Getting started homeschooling may seem scary, but it doesn’t have to. Whether you are starting in preschool or high school, teaching 1 child or 7, getting started homeschooling may feel like learning a foreign language to some. Let me reassure you it doesn’t have to be that difficult.
The decision to start homeschooling usually starts out exciting then gradually may start to feel a bit overwhelming once you realize the ginormous selection of materials and methods to homeschool. Some parents end up feeling hopeless & confused by all the choices.
Hopefully, I can ease some of those fears so you can get started on this journey confidently. In all honesty, it may seem like it’s impossible, but it looks harder than it actually is. God has gifted you with the tools you need to do this. So relax, breathe and begin.
Reasons to Start Homeschooling
Since you are reading this, you are probably just starting to research Getting Started Homeschooling. Maybe you just made the decision to homeschool or you are trying to decide whether it is right for you or not. Here are some great reasons to homeschool.
- You have kids (lol had to be said).
- It’s a Calling (My reason).
- Your child is falling behind in school.
- Your kids are way ahead of their class and bored.
- You desire a close family.
- To teach your kids at their own pace.
- To teach your kids centered around your faith.
- Protect your child from bullies.
- You don’t want your kids to be taught immoral things.
- Peer pressure is a concern.
- Fear of them getting hurt.
- So your kids socialized with more than their grade level (The whole non-socialized thing is a non-issue, just sayin).
- Your kids have special needs and you want to make sure they are getting the best care.
- You want your kids to love learning.
- You like your kids.
- To teach them according to their interests.
- So you can wear pajamas all day and not have to get up at the crack of dawn – Just kidding, but it is a perk.
Common Fears about Getting Started Homeschooling
You aren’t qualified to teach them
Trust me, you are more qualified than any top-level teacher! You know how I know this? Simply because God has given you these children so He has also given you the tools to be successful in teaching them!
Take a step back and look at it in a God way, you are the best choice to teach your kids. You love them more than anyone and want the very best for them.
They will be socially awkward
Most kids are awkward socially. This is one of the most common homeschooling myths! I have been around plenty of kids and they are all just figuring it out. For Instance, my girls, who aren’t vigorously socialized, are the first ones to go up to a new kid and introduce themselves and ask to play. This whole unsocialized myth stems from those who are “concerned” for no apparent reason about homeschool.
Besides, when I was in school “socialization” was my biggest downfall, too many distractions to care about school. Socialization should not be the reason you send your kids to school. There are plenty of after-school activities & events to promote a healthy social life. No worries mama, they will be socialized!
Your kids will miss out on something
I thought this for the first 2 years. My heart ached. When the Lord told me to homeschool my kids, I thought- What about sports? Christmas programs? Prom? Graduation? It was really hard to let go of the “norm” but now I have peace.
My girls are very active and have lots of friends and they are mostly public school goers. They play sports and they will graduate and have many of other fun activities along the way, it seriously is gonna be ok.
Afraid of what people will say
I would be lying if I said everyone is going to agree with you and never say anything about you or to you. I’ve dealt with my fair share of “concerned” people, but I’ve learned to let it roll right off of me.
I have to. I cannot allow those toxic comments to interfere with who I know that I am as a mother and a teacher. Hopefully, you won’t deal with anything to hateful, but if you do, just let it roll mama! We can only do what we think is best for our own and it’s no concern of anyone else.
Worried about learning gaps
I get asked a lot about learning gaps and this is what I say to that. I have learning gaps and I went to public school. Everyone has learning gaps. These learning gaps ebb and flow with what a child is interested in. The more interest in a topic the more they will retain.
I obviously wasn’t interested in anything in school, because I don’t recall any of it. HA! That is one reason I love homeschooling because I am learning right alongside my kids.
7 Steps to Getting Started Homeschooling – Minus the FEAR
Step one – Get your mind right
If you are a praying mama you know that this should be the first step in everything. So pray and ask God to guide you, to lead you towards the calling of your homeschool. As you pray, make a mission statement for your homeschool and set a few short-term and long-term goals. Always have the end in mind and see the bigger picture.
Step two – Check your state
Every state is different so check for your homeschool laws. Here in Indiana, we don’t have to register or anything. All we have to do is keep track of our attendance starting at age 7, but some states have stricter laws than that. Some states may require you to have an auditor come and check up on your homeschool.
If you are pulling your child out of school you will need to talk to the principal and see what you need to do to keep them home to homeschool them. In most cases, you just have to let them know, but some schools may require more.
Step Three – Find your people
When getting started homeschooling you are going to have a lot of questions and concerns. Find your people. This could be from local co-ops to great local homeschool groups. Do a Google or Facebook search for homeschool (your city). I have a Facebook group of amazing homeschoolers that are just getting started like you-you can check that out here. More of my people are here and here.
Ha! I have a lot of people.
These are fantastic homeschool Facebook groups filled with amazing, encouraging moms from all over the world! I highly recommend them. The iHomeschool Network Facebook page is a great place to hang out too. As a new homeschool mom, you are gonna have a lot of questions and they will answer them. So find your people before moving on to the next step.
Step Four – Talk to your kids
With getting started homeschooling a lot of parents think they have to follow the public school timeline and teach for 7 to 8 hours a day. Instead of doing this, find out their interests, likes, and dislikes. If you pulled them out of school you will want to take some time to deschool (just a fancy way to say take it easy).
Start slow and figure out how they learn (AKA their personal learning style), what they love and what they want to know more about. There are so many different methods to homeschool. Instilling a love of learning is so important for making this homeschooling thing work.
When kids aren’t interested in what they are learning the whole atmosphere will be negative and honestly, they won’t remember any of it.
Step Five – Choose a curriculum
Now, this doesn’t mean go buy a fancy all-in-one curriculum. I know it’s tempting, but please hear me out. Let’s just say you are purchasing a new outfit online, but you have no idea what size you are and you just order something and pray it fits. Buying homeschool curriculum is similar. Spending money only to find out it wasn’t a good fit for you or your kids is not fun.
Just take some time and figure out what will fit before you buy. I suggest at least a year of homeschooling before you buy a curriculum. We are a relaxed eclectic homeschool family so we use bits and pieces from a lot of different companies. You can find tons of FREE homeschool curriculum to get your feet wet in a few different methods.
Step Six – Stock up on homeschooling supplies!
I love Amazon for this! You can find great deals on all your homeschooling needs. Also, dollar stores or the back to school sales are great for stocking up too. Here’s a list of common supplies to get you started. You absolutely don’t have to have all of these things to homeschool, but I think these basic supplies will give you a good idea where to start.
SCHOOL SUPPLIES LIST FOR HOMESCHOOLING
- Pencils (Don’t get the decorative ones they are usually terrible quality just get a basic No. 2 and buy them in bulk they tend to disappear without a trace)
- Markers – Washable and Dry-erase
- Paint & Paintbrushes (Watercolor and Tempera)
- Glue & Glue Sticks
- Stapler & Staples
- Paper – Lined paper, copy paper, colored construction paper and thicker painting paper
- Spiral Notebooks – Not a Planner? See how I use notebooks to plan our days easily and get my girls to be more self-sufficient!
- Folders – Useful to keep each child’s finished or “to do” papers in.
- Whiteboard or Chalkboard – We have a large whiteboard/chalkboard combo and also small individual whiteboards.
- Kid’s Scissors
- World Map or Globe
- Kid’s Dictionary
- A Good Printer
- Pinterest account (Pinterest has a wealth of information)
Step Seven – Have fun and don’t sweat the small stuff.
There are going to be a lot of battles, so choose them wisely. If you are having a frustrating or rough day then just hit the reset button, throw out the lesson plans and do something fun. Go for a walk, go to the park or library. Just change it up a bit. Sometimes you and the kids will get burnt out and it calls for a fun day.
Honestly, starting homeschool is not as hard as you may think. Just relax and have fun. Don’t put a lot of pressure on yourself or try to get every single subject in a day. Start simple and go with the flow. You got this!
That about covers it! Most importantly just believe in yourself. You can do this! If I can – anyone can! Check out this huge list of homeschooling guides for further assistance.
Let’s connect! I have a Facebook group started specifically for new homeschoolers – Homeschooling 101 Community on Facebook.
Helping new homeschoolers thrive is my passion! So feel free to reach out anytime!