Many parents are concerned about their child’s educational well-being as budget cuts, teacher shortages, lowered standards of learning, large classrooms, and pandemic learning have played an enormous role in many children falling behind. Perhaps you are reading this because you want to take a more active role in your child’s education while helping them to get back on track with their learning. Regardless of why you are considering homeschooling, you may feel overwhelmed, confused and even frustrated at the prospect of it. This leads us to the question, ‘How do I homeschool?’
How do I homeschool?
We’ve developed this simple list to help you get started and keep you from feeling overwhelmed. So, if you are asking yourself, ‘how do I homeschool?,’ and feeling uneasy about it, this is the right place to get those questions answered and help you get started on your journey.
The first and most important step, check your mindset.
If you are approaching homeschooling with a feeling of panic, worry or even dread. That’s likely to spill into your homeschool, which is why it’s so important to check your mindset. Are you feeling worried? Overwhelmed? Confused? Take out a journal and write down your thoughts and concerns about homeschooling then work to find simple solutions.
It can look like this:
Thought: I feel worried about homeschooling.
Solution process: I’m taking adequate steps to ensure we are successful with our homeschooling journey. It’s normal to feel worried, but I know I can do a fantastic job.
Your responses and concerns are unique to you. So, write it all out. And then take the necessary steps to move forward. Homeschooling isn’t a punishment; it’s a liberating experience. When you can realize that, you can move forward with ease.
The second step, simplify it.
Many families assume that homeschooling needs to be this complicated ordeal, and the thought can lead many parents to feel like it’s just too huge of a task to take on, which is why we need to simplify it. Homeschooling isn’t meant to be an overwhelming task that leaves both parent and child miserable from the get-go. It’s intended to be a promising option that leads to a fulfilling lifestyle. How do we achieve that? By simplifying it.
There are hundreds of different homeschooling curriculums available; aim for a straightforward curriculum, like what Schoolio Learning provides. You don’t need to have piles of books and guides to be successful with homeschooling. Using this blog as a reference is a great way to simplify the process while you locate the curriculum that suits you and your family best.
The third step, find out the legal homeschooling requirements for your state or province.
To be successful on your homeschooling journey, you will need to check out the legal requirements and standards for your state or province. If you are confused about how to find your state or province’s homeschooling laws, we’ve got resources to help you.
It’s important to remember that homeschooling is legal in the United States and Canada; however, each state or province has their own set of laws around homeschooling and the requirements you should meet. To find out the homeschooling laws in your state, you can check out this homeschooling resource by HSLA.
Just like in the U.S., homeschooling is legal in all provinces in Canada. Additionally, homeschooling has never been illegal in Canada. For a complete list of resources on homeschool laws and regulations by province, check out this informative article by The Canadian Homeschooler, ‘How to Homeschool in Canada: 6 Steps to Start Your Journey.’
The fourth step, find the homeschool style that works for your family.
When you’re wondering ‘how do I homeschool?’ You may wonder what style suits your family best. Homeschooling isn’t a one-size-fits-all educational solution. And as such, homeschooling has many different styles to suit your family best. You can choose from traditional, classical, Charlotte Mason, unschooling, unit studies, Montessori, Waldorf, relaxed and more. Finding the style that matches your teaching style and your children’s needs will help you get on the right track from the beginning. Remember, sometimes, you may start with a particular style and switch to a different homeschooling style throughout your learning journey. Because we are constantly changing and evolving, and so is our homeschool.
The fifth step, join a homeschooling group.
Hundreds, if not thousands, of online homeschool groups can be beneficial. Regardless you should also try to locate local homeschooling groups. Online groups are always helpful, but local in-person groups are essential. When you join a local homeschooling group, you can access activities outside the home, like gymnastics, swimming lessons, soccer, track and field, park dates, art classes, co-ops and other important socialization activities. While this is very beneficial for your child, it’s also great for you to chat with other homeschooling parents who can help guide you through your first year.
Not sure how to find a local homeschooling group? You can do a quick Google search ‘homeschooling groups near me.’ Or, ask one of the online homeschooling groups what local groups are available in your area.
The sixth step, set up your homeschool space.
Will your homeschool be located at the kitchen table? Or will you have a designated learning room inside your home? What things will you need to make it more successful and straightforward? Could you benefit from a whiteboard or chalkboard? Do you have a place to store your textbooks?
Here is a simple list of some essential items you might need to set up your homeschooling space:
- Containers/shelving for textbooks
- Art supplies (glue, paint, markers, paper, crafts)
- Markers or chalk for the whiteboard/chalkboard
- Board games for ‘off days’
- Any learning decor that you’d like to include
- Pens for marking
- Paperclips and notes for assignment organization
The seventh step, figure out your homeschooling schedule.
This is an enjoyable task. Figuring out what you will be doing during the week. Your homeschooling schedule can be a general schedule like ‘Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday we work on core subjects and Friday’s we do sports activities.’ Or, ‘Monday, Wednesday and Friday we work on Math, Science, and art. Then on Tuesday and Thursdays, we work on Social Studies and Language Arts, and we go on field trips and sports with the homeschool group. Your homeschooling schedule is unique to your family. You can schedule it every hour or do ‘periods’ throughout the day. Whatever you choose, know that your schedule may change here and there to adjust to life’s ever-changing circumstances, and that’s okay.
An important reminder.
We hope this blog helped answer your questions about ‘how do I homeschool?’ But remember, homeschooling is a lifestyle. Sometimes we can get so wrapped up in this idea that our lives must revolve around our homeschool, but the reality is that your homeschool must revolve around your life. The idea that homeschooling must be a strictly regimented experience, and that it must look like a traditional school is false. Additionally, you shouldn’t stress about making sure your homeschool looks like other people’s homeschool. Just like you and your family are unique, so is your homeschool. Embrace it!