How to Start Homeschooling in 10 Easy Steps
If you’ve been considering homeschooling, you’ve come to the right place. We want to give you an overview of the different steps involved so you can decide if it’s right for your family.
When you first start down the homeschooling path, it can be overwhelming to wade through all the different information. No worries–we encourage you to take all the time you need, especially early on, to figure out those big questions and challenges. Here’s a peek at the 10 steps you might be looking at if your future involves homeschooling.
Step 1: Start the research
If you’re on this site, chances are you’re well underway with this part. Homeschooling can be challenging, and it’s not something you should go into lightly. As you research homeschooling, this might include everything from reading dozens of articles or visiting multiple homeschooling sites. It might also involve talking to parents doing it or joining homeschool Facebook groups to see discussions happening. During this step, you should get out there and soak up any information you can.
Step 2: Figure out your approach
There are many ways to homeschool, and it might take time to figure out the right approach for your family. Whether you want to utilize charter schools or create a more traditional setup, only you can figure out what is right for you and your kids. It’s important to read about many different methods and talk to those who are living and doing it. Chances are that the right answer will emerge on the approach you want to take.
Step 3: Learn the homeschool laws in your state
With homeschooling, there are rules and laws you will need to comply with in your state. It can vary a lot based on location, especially when it comes to registration and reporting. Check with your state for specific details. We also encourage you to check back soon on Homeschool+ because we are working on a state-by-state resource guide that outlines all the basics.
Step 4: Discover resources
This is the area where we can help the most. Every homeschool parent has had to determine where to get their resources and curriculum. Often, they’re pulling it in from multiple sources to cover everything they need to homeschool their kids.
We encourage you to explore all the different resources available out there, and we hope you keep us in mind as well. We believe our site gives you a one-stop shop for early childhood homeschool curriculum, and we hope you can utilize our offerings.
Step 5: Find friends
Sometimes you need to talk to someone who understands what you’re going through, and this is the case with homeschooling. Whether you find fellow homeschool parents locally or online, they can enormously impact your plan and overall success. If you’re starting from scratch on where to find these like-minded individuals, we recommend using social media or neighborhood groups/apps to begin your search.
Step 6: Devise a plan
Now that you’re committed to homeschooling and have figured out your approach, it is time to create a more formal plan. Don’t worry—it doesn’t have to be perfect, and you can change it up as much as you need—but it helps to have a starting point.
This might include figuring out the logistics of where your kids will physically be learning. (If you’re into Pinterest, you’ll love finding décor and organizational ideas.) This step will also involve choosing your curriculum and deciding on lesson plans. Here’s a lesson planner you can use from Homeschool+.
Step 7: Jump in with both feet
At some point, you will have read and prepared as much as your brain can handle. It’s time to jump in and learn by doing. This can be intimidating for anyone, but remember why you decided to go on this journey in the first place and try to use that excitement to get going. Give yourself grace along the way; remember, this is only the beginning. You can change and adjust along the way.
Step 8: Check-in and assess
This is one of the most rewarding parts of homeschooling. Now your kids are on their own path and schedule, not someone else’s. You get to check in with them and assess how it’s going, all based on your own rules and expectations. Then, if they need extra support in one area or another, you can tailor a plan to meet their needs. Looking for help in this area? Check out our progress tracker here.
Step 9: Adjust as needed
You might have rules to follow and standards to hit, but you get to make as many adjustments as you want to meet your child’s needs. This might include everything from changing the time of day you tackle math to trying a new approach or learning method.
Go back to your homeschool parents and friends and ask their advice if something isn’t working. They might help you discover a new resource or approach altogether.
Step 10: Keep going
Whether you’re a week-by-week planner or have the entire school year mapped out, stay the course, and keep your homeschooling plan in place. Sure, you’ll be changing and adjusting as you go, but this is the joy of being able to customize it to fit you and your family’s needs.
As you gain more experience and confidence, you’ll love trying new things, planning field trips, and connecting with others. Enjoy this incredible journey every step of the way.