Have you finally made a decision on your child’s schooling? If you’re considering homeschooling, then this article is just for you.
Getting started with homeschooling might be quite challenging, especially if it’s your first time. If you feel lost, know that you’re not the only one.
The good news is, there are a one or two steps that you could get started with. And for your ease, we have minimised it to three baby steps, and you are good to go.
Taking one step at a time will make it so much more effortless. Take these steps until you feel that you are confident enough to make progress finally; meaning take a more significant step!
Before we begin, we want you to ensure that homeschooling is ideal for you, your child and your family. Make sure that you’re aware of the pros and cons that homeschooling has. It will help you come to a decision if you want to take the plunge!
So, let’s take a look at the steps that you need to work on:
Step 1: Laws and Requirements
Establish your home education legally: Perhaps the most challenging part was to come to this decision. But now that you have come this far, where do you think you should begin? The very first step would be to go through the laws and requirements of your state or your country.
There are laws relating to homeschool? Yes, there are.
You need to comprehend what is required in order to get started with homeschooling legally – and of course, with greater confidence.
Even now if you aren’t really sure about how to get worked through this, get an easy-to-use worksheet. Most of these planners are available at your local bookstores or online. Once you get a workbook, it will become more comfortable for you to use it as a guide to take the first steps of homeschooling.
The workbooks are explicitly designed for beginners! Of course, the workbook is an excellent step towards starting homeschool, and once you have initiated it, the rest of the journey is going to be your thing.
Plus, there are online workbooks too. If you are initiating an online homeschool, get started with an online workbook, which will practically help you out with guiding and encouraging to the next steps.
Enroll your child in community activities: Your neighborhood community must have had a number of activities (sport, charity, etc.) going on. Get your child involved in that. Make sure that your child spends time away from home, interacting with others. Once they get involved in such activities, they will know the importance of keeping commitments, making friends and other socializing.
Homeschooling your child does not mean “ruining” them, as long as you are aware of their social, emotional, physical and mental needs are met. Don’t force your decision on them and don’t let them give up so easily either. The rule is, both of you should decide and come to a conclusion; that’s how they will get started on the right path.
Studies have shown that homeschoolers help serve the community just as any other organisations.
So now, take a deep breath and start to work through the first few obstacles and rest is going to be natural peasy lemon squeezy.
Step 2: Make a Plan
Plan your curriculum: A well thought out planning is the foundation of successful homeschooling, there’s no doubt on that. Think about it. If you’re considering to enrol your child in a school, the first few things you would do is plan out which school you will be sending them and then work on the schedule accordingly.
Similarly, when everything’s at the tip of your hands, you need to plan rigidly. Not only that, but you also need to make it to the point of sticking to it. Try and see you will surely achieve great success from this. Your child is more likely to be disciplined and independent from all the planning that you make for them.
So, if your child is already going to a school, the first thing you will need to do is de-school them. This way, you will figure out how you can adjust and work things out.
Determine your goals: Next – come up with your homeschool goals. What do you want to achieve from this? Picture the end result, and it will be a lot easier for you to create a plan in order to get there.
While planning, don’t forget to do your research. There are plenty of ways you could teach your child at home – not necessarily you have to stick to the way everyone does it. You have all the time and flexibility in the world to plan different methods and curricula.
Determine your own of teaching: to do that, you first need to examine your intentions and motivations. Why do you want to homeschool your child? What is your definition of “good education”? What are your thoughts about the child, learning and teaching? How do you think your child seems to learn in the best way?
The answers to these questions will help you determine what approach you should take and thus create the best possible learning atmosphere for your child and your family.
Accordingly, do take note of the fact that one approach may work wonderfully for one child may not work for another. In that case, you and your children should sit together to discuss the approach they are comfortable with and come to an agreement. Talk to your children about their expectations before outlining the plan.
Also, when planning your homeschool curriculum, your biggest mentor or assistant, whichever you prefer to call, would be your homeschool planner. There are many different styles of homeschool planners available at your local bookstore or online. Get one of those and start noting down every little detail.
Get going! It may seem daunting at first, but it’s just your thoughts that’s stopping you. Once you plan it out, you are good to go!
Step 3: Fill in the Gaps
Of course, there are a lot of questions that you are still looking for your answers to.
Hence, our final step for you is to look for all the answers to your queries. Ask your local homeschooling association, search the internet, read newspaper articles, talk to your friends or even your child’s school teachers. Don’t leave any stone unturned.
Don’t forget: Don’t forget to keep a portfolio of your child’s work. There are excellent trackers available for you to keep a record of your child’s schoolwork with any other additional that may be required from the legal standpoint. Label each tab with the subjects that you are teaching. Also, remember to put date and time to avoid returning to a jigsaw puzzle later when you go through their progress.
This is going to be even more useful when you think of sending your child to college, as some colleges require portfolios of homeschooled students. You can always use this to refer back to your next child or friends.
Don’t lose contacts: Encourage your child to keep in touch with the friends that they already have. In fact, help them in making more friends – but remember not to force them to be friends with people who they feel they are threatened. In many cases, you can collab your family trips as a part of their field trip or other homeschooling sporting events.
The most significant advantage of homeschooling is that your child doesn’t need to sit through 8 hours of monotonous class, most of which is about waiting or killing time. You can get 4 hours of productive schooling that they will pose their full interest in. Therefore, your child and you, both of you would have more time for yourselves; developing yourselves.
Be sure that you are aware of every little detail about homeschooling.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: Do I need a classroom?
Answer: The question is, do you want to have a classroom setting? On top of that, do you have space for that in your house? Despite the popular belief, learning can also take place under trees with a hammock in the garden or even at your local park. Give learning a new taste.
Q2: When is the ideal age to start homeschooling?
Answer: If you are in the midst of planning, in a way, you have already started it. Indeed, you already play and talk to your child. Homeschooling is more or less the same thing. You see, you already know the rules of homeschooling.
Growing older, your child will ask you more questions and naturally become more interested in the world around them. Take this opportunity and start introducing them to more and more things. Take walks together, read books together, visit the museum and so on. Point out things that could be of some interest.
At the same time, remember to leave them alone, too. Your child must be able to enjoy his or her own free time, doing stuff that doesn’t relate to your homeschool curriculum and that they are actually passionate about.
Q3: How can I tell if my child(ren) are learning?
Answer: It’s a matter of time. You cannot determine how much your child is learning when it has just been a couple of months or so, especially if you’re following a flexible or relaxed homeschooling approach. So, you need to have a strong belief that your child will be learning soon.
It’s the same concept as when they learned how to turn on the TV or learned how to speak, they will be adjusting to all the information and what’s happening from their environment. Keep moving – they will soon amaze you with facts that YOU didn’t even know!
Q4: What subjects should I cover?
Answer: If you come across your local homeschooling association, you will see that there are some legal requirements about the subjects that depend on your state. However, you can still be flexible. The ideal way to get started is to prioritise your child’s interests. Don’t feel that the subject has no value or could be used as an extracurricular. ALL subjects are valuable.
So, Why Homeschool?
Take Responsibility for Your Child’s Learning
You no longer have to complain about what your child is learning and what he isn’t learning. You have complete control over you’re their education; make it flexible, try different methods, incorporate technology. Do everything to make the learning process fun and entirely your way. Also, you don’t have to ask the school for a specific program, which they may not offer anyway.
If you’re worried about taking in the challenge, you can hire a private tutor, whom you think is an expert in a particular area to seek support for your child. In addition, there are online homeschools, too. It’s all up to you!
Tailor Learning Entirely to Your Child’s Interests
Spend some time nurturing your child’s strengths, weaknesses likes and dislikes, and you’ll figure out what subjects you can teach your child. Schools have too many resources to which, your child may feel overburdened. Instead, it’s always a good idea to expose them to their field of interest and let them master their skills in it. In accordance, it would be great if you throw in some fun activities in between to make things interesting.
Have a Flexible Schedule
Make your child and yourself, comfortable. Fix a time that is suitable for both of you. If you think that your child is not much of a morning person, then schedule for evening classes. You can even plan for a level at the park, church, dining table or even at your friend’s house with other kids – whichever suits you better.
Many parents have claimed kids may develop attention issues, but here’s the deal: you have to instil the fact in your child that they are in the process of learning at all times. Instead of making them feel like a holiday at all times, make each and every activity as something meaningful.
The goal of this article is to inspire you and your children to undertake to homeschool to learn. Take a long good look at your schedule. Does your plan inspire you? Does the plan meet your goals? Know that it doesn’t inspire you, chances are it won’t inspire your children either.
A good, feasible homeschool planner will want to get you started right away. Look for any lacking in your homeschool schedule. You can always work out if something is missing.
We hope you found this article helpful. Is there anything we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments below!