So, you want to start homeschooling your little one? Times are troubling and there are many parents who are considering homeschooling their children and those same parents are really overwhelmed right now. Don’t let that be you.
There is a lot to consider when it comes to considering whether or not you’ll homeschool your kid/kids.
Not only that, to make matters worse you have to consider what type of homeschool mom you want to be!
Are you going to be the strict homeschool mom that’s super organized?
Maybe you’ll be more laid back and loosely organized?
Whatever the case it can seem super overwhelming BUT there is a light at the end of the seemingly neverending tunnel.
With a few steps, you can be well on your way to making a solid decision that will benefit you and your child/children.
What to Think About Before You Start Homeschooling
With all that’s going on, the last thing you should be stressing about is whether or not your child will get a good education if you’re going to homeschool.
There are amazing homeschool moms out there that are second-generation homeschoolers and there are first-generation homeschool moms that are doing great things. Don’t let the fact that you’re just beginning scare you.
We started my son in pre-kindergarten homeschool before he went to a private school for 2 years.
Now we’re shifting back into homeschool life and I’ll have a 2nd grader and a kindergartener to school!
The most stressful part likely will be choosing a curriculum, but even that shouldn’t deter you from starting. You can make a decision now and always shift gears and change directions later.
That’s the beauty of homeschool!
So, what do you need to know? Let’s take a look below!
1 Know Your State Homeschool Laws
Check out the laws for your specific state so you know what you need to do in order to legally homeschool your child/children. The Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) site allows you to search by state.
Some states are more strict than others when it comes to homeschool laws. Be sure to go to that link and click your state to see what your laws are.
Most states have some sort of notice that’s required. I think only 11 aren’t required to notify the state if they’re homeschooling.
Be sure to check out the requirements and understand what each requirement means for you and your family.
2 Decide Your Homeschool Approach
Homeschool doesn’t have to look like a public school. You don’t need to have your days laid out like that in order to be successful at homeschool.
But, it is important to identify or just consider what approach you’re wanting to take when it comes to homeschooling your children.
You can be eclectic, you can be more crunchy/hippy, classical, follow a curriculum, not follow one at all, just use the internet to make your lesson plans or be one of those that plan it all out.
That’s the beauty of homeschooling! You get to decide.
What’s even better is that if something doesn’t seem to be working or clicking for your family you can always shift gears and try something different.
Don’t be afraid to try new things.
3 Plan Your Curriculum (if you’ll use one)
Now the fun! Or, the part that most parents stress over…
Will you or will you not use a curriculum?
First-time homeschoolers tend to opt for a curriculum until they get into a routine. I’ve heard that a lot… once they find their routine they start feeling locked into something but want to explore and eventually break free of the curriculum boundaries.
What you choose ultimately comes down to a couple of things:
- How much are you able to spend? Or, how much do you want to spend?
- Secular or Christian?
- Full curriculum or piecemeal?
Not everyone will want a curriculum. That. Is. Ok.
We’re going with a mix this year.
We made this decision after looking at Abeka (which would have been close to $2k for both kids). They used Abeka in their private school and I wanted to keep them with that, but financially it made more sense to buy the three things we did.
The Gather Round Homeschool Year 1 can be reused over and over at different levels and for both kids. It just made sense to us.
But, you’ll have to make that decision for yourself.
What I did was I hopped on YouTube and just did a search for homeschool curriculum reviews. And, if that doesn’t help, then hop in some homeschool Facebook groups.
4 Find Homeschool Facebook Groups For Your Area
Following up with the last sentence above… Find a homeschool Facebook group for your area! They’re super helpful and a lot of homeschool moms are eager to share their advice and tips on how to be successful at homeschooling.
I’ve found quite a few for our state so hopefully, you’ll be able to find one for your area.
There are quite a few that are broader and all over groups for homeschooling and they’re super helpful also. They just won’t necessarily be helpful with regards to your state laws unless someone in there is from your area.
5 Make a Homeschool Daily/Weekly/Yearly Plan
Once you’ve figured out what your curriculum/studies will look like it’s time to plan out your days, weeks, months, and possibly even year!
Now, you don’t exactly need to plan the entire year all at once. You can just as easily plan the first half of the homeschool year first and then shift into the second half, but again that goes back to whether you’re going to use a curriculum.
And, if you’re using a curriculum you’ll likely already have a plan laid out.
But, if you’re not using a curriculum then you have the fun choice to plan your days!
This might seem hard or stressful, but plenty of people offer ideas on YouTube, Pinterest or even a quick Google search will help!
Typically speaking, most homeschool days won’t last longer than 3-4 hours (and that’s if the child is older).
6 Setup Your Homeschool Room (or Table)
The first rule here… don’t let yourself fall into the pit of despair over “my rooms not good enough.”
It is SO easy to let yourself daydream and fall down the rabbit hole of homeschool room ideas and realize you might not have the space you wish you could have.
Whether you have a table or an entire room, don’t let yourself get overwhelmed.
I can be super simple to start and will likely grow and change as your homeschool life gets underway.
7 Mentally Prepare Yourself
This probably should be number one… Not everyone is prepared to take on the task of homeschooling.
The first year can be rough! Everyone has to get used to new routines and getting situated with the whole learning at home thing.
Once you find your groove things seem to calm down though and everyone starts enjoying themselves.
So, just take things in stride, know that they will test your patience, and push all of your buttons.
Realize that with homeschool things are flexible and you can always pause and come back to things or just take the day off.
There is no “she/he will fall behind” because there is no “behind” in homeschool.
And, that is quite possibly the most liberating thing! Your child will learn at their own pace and will likely be far forward in some subjects and not so forward in others.
It’s a balancing act!
Related Post: Is Homeschooling Right For You?
Believe In Yourself When You Start Homeschooling
You can do this momma. Many women before you have done this and you are completely capable of doing it as well.
Find a supportive group of mommas who are homeschooling as well and lean on each other!