Have you been thinking about homeschooling but you’re not quite sure where to start? It all seems so overwhelming and like something only those “pinterest moms” can pull off. Right?
Anyone, and I mean ANYONE can homeschool if they really want to! Homeschooling can be really overwhelming if you dive in head first without doing your research, but even doing the research itself can be extremely overwhelming.
Where do you start? Where do you look? What are you looking for? Just thinking about that alone is enough to send some mom’s running for the next school bus!
To help you gather your thoughts, I put together this list of what I think new homeschoolers should do to help them get started.
5 Steps to Help You Start Homeschooling
Step 1: Research Your State’s Homeschool Laws
This should be the very first thing you research. I seriously can’t stress this enough. The homeschooling method I blog about here on my blog may work great for families living in Missouri [since that’s where I live] but probably not for families in other states.
Every state has different laws and if you’re not aware of what’s required for your own state, you could get yourself in a lot of legal trouble. Some states have very strict laws, and others have very laid back, or no homeschooling laws at all!
Researching will also be a deciding factor in helping you decide if homeschooling will fit your lifestyle. Once you know the law, you will have a better idea if you’re truly ready to embrace the world of homeschooling. Click here to find out what your state’s law’s for homeschooling are!
Step 2: Get Your Significant Other On Board
This is another biggie. If you’re trying to homeschool and your child’s other parent is not on board with it, then you’re going to have quite the battle on your hands. Nothing makes a homeschooling battle harder than having your partner in crime (or ex partner in crime) against it. In some cases, this too can cause legal strife if you’re not careful.
This one is a MUST. I would put this as the first step, but knowing the law may help you when convincing your significant other who may be hesitant. Showing them you’ve done your research will help them know you are serious about it.
Step 3: Find Other Homeschooler’s In Your Area
As a new homeschooler you are going to need an army of supporters surrounding you! I can’t imagine homeschooling and not being part of the local homeschool groups I’m currently part of.
Online support groups are also amazing if you can’t find groups close to you. I am a member of many groups myself, several online, and one or two locally.
These support groups have given me “mom’s night out” opportunities (because what stay at home mom doesn’t need more adult time?) and have also helped me better understand the local law, learn about new curriculums, and we bounce ideas off of each other.
Step 4: Determine the Way Your Children Learn
This is important because if you don’t pay attention to how your children learn, then teaching them in a way that will help them retain the information can be difficult.
This is also probably the easiest step because as parents we already know what’s best for our child. It’s completely natural! Trust your gut instincts as a parent!
If you aren’t sure you’re ready to trust your gut instinct, this article by HSLDA may help.
Step 5: Begin Looking into Curriculum
Now, by looking into curriculum I don’t mean you have to run out and find the most expensive one that’s accredited. It’s NOT necessary! I talked more about this in my post about my curriculum choices for this school year.
Homeschool moms love to talk about curriculum, so if you ask another homeschooler what they’re using – you’ll get plenty of information and opinions! Also know, there is a TON out there. Don’t let it overwhelm you. Just jump in somewhere and go at your own pace. If you pick a curriculum and it ends up not working out – then switch it up!
Don’t waste your time on curriculum that you know deep down may not work for your child. Sometimes people get wrapped up in feeling like they have to use what everyone else is using. It’s the whole “if everyone else is using it, it must be what I should be using” mentality that can kill a desire to homeschool.
You have to choose a curriculum that will work with your individual child’s learning style. This I know from experience! Once I tried a well known math program that everyone around me raved about. After trying the curriculum myself, I noticed my daughter actually regressing rather than getting better at math.
So again, just because a curriculum works for everyone else does NOT mean it will definitely work for you, and that’s okay!
Once you’ve done your research on the law and your children’s learning abilities, all parents of the children are on board, and curriculum choices have been made, you’re ready to get started!
Honestly, if you do these 5 steps, you would have done more than I did before I got started! That being said, if I can pull this off then truly anyone can.
Keep in mind that no homeschool mom ever feels like they’ve got it all figured out. We’re all just figuring it out as we go, so don’t feel like you’re failing if your plan keeps changing. Always trust your gut, and remember why you’ve made this decision to begin with!
Do you think I missed an important step? Please comment below and let me know!
This post is part of the iHomeschool Network’s Link Up “My Best Advice for New Homeschoolers” which begins June 6, 2016. Click on the image below to read more great posts in the link-up!