It’s that time of year again! Our kids are headed back to school! But for some of us back to school means back to homeschool.
It’s a growing form of education and every year there are more and more families making the decision to home educate their children at home. But you might be wondering how to homeschool your kids. The good news, it’s not as hard as you think.
8 Simple steps to get you started on how to homeschool
Decide to homeschool!
Sounds simple, right? Talk it over with your spouse or partner and decide if homeschooling is right for you and your family.
Find a good book (website, magazine, forum, etc.) on how to homeschool and do some research before you dive in to see if you would enjoy homeschooling your kids.
Connect with other homeschoolers.
When trying to figure out how to homeschool, those who are already homeschooling are a wealth of knowledge and encouragement.
If you don’t already have friends or family that are homeschooling (and even if you do) seek out a local support group. You may be able to find homeschoolers through your public school board.
Also, Homeschooling Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) can help you find support and they are located in both Canada and the United States.
Research homeschool requirements.
Find out the requirements on how to homeschool in your district and state. These requirements vary depending on where you live.
Choose a homeschool curriculum.
One of the biggest benefits (and most challenging) that decide to homeschool is choosing the curriculum.
Curriculum options and homeschooling techniques are so varied that it can be overwhelming. You can do
- full curriculum packages
- online courses/programs
- mix and match subjects from different curriculum providers
- or even put together your own curriculum.
The best thing about the curriculum is that there is no wrong choice! What’s right for one family or child is not necessarily right for the other. Talk to other homeschoolers to get suggestions and ideas but don’t feel just because one mom likes a certain curriculum it will be right for you.
The best advice I can give you with choosing a curriculum is to not buy too much at once (I’m guilty of this) and don’t be afraid to switch a curriculum if it’s not working for your family/children.
As you journey along the path of how to homeschool, you will discover what works for your children and the curriculum choices that suit your family best.
Get the house ready for homeschooling!
Getting your home ready to homeschool can be as easy or as complicated as you want it to be. Most homeschoolers end up around a kitchen or dining room table. All you really need is a bookcase or two and maybe some storage containers.
Some families have a dedicated homeschooling room, some have a corner of the dining room, and for some homeschooling has taken over the whole house!
Set up a homeschool schedule.
Having a homeschool schedule is your key to success. This allows your kids to still have some structure by getting up on time and getting things done.
Determine a schedule that works for your family. Everyone’s homeschool schedule will look different. Really your homeschool schedule will depend on the ages of the kids and how many kids you have, whether the parent still holds a job or has other responsibilities and even the curriculum choices.
A homeschool planner can help you all stay organized. However, homeschooling doesn’t need to be a full-day affair.
When you are homeschooling can accomplish so much more in a shorter amount of time because of the one-on-one nature of homeschooling.
Parents can choose to homeschool just in the mornings (afternoons, evenings, etc.) or take a day off a week for extracurricular activities (field trips, family days, etc.).
The choice is yours!
And just like curriculum, the best advice when determining homeschool schedule is to be flexible and don’t be afraid to make adjustments if something is not working for you.
Explain homeschooling to the kids.
If your kids have already been in public/private school, homeschool can be an adjustment.
Tell your children why they’re going to be homeschooled, focus on the positive, and answer their questions.
Give the kids some choices during the day (it’s one of the perks of homeschooling) and even get their input where appropriate.
Relax and have fun!
Homeschooling is more than just ABCs and 123s.
You’re building character and teaching them to be the best they can be. Enjoy the time you spend together whether it’s around the kitchen table or curled up on the sofa reading books.
And don’t forget to give yourself a break every now and then.
Let your spouse or partner, the grandparents, another homeschooling parent, etc. take over for the day. The kids will enjoy some “fresh” material and you’ll get your battery recharged! 🙂
Welcome back to HOMEschool! What are you most excited about when it comes to homeschooling? Share in the comments!