Have you made the decision to homeschool your child but don’t know where to begin?
While only 3% of children in the United States are homeschooled, the number continues to grow as parents understand the flexibility and opportunity available to their children through homeschooling.
The most challenging part for both parents and children is adjusting from regular school and figuring out how to ease the transition into homeschooling. You’ll also need to decide on a method and approach, determine the legal requirements in your state and much more.
We know you want to create a comprehensive curriculum for your child and structure the proper learning environment necessary for them to thrive. Not to worry! We’ve laid out a guide on how to start homeschooling your child below!
Know the Requirements
The first step in homeschooling your child is to figure out what your state’s requirements are. Just because they’ll be learning from home, doesn’t mean you can bypass the educational guidelines and legal tenants which regular schools must abide by.
Every state in the U.S. allows parents to homeschool their children, however, each state varies on how that must be done and what steps need to be taken on the part of the parent in order to make it legitimate.
Some states will require you to register as a private school, while other states will require standardized testing every few years to be sure your child is keeping up and receiving the proper education at home.
Contact your local Homeschooling Association to get a list of requirements and what is expected of you and your child before you take your child out of school. If you have already taken your child out, be sure you’ve formally removed him or her so the school is aware that they will be receiving an at-home education going forward.
Determine Your Teaching Method
One of the best parts about homeschooling your child is the freedom it offers in how you cater to his or her academic and developmental needs. This isn’t one-size-fits-all education so don’t treat it as such.
You have the ability to teach your child in a non-conventional atmosphere and hone in how they learn best and absorb information. If you know your child is easily distracted and responds positively to structure, you might consider a more traditional classroom and Western approach to schooling.
If your child tends to lean the opposite way in a classroom environment, you may want to give them to the freedom to help create their own curriculum by focusing on things that peak their interest.
This method is known as unschooling and allows children to learn in the same way adults do; by following their own curiosity and learning about a subject based on genuine interest. It’s important to note what your child is an isn’t comfortable with, and what teaching methods they most respond to.
Many relaxed homeschooling families do the classroom type work in the morning, including handouts and workbook assignments, and then leave the afternoon open for exploring interests and hobbies.
The school-at-home method is very common because it’s exact. You order the curriculum, along with a schedule, books and assignments and lesson plans and follow along.
This usually results in children working through the day as if they were at regular school. This approach is usually easier on the parents since they can rest assure their child is getting the full education, but keep in mind children are without classmates and this approach leaves little fun for them.
There are several other homeschool teaching methods at your disposal. Consider your child’s needs and what you as a parent will be able to comfortably manage before deciding. Be sure to keep in mind you can easily blend one or more of the methods to come up with an approach that works for you and your family.
Network with Other Homeschooling Families
Homeschooling is becoming more popular each year which means the community is growing. Take advantage of other homeschool families in your area for support. Get to know them and see how they’re structuring their day and what activities they are doing with their kids.
Many museums, aquariums and science centers even have daytime programs for homeschooled children so they can come to learn and experience the same kind of field trips that kids in regular school get to attend in groups.
There are also co-ops of homeschooling families who connect with one another for support and comradery. Check out any in your area for more info and get involved. It will be helpful for both the parents and the children.
Allow Time for the Transition
Transitioning from regular school to homeschool will not be an overnight success. There will be an adjustment period and many families who have been down this road and seen success have reported it takes about one year to fully acclimate and track progress.
Keep in mind you may have to try a few different methods before the right one clicks. Be patient and malleable, always remembering that your child’s education is the number one priority. If you’re noticing a certain approach isn’t working or is creating a problematic atmosphere during school hours, move on to a different approach or begin implementing other techniques.
Homeschooling will also be an adjustment for you as the parent. It will take time finding how to balance being the teacher and the parent and when to access which role. Be patient with yourself, after all, this is likely your first time doing it and there will be inevitable growing pains.
You’ll know the homeschooling has hit its stride when both you and your child are feeling ease and joy during the day.
How to Start Homeschooling? Follow These Simple Steps!
These tools for how to start homeschooling will help guide you through an easy transition from regular school and create a fun, enthusiastic atmosphere centered around education.
Don’t forget to see what works best for you and your child. Monitor their progress and give yourselves both time to adjust to this new way of learning.
Be sure to check out our blog for tips about education and maximizing your potential in both school and business.