So you want to start homeschooling but don’t know where or how to start?
Imagine you wake up tomorrow morning exactly how you dreamt a stay at home parent would. What does your favorite morning look like?
Do you rise to a still-dark home to embrace a few quiet moments alone… before you’re tripping over Legos, cats, and kids? Or do you cherish waking to the laughter of your kids telling jokes to each other as they get up?
Do you make breakfast together? Maybe you enjoy making it on your own while everyone else in your little world rises to start another day of learning, playing, and far more noise than we feel we can handle sometimes.
It’s enchantingly calm… until it’s not.
So, maybe your ideal day isn’t quite like that. Every homeschool family finds their own way. It can look so similar yet so different from others of any kind of schooling family.
For us, my best days start 3-4 hours before the kids wake up. Our learning seamlessly blends with joyful, abundant living (we’re not waiting until school days are behind us to start really living!)
We believe learning isn’t confined to a classroom. We curl up in bed with a stack of books to read together. We learn recipes and manners; we take field trips and share science projects. We listen to music, learn new TikTok dances, watch tv and play Among Us.
My point is, learning is found everywhere and you get to choose where and how you explore it with your family. There are more ideas than I could list!
I want that to thrill you, not overwhelm you because nothing you choose will be the wrong one- you’ll always have something to learn from it.
I completely understand- your kids’ education is one of the most important responsibilities of your life, and there are alot of factors that go into making this big decision. After all, you want to give your kids the best opportunities in life that you can and you probably want an amazing life for your whole family.
Homeschooling includes so many things in addition to academics, such as physical skills, social skills, field trips, sports, music, STEM, EQ, imagination, curiosity, exploration, adventure and much more.
Which curriculum gives the most complete education? How will my kids make friends? How will I know if it’s enough? How will I know if I’M enough?
When I first started, I cried on my kitchen floor more times than I can tell you with dignity. With a fresh pan or brownies, I cried over an overwhelming pile of books and paper surrounding me- research about homeschooling I’d printed that was supposed to help me feel more confident about what I was doing. Every page made me feel increasingly less competent and I still didn’t have a clear roadmap to doing it “the right way”.
It’s been eight years since then and I’m passionate about helping other families find confidence and clarity in their new homeschool journey- without all the chaos that comes from trying to figure things out alone.
So grab some paper and a pen, and I’m going to help you work it all out. Let’s go!
These 8 steps will teach you how to get started with your homeschooling:
1. Research homeschooling. But not too much- it doesn’t help if you get stuck in decision paralysis. Read about the different curriculums that are available and the learning style that it fits under. Talk to other homeschooling parents, as well as their homeschooled kids, to learn from their experience.
Find out the homeschooling requirements for your area. This varies from location to location. For example, in the United States, each state sets its own requirements for homeschooling. Some states require attendance records, as well as reports and standardized tests. Other states require little.
2. Join a local homeschooling group. One of the best places to find out information about homeschooling is from homeschoolers themselves. You will be able to ask them questions, let them review your practices, and show you what works for them.
You can also learn what age-appropriate activities are available, plus how the other parents make subjects available to their kids that they don’t have expertise in, such as a foreign language or playing a musical instrument.
Many local homeschooling groups have arranged all sorts of things for the kids, including field trips, sports teams, and even competitions.
3. Set specific goals. This is important because you will likely be moving at a different pace to those in traditional schooling. Kids all learn at their own pace so set goals that challenge them without overworking them. You’ll want to ensure that your kids are learning on track within a normal range for their age but don’t let that become the defining goal each day.
4. Decide on the curriculum and teaching style. There are various places online where you can buy a curriculum to use at home and there are so many excellent free ones too! These will vary from traditional textbooks and workbooks to more custom curriculum that is aimed more specifically for your kid’s interests.
5. Create your own space for homeschooling. Where are you going to be schooling your kids? Will you be using the kitchen table, or do you have a spare room available to set up for it? Do you need chairs, a bookshelf, a desk? What about a computer and space for storage?
6. Create your own schedule, routine or rhythm. Once you’ve thought about goals for your kids, it’s time to create a plan that supports those goals. Make a plan of what subjects you are planning to do on each day, and whether there will be any field trips.
Also, include time in your family’s schedule for physical activity, socializing, and making friends. Extracurricular activities are important. So are social skills.
Networking with other parents will help keep you in the loop about what activities are available for you and your kids.
Even though you’ve made a plan, remember that you’re allowed to be flexible. That’s one of the benefits of homeschooling.
7.Ensure that you or your kids don’t become isolated. Spending all day with you may seem like a dream before you start but your kids may think differently. They need friends of their own age, and you do too! Sometimes you just all need to act like kids together!
8. ALWAYS make time to go outside! The research on why this is so important for kids is overwhelming. Make time to be outside every day. The 1000-hour challenge is a favorite for thousands of families because it’s fun and it’s good for both parents and kids!
Homeschooling isn’t the best choice for all kids or parents, but if you are homeschooling, keep these tips in mind for a successful system that can benefit your kids for life.