Since I am packing my bags to head south tomorrow for a blogging conference at BEECH Retreat, I am happy to be hosting this guest post from my friend, Heather at Upside Down Homeschooling. Thanks, Heather!
I’ve received numerous emails from mothers who say, “I’ve had enough. I’m pulling my children out of public school, and we’re going to homeschool..now! Where do I start?”
Are you finding yourself “suddenly homeschooling” and not sure where to go next?
If so, this Quick Start Five Step Guide to Homeschooling is for you!
Step 1: I can’t stress this enough! Find out your state homeschooling laws regarding removing your child from public school before you take your child home! Each state has different requirements and you can save yourself a lot of trouble if you are familiar with these laws ahead of time. Visit the Homeschool Legal Defense Association’s website to find out more about homeschooling in your state.
Step 2: Find a curriculum that matches your child’s learning style (not sure what that is, find out here) and the homeschooling method you wish to follow. There are many different homeschooling philosophies, a little research and you’ll see which method most closely fits your vision. The curriculum can have the best reviews and seem absolutely perfect, but if it’s not presented in a way that both your child can learn and you will enjoy teaching, it’s not going to work for your family.
Step 3: Set your homeschooling schedule. Again, find out if your state has laws governing the number of days/hours per day you are required to operate your homeschool. Will you homeschool year-round or follow a more traditional school schedule? My family homeschools year-round, find out why here. However, many homeschoolers enjoy a longer summer vacation and thus opt for a more traditional school year. Remember, you decision isn’t set in stone. Try it for a year, if it doesn’t work as well as you hoped, switch it up next year!
Step 4: Find a homeschooling mentor (or two!) You’ll need a friend in this homeschooling journey. Someone who will encourage you every step of the way. Join a local homeschool group. There are many wonderful homeschooling moms who would love to share their wisdom with you. Let me offer you one word of caution though, do not compare yourself, your children, or your homeschool to theirs. Comparison is the root of all homeschooling evils and it will destroy your homeschool if you allow it. Every child, every teacher and every homeschool looks different and that is okay. God designed it that way. Find what works for you and stick with it!
Step 5: Set up your homeschooling space. Please note, I didn’t say a homeschooling classroom because a dedicated classroom isn’t necesssary. Sometimes a kitchen table, dry erase board and a bookshelf works just fine. While a homeschool classroom would be great, it just isn’t possible for us right now. Our dining area has doubled as a homeschool room for three years now and we’ve survived!
There you have it. Five easy steps to begin homeschooling! But maybe the most important thing to remember is this: give yourself and your children grace. Deciding to homeschool is a big adjustment. Ease into it. You will have good days and you will have bad days. On the bad days, pack it up, remember why you’re homeschooling and try again tomorrow.
Congratulations on your decision to homeschool!
It is the most rewarding choice you will ever make in your role as a parent! Welcome to the club!
Heather is happily married to her best friend and blessed to be a homeschooling mama to two sweet girls. She strives daily to let the light of Jesus shine through her. Follow her journey through homeschooling, faith and family at Upside Down Homeschooling.