How to Start Homeschooling
5 Easy Steps to Start Homeschooling
The question of how to start homeschooling is my visitors' most often asked question and an excellent one at that!
Parents frequently ask how to start homeschooling in their hometown and what steps to take depending on the child's age.
Because of varying ages and methods of teaching, there is no pat answer. But we can help you get off to a great start. We've put together a short list for you. So, let's get started and calm some of your fears.
1. Relax! Take a deep breath and just let the idea of homeschooling sink in a bit. There is no magical formula because every family is different. Give yourself and your family time to adjust. They will NOT get behind. This adjustment period alone will be a lesson in itself. So, trust me when I tell you...
2. Take a break from school work! Seriously. Whether you have grade school or high school students, put away the books and worksheets for now. Let a month go by and just try:
- Reading good literature.
- Watching appropriate educational videos.
- Catching up on sleep. (Works wonders!)
- Enjoying the great outdoors.
- Visiting the library or museums.
- Cooking something new.
The list is endless really. Let your imagination wander. This will allow you to see where your children's interests lie.
3. Learn the laws of your state/country. The HSLDA website will show you the laws of your state AND help you to locate homeschool organizations in your area. Should you not live in the United States, Google homeschool with your country and see what comes up.
4. Meet other homeschoolers! If you do not find a local homeschool organization in your area, ask your librarian if she knows of any homeschoolers. We homeschoolers tend to frequent the library, so she may know of other families and may be willing to give them your name and number the next time they come in. (I doubt she will give you their contact information.) You will learn a great deal from a fellow homeschooler and make a wonderful new friend at the same time!
5. Peruse curricula. This one, I will admit, is the most confusing and time consuming aspect when you start homeschooling. But don't let that discourage you. Get your children involved. Talk with other parents (you know, the ones you met through the librarian!) Ask to look at what they're using. Just paging through a few books will give you a good feel for what's out there and what your children will like.
I recently came across an excellent program for teaching very young children to read. Please understand the importance of this basic "3R". Reading is the foundation for everything. Get this down and your child will be set for life. The program is called Children Learning Reading. It's geared toward teaching children as young as age 2, but can be used to help any non-reader or slow reader of any age. I highly recommend it.
If your child is nearing Kindergarten, you may like what we used: Ruth Beechick's 3R Booklets. It's a basic and thorough curriculum through 3rd grade.
Ruth Beechick also has a book tailored for Grades 4-8: You Can Teach Your Child Successfully: Grades 4-8. We used it with great success. You may, too!
If you're jumping in closer to the teen years wondering how to start homeschooling, check out The Teenage Liberation Handbook
from your library. Read it together, it's loaded with a wide range of ideas for a structured or a laid-back classroom, whichever you prefer.
That really is all there is to it! Anyone can start homeschooling, anytime, any age, anywhere. It just takes a little planning. All you need to do is start! And the beauty of homeschooling is you can adjust as you go, tailoring to your family's needs and desires.
For more information check out our other page: Start Homeschooling Simply.
Questions? Ask away! Home School My Child Q&A
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