It’s such an exciting time to be homeschooling! Families who never dreamt they would bring their kids home from public school are now loving the freedom and flexibility that comes with the choice to homeschool.
The U.S. Census Bureau reports a staggering increase of homeschooled students from 3.3% of households with school-aged children to 11.1% of households in the fall of 2020.
So that means there are a ton of new homeschool moms! And many of those new homeschool moms are looking for help to navigate the crazy amount of information they find online. So here’s the most important information you need to know to get started.
Know the Homeschool Law
Of course, the first step in homeschooling is to be sure you’re following the law for where you live. Most of the time, it’s not hard to comply. Some states and provinces don’t even require reporting!
If you’re in another location, then just search for your local homeschool laws and follow the procedure.
Get Out of the Public School Mindset
Even before you choose a curriculum or make plans for using a specific homeschool method, you have to get the public school mindset out of your thinking.
So many of us think that we need to replicate school at home, and it’s just not true! Some of the frustration or burnout that comes in the early months of homeschooling is trying to fit your child into a standardized box just because that’s what was required in a traditional classroom. But the world is your classroom now and your child can truly thrive in an atmosphere that promotes a lifelong love of learning!
Check out these posts, podcast episodes, and additional resources about mindset:
- What is a Passion-Driven Education? Interview with Connor Boyack
- Be Wild + Free with Ainsley Arment
- 88 Things First Time Homeschool Moms Need to Know (it’s not what you think!)
- 6 Ways You’re Making Homeschool Harder Than It Needs to Be
- Letting Go of the Public School Mindset When You Start Homeschooling
The Most Important Aspects of Homeschooling
When you first start to homeschool, capitalize on the most important aspects of homeschooling. Here are just a few of the big ones.
- one-on-one approach
- family bonding
- customized education
Of course, homeschooling is efficient because you are able to work with your kids one-on-one. This is a classroom teacher’s dream! This is why the formal part of homeschooling doesn’t have to take very long.
Your young children can learn with you in only very short bursts each day, spending the rest of their day as children should – playing, imagining, and learning by doing!
The family bonding that takes place when homeschooling is priceless. Instead of sifting everyone into their grade-level independent work, you can do most of the learning together as a group, especially in grades K-8.
This is how you teach multiple ages together without losing your mind! It works beautifully for mom’s sanity, while still educating the kids, and allowing your kids to become best friends.
Finally, being able to create a customized education for your kids means that your students are never “behind” and you can accommodate kids with learning struggles, like dyslexia. Even your highly sensitive children will appreciate being able to learn and grow at home without the pressure that can come from a classroom.
Find Your Community
The final component to really becoming confident and successful in your homeschooling at the beginning is to find your community! This might be a local support group. If you have this in your area, you really are blessed. Your community might be online, and that works too.
Not only do you want to find a supportive homeschool tribe, but it’s also helpful to have a mentor who can answer questions and also help guide you through your first few years.
Do you ever ask: “What should I be doing in my homeschool right now to prepare for the next season?” We know how important it is to stay organized and plan ahead. But you also don’t want to spend every weekend with a teacher planning book!
If you’re looking for a membership that will help you stay focused on the most important tasks and cut through the clutter of everything else you think you should be doing, then consider joining the Homeschool Mom Collective Membership. Right now, you can try it FREE for 30 days!
With a focused topic each month, we’ll deep dive into how to implement strategies and solutions in your homeschool. And we’ll have opportunities to hear from experts in the homeschooling field and ask them questions.
You don’t have to feel overwhelmed or alone in homeschooling anymore! Check out the Homeschool Mom Collective today and find the help, solutions, and community you need.
Abby is a former public school teacher, now homeschooling her five children. She’s in the trenches just like you and knows it can be challenging to be home with your kids all day while you struggle to keep up with the housework and educate your kids (and maybe even work on the side!). She blogs over at www.4onemore.com and hosts the Homeschool with Moxie podcast.