Are you taking the plunge and starting to homeschool? It’s going to be amazing! And probably a little overwhelming sometimes too (just being honest). To help get things started smoothly, be sure to consider the following things before day 1!
Everything You Need To Consider Before You Start Homeschooling
Here’s some really good news: you don’t have to have every single thing planned out before you get started! Some of the greatest learning moments are going to be things you could never have planned on. And more importantly, homeschooling isn’t nearly as complicated as some people and curriculums make it look.
Let’s talk about the basics. What do you NEED to have figured out before you start homeschooling?
Where To Homeschool
Ask yourself: “where will we ‘do’ school?” You don’t need a dedicated classroom, but it’s still a good idea to decide where you’ll do lessons! For our family it’s either at the dining room table, the couch, or the patio. Occasionally we take some lessons to a local state park and enjoy the change of scenery!
What’s going to be the best place for your family to do lessons? Hint: if one or both parents work at home, it’s probably best to keep lesson time away from that work space!
What time of day will you do lessons? Spoiler alert: it doesn’t have to be first thing in the morning! What fits best with your schedules? When are your kids the most engaged? Embrace the freedom of homeschooling and do lessons when it works for your family.
Think About Your Homeschooling Style
What style of homeschooling are you interested in? Which type of homeschooling do you expect to be the best fit for your family?
It might be surprising to learn how many different styles of homeschooling there are, but at the end of the day, no two families will homeschool exactly the same way. Even if you follow the same method and curriculum as another family, you’ll have the most success when you embrace the things that make your family special and play to your strengths!
Another important thing to keep in mind is that you should think about your homeschooling style, but don’t consider it set in stone. You will change and your kids will change and it’s important to have enough flexibility to adapt to whatever season of life your family is in. Try to avoid making your family’s identity be in your homeschool or homeschooling style!
Know Your Essentials
All of that to say, try not to spend a lot of money on curriculum right off the bat. It can be tempting when you get those shiny catalogs in the mail! Those beautiful spreads of books and promises of one-size-fits-all ease are generally big bucks and probably not the best place to start.
Find out what the requirements are for your state. Some have a list of subjects while others require detailed portfolios or even testing. Don’t obsess over preparing your kid for a standardized test (if that’s a requirement in your state), but also don’t neglect to give your child some idea of what to expect.
Keep in mind that if your state requires 5 subjects to be taught, that’s over the entire course of their education – you don’t have to plan on teaching 5 subjects every day! When you are first transitioning to homeschooling, consider focusing on just the essentials for the first few weeks: reading & math.
Once you’ve established a good rhythm with those core subjects, start adding in other subjects slowly or as your student expresses interest. There’s no rush to start doing everything at once and starting with the basics will give both you and your child confidence!
You might also enjoy:
- What To Expect When Transitioning To Homeschool
- Are You Doing Enough As a Homeschool Mom?
- 9 Kindergarten Math Activities
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