So you’re going to homeschool. Yay! This is such an exciting journey. You are going to be amazed at what God will teach everyone in your family through this blessing of homeschooling. It’s wonderful, life-changing, and probably a little scary, right?
One of my favorite parts of working with new homeschooling families is helping them find peace and hope in the uncertain waters of homeschooling. It’s so easy to get caught up in all the questions, insecurities, and inconsistencies when it comes to getting started homeschooling. Everyone has a different way of doing things. Curriculum choices are as vast as the grains of sand on the shore. And expectations are high.
It’s no wonder new homeschoolers are confused. In fact, many veteran homeschoolers are still trying to keep their heads above water in a sea of information overload. Which leaves us with the first homeschool struggle that families face…
How do I get started homeschooling?
If you look around the internet, you’ll see lots of advice on how to get started homeschooling. You’re probably going to want to ignore most of it. Not because people are necessarily wrong, but because this process can be incredibly overwhelming and often people give advice without thinking about that fact.
Homeschooling is SIMPLE. It’s not easy, but it’s a very simple process. As you get started, focus on simple. You can always expand from there.
1. Pray and trust God
I know this seems like an oversimplified step, but it’s the MOST important. You must stop and ask God to help you. Friends, family, and even veteran homeschoolers cannot help you make the big decisions you need to make. Only God knows your particular circumstances, needs, and direction. Trust Him to guide you as you begin this process.
2. Find out your state laws- yourself
Step two is to find out what the requirements are in your state. DO NOT… I repeat DO NOT listen to your friends. Go read the laws and rules for yourself. Each state has a website with guidelines listed. Take the time to read them.
I once had a friend who was convinced that our state required her to school her children for a certain number of hours per day. She was nearly killing herself trying to accomplish this with 4 children at home. Lesson learned- find out exactly what the requirements are for yourself. Most states don’t require much, so you will find this process very freeing. Remember, we homeschool in order to meet the specific needs of our family. Whatever your friends are doing might not be a good fit!
3. Read valuable resources
The next step is to find some trusted resources to guide you through the process. Consider looking at what others do, remembering to keep an open mind about it. My resource page, Simple Homeschool, shares curriculum ideas, organizational tips, and much more.
Another favorite is Homeschool Launch, a site hosted by Teach Them Diligently Convention, providing excellent resources for homeschoolers of all stages. Along with the membership option, you can also find hundreds of great articles from trusted homeschooling bloggers for free. (You’ll even find articles from me over there!)
4. Attend a homeschool convention
The final step I strongly recommend is attending a homeschool convention. You can read just about anything you want to know on the internet these days, but a convention will help you put all of the pieces together, while encouraging your heart through real people just like you.
I’m praying for you as you embark on this awesome journey. It’s not going to be easy all of the time, but you will never regret it!
Stay tuned the rest of this month as I share some of the most common homeschool struggles along with short, practical ways to get a grip on those that threaten to consume us!