- Research the home school laws in your state. I recommend you do this before you even go any further. Some states require certain things to be in compliance with your state’s law. For me, I live in Oklahoma which is one of the most relaxed places when it comes to homeschooling, so all I did was send a certified letter of intent to home school to our school board, request a return receipt, and let the attendance office know I was withdrawing my child. It’s not a requirement in my state, but I wanted to have records for my own peace of mind.
- Join HSLDA. They are a great resource for keeping you up to date with your states home school laws, and notify you if any laws are changing that could affect you homeschooling legally. You don’t have to buy a membership for each child you plan to home school, just one for the family is all you will need. A membership gives you access to a legal team to answer any home school questions you have and representation should you need it, you also get access to consultants who can help you with choosing curriculum, for all ages and for special needs education which is amazing! They even send you a home school teacher id as well. Seriously, I think that membership is one that paid for itself just from the information available. Go to HSLDA.org to sign up!
- Ask yourself if you will really stick with it. What is your reasoning for homeschooling? Take a notepad and jot down the main reasons you want to home school your children. Weigh it out and see if the benefits outweigh the cons. Take a look at that list on the bad days and remind yourself why you began.
- Find out your teaching style and your child’s learning style. While you might be a visual learner, your child may be something completely different and you want to make sure you are gearing the learning towards your child’s specific needs.
- Begin researching curriculum, the options are endless, and to be honest can be a bit overwhelming at first. Is a boxed curriculum right for you? If you aren’t interested in lesson planning etc. this may be right for you. Other options are Classical, Charlotte Mason, Montessori, school-at-home, unschooling, unit-studies, eclectic or “relaxed” education. You can also use more than one type to supplement your curriculum if you need to.
- Join a home school group or community, whether it be on facebook, through a blog community, they offer advice and resources you will hang onto throughout your home school journey.
- Decide where you will home school. Whether you have the space to have a home school room is not important but you should absolutely have a dedicated “home school space” in your home where you keep all of your home school supplies, and consider somewhere in your home where visitors or family won’t be a major distraction. I would suggest somewhere with good lighting as well.
- If you don’t already have one, get yourself and your child a library card. Librarians can be an invaluable resource when it comes to finding knowledge on almost any topic. Our local library also offered weekly hands on activities pre-corona virus so if you are worried about your child not getting enough socialization there are other ways for your child to socialize with other kids for free each week.
There is definitely a lot to do before you begin, but it can be a fun process too, I enjoyed the planning part, almost as much as I enjoyed the shopping for home school supplies and curriculum! Just don’t go crazy shopping, because it is so easy to over-spend if you don’t begin with a set budget.
So what do you think? Are you ready to start homeschooling? If you are, you can do this. I encourage any momma, who has considered homeschooling but has doubts to give yourself grace. You can totally do this, you are your child’s first teacher.
You don’t have to be an expert to home school as long as you are willing to utilize the resources available and find answers to the questions you don’t have the answer to.
*I don’t claim this list to be all inclusive, do your research for the requirements in your state before you begin, these are just my suggestions.