If you are thinking about homeschooling, you probably have 1000 questions about how it works and how to start homeschooling. This post is contributed by Katie Shuler who is a computer junkie, workbook hating, TV watching, iGadget addicted, homeschooling mom. A not-so-country girl living in a very-country Georgia small town, she has been homeschooling her two boys since 2005. You can catch a little glimpse of her homeschool life when you visit her blog, You. Me. Us.
Not that long ago, homeschooling was considered more of an underground and/or super religious thing. The “average” family had their children in public or private school, and that was that. Or was it?
Homeschooling has been a viable option for educating our children for quite some time. Not everyone that chose that path did so for religious or spiritual reasons. Not everyone chose it to “go off the grid.” Lol. Granted, it didn’t seem as prevalent in years past as it does now, but it’s always been there.
If you have recently decided that homeschooling is something you want to look into for your family, then the Internet is going to be great place to start in your quest for information on “how to homeschool”. You will want to make sure you are following state guidelines first and foremost. Here are some tips to consider if you want to start homeschooling.
Tips for How To Start Homeschooling
Follow Homeschool State Laws
The first thing I would suggest to everyone is to get to know the homeschool laws for your state. While most states have minimal requirements, a few others can be quite tedious. Even if nothing the state could require of you would change your mind about homeschooling, you want to make sure you have at least a basic understanding of what is going to be expected.
Chose Home School Curriculum
Once you have that information tucked away, you want to take a good look at yourself. Yes, yourself. Are you a scheduler? Do you know right off the bat that you are going to have to plan just about every facet of your homeschool day? Maybe you’re more of an easy come/easy go kinda person. You know that you’re going to be willing to let your day just come at you as it may, and you’ll go with the flow. Your choices for homeschool curricula can really be more limited, or expanded, based on YOU rather than your children.
Pick a Homeschool Style That Works With Your Child’s Learning Style
After you have really thought about how you think you will do with homeschooling, it’s time to take a good look at your children. Let’s face it; you know them better than anyone. Even if you have never thought about “schooling” them, you did in fact teach them everything they learned up to now. Talking, tying shoes, how to hold a spoon, colors, shapes, etc.
Think back to those things you have taught them, and how they learned them. Did they do well when listening to direction? Did they have to see a picture or have a visual aid to help? Maybe they had to be able to go hands-on in order to really grasp things. How they pick up on concepts and instruction is called their learning style. Again, how you might go about choosing or putting together a program or curriculum can be based on those learning styles. Also keep in mind that what works for one child may not work for another.
Be Flexible And Responsive In Homeschooling
While your personality, as well as the personalities and learning styles of your kids, can play a part in what your homeschool is like, nothing is set in stone or absolute. Even if you start out going in one direction, you can end up in an entirely direction in a matter of years, months, even weeks. It’s okay. You are going to always do what feels right in regards to your children. If a change feels necessary, let it come. Don’t place extreme expectations on yourself or your children.
Join A Homeschool Group
I would also suggest, if you do make the leap into homeschooling, that you join a local homeschool group. This is a great way to meet other homeschoolers so you can ask questions, share experiences and provide opportunities for your children to feel like they are a part of a group. If you don’t want to, or can’t, join a local group, you can always participate in online homeschool groups and forums to get information and support.
There is a lot to consider when planning how to start homeschooling. Above all else, you want to make sure to enjoy your start to homeschooling. Don’t let nerves, concerns or anxiety prevent from spending this time with your children and your family! You can do this!