeschool your children is a big one. You can do this though. You were your child’s first teacher. You taught them to talk, walk, and go to the potty. You were made to be their teacher. No one is more equipped to teach your child.
Find out the laws in your state.
The first thing you need to do is find out the laws in the state or area you live in. If you live in the Unite States you can look up your requirements on the HSLDA website. This is the first and most important step to starting to homeschool. You’ll need to know what you are required to do legally each year.
Write down your reasons for homeschooling.
Pull out a piece of paper and pen and write down your reasons for homeschooling. Be totally honest. You can write down I just don’t want to send my child to school or I want to see if I can do it. No reason is too small and no reason is to big, just be honest.
Write down your vision for homeschooling.
I know that writing down your vision sounds complicated. But, it doesn’t have to be. Just think toward the future. What is your goal with homeschooling? It’s okay to write that your goal it to survive the year and for your children to learn something. But maybe your vision is for you all to travel together and that is what your homeschool will be based around. Whatever it is, write is down.
The goal in writing your reason and vision is for you to know why you are homeschooling and where you want to end up at the end of it.
Find out your homeschool style.
Knowing your homeschool style will help you narrow down your choices. You don’t have to know all of the styles or what they mean. You can just take this simple homeschool style quiz to find out what style best suites you. Once you know your style or styles you can research them more if you would like to see what resonates with you and what doesn’t.
Find out your children’s learning style.
There are three types of learners: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. That means your either learn by seeing, hearing, or touching. Knowing which of those your child is will help you teach them. You can take a simple learning style quiz to determine what type of learner your child is.
Select your curriculum or resources.
Now that you know your homeschool vision, goals, style, and the type of learner your child is you can start looking at curriculum and resources. Please don’t buy anything without first utilizing the placement tests, free samples, or trials.
Also, keep in mind that buying and ditching a curriculum is a homeschool right of passage. It doesn’t mean you failed at homeschooling. It just means that it wasn’t the best fit for you and your child.
Read a book.
There are a ton of books about homeschooling. Sometimes it can feel overwhelming to try to pick just one. I’ve narrowed down my books for a new homeschool parent to two: Teaching from Rest and The Brave Learner. Pick up one of these books to help you get that “I can do this” feelings. Because, you can do this!
Relax and have fun!
Enjoy your kids, have fun, and learn right along side them. You have the luxury of this now. Don’t feel like you have to school 6 hours a day, Monday through Friday with no days off. Or finish the curriculum in just 9 months, there are 12 months in a year, use them.