When you think of homeschooling, do you see a schoolyard? Do you picture your child sitting at their desk in the classroom with other students and teachers around them? Or do you envision your home as an extension of that classroom environment but with more control over what takes place? If it’s the latter, then consider starting to homeschool. You can start by checking out these helpful resources on beginning teaching from home.
Do you remember when you were first learning something new?
How did you feel about it?
Did you want to sit down and memorize everything or dive in and get started?
Chances are, if you were like most children, you wanted to jump right in and learn without any additional requirements to complete first. The same is true for many adults today. We don’t have time to take classes, so we need to know quickly and efficiently.
This is precisely why many parents choose homeschooling as one way to educate their children. They may not afford private tutoring, they may not live near a college campus where lectures are offered, or maybe they want to avoid the traditional public education system altogether.
As long as there are no laws against homeschooling in the state you live in, you can teach your children at home. It doesn’t matter whether you decide to use supplemental materials such as textbooks, CDs, DVDs, etc., or whether you prefer to create your curriculum. What matters is that you choose to educate your children yourself.
If you’ve decided to start homeschooling, here are some tips to help you get started the right way.
How To Start Homeschooling
You’ll need to know several things before you get started homeschooling. First off, you should check to find out which subjects you will be focusing on. This includes math, language arts, social studies, science, religion, art, music, physical education (if applicable), reading, etc.
After deciding which topics you’d like to cover, you’ll need to determine how much time you devote to each subject. Remember, this isn’t set in stone! You could easily change your mind later and add additional lessons once you gain experience.
Next, you should determine who would be responsible for creating lesson plans. Will you write all of the lessons plans yourselves or hire someone else to do it? Whatever route you decide to go, you must also choose if you will purchase a curriculum or develop your own.
Keep in mind that developing your curriculum will cost money — and possibly quite a bit of time — but might save you money in the end since you won’t have to pay for extra supplies. However, you can always supplement your homeschool lessons with additional books, videos, or other educational materials.
You’ll also need to figure out what equipment you will use. There are different ways to accomplish this, depending upon your preferences. Some people use computers exclusively, while others prefer handouts or outside activities. Whichever method you choose, keep in mind that technology changes rapidly, so it’s best to be prepared for whatever happens next.
Finally, you should set up a schedule for when you plan to work on your homeschool curriculum. To complete your homeschooling responsibilities, you will need to work during specific times of the day. If you don’t stick to a schedule, it can become overwhelming quickly. Make sure you carefully plan out your days to avoid getting overwhelmed.
Now that you’ve got the basics covered, let’s move on to step two: Deciding why you’re homeschooling.
Decide Why You’re Homeschooling
It’s essential to understand why you’re homeschooling to help guide you through the process. Are you trying to provide your children with better quality education than what they receive in public schools? Maybe you’re looking into homeschooling because you believe in freedom of choice and individual responsibility. Perhaps you’re trying to give your kids unique opportunities that other families cannot offer.
Whatever your reason, it’s necessary to examine why you desire to homeschool your children. Once you identify these reasons, you can focus your efforts accordingly. Learning can be challenging enough without having to worry about distractions. So, try to stay focused on the task at hand.
Learn Your State’s Homeschool Laws And Requirements
It would be best to read your state’s homeschool law thoroughly before you start homeschooling. These laws vary greatly based upon where you live. Fortunately, many states have online resources available to help you research your local laws.
For example, in Michigan, I was required to submit my homeschool records quarterly to the Department of Education. Other states require annual reports. Regardless, you should check to ensure that your state has laws regarding homeschooling to follow.
In addition to state requirements, you should also research any special rules that apply to homeschooling within your community. Many cities and townships have ordinances about homeschooling, including limits on student-to-student contact, outdoor playtime, and length of instruction sessions.
Once you have determined your local regulations, you should review them thoroughly to ensure they meet your needs.
Decide When To Start Homeschooling
A big part of planning is making sure you have sufficient time to dedicate to homeschooling. Depending upon your family size, you may have to juggle schedules and duties so that everyone gets adequate attention. Think about how much time you currently spend working on various tasks throughout the week. Now imagine adding another job.
Can you handle it?
Because you’re already familiar with these tasks, you likely have plenty of free time on your hands. But, if you’re like most people, you probably have other obligations, too. If you’re juggling multiple jobs, it’s easy to lose track of time.
That’s why it’s crucial to establish a firm schedule. Whether you write your lesson plans or purchase a curriculum, you should allot certain hours per day for homeschooling. Then, you can block out those times on your calendar.
Additionally, it would be best if you also kept in mind what you’ll be doing on weekends. If you have a lot of errands to run or chores to finish, you may not have time to homeschool. You may want to utilize your weekend for fun projects instead.
Creating a Plan For Your First Year
Before you get started homeschooling, it’s recommended that you prepare a list of goals for your first few months. As mentioned earlier, homeschoolers often struggle to develop ideas for the initial year. Don’t worry, though! Creating a detailed plan for your first year can help tremendously.
By writing down these goals, you’ll have a clear understanding of what you hope to achieve during your first year as a parent. You can refer back to this list whenever you need motivation or inspiration.
After determining your homeschool goals, it’s now time to put together a timeline. Take note of the dates associated with each goal. Also include scheduled breaks between lessons. You can ensure you’re following your planned schedule by keeping track of these dates.
Overall, the key to success is taking small steps. Once you start homeschooling, you’ll discover that it’s easier than you thought it would be. With determination and patience, you’ll soon reap the benefits of providing a superior education for your children.
To recap, here are some basic guidelines to follow when you start homeschooling your child:
Check to verify that homeschooling is legal in your area.
Determine what type of curriculum you will be using.
Set aside specific blocks of time to homeschool.
Write down your goals for the first year.
Follow your plan for the first year.