Homeschool First Steps + ENCOURAGEMENT

By popular request, here is your homeschool first steps and some much needed encouragement!

I feel like I need a drum roll!

Ready??? Here goes!!

You can do this!

It does feel overwhelming at first but there’s some great resources out there to help you feel grounded and confident. YOU are your child’s first teacher- you taught them how to walk and talk- you can guide them through education too, little by little, slowly but surely, and enjoy your family along the way! There are hard and frustrating days. But it is also so rewarding that you get to see the wonder of learning in your child’s eyes and go on this journey with them! All you need is to get started. You need some homeschool first steps.

My Best Advice for Homeschooling Children

My singular best advice for homeschooling little children is that you can’t read aloud too much!  Then explore outside!
A love of reading and the outdoors will take you far. Make reading time FUN. Do little voices for characters. If a lion roars in the book, the kids should be told to roar along. Make reading interactive and fun for little kids so they love it. For a bunch of book recommendations, check out my homeschool reading list. Also, I’ve compiled a lot of other free resources into another blog I wrote called ‘Homeschool Resources, Curriculum, Videos, and Encouragement‘.

5 Homeschool First Steps

  1. Register with the state. Start by looking up your state’s guidelines to register a homeschooler.
  2. Connect with others in your area. Search Facebook and google and ask friends for the local homeschool co-ops and groups in your area and pick one or two to join so you are not alone. Co-ops may be joint classes, field trips, etc. I have my boys in a co-op where they’ve taken a LEGO class, Art, science, math games review; stuff like that so they cover some stuff for you if you can put them in classes once a week on co-op day. Some are drop off, some you have to volunteer at. You also meet many other Moms with similar aged children and can organize playground dates or learning trips like a museum day. So some groups are more electives and fun review subjects in offerings but other co-ops are more academic and you just cover reading, math and writing at home. Find out what your area has and maybe even join with a friend!
  3. Use digital resources. Read through some good websites, search youTubes and podcasts of homeschool veterans who will calm your nerves and point you to some sweet simplicity. Links below!
  4. Choose materials. There are great YouTubers who review homeschool curriculum to help you choose materials since the age of Covid has cancelled a lot of used materials sales and conventions. Also, many curriculum websites help you see inside the books and sample pages to help you in your choices. There’s a LOT of materials out there and you can always change it up if what you pick first isn’t working for your family. This is our fifth year homeschooling and we’ve shuffled through a lot of curriculum to find what works for us. Keep it simple at first with the three basics! Reading, writing, and math. If you’re doing a little of these three each day, you’re good! You can always add in your science, history, and more when you’re established in your routine. I will link to our Amazon store of some resources I’ve used and loved but know that you really don’t need a lot to get started and you can do this on a limited budget and a library card- adding little things as you go and snagging used curriculum on Facebook marketplace homeschool buy and sell groups or EBay. These ship with media mail so you can get it from anywhere in the country pretty Inexpensively.
  5. Set your rhythm and routine (better than a set schedule!) For me with 6 and 8 year old boys: we begin the day with breakfast, chores, read aloud, then begin working subjects my boys have to complete, and are done by lunch! We of course take breaks for snack, outside time, even a walk and then keep working to finish our day’s schooling tasks. We break it up with things like a puzzle, songs, craft as we go so we’re not sitting and focusing for hours- impossible! Depending on their age, you will only be doing a few hour(s) a day. You are now a tutor and can teach and coach 1 on 1 or 2 (or however many kids you have) so ditch the 8 hour school day idea! For pre-K no more than an hour. Elementary kids may do better with an average of 1-2.5 hours. And for middle and high school you’re looking at 3-4 hours a day. That’s it! You’re done by or before lunch and have the rest of the day for activities, sports, etc.

Final Thoughts & Links

After you’ve finished your homeschool first steps, check out some of the links below. There’s a world of homeschool options online- academies you can enroll in for all or some subjects. I have no personal experience here but have some friends whose kids do well with getting on the computer for math, phonics, history, etc. One I’ve heard great things about is Veritas press. You may want to designate a certain area in your home for homeschool. If you don’t have a room or area to dedicate, your kitchen table or living room works just fine! You can also learn in your yard or at a park- you’re pretty mobile now when you take your resources with you!
Follow me on Instagram! I have a button on my profile called “homeschool” that answers questions. I also regualarly post on homeschooling topics.

Relevant Links

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