Taking full responsibility for your child to start homeschooling is a serious business that should not be taken for granted.
Have you ever reflected on the reasons WHY you are choosing homeschooling?
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?
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Whatever your reason, you are qualified to homeschool your children if you love to read to them, love to spend time with them, love to explore the world with them, love to see them learn new things and, most important, love them.
Homeschooling is for anyone and looks different for everyone.
If you’re asking “How to Homeschool?” and wondering if you can, the answer is yes. – You can!
As with any worthwhile endeavour, to be successful with homeschooling, there are some simple steps to follow:
- CHECK HOMESCHOOLING LAWS
Before answering anything else on how to start homeschooling your child or even looking for homeschool programs.
The first thing you must do is to check the homeschooling laws for your country.
Homeschooling is legal in most part of the world but at some places it is illegal.
Every country has its own homeschooling laws and you need to be sure that you are in accordance with those laws before you even start!
Homeschooling in one country may differ from homeschooling in another country.
Some states have very relaxed homeschooling laws and have little to no state reporting requirements.
Other states have very stringent homeschooling laws where you may be required to use a specific curriculum or have to follow very specific guidelines.
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.
- DISCUSS HOMESCHOOLING
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.
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.
Helping everyone in the immediate family to understand the goal will help make your homeschooling journey a lot easier.
Also, don’t forget to talk to your kids about homeschooling before you begin. They may have some questions and concerns and you will want to address those immediately.
A biggest problem why a family member will not want 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.
Do your research so that you are armed to answer homeschool questions from family, friends, naysayers, and anyone else.
Most importantly, just be honest with everyone about your reasons for homeschooling.
3: START THE TRANSFER PROCESS
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.
If you don’t, your child may be counted as truant and, this could create entirely new issues for your family.
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 without naming it “homeschool” or withdraws them from the public school.
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.
Read Also: 25 Silent Benefits of Homeschooling
Switching a child from traditional school to homeschool can be a confusing time, so you need a transition and this is what is call 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.
Put it in the simplest 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 ask for permission before going to the restroom. He won’t be sitting at a desk for six hours every day also.
When you deschool, be sure NOT to implement any “formal” educational practices, especially those that they’ve been accustomed to during their traditional schooling.
You don’t want to give your kids worksheets or “homework” either during this time.
The question most parents ask in relation to deschool is this ‘‘If my child is not schooling during this time, what will he do with the time?
Here are few activities to do during deschooling:
- 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.
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!
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.
This is where a prepared homeschool curriculum can come into play.
A homeschool curriculum provides all the materials you need to teach a specific subject like math or language arts. Homeschool curricula can be either print (using books, worksheets, etc.) or online.
Homeschool curriculum can be a lifesaver, but it can also become very restricting.
You do not need a homeschool curriculum to starting home school.
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.
Read Also: Is Homeschooling Right For You?
- TAP INTO YOUR LOCAL HOMESCHOOL COMMUNITY
Like anything else, homeschooling can get lonely without outside support.
But as homeschooling gains in popularity, many zoos and museums are instituting events designed specifically for homeschool parents.
In addition, homeschooling co-ops, in which parents trade expertise, are cropping up in different areas.
- BE PATIENT
Research has shown that it takes about a year for parents to get into the homeschooling groove.
So be patient with your child and with yourself. It’s okay to try out different curricula or philosophies of education. The beauty of homeschooling is that you can tailor the curriculum according to the child’s needs.” The key is being willing to keep trying until it feels right.
It is important to note that, while homescholing can feel overwhelming, you can keep things simple.
There’s work to it, but it should also be enjoyable.
To homeschool a child is an important decision a parent can take.
The steps needed for this includes:
- First get started on researching your state or country homeschooling laws.
- Get your family on the same
- Start the transfer process from traditional school to homeschool.
- Ditch the homeschool curriculum and start with a more relaxed homeschool unit study.
After following these steps for a few months, you can then go back and re-evaluate.
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