So you’ve decided to homeschool. AWESOME! I truly believe your child will be better for it. I was never homeschooled growing up, and I even pursued a public school teaching career. That all changed, however, once I became a mom. I am so excited to be on this homeschooling journey and what that means for our family. The best part about educating your children is that YOU get to chose how and why you do it. Hopefully this post can help you with that.
Know Your Why
Even though homeschooling is more abundant now than it used to be 30 years ago, still be prepared to receive questions and doubts from others. If a stranger asks me why I homeschool, a simple and effective answer is, “I can provide a private Christian school education for a fraction of the cost.” No, you don’t have to be a credentialed teacher to offer your children a quality, enriching education. Don’t let fear take away your peace about the choice your family has made.
I strongly suggest physically writing out why you are choosing to homeschool your child. It doesn’t have to be long or eloquent, but it can serve as a wonderful reminder, especially on those long, hard days that are bound to happen. Pray that the Lord would reveal to you all that this experience could be, and what that means for you and your family.
2. Know How Homeschooling Works in Your State
If you live in CA, check out Homeschooling 101: How to Legally Get Started. If you live elsewhere, make sure to check with your state’s laws.
This can be SO overwhelming. There are a ton of wonderful resources out there, and what works best for one child may not work for another one. You know your child best and how he or she learns. Keep that in mind when choosing curriculum. If you can, attend a homeschool conference where you can physically get your hands on some so you can flip through and see how they are formatted. Check out Cathy Duffy Reviews to read reviews on an abundance of curriculums. If you are looking into homeschooling your preschool or kinder aged child, do not feel like you have to go out and purchase curriculum! At this age, they are learning so much through play. School that is too structured and rigid may turn them off to learning, and we don’t want that!
If you feel like your child isn’t grasping a concept, it is ok! Maybe they aren’t quite developmentally ready for that. Try again next month or in 6 months, every child is different. I know it’s hard, and I struggle with this too, but try not to compare your child with others. Some kids I know could recognize all of the letters by age 2. AGE TWO! When I compare, I immediately feel inadequate as a parent, like I dropped the ball. I want to start doing all of these things so my kid is “up to par,” but my kids don’t need that pressure, and neither do I.
Make learning fun. Help them to explore and use imagination. When they are ready to grasp a concept, they will, and they’ll be excited about it!
Decide whether you want your school to run like a traditional public school (Sep-June) or year round. If you are connected with a charter homeschool, they will provide you with your start and end dates. Once you have your curriculum, you can organize your instruction based on that. Because my daughter will be turning four next month, we will be starting preschool in the fall. I won’t be getting formal curriculum for her, but will be doing monthly themes. For example, in September our monthly theme could be “Animals” and the four weeks would be “Farm”, “Zoo”, “Ocean”, and “Dinosaurs”.
5. Homeschool Styles
I had no idea this was even a thing until I went to a homeschool conference. It is so helpful to know what you want your homeschool environment to be like, especially when looking for resources to use. Check out this post over at My Little Darlings to get an idea of what homeschooling style is right for your child.
6. Get Connected!
Now that you know your homeschooling style, join FB groups and follow Instagram accounts that reflect that style! They can offer you inspiration on activities and resources that can be so helpful and meaningful for your child’s learning experience.
If you have done all of this, you are well on your way to a successful start to homeschooling!
You got this, mama!
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”