Homeschooling has become an extremely popular alternative to traditional education in the last 10 years. There’s no doubt that when homeschooling is done correctly, it can be an incredible experience for homeschoolers. So, how can you start homeschooling? What legal aspects do you need to be aware of? Is there some way to ensure that you will be successful at homeschooling your kids? We have the answer to your ‘How do I homeschool?’ question!
Wanting to homeschool, but feeling overwhelmed is totally normal. Unfortunately, it’s human nature to second guess our decisions. Especially when it comes to our kids, their futures and well-being. Let me assure you, if you want to homeschool, you have excellent resources, and have the ability to make it a successful experience for your family. Then, there’s no reason to worry.
We’ve heard your questions of ‘How do I homeschool?’ and broken it down into 10 simple steps to get you started.
Step 1: Shift your mindset about learning schedules.
Homeschooling doesn’t look like traditional education, because it isn’t traditional education. So often new homeschoolers think that they need to make their homeschool day look exactly like a traditional school day. Thinking that your child needs to be working on school work all day, is false. We forget that in traditional school, kids have recess, lunch, activity time, and spend so much time waiting for the class to settle so the teaching can begin. Your homeschool day doesn’t have to look like that. Most homeschoolers only spend 2-3 hours on workbooks a day. The rest of their education is hands on, life learning. That doesn’t mean that they are missing out. Because, they aren’t! They are getting the same amount of educational learning as children in traditional school. It’s truly mind blowing how one-on-one teaching can take the hours upon hours out of learning.
Also, it should be noted that homeschooling doesn’t have to happen at the same time as traditional school. Some homeschool families find that their learning vibe is better in the evening, on weekends, or even in the summer. Your schedule, is yours. You and only you know how your children learn, and when the best time of the day is for them and you to reach maximum potential for learning. Don’t be bogged down by this idea that your child must start workbooks at 9am and finish by 3:30pm.
Step 2: Find out the legal aspects of homeschooling in your province/state.
Every province and state have different expectations for homeschooling standards. It’s best to check and make sure you following local guidelines. Don’t let that stress you out though, even following legal standards, you will still have so much flexibility for your child’s curriculum, and learning schedule. We have a few blogs on some different province guidelines.
Step 3: Chat with experienced homeschoolers.
Chances are you already know a homeschool mom. And, you must know that most homeschool moms are eager to share how to be successful with homeschooling. Why? Because it’s working so well for their family, they want everyone to experience the freedom and peace that comes with home-learning. Find a local homeschool group in your area, or search out some awesome homeschool groups online. There are so many incredible sources.
Step 4: Choose your homeschooling style
When it comes to home education, there are so many different styles. The Classical Method, The Charlotte Mason Method, Montessori Method, Unschooling, School-at-home, Unit Studies, Eclectic Education, and more. What style suits your family best? Do some research and find out. Here’s a list of all the different methods of homeschooling, their benefits and drawbacks. So you can make an educated decision.
Step 5: Choose your curriculum
There are so many different styles of homeschooling. First, figure out which works best for you and your family. Once you’ve determined your style. Select a curriculum that goes along with your style and also the standards that you want for your children’s education. There are so many options out there, so be sure to do your research and find what is very best for your family.
Step 6: Get familiar with excellent homeschool teaching strategies.
There are so many books out there, ask around and find out what some of your homeschool friends are into. Search out homeschooling podcasts for tips, and tricks, to make your homeschool teaching career successful.
Step 7: Set up social opportunities for your children.
The last thing we want is for you to feel overwhelmed or alone. That’s why Step 3 is so important. When you chat with other homeschool parents, you will have the opportunity to set up homeschool playdates, co-ops, sports, arts, and more. These activities will give your child and you a chance to chat with other like-minded people and help your children make lifelong friendships.
Step 8: Set learning goals with your kids.
It’s important for you to know what you want from the homeschool year. But what do your kids want? What do they want to learn? How do they want to learn? Ask them! Let them get involved in homeschool planning for the year. When you get your kids involved in these decisions it will help them gain interest.
Step 9: Get Familiar with your curriculum.
Once your curriculum arrives, unbox it. Check it out. Let your kids see the new books, and make a plan for what you will need for the first few units of their workbooks. (If that’s the style you choose). Do you need a ruler? Pencils? Paper? Make sure to have it all on hand for each lesson.
Step 10: Begin homeschooling, and have fun!
Please don’t stress yourself out with this idea that you need to be perfect in order for your children to learn. You are doing an amazing job. So, dive into it! And enjoy it! Don’t worry about what your neighbours think or say, or how your parents think it’s crazy that you are keeping them home to learn. Keep your mind on the truth. You are doing an awesome job! And your children are going to be just fine!