How to start homeschooling? First, I want to encourage you by saying you are wise to research and seek out counsel. I feel that one of the very best ways to start is by preparing your parent heart. Some of the very best advice, I think, is contained in this article by my friend Kim Ashbaugh: How to Get Started Homeschooling: 10 Steps to Success. I’ll wait here while you click over and read it.
Great advice, don’t you think? Take time to shape your heart for homeschooling, first.
Next start to research Homeschool Methods and Philosophies by our Curriculum Choice Authors to see where your vision for your homeschool might fall. You may not know at all – and that is ok – but it is good to learn about the different approaches.
Next find your state homeschool convention, find out about the requirements for your state. Also spend some time at HSLDA.org for a wealth of homeschool information.
Then begin choosing your curriculum, the tools you will use in your homeschool. That is what we are here for at The Curriculum Choice. To make homeschool decisions easy!
From The Curriculum Choice Archives
Be sure to browse the tabs above to find curriculum reviews and features from our authors on how to start homeschooling. You might also enjoy these that we’ve selected from our archives.
- The Ultimate Guide to Choosing Homeschool Curriculum
- Vicki Bentley’s Home Education 101: Mentoring Program for New Homeschoolers
- Homeschooling 101: A Guide to Getting Started
- FREE HSLDA Membership for Families of Preschoolers
- Homeschool Made Simple by Compass Classroom
- Favorite Homeschool Tips by our authors
- 100 Top Homeschool Curriculum Reviews
- Tapestry of Grace Primer Review
- Home Field Advantage Review
- How I Homeschool
- A Review of Homeschooling Books by Ruth Beechick
- Homeschooling 101 by Kris Bales
- Homeschooling Book of Lists
- Home Learning Year by Year
How to Start Homeschooling From Curriculum Choice Authors
The Curriculum Choice authors have active blogs where they regularly offer ideas and experiences about their homeschool adventures. Below are their very favorite tips for how to start homeschooling.
Tricia at Hodgepodge
Shape Your Heart for Homeschool with Favorite Books – When I first started homeschooling I was desperate to learn how to do it. I knew it was easily an extension of parenting and reading books aloud to our eldest. But part of me needed details and examples. Fortunately, I have several long-time homeschooling friends who have mentored me. Those I can still call on for advice. But there are also books I read that shaped my homeschooling heart. These I share also helped form our hodgepodge homeschool method. And I am always continuing my education. During the summer months, I like to pull a few of these from the shelves and reread them in prep for the upcoming year. Often I come across just those nuggets I need to spur our homeschool on. I love how God provides just when we need it.
How to Get Started Homeschooling – First, take a deep breath…Exhale…God’s got this. And you are in for the ride of your life. I am here to tell you it won’t be easy. It is refinement by fire. But I can say, after nearly 15 years, that a homeschooling lifestyle is a rich reward I wouldn’t trade – ever. So let’s get started. I am imagining you and I sitting down for a visit. Would you like coffee or tea? (Don’t miss the FREE Homeschooling in Georgia ebook!)
Homeschooling at Hodgepodge – Our homeschooling method is one that came about over time. Would it surprise you to know that our methods truly are a hodgepodge? One ingredient added. Another sifted in. Mixing slowly. Seasoning to taste. The roots of our method are classical. There’s a healthy dose of Charlotte Mason enrichment. Plus, the unit studies help us all learn together. And the whole-hearted approach speaks of each child’s relationship with the Lord.
Help! I’m Homeschooling ebook – Practical homeschool answers to these questions and more: How do you start a homeschool routine? What about the roaming toddler? How do you teach multiple ages? What about basic housekeeping?
Eva at EvaVarga.net
When we first began homeschooling eight years ago, I spent a lot of time researching different homeschooling styles: Charlotte Mason, Waldorf, Classical, Thomas Jefferson, Unit Studies, Unschooling, etc. For those just getting started with homeschooling, I encourage you to explore different approaches to homeschool. What styles appeal to you the most? What elements do you like about each? Are there components you do NOT like?
Don’t be afraid to try out different methods. Over the years, two seem to have intertwined themselves in our home, so that the what we do – read great books, study nature, dive deeply into history, immerse ourselves in other cultures (geography and language studies) – is highly influenced by the writings of Charlotte Mason; and the how we do it – through conversation and leisurely, child-led exploration – is influenced boy the writings of John Holt, Sandra Dodd, and other unschooling advocates.
When we first started homeschooling, one of the activities we engaged in regularly was nature journaling. We would gather together our journals and art media (usually colored pencils or watercolor paints) and sit down to sketch something of interest that we had observed on our nature walk earlier in the week. Nature journaling is still a major part of our homeschool as it has provided a wonderful opportunity to connect with one another and reflect on what we have learned. Learn how to keep a nature journal in 5 easy steps.
One of the biggest fears families have before beginning their homeschool journey is how to connect with other families. A great way to develop friendships with other homeschoolers is through a homeschool co-op. Co-ops can be an enriching, rewarding experience in the home education journey. How to Start a Homeschool Co-op
Betsy @ BJ’s Homeschool
When my husband and I began to think about homeschooling, we knew we needed to educate ourselves first. Our 4yo was more than ready and eager to learn. So we headed to the bookstore, to read up on homeschooling. One of my favorite resources there, was the Unofficial Guide to Homeschooling. It was full of tips and how to’s for getting started. Here’s the link to my review of this book. The Unofficial Guide to Homeschooling That was a big help.
Next, my sister introduced us to her homeschool support group, and there we found out all our our state law, and met others who encouraged us on our journey. Finding out about your state law is an important step to take. To learn about your state homeschooling law, check out my post on “Homeschooling in Washington”. It is linked to the State by State Homeschooling Blog Hop, which is full of info on many state’s homeschooling laws.
Meeting other families, at my sister’s homeschool support group was also key. I encourage you to find out about Homeschool Support Groups in your state.
But what does homeschooling really look like? Do families study at the kitchen table all day? I found out that homeschooling could happen everywhere, at the park, cuddling with a good book on the couch, in the car, and of course on field trips, exploring science in the backyard, etc! Where Our Homeschool Happens, shows how we do it at BJ’s Homeschool and it is different everyday!
Then there’s the curriculum question. So here’s a peak into our favorite curricula for preschool/K, elementary (with adhd), and high school, just to get you started. You don’t have to know which homeschooling approach your family will like, all at once.
Our own homeschooling method was developed over the years, and focuses on hand-on learning, child-led exploration, while covering the bases of a quality strong education. We love Oak Meadow, which focuses on project based learning and nurturing the child, head, hands and heart, with a gentle, creative approach to learning, similar to Charlotte Mason.
For your first curriculum, I encourage you to make your best guess, and chose something to try, and get started with that. Watch how your kids react to it, and go from there. And reach out, to experienced homeschoolers, homeschool groups on facebook, the author’s blogs from The Curriculum Choice, online resources, or for a little homeschool help.
You know your kids best! You can do this!
Susan and Megan at Education Possible
101 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum Review – When a new homeschool mom asks me questions about starting to homeschool I always respond the same way: I encourage her to get a copy of 101 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum, read the first few chapters (which actually don’t talk about curriculum) and then give me a call so we can talk further. Why? Because there are many important questions parents need to consider before they even begin to review curriculum!
Homeschooling State by State – Before you begin homeschooling you really need to understand the homeschooling laws in your state. We worked with homeschool families across the country to provide information about how to legally homeschool in each state. Our post focuses on homeschooling in Florida – if you lived somewhere else, simply scroll down to the link-up and find information for your state.
How to Teach: Homeschool Families Share Their Stories – One of the benefits of homeschooling is the flexibility it offers. Sometimes, however, all of the choices and flexibility can feel overwhelming. Homeschooling in not a “one size fits all” proposition, but there are valuable lessons to be learned from the many families who are homeschooling. We collaborated with homeschooling families across the countries to offer a glimpse inside our home schools to share how we teach — we hope your family can gather some helpful ideas as you plan your homeschool journey.
Kortney at One Deep Drawer
Imagine you have a young child in your charge. A child who is not yet school age, but who is getting closer by the day. Talk on the playground (among the mothers at least) has turned to schooling. Where, oh where is this young one going to study? What are the options really? This simple series helps you think about the first steps in homeschooling and helps you craft an action plan.
The Intuitive Homeschool explores life-giving practices that can sustain your homeschooling work, rhythms and routines that make it easier to do all that needs doing, what Wendell Berry calls “patterns made in the light for the light to return to.”
Annie Kate at Tea Time with Annie Kate
If you are just beginning to homeschool, you have many big decisions to make. It may be tempting to copy what a friend or role model is doing, but remember that Each Homeschooling Mom and Family is Unique. I cannot think of a better practical guide to understanding how homeschooling can adapt to your family’s uniqueness than the first few chapters of Cathy Duffy’s 101 Top Picks (or its earlier version 100 Top Picks).
It will make a real difference if you determine what makes a good day for your family and then consciously plan How to Have More Good Homeschooling Days.
Finally, here are 6 Tips for a Successful School Year that will work for every Christian homeschooling family, every year. I wrote this article at the beginning of the most stressful year we’ve experienced in almost 20 years of homeschooling, and its principles have made an enormous difference.
The Curriculum Choice Review Team Features
- We have a Pinterest board dedicated to How to Get Started Homeschooling.
- Have you enjoyed this special post from our review authors? Our Curriculum Choice review team features a topic monthly. You can see all that our authors have shared on electives, math, curriculum choices and more under Review Team Features.
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~ Hosted by Tricia, Hodgepodge.