If you’re a new mom or dad looking to homeschool your child, then boy do you have your work cut out for you. There’s so much to get done including, breaking the news to your child, planning your curriculum, setting budgets, defining your homeschool purpose, buying supplies, and much much more…
I know. I know. It’s all very overwhelming. There’s so much to get done. So much to understand. And you feel like a one-person army. Well, I’ll be the first to say it to you… Enough is enough. No more giant lists, confusing guides, impersonal directions.
In this post, I’ll take you through the clean-cut simplest way to get started homeschooling. So if you’re tired of spinning around in circles and just want your child to have an excellent but personal home education…read on.
The 3-Step Way To Get Started Homeschooling!
Step 1. Define Why You Want To Get Started Homeschooling.
Alright, first things first. Define the why of your homeschooling journey. What pushed you to this point? Are you 100% committed? Are you just testing the waters? Were you homeschooled as a child? Are you being financially forced to homeschool?
It may seem silly that the first step of the SIMPLEST way to get started homeschooling is just a question. Well, it’s the most important question of your homeschooling journey because of — just that. It is a journey. It’s hard. It’s tedious. It’s challenging. It’s demanding. You have to hold a strong “WHY” behind your homeschooling decision.
Many homeschool families choose to homeschool for religious reasons. They want to instill religious values in their families’ education. Some can’t attend public schools because of location or financial reasons. And others don’t align with the views of mainstream education. There are many reasons to homeschool but you have to find YOUR reason. Your “Why”.
It will be the reason you pull through when everything starts crashing down. It will be the voice that wakes you up to teach every morning when you would rather sleep in. It will be the force to push you to the next level to teach through elementary, middle and high school. With your why in place you will always be able to chug along through the ups and downs of your homeschool journey.
So don’t skip this step. It’s the most important one.
If a gov’t official stopped by your homeschool, they would expect certain things.
Step 2. Do the legal thing.
Yuck! The legal thing. No one likes going through government sites and reading up on rules and regulations. Not even the government officials themselves! But if you’re going to really do this, you have to do it the right way. It doesn’t have to be a nightmare. Maybe a headache, but not a nightmare. Do the legal thing so you can do your homeschool thing. Here’s a simple way.
Disclaimer – This is a guideline but different rules apply to different, counties, states, and countries. This should help, but don’t be silly. You’ll have to do a little of your own research.
You need to learn the rules and regulations for your state, county or country. Depending on where you live, you’ll have different rules to abide by.
If you live in the U.S., go to this link: Find your state gov site.
Once there, in the top left select the topic: education. Scroll to your state. Find and click on your Dept. of Education site. If you live elsewhere, search the web for your country or state Dept. of Education site.
Now you want to find the details, rules, and regulations for homeschooling. Somewhere on your site should be a link for homeschooling. Be patient and look around. If you’re struggling, try searching the site for homeschool. Once you find the homeschool page, there are 3 things you want to find out.
The 3 Things You Should Find From Your Gov. Homeschooling Site
1. How to Register
Your government officials will be at your door first thing Monday if your child just stops showing up for school. If only it was that simple. You have to take some time to register, send in files, requests, or info to get started homeschooling the legal way.
Most states require that you submit a Declaration of Intent stating that you intend to homeschool your child. Sometimes it can be that simple. Other times there are a lot more steps to register.
2. Your Homeschool Requirements
The second thing you want to know from your gov. site is the requirements of your homeschool. If a parent randomly stops by a child’s class in public school, they expect certain things. A teacher, an assignment, air conditioning, etc. If a gov. official stopped by your homeschool, they would expect certain things. Find out what that is. This can range from minimum days of attendance, the number of hours spent learning, to subjects that must be covered.
3. What You Must Submit
There are things that you are required to do in your homeschool, and there are things you are required to submit… to prove you’ve done those things. For example, Georgia required that you submit an attendance sheet each year to show you’ve satisfied the 180 days each child must attend homeschool. Find the documents and info you have to submit each year so you won’t fall behind.
Once you register and know those 3 things. Run… Run as far as you can from those government sites and never look at them again. Phew!
P.S. – If you live in Georgia, lucky for you, we have a blog post that details everything about homeschooling in the peach state. Otherwise, subscribe to our list and we may release a post on your state next!
A teaching style is about the values and processes in your homeschool.
Step 3. Choose Your Teaching Style
What is the teaching style? Different from a learning style, a teaching style is all about the values and processes you will stick by in your homeschool. Every school, not just homeschools, needs a clear cut teaching style to truly succeed. An online college has to teach physical education, differently than an on-site college. So yes, it’s important to detail your teaching style.
When it comes to getting started homeschooling parents tend to implement family and religious values in their teaching style. Chances are you’ll want to do the same. But rather than starting everything from scratch, writing out every ideal, value, and process; you can use the teaching styles of homeschool parents before you.
For example, if you’ve spent a week reading up on homeschooling you’re bound to come across the word Montessori. But what on earth does that mean? I’ll give you the 1 sentence description of the most popular homeschool teaching styles. And you can do more research on the one that speaks to you!
Top Homeschool Teaching Styles Explained
Montessori – a method where the child learns at their own pace in a natural way.
Charlotte Mason – a method where the child learns from hands-on and real-life experiences.
Unschooling – a method where parents teach without using any schedules or formal lessons.
Classical – a method where children are taught to learn for themselves through research and study.
Relaxed/Eclectic – a method where parents use a little of everything to teach as they see fit.
Waldorf – a method where parents teach the body, mind, and spirit of the child.
School-At-Home – a method where parents use pre-planned schedules and lessons to teach.
Multiple Intelligence – a method where parents tailor lessons to the learning style of the child.
Step 4. Just do it.
Now that you’ve done all three steps, the last step is to just do it! You have lots of other things to plan; schedules, getting supplies and creating a class environment. But the main parts needed to get started homeschooling are done. Any homeschool parent will tell you that no amount of planning will prepare you for the chaos and joy of homeschooling!
So go ahead and get started and leave a comment of what EXCITES you the most about homeschooling!