You may be wondering how to get started homeschooling. Here are a few simple things to consider and steps to take as you begin your homeschool journey.
Whether you’ve dreamed of homeschooling your kids from the start or you’re making the switch after a crazy school year, getting started looks the same. Take some time to get educated about your options, create a plan of action, and prepare for your homeschool experience.
It’s never too late to start planning for a new homeschool journey. You can spend all summer planning for a new year, or you can prepare on the fly if you just decided today that you want to homeschool your children.
How to Get Started Homeschooling
The decision to homeschool your child is a major one. It can be overwhelming at first, but the process isn’t as difficult as it may seem.
Here are some things to think about as you start preparing for the upcoming year:
The first place to start is to find the homeschool laws in your state. You can find a lot of information about laws in your state on the HSLDA website.
One you’ve determined your state’s laws, it’s time to decide what to teach in your homeschool. I’ve written before about this topic.
You’ll also need to determine whether you’re going to use a prepackaged homeschool curriculum or if you’re going to piece together your own program.
Finally, now that you know what you’re going to teach and what type of curriculum you prefer, it’s time to start choosing your homeschool curriculum.
Now, it’s time to start shopping for your homeschool. This doesn’t have to be an overwhelming process. Once you’ve searched your home for books and supplies, you can shop stress-free for the rest of the books and curricula you will need this year.
Create your routine.
Decide how you’re going to structure your day, week, month, and year. Your daily routine will depend on a variety of things. How old are your kids? Do you have outside commitments to work around? How much hands-on time do your kids need with you?
Those same questions will help you work on a weekly schedule, too. Will you try to teach each subject every day? Will you follow a 4-day or 5-day plan? Are you going to schedule field trip or co-op days each week?
Monthly schedules should take into consideration holidays, doctor’s appointments, and family travel. Will you build in a catch-up day?
For your yearly schedule, determine whether you will follow the traditional school schedule or school year round. Or, will you create your own routine to fit your family’s needs?
Prepare your home environment.
If you have time, do a deep cleaning of your home and your homeschool space. Getting started in a space that is free of clutter and chaos will make the start of your journey much smoother.
Determine where you’ll homeschool. Will you have a dedicated homeschool room or will you homeschool wherever you can? Will your kids work at desks or at the kitchen table?
Wherever your learning space will be, stock that area with your supplies. I’ve homeschooled out of crates at the kitchen table. I’ve stored our homeschool supplies in hall closets. In later years, I had a dedicated homeschool room which housed all of my books and supplies.
Trust the process.
You’ve decided to homeschool for a reason. Realize that some days will be extremely difficult and make you question your decision. It’s inevitable. Some days will be so easy that you’ll feel like a rockstar! These day are inevitable, as well.
On those tough days, remember your whys. Adjust your focus, and rediscover the joy of homeschooling.
On those days you feel behind in your homeschool, just keep going. It’s okay! And, you may find that you aren’t actually behind.