If you’re considering homeschooling, you probably have a lot of questions about how to get started. This list of five things you should know before you start homeschooling will help you get started on the right foot. And hopefully it will encourage you and help you feel a little less overwhelmed and more confident. Wondering what resources should a new homeschooler have? Keep reading – I’ve got them for you!
What should a new homeschooler know before starting?
1. You’ve been teaching your child from day one. You are more than qualified to keep doing it.
No one loves your child more or knows them better than you do! A teaching degree or special training isn’t required for homeschooling, because homeschooling is not school. Educating kids in a classroom is an entirely different scenario than educating kids at home. As a home educator, you’re not managing 25+ kids, their behavior, their educational needs, and moving them from room to room throughout a large building. You have the advantage of knowing your child and knowing their likes and dislikes, the things that trigger them to get upset, the situations that frustrate them, etc. You are their best teacher!
2. The goal of homeschooling isn’t to recreate school at home, so don’t try.
Your homeschool should look different from the classroom. You don’t need desks, a strict schedule, or even textbooks – unless those are things that work for your family. Homeschooling can happen on the floor, in the car, on the back porch… anywhere! When you realize that learning isn’t confined to a desk, you realize that maybe a formal classroom space in your home isn’t necessary.
3. As long as you follow your local laws, there are no rules. You get to decide what to learn and how to do it.
Not the school district. Not your bestie. Not your mom. Not an account on Instagram. YOU. The beauty of homeschooling is that you can do it your way. Finding the way that fits your family might mean that it’s the opposite of what you thought you’d do or the opposite of what your friend does. And that’s okay – that’s actually good.
4. Don’t go all in with planning the year, buying curriculum, or setting up your space until you know what works for you.
It doesn’t have to look perfect or be perfect before you begin! You might get a few weeks into a curriculum and decide it’s a terrible fit, so don’t spend hundreds of dollars on something just because you feel pressured to choose. Read books. Play math games. Find a rhythm at home together before you worry about all the details. Head over to this post to read more about choosing curriculum.
5. Book learning isn’t better than life learning – both count as homeschooling!
The time your kids spend baking and gardening is not less valuable than the time they spend working on their math curriculum. Train your brain to notice all the ways they learn, not just the ones that “look like school.” Hands-on life learning experiences can often teach our kids more than a textbook – especially if it’s something they are interested in or connect with in a meaningful way.
Looking for Resources for New Homeschoolers?
I put together a FREE mini-course to jump start your homeschool in five days – just for you, the new homeschooling family! I’ll give you some practical tips and encouragement as you get started on your homeschooling journey.
Need more support as a new homeschooler?
Delight Filled Homeschool is my signature course, designed to walk you through homeschooling from the beginning. Build a good foundation for the years ahead and create a homeschool that goes beyond curriculum and test scores, but that you and your kids actually enjoy!
Sage Homeschool Community is an online community membership to support you in your homeschooling journey. Consider this your virtual moms’ group with other homeschool moms who are walking through the same things you are!