How to Start Homeschooling

There is a lot of planning involved if you want to start homeschooling your kids.

If you’ve thoroughly thought it over and decided that homeschooling is the way to go for you and your kids, and you’ve done all the research on the homeschooling requirements for your state, there are several steps you need to take in order to accomplish your goal. Homeschooling entails a lot of pre-planning and budgeting before you can set up your home classroom and get ready before the school year starts.

Abide by state laws

All states allow homeschooling; however, there are rules that you must comply with, and these will differ by state. Once you have narrowed down your particular state’s homeschooling requirements, make sure that you will comply by them, and get all the help that you need in order to do so. If your state requires you to follow a set curriculum and report your child’s test scores each year, then that is what you have to do.

Contact local home school groups

Go to your favorite browser and look for home school groups in your area of residence. You just might be surprised at the number of families who, like you, have chosen to educate their kids at home. You can also join homeschooling forums online. All these will provide access to helpful resources that homeschoolers can take advantage of.

Establish a yearly budget

Homeschooling can be as economical or expensive as you want it to be. You need to plan for activities that you and your kids will carry out, such as field trips, as well as expenses for textbooks, school supplies and curricula. Make a list of all the things you will need and the corresponding cost of each so you will have an idea of the amount that you need to prepare. Make sure to factor in additional costs, such as tutoring fees for subjects or higher level courses that you cannot teach your child yourself.

Create or purchase a homeschool curriculum

You may reside in a state that does not require you to follow the set public school curriculum for your child, and in this case, you have the freedom to choose to create your own curriculum from scratch or purchase a pre-packaged one that usually includes a teacher’s notes, textbooks and worksheets. The do-it-yourself route can be time-consuming, but it is also the least expensive approach. And while buying materials can quickly add up and consume your resources, keep in mind that there are numerous websites that now offer free homeschooling materials for parents like you.

Set a schedule

While one of the benefits of homeschooling is flexibility, it will only be helpful if you set a schedule for you and your child that will work for the both of you. Determine the number of hours you will spend on lessons and activities each day, and if you prefer homeschooling year round or with vacations. It will take a bit of time to adjust to homeschooling, and you will need to make an honest evaluation of what works and what doesn’t, and how long you and your child should spend on different courses.

Be organized

This is useful especially if you reside in a state that requires the submission of regular reports. However, even if you are not required to do so, keeping track of your child’s progress and your day-to-day lessons and activities so that you can have something to refer to the next year or with subsequent children will be a wise idea.