Homeschooling: Getting Started Guide

You CAN learn how to homeschool! We believe anyone can start homeschooling with a few simple steps. In this article, you’ll learn the essentials for starting to homeschool right.

6 Steps to Homeschooling Success

 

How to Homeschool Step 1:

#1 Check Your State Homeschool Requirements

One of the first things every new homeschooling parent needs to do is to understand and fulfill their state’s homeschooling requirements. Most often these homeschool laws are a few simple requirements that you can do quickly before starting homeschooling. Click below to visit our state homeschool laws page. You will find a link to each state’s Department of Education homeschool web page there. We suggest you visit that directly to get the most updated homeschooling requirements for your state.

 

 

Veteran Homeschooler Tip: Some local schools/districts might ask homeschooling families for extra info that their state doesn’t actually require. Knowing your rights and your state’s homeschooling laws can save you some hassle.

 

Click below to see our directory of state homeschooling web pages.

State Homeschool Laws

 

How to Homeschool Step 2:

#2 Discover Your “WHY & HOW”

First, take just a minute to write out WHY you feel you should be homeschooling. This can be your mission or purpose statement and can be formal or just a few sentences describing your conviction that homeschooling is the right path for your family.

Veteran Tip: I write out my WHY with all the excited passion and determination that I have at the beginning. So that when the tough times come later in the year, I can bring out that “golden nugget” of wisdom, read it and help “re” inspire myself!

Second, once I have my WHY nailed down I move on to HOW I will accomplish it. Your HOW is simply how you will teach your children. Homeschoolers often call this your “homeschool method” or a “homeschool style.” 

If you work while homeschooling or have a child with special needs you’ll want to take these things into account and choose a teaching method that supports these needs. Click below to take this easy homeschool-style quiz or read more to get an idea of what homeschool method works for you. 

Take the Methods Quiz or read more about 
Popular Homeschool Methods

 

How to Homeschool Step 3:

#3 Know How Your Child Learns

 

Your child is unique and amazing. If you want a curriculum that fits your family, find out how your child prefers to learn! Your chosen teaching METHOD and your child’s learning PREFERENCES are keys to creating a solid homeschool foundation that you will enjoy for years to come.

 

Veteran Tip: When I choose my curriculum I keep in mind my child’s learning preferences. I don’t always cater to them completely, but I do try to incorporate their favorite ways to learn!

You’ll also want to figure out what motivates your student. Some children enjoy a more hands-on approach to learning.  While others love to watch and listen. Click below to take the learning preferences quiz or read more on the different learning preferences.

Take the Preferences Quiz or discover more about  
Learning Preferences

 

How to Homeschool Step 4:

#4 Finding Your Homeschool Curriculum

Finding a homeschool curriculum that fits your family and lifestyle is so important! In this step, you will be searching for your “best fit” curriculum. Whatever curriculum you choose should support your family’s needs, your personality, your homeschool/teaching method, and your child’s learning preferences whether that’s text-based, live classes, or online curriculum. This is the mix that will keep everyone happy and motivated all year and help you start homeschooling with ease.

Veteran Tip: Get information from other homeschoolers, conventions, and aligning your curriculum to your teaching style and your student’s learning preferences. You’ll find curriculum that matches your personality, your students’ needs, and your family lifestyle is often the best curriculum for you!

Bonus: Here are a few extra tips for finding the perfect fit homeschooling curriculum:

  • Visit a homeschool convention – see and touch the curriculum you’re considering
  • Test drive the curriculum – take the free trial or free download and do a few lessons with your student

Click below to take our Curriculum Finder Quiz and use our Curriculum directory to find your perfect fit curriculum!

 

Take the Curriculum Finder Quiz or use our 
Curriculum Finder Directory today!

 

How to Homeschool Step 5:

#5 Planning and Keeping Records

This is essential! I’ve gone from overplanning to underplanning and can tell you that a simple solid homeschool plan is a necessity. But, a plan that includes goals is vital for creating an amazing homeschool year. I don’t plan an entire year at once. I go slow because I don’t have an eraser big enough to fix the changes I would need to make!

 

Veteran Tip: When it comes to organizing my homeschool, I like to start off by creating a basic framework for the year. As we go along, I make adjustments and add to it as needed. It’s a great way to stay on track and ensure we’re making the most of our learning time together.

Basic Tools for Planning and Grading

  • Grab your free copy of the Sanity Saver Planner, get it printed, and use a 3 ring binder to customize it to your needs.
  • Keep a grade book – find a paper version or use our free digital planning tool link below
  • Create report cards – this helps your kids know where they stand and can be motivating!
  • Develop high school transcripts for your teens as you go. Don’t wait, update them each semester.

Click below to get your free homeschooling planner and digital record-keeping kit today!

     

    Grab Your Planner or get organized with 
    Digital Record Keeping Kit today!

     

    How to Homeschool Step 6:

    #6 Find Your Homeschool Community

    Connecting with other homeschoolers in your area is important to help you and your family get started homeschooling! There are many ways to find local homeschool groups. Some are simply support groups while others are homeschooling co-ops that help you carry the teaching load by sharing classes.  Additionally, there are also micro-schools which are a cross between a private school and a co-op. I know it can seem like a lot if you need some quick answers to homeschooling questions read our FAQ About Homeschooling article.

    Finding a place for you and your kids to connect with other homeschooling families is important. Click below to use our homeschooling group directory to find local homeschooling families.

     

    Find Local Homeschooling Groups or download our  
    Free How to Homeschool Book  just for you!