If you’ve answered the call to educate your children at home, take the guesswork out of how to homeschool and use these five steps to get started. Taking these steps will help you take care of the foundational things and build your confidence in your new journey.
How to Homeschool: 5 Steps to Get Started
#1: Start with your “why.”
Ask yourself why you want to homeschool and write it down. Yes, it can change over time; however, keeping it in mind will help you stand strong on days that are challenging. Some homeschool moms recommend writing it down and putting it in a place that you look at often. This is also something you can do with your children. In fact, by involving them, you could find out how they feel about homeschooling. Good discussions can spark from making this a family event.
#2: Research your state’s homeschool laws and requirements.
Although homeschooling is legal in the United States as a whole, each state has their own laws and requirements. Become familiar with these because chances are, you’ll need to submit some form of documentation, a letter, and/or provide proof of homeschooling (depending on where you live). One of the best resources for this information is HSLDA. You can find a wealth of information on their website.
#3: Discover how your children learn.
One of the biggest joys of homeschooling is the ability to accommodate your child’s unique learning needs. Your children will no longer have to be molded to fit a particular system or meet a list of milestones. Instead, you can meet them where they are and go where their needs lead. Take time to watch your child as they play. If they’re old enough, have conversations about what they like, what they want to learn about, and what would help them learn best.
#4: Figure out your how.
As homeschooling has become increasingly popular over the years, there are a number of styles and methods that have been coined to help homeschoolers find their groove. While it is not mandatory to pick just one style, they can serve as a guide to help you be consistent and organized.
Some of the most popular methods are Unschooling, Charlotte Mason, Classical, and Unit Study. Take time to familiarize yourself with the variety of methods and choose the one(s) that best accommodate your teaching style and your children’s learning style(s). Trust me when I say there is a method and style for everything you can think of.
#5: Choose a curriculum.
This is often one of the biggest struggles for new homeschoolers because there is so much to choose from. Determine if you’ll do better with a curriculum that’s already laid out for you. From beginning to end and top to bottom. In other words, this type of curriculum – known as boxed curriculum – will come with all (or most) of the learning materials you’ll need along with a fully detailed schedule of what to teach, how, and when.
There are other options that are more hands-off and laid back. With this approach, there’s flexibility about what you teach and when. Some homeschooling moms find it most feasible to piece together their own curriculum resources depending on what they want to teach their children. There’s truly no right or wrong way to go with curriculum.
Learning how to homeschool has its learning curves, but the steps above will help you confidently get started. Don’t forget to get plugged into any local homeschool groups your community may have. Also, join any homeschool-related Facebook groups. These can offer lots of encouragement and support throughout your journey.