Are you considering homeschooling your child? Feel overwhelmed and wondering how to get started homeschooling? While I am not an expert I have traveled the road and ran into my own problems that I had to figure out. I have gathered some ideas and resources to help you get started on your homeschool journey. Mostly I want you to remember, It's OK. If you are making the best choices you know how for you and your family then it's OK-even if you decide not to homeschool. GASP! it's true!
How to Get Started Homeschooling
- The first thing to do is to check your states laws regarding homeschooling, there are several questions you need to find the answer to. Check out HSLDA.com for your states requirements ( Homeschool Legal Defense Association).
Are you pulling them from school or prior to their entering school for the first time?
At what age do they require notification of home education?
Considering joining the HSLDA or another homeschool organization for advice and peace of mind. There are also some at the state level to help you with questions and
- Make sure your spouse is on board, research your options together and be sure you are in agreement before making a final decision. If the whole house is not on board from the get go it can spell disaster and hard feelings.
- Find out your child's learning style- This post from Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers is a great explanation of the 4 main learning styles and how to discern your child's. This will help you choose curriculum that suites your child and also give you an idea of how to approach teaching your child.
- Read up on it – Besides homeschool blogs there are a lot of great books out there written by the pros- namely veteran homeschooling moms. Here are several that are worth picking up to get some good basic ideas of where to begin.
- Research Curriculum- There is so much out there available to you no matter what your child's learning style is or how you like to teach school. Don't let it overwhelm you, you don't have to use it all. Ask homeschooling friends, homeschool message boards, order catalogs, visit curriculum websites, attend a homeschool conference if you are able. Try to figure out what will work best for your family but speaking from experience you may scrap one or two curriculum's because they are just not working (or 5 or 10) and that's OK, it is part of the process in no time you will feel comfortable picking well for your family.
- Remember that no one loves or knows your child like you do, be sure to go with your gut and heart for yourself and your child. Have confidence in your ability and use the expertise of the veteran homeschool moms out there. Pray about it before making your decisions.
- Don't compare yourself to others, this is an especially easy trap to fall into when looking at big homeschool bloggers- jealousy can rear it's ugly head. Each homeschool will look different. Right from the beginning purpose to not compare yourself to others. While it is great to get a peek into other windows so to speak to get an idea, pick up a few techniques,etc.. don't think that the difference between you and them means your way is wrong. You may or may not have a dedicated school room, you may be piecing together free curriculum or have purchased a pricey package-guess what? It's OK!
Do you have tips for others just getting started?