How To Start Homeschooling And What To Do First

By Rick Gonzales | 2 weeks ago

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how to start homeschooling

So, you say you are sick and tired of your public school. You are no longer enamored by how your school district has handled the COVID pandemic with the never-ending mask mandates, the are-schools-open or are-they-not roller coaster ride, teachers’ strikes, and a whole bunch of other annoyances that have made learning in public schools a virtual afterthought. Time to take matters into your own hands and figure out how to start homeschooling your children. We’ve broken so much of this down in our Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling already.

This homeschooling thing can’t be tough to start, can it? Millions of kids across the country are doing it. Families from all walks of life have opted to keep their children home and start them along the path of what they hope is better learning. While it sounds like an easy decision (it is), there may be more to the nuts and bolts of homeschooling than you may realize. Let’s see if we can help break it down for you how to start homeschooling.

Reach Out To Others Before You Start Homeschooling

start homeschooling

This would be the first optimal move in learning how to homeschool. Chatting it up with experienced homeschoolers is a great way to decide if homeschooling is the way to go. You can ask them the important questions and get a better feel for what sort of commitment is required. How much time is involved, the pros and cons, and suggestions as to what best homeschool curriculum might suit not only your child but yourself.

Homeschooling is not a task to be taken lightly, as other homeschoolers are sure to inform you. If you are a stay-at-home parent, things may come together easier for you. But if you go to work, homeschooling can get very tricky. Let other homeschoolers fill you in.

How To Start Homeschooling With State Requirements

start homeschooling

This is also a logical place to start because different states will have different requirements. It should be noted right off that homeschooling is legal in all states in the U.S. though there are different laws that either make it easier to start or more difficult. Alaska, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and Texas are the states that have the least number of restrictions surrounding homeschooling while states such as Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont have the most restrictive homeschooling laws in the nation. This map helps outline some of the differences in state rules.

Credit: Homeschool.com

If you want to learn how to start homeschooling, learning your state law is imperative. Word of warning: avoid your school district as much as possible. Their one and only job are to keep students going to public school, so they may not be as forthcoming with the important information you may possibly need for homeschooling.

How Does Your Child Best Learn?

how to start homeschooling
virtual schools
Start homeschooling
start homeschool

This is another important aspect of learning how to start homeschooling. How does your child learn best? You can’t put your child in the same category as yourself when you were in school, as some parents have a tendency to do. We all have our ways of learning and there is a good possibility your child doesn’t take to learning as you did.

On top of that, you would also have to learn your own teaching style. This is important because it needs to mesh with how your child learns. A constant struggle will do neither of you any good and make the homeschooling experience a testy one.

Start Homeschooling With Good Curriculum

how to start homeschooling
virtual schools
Start homeschooling
start homeschool

Along with finding the best way to teach your child, the next order of business in learning how to start homeschooling is to decide which curriculum to use. There are thousands of different curriculums one can choose ranging from complete ready-to-go packages to handpicked courses. The choices are endless, but it all comes down to your child.

This is where a veteran homeschooler may come in handy. They can at least tell you what works for them and point you in the right direction. If you don’t have a homeschool vet readily available, there are other ways you can seek help. There are homeschool support groups you can reach out to, and also homeschool conventions that will recommend different curriculums. Also, be sure to check out our Easy Peasy homeschool review.

Start Your Homeschool Planning

drill and kill
Start homeschooling
start homeschool

Okay. You’ve learned about all your state requirements. You have reached out to homeschoolers for advice on how to start homeschooling. You understand (hopefully) how your child learns and how you plan on having your teaching style work with it. You, along with your child, have come to a decision on which homeschool curriculum offers the most. Now it’s time to start planning.

Thankfully, there are enough free resources (as well as homeschool curriculums) that can help you plan out your school year. Make your school year plan simple but firm. Try not to ask too much until you truly get a feel for how it all is going to work. This may take a little time. A free resource to help plan out your school year is called the Sanity Saver Homeschool Planner. It has everything a new homeschool teacher can want. It’s a great place to start until you really get into the flow and understand which kind of planning resources you will need.

Keep Great Homeschool Records

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This is a very important step, especially as your child grows and gets into their middle school or high school years. This can be critical for graduation purposes as well. The following things should be done on a consistent basis: keep a grade book – a spreadsheet, a notebook, or even a free printable grade book will be useful and smart.

With that in mind, create report cards that can double as a helpful way for kids to see their progress. Finally, for high schoolers, create transcripts – this is crucial for students who are moving on to higher learning in college. Universities and colleges will always want to see your high school transcripts so make sure you have those. Also, when you are creating the transcripts, be sure to include course descriptions.

Final Thoughts On Starting Your Homeschool Journey

The above are the first steps needed in learning how to start homeschooling. As you can see, there is much more to it than meets the eye. There is plenty of research needed just to get the ball rolling, but if you are able to find a friend who is already homeschooling their children, you have a great resource.

Don’t be hasty in your choices. Make sure you understand your child and their needs. Also, make sure you aren’t biting off more than you can chew when it comes to what you can offer. The last thing you want to do is commit to homeschooling but not be able to give everything necessary to make the homeschool experience a success.