8 Steps To Start Homeschooling
Step 1- Laws
First things first, find out homeschool laws in your state. Most don’t require much but you will need this info for when it’s time to withdraw. You must follow all the laws in your state if you don’t want anyone questioning you or coming after you for truancy.
Step 2 – Research
You should know what it all entails before you start homeschooling. Read blog posts about it, watch day-in-the-life videos of homeschool families on Youtube. Google all your questions. No matter how silly you think the question may be trust me someone else has asked the same question.
In order to move to step 3 you need to research types or styles of homeschool you would like. There are a ton of “styles” of like nature based, literature based, child led, etc. Once your choose a style that will narrow in the curriculums available that you can choose from.
Step 3- Buy Curriculum
I wanted to put this as step 4 but to be honest, if you are homeschooling for the first time you are most likely nervous about it already so having something for them to do right away will ease the anxiety of it all.
If your looking for something similar to public school or that’s going to be the easiest, fastest transition to start homeschooling (even if its only for the time being) an online program like IXL or Time4Learning or an all-in-one boxed program like timberdoodle, Sonlight or Abeka is going to be your “easiest choice”. Easy as in picking curriculum and getting started not necessarily easiest to homeschool with.
I suggest something simple like workbooks to start with until you both figure out what your homeschool should look like. I explain further in this post and here is a list of my top 5 workbook suggestions.
Step 4- Withdrawal
The easiest step is withdrawing your student. Usually just means informing the district and in some states registering as a homeschooler but as I said above research and follow the laws for your specific state.
Step 5- Set a Daily Rhythm
Please please do not make a schedule with 15 minute scheduled increments. Set low expectations. If you do put times on your schedule try not to hold anyone too strongly to them.
This homeschooling thing is new and learning new things can be hard and takes time. Rather just start with a list of things you would like to get done starting with the most important things first and adjusting as you go.
If your child is coming from public school they are used to a strict schedule so its best to keep some kind of rhythm and structure to your day. I suggest researching block scheduling.
Step 6- Set a Focus
Decide what is most important and focus on that. Decide that anything extra is a plus. Usually, your main focus will be reading, writing (or handwriting for littles), and math, but every family is different so you get to decide for your family.
Step 7- Start and Take Notes
Take notes of how much your child can get done within your projected allotted time. We aren’t trying to get little Jimmy to finish 10 worksheets in 30 mins. We are trying to see how many worksheets he can get done in 30 mins and then set attainable goals.
Takes notes on what kind of learning best fits your child. Do they do best when I read aloud to them? Do they prefer worksheets? Maybe they learn better with hands-on? Do they need lots of repetition or are they teach them once and ready to move on learner?
Take note of their strengths and weaknesses. I prefer to focus on these two things most. Their strength is going to be what they are most interested in. It is what they will likely go far with and learn the most in so do your best to foster that interest. And whatever their weakness is they will need lots of help, practice, and patience.
Step 8- Field Trips and Have Fun
In all the chaos don’t forget to take those kids out into the real world. After all, that is one of the big advantages of homeschooling, experiencing the real world 😉
Your homeschool will be ever-evolving. I didn’t believe this when I first started homeschooling. I really wanted to choose one way, one schedule, and it work until they graduate but it just doesn’t happen that way, and that’s ok. I tried to keep these steps short because that is what I needed when I first started, short and to the point so I hope this helps. Thanks for stopping by and as always you can check out what we are doing daily over at lilysandleis_littlefarmhouse