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The process of initiating a homeschool could be quite an overwhelming process at first for any parent(s). But, during these pandemic days, there can be no other way out to make sure that your child doesn’t lack behind the schedule and get lethargic.
Yes, there are a lot of things how to start homeschooling, but take it from us, it is the most fruitful process that guarantees the proper education intake of your little one, right from the start. You would act as the child’s principal and teacher at the same time, you would also have to take into consideration – the curriculum to state requirements.
With homeschooling, although the process could get a little tiring at first, as and when you move forward and get the hang of it, we promise you being able to spend more leisure time with the kid while also having a more flexible learning schedule.
New to homeschooling and are not sure where to start from? Thinking about what you would need and what not? Don’t worry, this is the right article for you as we will help you kickstart the beautiful learning curve of homeschooling by following simple easy-to-do steps.
You may also Know: Best states for Homeschooling in U.S
How To Start Homeschooling? The Step-by-Step Guide!
Here are quick and simple steps that will help you start homeschooling for your child with much comfort and flexible time:
1. Decide and Know Why Homeschooling - How to start homeschooling
As basic as it might sound, it is practically very important for parents to understand and know the answer to – Why homeschooling? Knowing the answer to this simple question can help you be very sure of your choice, understand the importance of homeschooling, inform your set targets/goals, enhance your style of teaching, and curriculum choices.
Here is a list of questions that can help you decide your homeschooling goals:
- Do you wish to teach your children from a biblical worldview foundation?
- Do you wish to protect them from the unhealthy environment and/or negative influences?
- Do you want your child to meet the standards of the higher academic?
- Are you ok with your child/children learning at their own pace?
- Do you wish your family to have a much more flexible schedule for extracurricular activities or spontaneous adventures?
As you set your homeschool goals, think about where you’d want to start. As understandable, your homeschool starting point will be quite different with a 4-year-old, as compared to the tenth grader.
2. Be Aware of Your State’s Laws Of Homeschool - How to start homeschooling
The homeschool laws vary in each state, and as most states need a notice of you intending to homeschool, you must be well aware of the state laws that apply to you – as a part of your early research.
Why must you be aware of the homeschool laws of your state?
It’s true that there is no such state that views homeschooling as illegal, but, there are a few states who have quite strict laws that could eventually make the process of homeschooling way too difficult as expected.
3. Decide On A Date To Start Homeschooling - How to start homeschooling
With homeschooling you have no set dates that restrict your process, therefore, this means you are free to start homeschooling whenever you wish to. Exciting enough? Yes, even if that means starting in the middle of a school year!
Having said that, we recommend parents start as soon as they are sure of homeschooling, are satisfied with the legal requirements, and the child is free from obligations from public or private schools. Also, you must make sure to meet the reporting requirements as they come, report deadlines, and have a set homeschool plan.
4. Accreditations - How to start homeschooling
There is no accreditation required by state laws as it typically doesn’t apply to homeschooling. As per your set goals, pursuing accredited homeschool programs may never be relevant to you.
Nevertheless, if you are planning on homeschooling high school, make sure to review the additional information on accreditation and its relevance to homeschool.
5. Creating a Plan For Your First Year - How to start homeschooling
It is ok if you do not have a plan for the next 18 months or even years, but you must be mindful to have one for at least a year. Most experienced homeschool families have said that it is only by the second, third or fourth year that they get the hang of teaching and the groove of the managed flexibility.
Nevertheless, making a plan for a year can help you, as well as, the little one learn more, will be able to schedule your classes, will be able to keep records, and have day-to-day learning scheduled sessions.
6. Decide Where You Wish To Homeschool - How to start homeschooling
Yes, the location of the teaching plays a vital role to enhance the homeschooling experience and help the child learn even better. While most of the homeschooling sessions are expected to take place at home, it is equally important for parents to create a homeschool space for a much more focused process of learning.
You can choose to shift the learning to the dining room or the kitchen table to eliminate laziness and comfort, even if that means teaching them on the front porch and/or up in a treehouse.
7. Choose the Method Of Homeschooling - How to start homeschooling
A homeschooling method is an approach or the style a parent chooses to take to teach their little one. Here, every homeschool style impacts the choice of curriculum you may want to choose that could affect the day-to-day life for both, you and your child. The methods are a mix of heavily child-focused styles, while the others are more focused on the process of learning.
Here are the popular homeschooling methods that you could choose from:
This is the closer homeschooling method that resembles a brick-and-mortar school. In this type of homeschooling, a parent uses the standard all-in-one curriculum with a fixed schedule. As it is the most comfortable and familiar style, most parents choose to begin with this traditional homeschooling process.
‘Charlotte Mason’ Homeschooling
Charlotte Mason, an author, educator, and speaker opted to choose the natural way of homeschooling, that is to emphasize the process of teaching through quality literature or living books, art, exploring nature, and direct interaction with the concepts of learning.
In this kind of homeschooling method, the students are expected to fully engage with their process of learning, move, interact with nature, and journal their thoughts and ideas. This makes the learning process a way of life, as compared to a task, consisting of narration, journaling, dictation, and ongoing conversation between the parents.
The Classical Homeschooling Method
As the name gives it out, the ‘classic’ homeschooling method is the oldest style of teaching, designed to encourage children to move through their stages of development to learn skills to mentally and physically develop them.
This style focuses on three stages of learning:
This homeschooling style focuses on the interests of the child and the curriculum is set to satisfy the desire of the child. Here, with unschooling, there is no scheduled class, assignments, tests, or even regular projects. This style of teaching encourages the kids to follow and learn of their interests at their pace and time.
8. Understand The Learning Process Of Your Child - How to start homeschooling
As simple as it can get, the better you understand your children, the better a parent will be able to customize the education as per the needs of learning. This could mean, observing what prevents the child from learning or discovering the teaching style.
A learning style is a way of how a child processes information using their senses. Where some are great with learning through activities, others prefer to interact with the information by using multiple senses, or the multisensory approach.
9. Research on the Available Curriculum Options For Homeschooling - How to start homeschooling
The curriculum is the most essential tool needed to homeschool. Therefore, parents must make it a point to take some time off and research the available options for curriculum and look for the one that meets the needs of your family, the set goals, and the kids’ learning.
Here are the things you can look into when you check the curriculum options:
- Does the publisher offer all the resources that you’d need?
- Do they teach from the biblical worldview?
- Does the curriculum offer materials to support multisensory learning?
- Is it designed for homeschooling or for independent learning?
10. Look For Support - How to start homeschooling
Obviously, when parents choose to opt for homeschooling, it doesn’t mean they have to do it all alone. It could get quite exhausting to take the training and raising of the child on one shoulder alone, you will need support from your family, mentors, and friends.
Not only for support but having family and friends that support and validate the choice to homeschool could be an enriching experience as they can offer encouragement and advice for you to follow, based on their personal experience.
Here are a few people you can choose to reach out for help:
These are groups of families that meet for classes, plan field trips or provide you with a much-needed break from the daily routine. However, the only drawback of co-ops is that it could get a little too difficult to find.
They might not be available in your area, nevertheless, if you know of some families that homeschool, you can start your own homeschool co-op.
Online homeschool communities
Here, online homeschool family groups come together on social media as followers of bloggers who homeschool. To look for one, simply search on the media platforms or on the like-minded homeschool communities in order to collaborate.
At a local homeschool convention, you can expect many homeschool families to come together for learning and growth. These are generally large events that take place once or twice a year.
The speakers share their insight, wisdom, and encouraging words; there are booths set up to share the curriculum of homeschools and other resources. Homeschool conventions offer an opportunity for families to connect while attending the event.
HomeWorks – Precept Consultants
These are experienced homeschooling parents who love connecting with fellow homeschooling parents, offering their insight, and forming connections. Not only that, these HomeWorks by precept consultants are able to offer discounts on BJU Press materials.
Starting or initiating a homeschool is a lot more like researching for a private school or a neighborhood to help raise your kids. Although there is a lot of materials and information available, it is definitely an investment that a parent makes in their children and their future.
Having said that, it is only fair to say that as time passes, you will be able to understand and know what’s right and what’s not for your child for the process of homeschooling.
Homeschooling is a dedication a parent makes for at least 12-to-14-years for each child. It is a huge choice to make which could surely be overwhelming at first. But as rightly said, there are seasons of planting with hard work and a long dedicated house, and there are seasons of growing and harvesting, the fruits you enjoy after all the hard work.
How to Get Started With homeschooling - What Does It Offer? Final Conclusion
As mentioned above, homeschooling a child is a dedicated choice that a parent chooses to make after doing their research and planning the curriculum. It is the responsibility of taking over their development and enhancing their skills.
But why do parents make this choice? What does homeschooling offer?
When a child is homeschooled, they are offered with:
- Academic flexibility
- The warm environment of the family
- The preferred pace and approach by the parents
- The involvement of the community
- Meaningful and efficient process of learning
- Flexible timings
- Attend homeschool conventions
- Homeschool support groups
- Independent browsing through the curriculum and programs