If you’re thinking about starting homeschooling, but you don’t know where to begin, you’ve definitely come to the right place. Here you’ll learn how to start homeschooling by using our 13-Step guide!
This guide was made to help you figure out exactly what you need to be thinking about before you make the leap into the homeschooling world. Namely, we will be looking at:
- Choose Your Style of Education (the biggest step in how to start homeschooling)
- Choose a free or paid curriculum: pros and cons
- Homeschool life – see what a homeschooling life is like
- Starting homeschooling with a good schedule/routine
- How to set up a homeschooling room?
- How to make my homeschool a Christian homeschool?
- Homeschool curriculum reviews: the pros and cons of each curriculum
- Consider how much technology and TV should feature in my homeschool?
- How can I make homeschooling affordable? (another big step in how to start homeschooling)
- Find a homeschooling group near me?
- Learn more things about how to homeschool.
Let’s get started!
How to Start Homeschooling with a Good Approach
Before starting homeschooling, you need to have a good think about what you value in an education.
After you’ve looked at your philosophy, look at what values you hold because of your philosophy.
Once you’ve figured out your philosophy and your values, you need to look through the homeschooling approaches and pick one that lines up best with your beliefs.
Choosing your homeschooling approach will also have an effect on the themes you pick for your homeschool (if you do themes at all).
My Homeschooling Approach/Style
My Philosophy is:
I am utterly convinced I am a sinful person in need of salvation. I’m a condemned woman, who is going to hell for my sins if I can’t find someone to fix the situation for me.
Also, I think salvation has been graciously given to me, free of charge, by Jesus death on the cross. Consequently, I am exceedingly grateful for Jesus’ sacrifice and want to live my life as his servant.
Everything in my life is geared towards being Jesus servant and pleasing him.
(This is gospel-centeredness).
My Values are:
I get a tremendous amount of joy when I obey Jesus (akin to pleasing your husband because you feel your husband is worthy of that).
Therefore, I live by the morals that Jesus lived by because that pleases God.
These are summed up in the law of love (which encapsulates the 10 commandments).
I try to love God and love my neighbor as myself.
The homeschooling approach that most closely lines up with my philosophy and values are:
I like the Classical and Charlotte Mason homeschooling approach because these approaches allow me to teach my children about my Christian faith easily and effectively.
There is also a plethora of Christian resources which use these two approaches, so it will make homeschooling easy for me as a Christian.
(Yes, the other approaches will also work, but I feel these will work particularly well with my Christian faith).
Totally no judgment if you’re a Christian and you use another approach – go you!
Step 2: Choose a free or paid curriculum: Pros and cons
Golly! Finances can be tight on one income.
If this is you and you’re looking at starting homeschooling with very little money, you might have considered the pros and cons of a free or paid homeschooling curriculum.
Fortunately, there’s plenty of free homeschooling curricula out there to choose from. Some are Christian, while others are not.
Checkout this link for a comparison of free homeschool curricula vas paid homeschool curricula!
Warning about choosing a homeschooling curriculum
You have to be careful of some curricula when you’re starting homeschooling because you might just find out the authors of that curriculum believe something you fundamentally disagree with – and your children are learning from those people!
For example, I found a homeschooling curriculum the other day that I thought was written by a Christian. But, I found a Mormon wrote it. So I thought I’d give that one a miss. The curriculum was The Good and the Beautiful.
Step 3: Homeschool life – See what a homeschooling life is like
If you’re starting homeschooling, you might be wondering what your life will look like after you begin.
I can’t help you with the specifics as every homeschool is (thankfully) quite different from each other.
If you want to find out how different homeschools can be, check out 10 Different Ways to Homeschool.
Even the curricula are different.
Some people choose to homeschool for one hour a day, others, choose a school-at-home approach and try to replicate a school setting. Others are unschoolers, which mean they don’t have a curriculum to follow at all!
But, to give you an idea of what one routine looks like before starting homeschooling, have a look at this homeschooling routine.
Step 4: What subjects do I need to teach?
If you’re just starting homeschooling you’ll need to consider what subjects the government wants you to teach in your homeschool.
Subject requirements will be different depending on what state you live in.
Thankfully, you can just google the requirements and the state government will have put out a paper on what you need to do.
Some states have no requirements, while others have a strict set of rules you must follow. Check out the HSLDA’s page on Homeschooling Laws in Your State (America) or Why on Earth Homeschool’s Homeschooling Laws (Australia).
Example of Subject Requirements
For example, these are the subject requirements in the state of NSW, Australia:
- Science and Technology,
- Human Society and Its Environment (HSIE)
- Includes History and/or Geography;
- Creative Arts (things like dance, music, drama and visual arts)
- and Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE).
Step 5: How to Start Homeschooling with a Good Schedule and Routine
Again, every homeschooling schedule looks different.
Your routine might depend on how stressed you get when things don’t go according to the routine.
Some mothers might find they need a strict schedule in order to feel sane. Other mothers might find flexibility easy and don’t mind if they don’t finish lessons that day (or at all!).
A Sample Routine for When You’re Starting Homeschooling
Have a look at this sample routine.
Maybe you can use this as a template for your homeschool.
You can take what you think is helpful from it and leave what doesn’t work for your family.
This routine is completely flexible so you can change most of the times or events in those times.
You might also be interested in a schedule for your first week of homeschooling – again, completely flexible!
Step 6: How to set up a homeschooling room
If you’re starting homeschooling, you’d be interested in setting up a homeschooling room.
And sometimes you just can’t beat Pinterest in this department!
On this link, I’ve compiled some great ideas for a homeschooling room so that you’ll get some good ideas about how to build a homeschooling room that will work for your family.
Things Your Homeschooling Room Should Have
Here are a few things your homeschooling room should have:
- An inspiring atmosphere (often a light space will go a long way towards this).
- An area where kids can reach the items they need.
- A large space so they can move around.
- An area children can personalize. On my Pinterest board, I’ve got a few ideas about chalk paint. You can paint chalk on a wall and the children can use chalk on it and make the room their own through that!
- A place where kids can hang up their drawings and display their artwork.
Starting Homeschooling with Love
The Law of Love is the greatest commandment and is meant to pervade everything we do as Christians. It is incredibly important!
Because we have been loved, so we love and extend grace to those around us, including our children who are frustrating at times.
As such, love should be the common theme in our homeschools.
It’s so important to let grace reign and so avoid a legalistic, unloving, pseudo-Christian household!
Specific Christian Setup in Homeschools
Many Christian homeschools do the following in their Christian homeschools:
- Family Bible reading and prayer time in the morning (this is with father before he goes to work).
- Scripture memorization
- Church history and Ancient History (pre-Church history)
If you’re a Christian who’s looking at homeschooling, I would strongly encourage you to implement the family Bible reading, prayer time and memorization into your schedule daily, and Church and Ancient history into your schedule weekly.
Step 8: Homeschool curriculum reviews: Pros and cons of each curriculum
What are some things to consider when you’re starting homeschooling and looking at curricula?
A great website to look at if you’re wondering if a homeschooling curriculum is any good is Cathy Duffy Reviews.
In these reviews, Cathy has painstakingly looked at a plethora of curriculum, and if you’re interested in one, you might find it there.
Step 9: Consider how much technology and television should feature in my homeschool?
When you’re starting homeschooling, it’s good to consider the role you want technology, and especially television, to play.
Without getting into the topic too much (I plan to write an article on this later), it’s so important to realize television is far less educational and far more morally influential than most people realize.
And if you want a really great book on this topic, you have to read Amusing Ourselves to Death.
This book, written by a Christian author (although not overtly Christian itself), helps to make the reader far more aware of the danger that the medium of television poses to the watcher if the watcher isn’t aware of its potential influence.
So, if you want to start homeschooling well, have a really good think about the role television will have in your homeschool.
Step 10: How can I make homeschooling more affordable?
Before you ask how to start homeschooling, it’s good to look at the financial side of homeschooling and see if you can afford it.
In addition to other things, you can get a free curriculum which will make your costs quite low.
However, reducing your income to a one-income family can be brutal, especially if you have a mortgage. Many homeschool mothers find starting homeschooling difficult as they struggle with the fact that they won’t be able to afford the house payments.
Here are a few things you might find helpful if you’re going to consider how to start homeschooling:
- A strict budget – many people don’t actually keep a budget. Or some people make budgets but forget to stick to them. Making a budget and sticking to it strictly will help you manage your money and make homeschooling more affordable.
- Use a Homeschooling Buy, Swap or Sell group to buy homeschooling supplies for cheaper. You can find these in your area by looking at Facebook groups.
- It’s a big move, but have you considered moving to a cheaper house, or moving to a cheaper area?
These decisions are difficult to make but homeschooling is worth it!
Step 11: How to not hate being a stay-at-home mom
When you’re starting homeschooling, you might find you feel judged for staying-at-home.
This seems to be a common experience by homeschooling Mums.
A recent study I looked at said more than 80% of moms judge a mother who returns to work before their child is three months old. The same study said more than 80% of mothers judge a mother who doesn’t return to work before their child is 12 months old.
How crazy is that!
This can make the sacrifice you make for homeschooling really hard because it seems people don’t appreciate or value it.
This is when we need to keep reminding ourselves of the benefits of homeschooling and the reasons why we’re doing it!
We are homeschooling because we believe:
- we will have a closer relationship with our kids,
- homeschooling is a tool that will help us create good citizens who contribute positively to their family, friends, church, and community,
- we will be happier as a family and,
- (as Christians) we believe it’s important to propagate our faith effectively, and that is best done with homeschooling.
…plus a hundred more reasons!
Step 12: How do I find a homeschooling group near me?
After you’ve figured out how to start homeschooling, it’s a good idea to find some homeschooling groups near you.
And a really great place to find homeschooling groups is Facebook.
Simply type ‘homeschoolers [your suburb’s name]’ into the Facebook search bar and see if there is a homeschooling group near you.
Also, try using surrounding suburbs if you don’t find a group near you.
Groups in surrounding suburbs might be bigger and therefore maybe better for you to attend.
Step 13: How to Start Homeschooling with Support!
Once you’ve decided how to start homeschooling, it’s really important that you get yourself hooked into a local homeschooling group.
Parents in homeschooling groups can be an amazing source of support for new homeschooling mothers.
Make sure you join one so you get the support.
Also, you should make friends with older homeschooling parents.
These parents can critique your homeschool and make sure it’s as stress-free as it can be.
A stress-free environment will be important if things get a little tougher as they might in high school.
Conclusion: How to Start Homeschooling
Before starting homeschooling, you have a lot of choices to make.
These choices all affect the vibe and atmosphere of your homeschool.
The choices we’ve looked at have been:
- the style of education you want
- choosing a free or paid curriculum
- looking at subjects you want to teach
- determining a schedule and routine
- the type of homeschool room you want
- the type of curriculum you want
- the place of TV and technology in your homeschool
- if you can afford to homeschool
- what homeschooling group you want to follow
- and how to find support
But, the best choice you made when you asked the question, ‘How to Start Homeschooling’ was actually starting homeschooling in the first place!