Learn how to home school today! How does home schooling work? What qualifications do you need to homeschool your child? Get help with homeschool cost, choosing best homeschool programs and curriculum and understanding children’s learning styles. Whether you’re looking for free online homeschooling or an all-in-one platform for homeschooling, our step by step online homeschool resource well help new homeschoolers! Tips to get you started in home education today when you need homeschool help.
HOW TO HOME SCHOOL TODAY
How do I start homeschooling my child?
How do you homeschool as a beginner?
- Review the homeschool laws by state (or country). Homeschooling laws vary by state (and it is illegal to homeschool in some other countries outside of the U.S.).
- Understand parent qualifications for your area. Parents are not required to have a college degree to homeschool, but most states have a minimum education requirement (like a GED).
- Figure out your child’s learning style. Everyone learns differently and observing your child’s learning style right from the start will save you time, money, and frustration..
- Deschool your child (and yourself!). One of the most important tips before you begin your home school year! (The BEST advice for new homeschoolers!)
- Find a homeschool support community, including local activities. When you’re just starting out in homeschooling, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Having a homeschool community–online or in-person meetups–is extremely helpful.
- *Choose a homeschool learning method. There are many homeschooling methods like Charlotte Mason homeschooling, Montessori, unschooling, classical homeschooling, eclectic homeschooling and more. Understanding your homeschool method will assist you in choosing your curriculum or courses.
- *Go slow on selecting curriculum, courses and homeschool resources. There are many options for homeschool curriculum and online courses that will assist you in home education, but you don’t need those right away. (And you definitely don’t need to attend a homeschool convention right away. It can get very overwhelming at those in the beginning!)
*Choosing learning methods / homeschooling styles and a homeschool curriculum is something people think they have to do ASAP when starting home school, but it is really one of the last things you should do! You can get started without any formal educational program at all!
(It’s actually one of those homeschooling myths– that you need a curriculum in and that’s how to get home school.)
Don’t worry! We’ll discuss all of this (and more!) in detail and get your how to homeschool questions answered, so keep scrolling!
NOTE: THIS IS VERY DETAILED INFORMATION, SO SET ASIDE SOME UNINTERRUPTED TIME TO GOT THROUGH THIS. OR, GRAB OUR HOW TO HOMESCHOOL GUIDE FOR OFFLINE USE, WHICH IS A GREAT PLACE TO START.
How To Homeschool Guide for Parents & Homeschooling for Beginners
As a new homeschooling parent, getting ready to start homeschooling is overwhelming! If you’re more of a GET RIGHT TO IT person, then grab our homeschool how to guide right now with the step by step basics of homeschooling and get started ASAP!
10-STEP GUIDE ON HOW TO GET STARTED HOMESCHOOLING TODAY
Help for homeschoolers is here!
You’ll get immediate access to our 25-page JUMPSTART GUIDE digital download on what you need to do today an how to get homeschooling: a homeschool step-by-step, including worksheets, checklists and calendar printables to start scheduling! It will really help you if you’re overwhelmed with homeschool where to start!
How Does Homeschool Work?
Before we go any further with home schooling tips to get you started, let’s first talk about homeschooling versus public school / your local school district.
Home school learning is very different from your local public school (it is considered a nonpublic school). But, there are some public schools who offer a home study program from home. (Yes, it can get very confusing because it looks like “home school” but is not.)
As parents or legal guardians and before learning how to be homeschooled, you may want to first read these posts first to get started and then come back to this post.
IMPORTANT ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
Where To Start With Homeschooling
How To Homeschool Your Children : Starting Home School Quick Guide
So you’re interested in homeschooling and want to know how how to get started in homeschooling and looking for homeschooling tips for getting started?
Or, maybe you’ve been wondering how do you start homeschooling your child . . . at all?
And, maybe even want to know how to homeschool my child for free? (YES! You can do it!)
(Do you need to be a teacher? Do you need a homeschool certification?)
It’s A LOT, right?
When you’re new to homeschool and learning how to home school and wondering , knowing how to transition to homeschooling or wondering how to start a homeschool is daunting and it’s easy to get completely overwhelmed.
But, no worries!
We’re going to walk you through EXACTLY how to start home schooling — whether you need to know how to start homeschooling kindergarten or you’ve been wondering, “How do I take my child out of school to homeschool?”
We’ve got you covered on how to get homeschooled!
►LOOKING FOR SCHOOL AT HOME RESOURCES INSTEAD or CONSIDERING EMERGENCY HOMESCHOOLIING? CHECK OUT OUR FULL SCHOOL FROM HOME SECTION
I KNOW THAT GETTING STARTED WITH THE HOMESCHOOL PROCESS AND WONDERING “What do I need to homeschool my child?” IS COMPLETELY OVERWHELMING.
Let’s start out with a quick overview of what you need to homeschool — whether you’re wondering how to homeschool in Texas, how to how to homeschool your child in California, or about homeschooling in Germany (or anywhere else for home school students) … or even if you just need a homeschooling how to overview.
When you’ve finished reading this how do you start homeschooling your child info, you’ll know more about:
• REQUIREMENTS FOR HOMESCHOOLING YOUR CHILD
• QUESTIONS TO ASK ABOUT HOMESCHOOLING
• HOW TO TRANSITION YOUR CHILD FROM TRADITIONAL SCHOOL TO HOMESCHOOL
• OUR RECOMMENDED HOMESCHOOL CURRICULUM FOR GETTING STARTED
• AND, MOST IMPORTANTLY, HOW TO START HOME SCHOOLING YOUR CHILD TODAY (COMPLETE HELP WITH HOMESCHOOLING FOR BEGINNERS WONDERING HOW DO I START HOMESCHOOLING?)
However, before we get started with any help for homeschooling and how to begin homeschooling, I have a question for you:
Why do you want to homeschool?
I like to ask people to reflect on their reasons so that they’re clear on WHY they’re choosing homeschooling. Taking full responsibility for your child’s education is serious business and I want you to do it for the right reasons.
But, don’t be scared!
Chances are, homeschooling is something you’ve been thinking about for at least a little while now.
Maybe you want to homeschool because of a poor experience at public school?
Or, maybe you’ve become more frightened with the current climate in our society?
Or, maybe you realize that you can better meet your child’s needs than a traditional educational system?
Whatever your reason, there are many other parents homeschooling for the same ones (and a variety of other reasons you may not have even thought about)!
And, if you’re like me when I first started, you may be wondering if you’re going to be alone in this journey? Or, if you’re going to have a hard time finding “socialization” for your kids. Or, how do your “test” your homeschooled child or tell what they’re learning.
YOU MAY FIND THIS HELPFUL: Why Do People Homeschool? Top Reasons for Homeschooling
Also, maybe you’re even wondering what kind of people homeschool?
Check this out . . .
Educational options for families are growing. You may be surprised to learn that there are over an estimated 1.7 million homeschooled students in the United States!
Honestly, I (and many other homeschool families) think that homeschool statistic is on the low end and that there are actually significantly more homeschoolers than the data reflects.
You see, not every homeschool state has requirements that homeschool families must alert the state that they are homeschooling. (Every state has different homeschooling laws and requirements.)
And, that means that many homeschool families are not “counted” in reported homeschool statistics or educational data.
And, since the pandemic, homeschooling has risen drastically. According to Harvard in April-May 2020, “5.4 percent of U.S. households with school-aged children reported that at least one child was homeschooled.”
Then, the federal government Census.gov reported by fall 2020, 11.1% of U.S. households with school-age children were homeschooling, which means that public school enrollment is decreasing (and the public school system probably isn’t happy about that…).
Again, I think those statistics are on the low side.
HOMESCHOOL STATISTICS [INFOGRAPHIC]
Here are some other homeschool statistics you may find interesting as you get started:
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How Does Homeschooling Work?
Now that you understand a little more about homeschooling, let’s get into how homeschool works.
(You know, how to do homeschooling…)
Homeschooling Where To Begin
If your child is just starting school (younger children like a preschooler or in kindergarten) or is in middle school, it will be much easier than if you are transferring your high school student into homeschooling at a later date for secondary education. (BUT, you can grant a high school diploma through homeschooling without attending a public high school! And, surprise! Home study students even go to college!)
HOMESCHOOLING HIGH SCHOOL? READ THIS NEXT: How do I start homeschooling high school?
Either way, you can stop wondering how to homeschool and can instead start the process of homeschooling your child today!
Here’s what you need to start homeschooling TODAY with this step-by-step guide for beginners!
Check these out next for how to homeschool your kid:
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Beginning Homeschooling: 5 Steps on How to Homeschool
How To Get Started Home Schooling
How to Home School Step #1: Check Homeschooling Laws
Before answering anything else on how do you start homeschooling your child or looking for homeschool programs or even asking about the best homeschooling curriculum like Easy Peasy Homeschool, AllInOneHomeschool, or any other popular program or thousands of different publishers for homeschool, you need to know this homeschooling 101 tip:
The number one thing you must do before starting homeschooling is to check the homeschool laws / homeschool regulations for your area.
Homeschooling is legal in every state of the United States, but it is illegal in some other countries. So, getting started with homeschooling will depend a lot on where you are living.
In the United States, every state has different homeschooling laws and you need to be sure that you are compliant with those laws before you even start!
Homeschooling in VA is very different than homeschooling in TN, which can both be very different from home education in Florida or Alabama or other states.
Some states have very relaxed homeschooling laws and have little to no state reporting requirements other than providing an equivalent education / equivalent instruction and documenting attendance.
Other states have very stringent homeschooling laws where you may be required to use a specific curriculum or have to follow very specific guidelines.
Thoroughly understand the homeschool legal requirements for your state / area before beginning homeschool!
YOU MAY ALSO BE INTERESTED IN:
If you have a child that has been attending traditional school, DO NOT pull your child from school unless you understand the homeschool laws for your state or country first.
Start by searching the internet for homeschooling laws for your state or country and be sure you have an understanding of them before proceeding to the next step.
How to Home School Step #2: Discuss Homeschooling With Your Child and Family
You may have this great idea that you want to embark on a homeschooling journey, but have you discussed it with your family? Or, even with your children? A lot of families get their spouse on the same page, but forget to include the children in the homeschool decision.
Before starting the homeschool process, it’s best to get the family on the same page, or at least a similar page, before you start all the homeschooling planning.
Sometimes, spouses (and, often even extended family members and friends) will have different viewpoints on homeschooling.
Dispelling homeschooling myths and misconceptions (and even talking about the benefits of homeschooling!) and helping everyone in the immediate family to understand the goal will help make your homeschooling journey a lot easier.
I went through this with my husband. (He didn’t want me to homeschool because he wasn’t sure we could meet our daughter’s academic needs.)
Also, don’t forget to talk to your kids about homeschooling before you begin. They may have some questions and concerns about the school day and process and you will want to address those immediately.
A big part of family member pushback and not wanting you to homeschool the kids is based on fear and misunderstanding.
ONE OF THE BIGGEST WAYS YOU CAN GET FAMILY (AND FRIENDS) ONBOARD IS TO HELP ELIMINATE THEIR FEARS AND MISUNDERSTANDING.
And, you do this by being prepared!
What are your fears?
What part of homeschooling don’t you understand?
DO YOUR RESEARCH SO THAT YOU ARE ARMED TO ANSWER HOMESCHOOL QUESTIONS FROM FAMILY, FRIENDS, NAYSAYERS, AND ANYONE ELSE.
Mostly importantly, just be honest with everyone about your reasons for homeschooling.
How to Home School Step #3: Start the Transfer Process to Homeschool (if needed)
Can you start homeschooling at any time?
If your child has been attending public (or private) school, you will need to alert the school that your child is leaving with a notice of intent with your public school district or private school. It’s simply done with a letter of intent announcing that you’re transferring your child to a private school (you often do not need to name it as homeschooling).
Be sure to copy any relevant school officials and also send an electronic copy and a signature required copy through the mail.
If you have school- related services like an ESP, special education services, or have special needs, you may be able to continue those through your public school district. Check your state homeschool laws and school district rules on those to help with your specific family’s needs. (Search for contact information online for your state or check the superintendent’s office contacts.)
If you don’t, your child may be counted as truant for breaking compulsory education law or get some weird educational neglect issue (and, this could create entirely new issues for your family). If that’s the case, you definitely want to seek legal advice from HSLDA or an attorney who understands homeschool law.
In many cases and states, you do not need to reveal to the school that you are now homeschooling your child.
Instead, you can just complete the paperwork that transfers your child to a private school or withdraws them from public school without naming it “homeschool.”
NEW HOMESCHOOLER TIP: The transfer process will vary by state, so again, check your state homeschooling laws and guidelines.
Also, if your child is just starting preschool or kindergarten, you may be required to alert your state that you are homeschooling.
However, in other states, if your child has never been in the “school system” then you can just homeschool your preschooler or kindergartener and not be concerned with official paperwork or reporting.
Repeat this as a mantra: CHECK STATE LAWS ON HOMESCHOOLING.
(Now, repeat it over and over until you check your state homeschool laws and understand them!)
How to Home School Step #4: Deschool Before Home School
If you’re wondering about homeschooling where to start, one of the most import things you can do is deschool. It’s the best way to get your homeschooling off to a successful start!
Switching a child from traditional school to homeschool can be a confusing time, so you need a transition. That first transition step in how to home school your children is to starting with deschooling.
If your child has been in any form of traditional school, your child will need a period of deschooling–or “unlearning”–to transition from the traditional methods of learning to a more relaxed homeschooling style.
Deschooling is used as a transition time between homeschooling and traditional school — and it is a MUST DO for both you and your child!
It’s a decompression period where your child gets out of the habits of traditional school and realizes he doesn’t have to meet the standard expectations of “school.”
By the way, you will need this time to “unlearn,” too, especially if you grew up going to a traditional school and this is your first time homeschooling!
You will all need a period of breaking in the new schedule and lifestyle.
In the most simple terms:
Deschooling just means that you and your child “forget” how traditional school works.
With homeschooling, your kid doesn’t need to raise his hand, or he doesn’t need to ask permission to go to the restroom, or he won’t be sitting at a desk for six hours every day.
When you deschool, be sure NOT to implement any “formal” educational practices, especially those like they’ve been accustomed to during traditional school.
You don’t want to give your kids worksheets or “homework” during this time.
Deschooling Activities and Deschooling Ideas
Deschooling is a difficult concept, especially if you’re new to it.
You may have questions like:
If your kids don’t “school” during this time, what do they do with their time?
Here are some ideas and activities for deschooling:
• Take homeschool field trips
• Go to the library and read
• Visit relatives and listen to their stories to get some family history
• Go on nature hikes
• Visit museums
• Make a state “things to do/see” bucket list and then do them!
• Do some kindness activities
• Play outside
• Do arts and crafts
Basically, anything you want to do is fine during deschooling.
Hopefully, this list will get you started and then as you become more comfortable with the deschooling process, you can add to the list with your own deschooling ideas!
During this deschooling period, you may also practice the method of unchooling.
This is a good method if the thought of your kid just “being” during deschooling makes you uncomfortable.
Unschooling is where you don’t keep a schedule and allow your child to learn how and what they would like to learn. It can feel very uncomfortable in the beginning, but it’s one of those homeschooling journeys that allows your kids to discover / re-discover their love of learning!
- For example, maybe your child likes spiders.
- During this time he might sleep in late and then read some books about spiders.
- Or, maybe he watches an awesome documentary about spiders and spends some time on that.
- And, maybe he asks to go on a nature hike and journal or draw about spiders in the wild. This an example of unschooling and child-led learning.
There are so many educational opportunities based solely around what your child loves to do!
During the deschooling period you just allow your child to just be and it’s not going to look anything like what you or your child knows from traditional school.
And, that’s OK. Your home schooling will be unique depending on your specific situation!
So, it may feel uncomfortable or like you’re cheating or that your child is doing nothing (or even something wrong).
However, your child will learn naturally if you allow it while they are “unlearning” traditional school methods.
How much time should you deschool?
The minimum recommended amount of time to deschool is one month.
Some use the rule of thumb of one month of deschooling for every year that the child was in a traditional school setting.
So, if your child was in 6th grade, you may deschool for six months.
However, this varies and many parents find that they need even more time.
Take the cues from your children and begin a homeschooling schedule when they (and you) are ready.
How to Home School Step #5: Start with a Homeschool Unit Study
If you’re like most homeschool newbies, you’ve probably spent a fair amount of time researching what your child needs to study and how you’re going to teach it.
(I’m looking at you, math anxiety.)
This is where a prepared homeschool curriculum can come into play, especially if there are required subject areas for your state.
A homeschool curriculum provides all the materials you need to teach a specific subject like math, language arts, social studies, physical education and sometimes even suggestions for extracurricular activities. Homeschool curricula can be either print (using books, worksheets, etc.) or online.
A child’s curriculum can be a lifesaver, but it can also become very restricting.
REMEMBER: YOU CHOSE HOMESCHOOLING BECAUSE YOU WANT TO DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY THAN TRADITIONAL SCHOOL. THAT MEANS BEING OPEN TO ALTERNATIVE WAYS OF LEARNING.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by alllllllllllll the homeschool curricula out there (I totally get it and so does every other homeschooling parent), then let the search for the best home school program go (even just temporarily).
Let me repeat that:
ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT HOMESCHOOLING HELP TIPS I CAN GIVE YOU:
YOU DO NOT NEED A HOMESCHOOL CURRICULUM OR VIRTUAL HOMESCHOOL PROGRAM TO STARTING HOME SCHOOL.
IMPORTANT: One caveat is if you have a curriculum or something specific required by your state/country. Again, check your state laws! And, some states do have an annual assessment for homeschoolers).
You will tailor the process of homeschooling to how your children best learn and it take a little while of observing your kids first. As a homeschooling family, you have the ability to create an individualized home instruction plan for each of your children. What a blessing that is!
To start homeschooling today, you don’t need to search for accredited homeschool programs or even look for the best home schooling program.
That can (AND SHOULD) wait until you get your feet wet with getting accustomed to a homeschool schedule.
ALSO CHECK OUT:
With a unit study method, you ask your child what they would like to learn more about during homeschooling. Then, you build learning around that. (See the spiders example from #4.)
- Maybe your kid likes anime.
- You can read books, or learn about drawing Manga/Anime.
- And, you can watch a Manga or anime story.
- Or, you can also have your child create their own anime.
- Within this short example of learning about anime, we’ve covered the subjects of writing, grammar, spelling, art, and more… with a topic that your child loves!
If you do a few unit studies like this on different topics, it will help you ease your way into homeschooling. And bonus!? It works well with any child’s age / learning level!
Then, you may want to pick another method or curriculum later once you become more comfortable with homeschooling. Or, you may decide to continue with the unit method or unschooling! Trust your instincts and be OK with switching things up!
The last thing I want you to do is RELAX when learning how to homeschool!
It sounds like a ridiculous thing to say with all the anxiety of starting out homeschooling, but if you start out relaxed then your homeschool journey will be much better.
How to homeschool starting TODAY is easier than you think!
RECAP: STEPS ON STARTING TO HOMESCHOOL YOUR CHILD TODAY
- First get started on researching your state (or country) homeschooling laws.
- Get your family on the same(ish) page.
- Start the transfer process from traditional school to homeschool (if needed).
- Deschool. (For your kids and you as homeschool parents!) It will help move them from being public school students into a homeschooling mindset!
- Ditch the homeschool curriculum and started with a more relaxed homeschool unit study.
AND, BONUS STEP: RELAX!
After following these steps for a few months, then you can go back and re-evaluate.
You may decide at that time that you want to follow a specific homeschooling method or use a particular homeschool curriculum, but you do not need to figure those things out at the beginning of starting to homeschool your child.
FEELING OVERWHELMED WITH HOW DO I HOMESCHOOL QUESTIONS?
Wondering, Where do I go from here?
REVIEW MOST COMMON HOMESCHOOLING QUESTIONS & ISSUES
GRAB OUR HOMESCHOOL BOOK: STEP-BY-STEP TO GET YOU STARTED ON HOW TO HOME SCHOOL TODAY!
We’ve created an entire guide that covers the most common homeschooling questions and gives you homeschool helpful resource tips to get you started.
It’s the homeschool how to get started guide that I WISH I had when I started. DEFINITELY add this to your educational materials!