One of the questions many of my readers have is they don’t know how to start homeschooling but would really like to begin. They usually have tried working with the public school system getting their child on an IEP or a 501, maybe getting a math and/or reading tutor, met with the school psychologist, teachers, and principal.
None of those things really dealt with all of the issues their child is struggling with. After hearing about the wonders of homeschooling they are ready to start a new way of educating their child.
I can tell you how we started homeschooling. The steps I took before withdrawing Logan. What I did to prepare for having him home. Finally, I can share the resources that I found the most beneficial.
Convincing My Husband We Should Start Homeschooling
It was at book store one afternoon that I found myself praying for an answer about the problems Logan was having in public school. My husband and I were spending so much time talking to school personnel it felt like we were there more than the janitor.
After reading a few homeschool books I went online to find anything I could about homeschooling. I printed these articles and left them wherever my husband would see them, on the bathroom mirror, above the key holder in the hall, on the refrigerator door… You name it, it had an article taped to it.
He soon saw that I was serious about this and knew what I was talking about. He was concerned about the cost of materials, books, whatever else we would need to school at home. He was also concerned about the loss of my salary. We agreed to pray about it and asked God to tell us clearly what He wanted us to do.
Then one morning Scott called me from work and said, “OK, let’s do this. The principal just called me to say Logan’s tutoring was canceled because he got a C on his paper. That is not improvement. I am so done and am ready to try something new.”
Learn What Your State Laws Are About Homeschooling
Each state has its own public education laws. Some states treat a homeschool as if it were a private school, others don’t even care if you never notify them. Most states are somewhere in between. You can find the laws in your state by going to your state’s department of education site and searching for homeschool. You could also just google your state and homeschool laws. There are many websites that homeschool moms create just for their state to share common information. You can find support groups, co-op groups, meetings, and templates to use for fulfilling your state’s homeschool legal requirements.
Bringing Your Child Home to Start Homeschooling
You filled out all the proper legal requirements for your school district and state’s homeschool laws. Now it is time to bring your child home.
Do not make the same mistake I did and re-create a school in your house.
I know now that becoming a homeschooler means we moved learning into our home. Hear the difference? If you make this fatal mistake you are re-creating the exact same circumstance you just withdrew your child from. In. His. Own. Home!
The Importance of DeSchooling
This step is so important there is even a Wikipedia page for deschooling. Know how when people who have been in the military just need to relax and not think about anything at all when they first come home? Yeah, that is exactly what your kid needs to do, too. Do not even attempt anything remotely looking like learning. Your child needs to learn that home is safe. You and he need to learn how to be together 24/7/365. I did not understand that being a parent of a child who left the house most of the day was completely different than being the mother of a child who was always with me. Let your child relax and recuperate. This will go a long way in building trust between you two.
Learn Your Child’s Learning Style and Your Educational Philosophy
Everyone takes in information a little differently. Some learn best by watching a YouTube video. Others of us would rather read a book first. It is important to know your child’s learning style because then you can tailor your lessons by using their main preference of learning.
What is an educational philosophy? It is how you, and your husband, believe children learn best. Believe it or not there are several schools of thought on this. There’s the Charlotte Mason, the Montessori, the Jefferson, the Classical, and so many other methods. Read up on this because chances are this is not the way your child has been taught up to now.
You’re going to come at this learning thing your way and he is going to look at you like you are a lunatic.
Once you know your child’s learning style and your educational philosophy you will have a better game plan of how to get to there from here together. (Which means, talk to your kid about this stuff, too!)
Choosing Curriculum and Getting School Supplies
It never fails. The middle of August I always get the question of what curriculum to buy. Or some mom reads that I am absolutely against desks of any kind for a homeschool with a child who has ADHD. She is in full panic mode because she just dropped a ton of money at IKEA.
Actually, if this is your very first year to homeschool, do not buy much. At. All.
Well, sure, buy all the crayons, markers, glue sticks, scissors, folders with metal prongs, and all the art supplies your heart desires.
Do NOT buy
- 3 ring binders – Stuff has a way of falling out all the time. It’s like magic or something
- expensive boxed curriculum – you have no idea what your kid really knows, or likes, yet. Find the used stuff (think eBay or VegSource.com). If you like it you can buy new next year
- any desk of any kind whatsoever. Your kid has ADHD. He is going to bounce, and hop, and lay on the couch like a sloth. All while doing his math and reading. Trust me on this.
Find Your Tribe
Remember I said earlier to google “homeschooling [your state’s name here]”? When you did that hopefully you found tons of support groups, co-ops, and other homeschooling families who live near you.
What’s a co-op? That is where other homeschool families get together for group lessons. If you are a writer and don’t want to teach science but Jimmy’s mom is a nurse and is willing to, then you teach her kid writing in exchange. Sometimes there are fees but it’s worth it for the camaraderie.
Homeschoolers love to get group discount tickets for the symphony or ballet because you can go during the day. If you have a large enough group you can get docents from the museum to show you behind the scenes at a special exhibit.
We do love to socialize!
What else would you like to know about how to start homeschooling?
Feel free to private message me at our Facebook page, LJSkool. I usually get online about 9’ish and answer questions for readers about 3 times a week. I would love to see you there.