For those new to homeschooling, it’s one thing to get settled with state laws and join support groups, and another thing entirely to teach your children. How do you actually teach these new homeschool students? If you don’t have a teaching certificate, this is likely a pressing thought in your mind. Until now, you have been in parenting mode. To homeschool, you’re putting on the teaching hat. Your children become your students. This shift introduces a new dynamic to everyone in the family and, in all honesty, it can be a struggle. Perhaps you feel like your children don’t take you seriously as their teacher or you may feel overwhelmed with teaching guides and instruction manuals.
Before You Start
First, take a deep breath.
Second, take comfort in knowing that most homeschool parents don’t fully know what they’re doing beforehand, but they figure it out along the way! You are not alone, and these sorts of stresses are exactly why you need a support group. Those homeschooling moms and dads can say “Been there, done that,” and show you the way.
Third, consider deschooling if you are switching from a traditional school setting. Deschooling, essentially, is the process of breaking free from the schedule and feel of the classroom. This process helps remove your mental limits of what school “should” look like and how it “should” be done. In the end, the goal of deschooling is to remove thoughts of “should,” and broaden your homeschooling horizons. Do you think you need desks and a chalkboard to homeschool? You don’t. Conversely, do you think you have to homeschool at the kitchen table? Nope. You can homeschool in your yard, your car, your sofa, or even in bed! Homeschooling can happen anywhere, anytime. It’s hard to imagine this when you’re accustomed to traditional schools. That’s okay — that’s what deschooling is for!
How to Find a Homeschool Curriculum
When you finally check off the logistics of starting to homeschool (laws, support groups, curriculum, learning styles, homeschooling methods, and more), you can begin one of the most intimidating steps: planning your homeschool. This is the point when the how-to guides come into play and you find a curriculum and decide how your student is going to learn the curriculum in two semesters. This is when you learn how to teach, and, to be fair, it’s downright stressful for new homeschoolers. Honestly, it can be a source of procrastination even for experienced homeschoolers!
Before you actually start homeschooling you need to have a framework of learning in place. This is often referred to as a homeschool curriculum. And as we’ve shared with you in our Getting Started Homeschooling Guide you begin this journey by examining your family, yourself and your learner. When you know what style of learning and how your child enjoys learning, you can move on to exploring what homeschool curriculum supports both of those. And if you haven’t already discovered this, there is a massive amount of homeschooling curriculum, products, and resources out there. Some of it is absolutely amazing. But there is Just. So. Much.
This is why we created a “Curriculum Finder” tool to help you sift through all of it and find what fits YOU! Take a minute to dig deep and find a shortlist of possibilities for your homeschool year, and then take each one for a test drive. Request free samples, free demos, or free trials and let everyone try it out. If your children are older, this part of the process is very important. Let them tell you what they love or hate about what they’ve tried and work together toward finding a homeschool curriculum that checks everyone’s boxes.
Bookmark our Homeschool Curriculum Finder Tool now and revisit later to find your best-fit curriculum!
How to Start Planning Your Homeschool By Subject
To that end, we have created practical how-to guides for the main subjects of study. Learn how to teach lessons in math, science, art, music, foreign languages, and more with our articles! Additionally, when you begin to plan out your homeschool year, take a look at the Scope and Sequence of your curriculum. This section covers the order and topics of what your children will learn, which makes it a valuable tool for organizing your year.
To make planning even easier, try our Sanity Saver planner! You can just print off a sample for free!
- How to Teach Homeschool Math. Math is a dreaded subject for many. In this guide, we will show how it can be helpful to use hands-on activities, real-world lessons, and practical applications.
- How to Teach Homeschool Science. Science ranks right up with math as one of the most dreaded subjects to both teach and learn. Science is often viewed as complicated, dry, and confusing, but it doesn’t have to be that way! Our suggestion? Teach science with living books and unit studies. Read how in our article.
- How to Teach Homeschool Social Studies. Social studies are incredibly important today. It’s essential to teach real history and expand our children’s worldview beyond their local community.
- How to Teach Homeschool Language Arts. English Language Arts cover grammar, phonics, reading, spelling, composition, literature, and more. Even if you feel confident in your personal Language Arts skills, teaching a student is different and can be challenging.
- How to Teach a Foreign Language in Your Homeschool. Learning a second language is a requirement for most universities these days and an asset for the job field. Prepare your students for success by helping them learn a foreign language from a young age.
- How to Teach Music. Many children profess a desire to learn an instrument. However, beyond the basic recorder in elementary school, a large percentage of students do not become proficient in playing an instrument while they are in school. Music can compliment other subjects, such as math and languages, so here’s how to start!
- How to Teach Homeschool Art. We love arts and crafts when children are young because merely painting with watercolors or coloring pictures is easy and accessible. What about when they get older? How do we teach art skills? We cover this and more in our guide.
How to Homeschool in Different Circumstances
Sometimes, your family doesn’t fall within the parameters of what is considered typical for homeschoolers. You may have a special needs child or perhaps you are a single parent. Maybe you’re living overseas or you have a very small budget for homeschool supplies. You could be homeschooling because of health reasons or erratic schedules. We recognize and even celebrate how homeschooling looks different for everyone! To help, we have created articles for support or guidance in various situations. We are here to encourage you and provide the resources you need. You can do it!
Visit our sister article in this series, How to Find Your Homeschooling Method!