This post may contain affiliate links.
Are you thinking about homeschooling your children this school year and you don’t know where to start? Well, this place, right here is where to start! I will tell you how to homeschool right now. (See also my homeschool supply checklist!)
We all have different reasons for choosing to home education. Maybe your kids had a poor experience at school. Maybe you don’t love the public school system, but can’t afford private school. Maybe your kids are not learning enough, or you don’t like the things they are learning. Each reason is valid.
Whatever your reasons, I want to show you the many different homeschool options and resources available to help you get started.
Here is a video with 10 Tips for Brand New Homeschoolers:
If you have not yet discovered my homeschool podcast, Called to Homeschool, this is really a great resource that will likely answer most of your questions!
No matter the reason, if you want to homeschool your child, you will likely have some questions, doubts, concerns, worries, and fears along the way. We all have fears and concerns when we start out. Hopefully just having a few simple steps will help you know what to do and help ease some of those fears and unknowns on your homeschooling journey.
I’ll have you successfully homeschooling in no time at all.
Common Questions from New Homeschooling Parents (or Potential Homeschoolers):
What about socialization? Oh, this is really not an issue. You’ll see! Many of us homeschoolers will say the school environment really isn’t the best socialization experience anyway. But listen to my posdast episode on this!
How to you keep track of kids’ grades? I don’t really do grades until high school when they need it for college enrollment.
What does a typical homeschool school day look like? (See my post on printable homeschool schedules)
Do you have to report your choice to your local school districts? Typically, yes. Our state requires us to submit an affidavit with a notice of intent to homeschool.
Do you take attendance? It isn’t required to report attendance in our state, but you’ll want to check your state’s requirements.
How do you issue a high school diploma? I’m new to this subject, (I have my first graduate this year!) but working on a post about this! But in short, you can write your own transcript.
What about extracurricular activities? There are SO many amazing options for extra activities.
What about curriculum, textbooks, workbooks, etc? There are so many curriculum options that you will be overwhelmed! Take some time to study it out and find something that works. And it’s ok if you need to switch down the road. It happens to the best of us.
Where do we do homeschool? Take a peek at our homeschool room. But honestly, most of the time it is around the kitchen table. That’s the easiest and most convenient location to gather.
And many more. . . There are always a million questions when considering this lifestyle change. I will do my best to answer them for you!
How to Homeschool in 10 Easy Steps!
1.Read some homeschooling books. I wrote a post about my favorite ones here. There are so many different books on this subject. This will help moms and dads to choose the style of homeschooling you want to do and to create a homeschool plan. Homeschool does not typically look like traditional school. That’s ok, actually it’s great!
There are books with detailed information about the different styles and methods of homeschooling. There are books full of ideas and resources and there are even books for the very beginner.
This is how I figured out how homeschooling works. It helped me see the big picture and get an understanding of all of it.
2. Find a support group online. Sometimes an online support group is the best place to start. That’s where I began. I didn’t know anybody locally who homeschooled, so I started online.
Online support is good because there are lots of different voices and opinions to help you find the ones that work for you. There are some amazing groups on Facebook to help.
3. Be ok with your choice and have faith in yourself! Sometimes the hardest part about homeschooling is having the courage and confidence that you can actually do this. There are all kinds of fears. I wrote a post about homeschooling fears here.
I also wrote a post called How to Start Homeschooling When You’re Terrified. Homeschooling parents always tend to think they are not good enough, smart enough, or qualified enough, but that is not true. You are uniquely qualified to teach your own children. They are lucky to have you.
4. Find a local support group. We are part of an amazing homeschool co-op that has been a huge support for our family. Not all places have that option. If you can’t find something like that, create it!
Or, maybe just find one or two good like-minded friends who can help you along the way.
Homeschool groups have helped make our experiences better in so many ways. Knowing other homeschooling families helps my kids feel like they have a place where they fit in. It helps me feel that way, too. Too my post on How to Start a Homeschool Co-op.
5. Learn about your local state homeschooling laws. The state laws and country laws all vary, so you will have to do a little bit of research and studying. Reach out to your local school district. You can research local state’s homeschooling requirements and regulations on the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) website. I wrote about Homeschooling in Utah on my site.
6. Research and choose your curriculum options or style of schooling. Read my Quick Guide to Choosing a Homeschool Curriculum book for tips to help you plan your homeschool year and make your choices.
There are so many great options for homeschool curriculum. From online homeschool curriculum to scripted lesson plans that walk you through all of it. You can just get some books and start reading. You can make it look like school at home, our you can do it unschooling style.
Read some of my Homeschool Curriculum Posts.
Listen to my podcast episodes on choosing your curriculum- 100 Ways to Homeschool.
7. Attend a homeschool conference or curriculum fair. There are conferences and fairs all over the country. You can learn so much from attending one of these. It is also a great place to look through different books to help you know what curriculum to choose.
There are even some awesome virtual homeschool conferences now!
8. Outsource subjects you are terrified of! (ahem, mathematics) You don’t have to do it all! Find city classes or teams, online classes or a local tutor if needed.
Involve grandparents (my favorite) or friends. Everyone has something they are an expert at! Let them teach, too. It’s ok! No guilt required.
When your kids get to high school age, this may especially be important.
9. Plan your homeschool days. Do not over plan and don’t try so hard to model the public school or the perfect private school down the road. Get out some calendars and map it out. (pencil in assignments, because it is sure to change.) Here is a simple homeschool schedule to help you with that part! Here is another easy one. Remember to bring in your child’s interests as you plan. This is one of the best parts of homeschooling!
Or grab my full printable Ultimate Homeschool Planner!
10. Be flexible. Don’t stress too much about things not going perfectly. They never go perfectly. That’s the honest truth.
There are hard days and hard months. There are times that are awesome and feel like they are going really well. There are days when you have doctors appointments to squeeze between math and piano lessons, but it all balances out.
Here is some support for when you feel like you are failing at homeschooling.
Flexibility is also one of the best parts of doing school at home. You can go on field trips whenever you want. You can learn in the car or at the park and you can study whatever you feel like.
Now you are a pro! You can do this, I promise.
Want MORE Homeschool Resources?
Check out my podcast Called to Homeschool. I have a whole bunch of information on starting this process. It’s not as hard as you think.
Here is Episode #1: So You’ve Decided to Homeschool, Now What?