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Start Homeschooling In 5 Easy Steps
Want to start homeschooling, but have no idea how? You can start homeschooling today in 5 easy steps!
So many parents are facing the reality that public schools are failing our kids. Whatever your reasons for seeking homeschool, you are right to assume that public education is sub-par at a time when the world is changing quickly.
My mission is to take you from clueless to confident in your homeschool journey! You don’t need a fancy degree or years of child phycology expertise to home school. With the right tools, your student can thrive in a homeschool that sets him/ her up for success! Here are the 5 Easy Steps to starting your homeschool journey…
Step #1 Know Your Why
You already have a very specific reason, or many reasons, why you believe homeschooling is the right choice for your child. I will be totally honest here- not everyday will be a magical experience! Some days can get tough. That’s why you need to keep your mission statement, your WHY, close at hand. To remind you on the hard days WHY you chose this path, and remember that homeschool is setting your children up for brilliant success!
This step is so important. I keep a hand-written note in the front of my planner with my WHY, so I can see it each day before school. It helped me so much, I made one for you, too! Get your WHY reminder HERE.
Step #2 Know The Law
It is absolutely LEGAL in all 50 States to homeschool. However, each State has a set of requirements you must follow. Some States are very relaxed, while others are very strict and may require you to file paperwork before you begin.
You must head over to HSLDA.ORG for details about your State requirements. Not only will Homeschool Legal Defense Association help you understand your State requirements, but they provide links where you may download and print required documents for your homeschool.
As a homeschool mom and advocate for fellow homeschoolers in my State, I have subscribed to HSLDA. I get information automatically in my email about any legislation affecting local homeschool requirements. I recommend you to do the same, because standing up for homeschool liberty is so important!
It’s also a great idea to become a member of HSLDA, especially if you live in a more restricted State for homeschooling. If you have a child with special needs, some States may require a regular “check in” with social services, or require that you have some sort of oversight. In this case, please consider a membership to protect your family’s legal right to homeschool without interference!
Step #3 Choose a Curriculum
Okay, if you’ve done any searching for curriculums to use for your homeschool, you’re probably feeling very overwhelmed right now!
There are so many curriculums available now that it could cause a perfectly organized and confident parent to give up entirely! But that’s why you’re here. Let’s take the stress out of the curriculum hunt right now.
When looking at curriculum for your child, PLEASE REMEMBER that the ONLY point of childhood education and college is to PREPARE YOUR CHILD TO BE A PRODUCTIVE MEMBER OF SOCIETY AS AN ADULT. Tattoo this on your arm if you must!
Educational materials nowadays come with genius marketing attached. They’re all presented in a way that speaks to your emotional needs for something creative, or easy, or structured.
Curriculum companies play on a parent’s emotional need to give their kids the best new technology for school. But this isn’t necessarily a good fit for your family.
Also, you need to know that your curriculum choices are NOT permanent! Your needs and your child’s needs will change throughout your journey. It’s best to stick to something VERY SIMPLE at first, or you’ll risk burn-out!
YOU CAN’T MESS THIS UP! The only way your student can fail is 1) If you do nothing to support their education, or 2) Hand your child over for the public system to educate for you.
If you’re interested to know what we use here at the Bootstraps house, I’m thrilled to share our curriculum experience with you! Down below is the article that will explain. For now, let’s move on to Step #4!
Having Trouble Teaching Reading?
We did too. I was at my witts end until I stumbled on a unique book that changed everything! Find out how we went from frustrated to fluent in reading…
Step #4 Get Organized
Once you’ve chosen your curriculum, you’ll be excited and anxious to receive your materials and organize them for your first day! Start by getting yourself a good planner. Nothing gets done in the Bootstraps house without my trusty weekly planner!
You’ll need to have a student binder too. I organize our 1″ white binders (one for each child) with a section for each month, and put weekly planner sheets in. We hole punch examples of the their work including weekly worksheets, art and writing assignments for review too!
If you don’t fancy tracking down the perfect weekly planner pages, attendance record, book lists or field trip trackers for the student binders, then you’re in luck! I created them for you, so you’ll spend less time organizing and more time enjoying time with your student!
Get Your Planner Pages
Step #5: Talk to Your Child
I have read plenty of advice on starting a home school, and I’m very surprised NONE of them mention preparing your child for homeschool!
It’s really important to involve your children from the start! Of course, a toddler may not have insight as to which books he wants to choose, but a first grader should know what sparks her interest.
Your child’s input could be the KEY to a successful first year!
Anything you can do to build on your student’s interests and creative spirit will create a more meaningful journey for you and your child! Your curriculum decisions will likely change along the way, as you learn more about your child’s learning style and habits.
Begin your conversation by asking him/her what they expect to learn at school time. Explain your plan for each day, and invite your child to add field trip ideas and special activities to your curriculum, especially around holidays!
Remember that your curriculum can be flexible. We sometimes do “Free For All Fridays” as an example. The kids can choose a movie to summarize as part of the school day, or build a “store” where they can purchase snacks with play money– and practice counting back change.
Don’t hesitate to take input and ideas from your child about their expectations. In the end, a happy home school is a successful one! Get them involved in the process from the beginning.
A Bit of Reassurance:
Remember that every family is unique. Every child is unique. There is NO RIGHT WAY to homeschool! And, if at first your curriculum choice is overwhelming or doesn’t work, you can ALWAYS change it to suit your family’s needs.
The entire point of homeschooling is to bring out the best in your child, and to spend quality time with them in their educational journey. It is OK to take it slow sometimes, and to speed up when your child gets bored!
Remember your mission, your WHY when days get tough, and know that you are an INTENTIONAL parent with the best interests of your family at heart!
Remember the 5 Steps:
- Know Your WHY
- Know The Rules
- Choose a Curriculum
- Get Organized
- Talk to Your Child
There are many resources available to families who choose homeschool. Check out FaceBook for local groups, co-ops or group learning opportunities. Search Pinterest for free printable worksheets, and don’t forget to subcribe to the Bootstraps letter for help on starting your homeschool!
Give yourself grace, and keep going!
All my best, Breezy