How do I get started homeschooling?
Homeschooling is legal in all fifty states and easy to do. Just check with your state laws. Over two million have gone ahead and prepared the way for you! However, as it is with any important endeavor you’ll need to take some time to make sure you get started on the right foot. To get the ball rolling, there are a few tried and true steps to getting started with homeschooling. You’ll want to follow these whether you plan on homeschooling for the long haul or just temporarily homeschooling.
- Research your state homeschooling laws and fulfill their requirements
- Understand your student’s learning styles and what motivates them.
- Research curriculum that supports your homeschool goals and your student’s learning styles.
- Organize your homeschooling location, your curriculum, your plan for daily homeschooling, and your daily schedule.
- Take a deep breath, and get started!
What are the benefits of homeschooling?
The important thing to know is that you can tailor your homeschooling to fit your family’s unique needs. Most often, homeschooling families tailor their educational approach to fit the needs of their children. The parent takes time to determine how they would like their child to learn and what methods of homeschooling might entail. If your child enjoys reading and completing worksheets, then using a homeschooling curriculum that takes that approach may be best for your family. If your child enjoys technology, then using an online homeschooling curriculum might be a great fit.
The biggest benefit to homeschooling is that it allows parents to fully customize their child’s education based on their individual needs. Other benefits include being able to better cater to a specific learning style or giving more attention to areas that a child might be struggling in.
The freedom to homeschool allows students to take days off for sickness, travel, and other issues. School adapts to fit your life, rather than the other way around. This can be a big relief for parents who work or have multiple children. The most popular benefit of homeschooling is that it can be tailored to each child’s individual strengths and weaknesses.
- Assess your child’s individual needs
- Take control of your child’s education to provide the help they need
- Homeschooling offers one-on-one instruction
- Provide a truly personalized education plan
- Learning is self-paced
- Reduce the fear of failure
- Eliminate classroom teasing
- Create a distraction-free learning environment.
- Build academic confidence by strengthening weak areas and celebrating strengths.
- The flexibility of homeschooling allows for studying wherever, whenever, and however needed.
- Parents can even homeschool for free if they have a limited budget.
What homeschool supplies do I need?
Most parents are excited about back-to-school, regardless of whether they homeschool their children. Everyone enjoys the anticipation of a fresh year, unspoiled and neatly organized. It’s also a bonus that the school supplies sales are a great opportunity for homeschool families to stock up! Whether you have a large family or only one child, it’s a good idea to fill your basket with supplies. Eventually you will use these boxes of pencils and empty notebooks, so you might as well take advantage of the sales!
You may not be sure which supplies you need for homeschooling when you start out. This is because, for regular schools, teachers provide a supply list for the whole class to use for large group projects and over a long period of time. Even though it might feel strange to use one of these lists when teaching just one child at home, it can actually be a great list of things to buy when you are just starting out homeschooling. Always having extra supplies around can be useful when you get an idea for a project!
There are two main approaches to homeschooling – a “school-at-home” approach which mimics traditional education, and a more natural approach which uses exploration and discovery to encourage learning. If you are only planning to homeschool for a short period of time, then it might be easier to use one of the many online homeschooling curricula, which can be subscribed to monthly and started within a few days.
It is a good idea to get a few supplies for your homeschool. This list is a good place to start!
- Notebooks and/or notebook paper
- Printer paper and toner/ink
- Graph paper
- Index cards
- Pencil sharpeners
- Graphing calculator
- Elmer’s glue
- Glue sticks
- Glitter glue
- Hot glue gun
- Construction paper
- Colored pencils and/or crayons
- Watercolor paints + paintbrushes
- 1-hole punch and 3-hole punch
- Pencil cases
- 3-ring binders
- Pocket folders
- Dry erase markers
- Corkboard + pushpins
- Stapler + staples
- Rubber bands
- Pencil clips
- Safety pins
- Binder clips
- Page protectors
What is my child’s learning style?
Most homeschooling families believe that children should be learning constantly, even outside of school. This can be done by incorporating learning into daily activities and making it a part of the homeschooling experience.
If you think your child may benefit from a different approach, look into some different ways of teaching and learning. You may be surprised at how much of a difference it makes One of our suggestions for new homeschoolers is to research your child’s learning style. Different children learn in different ways, so knowing your child’s learning style is key to their success! When you adjust how you teach to their learning styles, homeschooling becomes much more efficient. Aligning your homeschool program or resources with your child’s learning style can make a massive difference–perhaps even change consistent C’s to straight A’s. These children may seem to struggle with the lessons, when in reality, they are struggling with the teaching style. If you think your child may benefit from a different approach, look into some different ways of teaching and learning. You may be surprised at how much of a difference it makes.
There are several different learners. Here are the main learning styles:
How do I find homeschooling support?
The importance of joining a support group cannot be overstated. Homeschooling parents need all the encouragement they can get, and finding it within a supportive community is invaluable. There will inevitably be days where everything feels difficult, and moments where it seems like giving up might be the best option. But belonging to a group of people who are ready to offer encouragement, advice and a shoulder to cry on can make all the difference. It’s wonderful to know that we can rely on each other!
There are many local homeschool support groups and co-ops around the country that can provide help and encouragement to parents. These groups may also offer the chance for group discounts on field trips and parents can even swap teaching skills.
Homeschool support groups are great for the kids because they provide opportunities to meet other homeschooled students, make new friends, learn cooperatively, and share their experiences with homeschooling.
In the end, connecting with other homeschooling parents can help you through the difficult days and remind you why you started in the first place. To get started:
- Search for local homeschool groups here.
- Browse Facebook for groups to connect remotely.
- Research co-op opportunities for homeschooled students to take classes together. These are sometimes known as micro-schools.
Is School Bad for Kids? Why We Don’t Need School
If your child is struggling in school, you may want to try homeschooling.
Many adults will say that they turned out just fine after attending public school, but this may not be the case for all children. Some children may face negative experiences in public school, such as peer pressure, access to drugs, and government-mandated learning objectives and testing requirements.
There are nine reasons why your kid shouldn’t go to school.
9 Reasons to Not Go to School
- Street Drugs
- Prescription Drugs
- State and Federally Mandated Objectives
- Artificial Environment
- Standardized Testing
- Lack of Learning