I’m sure by now you’ve asked the question “Why Do You Homeschool?” to several homeschool moms and have really been inspired! No matter the reason for your decision to homeschool you have made a wonderful decision. Getting started homeschooling is actually quite easy. The journey of homeschooling is not so easy, but I will share with you what you can do to arm yourself for this fruitful and exciting journey!
I make no claims to be a Homeschool guru or know it all! I am simply here to share with you what I’ve learned so far and to help others as they begin their own homeschool path!
You’ve decided to Homeschool, Now what??
Grab a cup of coffee because all things are better with coffee in hand! (hehe)
Pray for wisdom and direction for what God has in mind for your homeschool and for your children! Pray for extreme patience during those days your child does not want to do their lessons. Be ready to listen for God’s answer.
Each state has their own laws regarding homeschooling. Visit www.hslda.org/laws to find out the laws for your particular state. You can become a member for a nominal fee and they will be your advocate should you need assistance in times of trouble. Hopefully that will never happen. Fortunately for us, Tennessee is considered a very homeschool friendly state. Also, I would highly recommend registering under an “umbrella” school. For Example, Homelife Academy is a ministry that provides support, record keeping, counseling services and encouragement for families in the homeschool journey. They also offer HSLDA discounted memberships as well.
JOIN A HOMESCHOOL GROUP
Surrounding yourself with other moms who have been there done that can really help aid you in your quest to start homeschooling. I’ve learned more from other moms than I will ever learn from any other resource. When considering a group to join think about whether you want to join a group for fellowship and field trips or maybe join a co-op for the academics? Just simply google “homeschool groups in …” and you will most likely find many to choose from.
LEARN ABOUT DIFFERENT HOMESCHOOL APPROACHES
Homeschool is so unique that every person’s homeschool is different. There is no right way to homeschool and so many different approaches. You will want to do a little reading into each type of approach or “Homeschool style” so you can figure out what will work best for your family. The hardest transition is getting rid of the mindset that your homeschool should look and be structured like public school. I’ve been homeschooling for 2 years now and still have to stop myself from thinking this way sometimes. Find out what your Homeschool approach will be and then be flexible. Don’t think you can’t switch it up in the middle of the year because you most certainly can!! I did! You may even be a mix between two different approaches!
DISCOVER LEARNING STYLES
There are 3 basic ways of learning: Visual (learn through seeing), Auditory (learn through hearing), and Kinesthetic (learn through moving, doing, and touching.) Figure out how your child learns best and this will help in choosing a curriculum.
Warning: there are WAY too many curriculum choices out there to choose from. I would suggest you discover your homeschool approach first and then let that narrow down your search tremendously. Also, you may choose a curriculum that didn’t work for your children and THAT’S OK!! Simply switch to another one and sell the curriculum you didn’t like on Facebook:) Seek out fellow homeschool moms and ask what curriculum they love or didn’t love so much!
DETERMINE YOUR HOMESCHOOL SPACE
You can homeschool anywhere but you may have a certain room or place you want to mostly “do school”. For some it may be a specific room in the house and for others it may be the dining room table. Personally, I had a designated school room with desks for each child and a dry erase board but we eventually winded up at our kitchen table. We may use our “school room/playroom” sometimes but for most school we tend to either gather at the table or sit on the couch!
Planning ahead sets your year up for success!! Set little goals of what you want to achieve whether it be how many read alouds you want to read each semester or to simply start each day with prayer or the pledge. You don’t have to plan a whole year worth of homeschooling if you don’t want to. I sure don’t plan that far ahead. I’ve learned I do better on the fly mostly. I try to plan a month in advance but nothing further than that because life happens. Be flexible in your planning. The beauty of homeschooling is the flexibility and freedom you have each and every day.
ENJOY YOUR KIDS
Whether you’ve made the decision to homeschool for religious freedom, learning disabilities, quality time with your kids, peer pressure or other issues you made this decision for a reason. Enjoy the time you have with your kids and learn alongside each other. Snuggle often, take field trips, go on nature walks, and embrace the freedom of learning with your children.
You are more qualified to teach YOUR child than any highly-educated teacher! God has given you these children and He will equip you with the tools to educate them. You love your child more than anyone else and want the very best for them. Believe in yourself and what God has called you to do and HAVE FUN!!!