How to Get Started Homeschooling
Have you decided that homeschooling is what you and your family want to do? Maybe you have been wanting to start but scared to? I know for us that homeschooling was always something we thought about but no one we knew was doing it so how were we going to start. Our girls both started in public school and were taken out due to personal issues. Either way you don’t have to be scare to start homeschooling! Here are some tips to help you get started on your homeschooling journey!
You are going to want to check with your state homeschool laws before you start off with anything. It’s important to know what your state laws are. These can vary from state to state and how strict they are as well. You want to check out your states Department of Education website. For us here in New York, you want to go here. It is also a good idea to check into LEAH. They monitors and advocates with the New York State Legislature and the State Education Department regarding developments on home education policy and regulations. They can help if you have any questions. If you are looking for help in legal areas due to any issues you may have trying to homeschool your kids, you can look into Home School Legal Defense Association or HSLDA.
Choose a Curriculum or Method
In case you didn’t know this is all up to you (at least I can say 100% here in NY it is). You of course have to teach the main courses and all that, but as far as what you are teaching and how that is all up to you to figure out and find. We are not given any material to do. We have to go and find what we want to use. There are a slew of places you can find free material as well as online curriculum. Research, research, research you guys! Check out my list of free educational online resources here. My advise would be to take it slow here. I wouldn’t suggest going out and buying a huge curriculum kit. You totally can, but you might (like we did) realize that you don’t want to use a lot of what you get once you get them. Learn what ways you and your kids would like to learn the best. Some kids are visual learners while some may like to work in books more. Once you find what works you can go from there and choose material. For us we use a combination of online curriculum, printables, and work books. I can’t tell you which are the best to use, but I can share what works for us with you. You will find though that some material or curriculum can get pretty pricey.
What We Use
Join Community Groups
Let’s face it co-ops may not be for everyone. I know it is not something I am in to. But that doesn’t mean you have to be isolated either! There are tons of community groups on Facebook that you can find as well as just searching forums online. Online communities can help you research and learn different methods of teaching, material available, or just plain be a place to vent to on those difficult days. Lets face it being home with your kids for all this time and trying to teach them can be trying some days. You got this!
You don’t need an exclusive room just for homeschooling if you don’t need to. We have one, but honestly we spend most our time either at the kitchen table or on the couch. Summer time we spend it out back on the patio! That’s the great thing with homeschooling…you can choose where to learn! Either way you will want to be organized. Just because you are learning now at home that doesn’t mean you have to stick to the school hours. We certainly are not sitting at home from 8 am to 3 pm doing work. There is just two kids doing work so we spend an average of 1-3 hours or more a day working. It all depends on how fast they are doing their work and what we are getting into for the day. Know that you need to have flexibility as a homeschooler! Things will come up and there will be days when you are or your are just not in the mood. Adjust your schedule and start again the next day. Don’t feel pressured to get a whole ton of things done in one day. It’s important to get the work done, but just as important to enjoy the process and not to overwhelm you or your children.
It’s up to you how structured you want your homeschooling to be. Some have very detailed daily tasks while others just open the material and work as they go (I’ll leave it up to you to guess which I am….). There is no right way as long as your kiddos are learning you will be good to go you guys. Again, do what works for you!
Know it Takes Time
Don’t expect to have it all figured out right away. I once read that it takes a good 1-2 years or so for you to fully get into the swing of things. I can tell you we are on our fourth year currently, and I still switch things up. But that’s the amazing thing about homeschooling! You can change things and make it all adapt to your needs and your child’s needs at that time. I absolutely love it now that I’ve been doing it for so long. At first it can be scary but don’t let that deter you. Take one day at a time and work through with your children to figure out what material you like the most, what times work for you, and how you want to work together. There are endless ways to homeschool you guys – do what works for you!
Check out more Homeschool printables here
New to homeschooling? Check out our how to section that will be growing this year as I share more of my experiences. I’m totally new it feels (we’re going on 3 years) to the homeschooling world still, but I want to share my journey with you! Check out the homeschool section where I share freebies, tips, and deals on many items!