The Beginner Homeschool Mom’s Guide To Getting Started

How do I get started homeschooling?
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So you’re thinking about homeschooling, but how do you get started? There are so many decisions to make, and it’s ok if it feels a little overwhelming at first. Don’t worry! This post has everything you need to know to get started homeschooling.

Don’t miss the $250 GIVEAWAY at the end of the post!

The Beginner Homeschool Mom’s Guide To Getting Started How do I start homeschooling

{This post contains paid links. Please see disclaimer.}

Making The Decision To Homeschool

Sometimes the hardest part about homeschooling is making the decision to homeschool and finally committing to it.

Maybe your child is young and you’ve been researching all the options for preschool and kindergarten, but you can’t imagine your child leaving home for so many hours every day.

Maybe your child has been in a public or private school for a few years, and something just isn’t quite right. Perhaps academic, emotional, or social needs are not being met. Perhaps you’re dealing with bullying or a toxic environment.

You know that homeschooling can be an incredible option to meet the unique needs of your child, and you’ve heard that homeschool can provide a safe, loving, academically rich learning environment.

There comes a time when you must no longer be bogged down in researching schools or learning options and no longer distracted by books and articles about educational philosophy and curriculum.

That time is now. You have what it takes to be an amazing homeschooling mom. No one loves your child more, no one knows their strengths and weaknesses better, and no one is more motivated to give them the best education possible.

The Beginner Homeschool Mom’s Guide To Getting Started

You’ve been there teaching them to walk, teaching them to speak, teaching them to go potty. (Honestly? Potty training is legit the hardest thing ever. If you can potty train your child, I’m pretty sure you can teach them how to read. True facts.)

Take a leap of faith and know that it’s ok to not have it all figured out right now! Homeschooling is a process, a constantly-being-refined work in progress. You are going to learn right alongside your kids! And God’s grace will be sufficient each step along the way.

The Beginner Homeschool Mom’s Guide To Getting Started

Tips For Getting Started As A New Homeschool Mom

When you’re first getting started as a new homeschool mom, you’ll want to make sure that you know the laws of your state. Each state is a little different, so make sure you go directly to your state’s homeschool organization or HSLDA to find out what you need to know. Do you need to notify your state or school district? Is standardized testing required? What homeschool records do you need to keep through the year? You can find the answers to all these questions here.

But once you have those legal ducks in a row (I promise, it is generally quite simple and easy to get started), it’s time to focus on the fun part of homeschooling… the part that ultimately matters most and is concerned with your child’s education and socialization.

The Beginner Homeschool Mom’s Guide To Getting Started homeschool family

Curriculum

What is the best homeschool curriculum to use? My friend and homeschool mentor Pam Barnhill says that the best homeschool curriculum is the one that gets done. In other words, you can waste a lot of time and emotional energy trying to find the “perfect” homeschool curriculum that will eliminate all struggles.

But there really is no such thing as the perfect homeschool curriculum! Instead, I like to encourage homeschool families that the imperfect thing you actually do is better than the perfect thing you never start.

homeschool kids how to get started homeschooling

How do you choose the curriculum that will fit your family’s needs? Here are a few things to consider:

Before you begin homeschool planning or purchasing curriculum, there are 4 big picture questions you should ask. You can find those questions and also my easy approach to big picture homeschool planning in my free homeschool planning guide.

You can find some of my family’s favorite homeschool curriculum choices here.

Get Your FREE Homeschool Planning Guide

✔4 Questions to Ask Before Planning

✔7 Steps to an Easy Homeschool Plan

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homeschool moms homeschooling tips made2homeschool

Community

Homeschooling is so much better when we do it in community! We can find the encouragement we need on the hard homeschool days. We can find friends and socialization opportunities for our children (and ourselves). We can borrow curriculum and get advice when we’re stuck.

Two are better than one,
    because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down,
    one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
    and has no one to help them up.

~Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

Your church may have resources available for homeschool families, so you can certainly start there. You can also search for co-ops in your area. A homeschool co-op generally expects each family to be involved in some way in the teaching or another volunteer capacity, but they can be great options for outsourced classes. I love the homeschool support group model. Instead of providing classes, it provides opportunities for field trips, social activities, and regular community support for Mom.

m2h made2homeschool online homeschooling community homeschool moms

If you can’t find a good, local homeschool community, consider an online homeschool community like Made2Homeschool. At Made2Homeschool you can find everything you need to succeed in your homeschool…all in one place.

  • Supportive Like-minded Community
  • Huge and Growing Resource Library
  • Weekly Workshops w/ Live Q&A
  • Live Community Hangouts
  • Curriculum Discounts

I’ve been a part of the Made2Homeschool community mentor team from the beginning, and I know all the homeschool parents and creators involved are committed to encouraging, supporting, and equipping homeschooling parents of every homeschool flavor. We’re even hosting an online homeschool conference so you can start your homeschool year strong. Click here to grab your ticket to BRAVE 2024.

Schedules and Routines

It’s important to plan your homeschool year, of course, but it’s also invaluable to have a routine to keep your days running smoothly. I prefer to create a Big Picture Homeschool Plan that gives me structure while remaining flexible for whatever life throws at me.

Homeschooling can happen anywhere and any time, but facilitating a predicable routine can help learning (and life in general) proceed more seamlessly. Remember that you’re not recreating school at home (don’t forget to include deschooling in your homeschool prep). But establishing good habits at the beginning will help the whole homeschool year flow smoothly. Manage your own expectations by communicating them clearly to your children, having a system for checking in on a regular basis, and creating a method for evaluating the success of your homeschool plans.

homeschool planning help free ebook curriculum plan schedule homeschooling

The Tough Days

We’ve all experienced it. There are days when homeschooling feels like everything is going wrong. Everyone is irritable. The kids act like they’ve forgotten everything they’ve ever learned. Instead of focusing on their work, they’re more interested in arguing with Mom or each other. What can a homeschooling mom do on these awful, dreadful, no good, very bad days?

When your homeschool day is not going well, it’s important to start by remembering your why. WHY are you homeschooling? What is your end goal? What is so valuable in the end that the daily grind is worth the battle?

Encouragement for the Homeschooling Mom with Chronic Illness

While you keep that end in mind, there are a few strategies that many veteran homeschooling moms have agreed upon over the years I’ve interviewed them for my podcast:

  • Go outside
  • Take a break
  • Keep going
  • Focus on Relationships First
  • Read Aloud
  • Grab a snack

I sometimes say that homeschooling is the best hard thing I do. I’ll never tell you that homeschooling is simple or easy, but I will always tell you it’s worth it…even on the really hard days when it feels like your life is falling apart.

Resources For The New Homeschool Mom

Hear are a few other posts and videos to help you as you begin this wonderful homeschool adventure!

Homeschool Conversations with Humility and Doxology Podcast

Homeschool Conversations with Humility and Doxology encouraging podcast for homeschooling moms

3 BOOKS Every Homeschool Mom Should Read (these titles may surprise you!)

Homeschool Planning Pep Talk

Made2Homeschool Online Homeschool Community

m2h made2homeschool online homeschooling community homeschool moms

Amy’s Favorite Homeschool Curriculum

homeschool curriculum recommendations for homeschooling moms

$250 Homeschool Giveaway

Another homeschool year is right around the corner! Many homeschool moms are busy preparing, planning, and finalizing curriculum choices for the upcoming school year. And many are trying to squeeze every last penny out of their homeschool budget, hoping to afford all the books and resources they will need.

Whether you’re living on one income or are buying curriculum for multiple kids, homeschooling can put financial strain and stress on a family. So I’ve gotten together with a great group of homeschool bloggers to give you a chance to win a gift card to a major online homeschool retailer. Our hope is that we can bless a few homeschool families (although we wish we could bless many more) so they can decrease that burden and buy the curriculum and supplies they need.

Three people will win a $250 gift card to either Rainbow Resource Center or Christianbook.com – two great places to shop for homeschool curriculum and resources, with the best prices around!!

To enter for your chance to win, simply use the Rafflecopter form below to enter. Now I know this is quite a few entries, but each of these bloggers has generously chipped in our own money to make this giveaway possible, so I hope you will take the time to do all of the entries. And hey, the more entries you do, the better your odds are of winning!

Giveaway ends July 19, 2024 at 11:59pm. Must be at least 18 years of age. Must be a resident of the U.S. or Canada to enter. Selected winners will have 48 hours to respond to email notification to claim their prizes or another winner will be drawn. By entering this giveaway, you agree to be added to the email lists of the participating bloggers (see the Terms & Conditions on the Rafflecopter form).

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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