Nothing compares to being equally excited and equally needing encouragement than beginning to homeschool. In my 5 top tips for first-time homeschoolers, you’ll get my BEST tips in my 25 years of homeschooling.
Oh sure, I have way more to tell you, but this is about the TOP tips’ you don’t get weighed down with too much information.
Too, in conducting in person workshops with new homeschoolers for 10 years, my set of tips will look different than many you read. Why? They work.
And it’s hard to get all your concerns answered for the next year in one or two conversations with a seasoned veteran.
Don’t miss opportunities to discuss with others, but take time to educate yourself as well.
See, what happens is that first-time homeschoolers can overcomplicate the beginning. How? You can bring rigid standards on you and your kids which are not implemented by your local law.
First Time Homeschooler
Over scheduling, over buying, over planning can be avoided by know exactly how to meet your state law. After that, it’s freedom to set up your day like you choose. Do NOT begin by buying curriculum just yet but by being familiar with your local law.
Look at my 5 top tips for first-time homeschoolers.
1. Knowing your local law is not enough as many veterans tout.
You need to know how to meet it EASILY.
For example, if you live in a state with less laws and not much record keeping required, you can choose what is best for your children. If you live in a state with more stringent record keeping, then you can easily meet that law by using laid out curriculum.
See, other seasoned veterans may say you don’t need curriculum at all. Eventually, that could be your goal.
However, for your first year when you have so many things to adjust to, it can be less stressful to follow a laid our plain and tweak it to suit you.
HSLD which has a clickable map to explain your local homeschool law is a good place to start.
Too, you can comment here, and I WILL reply and help you understand that part first.
Next, homeschooling is a completely different approach than public school.
You’ll love my video What You REALLY Need to Know When You Begin Homeschooling where I take you through more steps.
2. Do not recreate public school at home and bring unneeded stress on your family.
I made this mistake when I started homeschooling. Although my children were all very young, I tried to run my homeschool like a public school. Remember there is NOTHING you have to prove to anybody.
It will take time to adjust to the freedom you get with homeschooling. There is a line between relaxed and rigid. Relaxed is not lazy.
I failed in learning that and sent my Kindergarten son to public school. A year didn’t even go by before I pulled him out and had to train myself to relax and trust the process.
New Homeschooler Tips
Then, over buying curriculum is the next top mistake to avoid.
3. Do buy JUST a framework of homeschool curriculum like math and language arts or use free online curriculum.
Most new homeschoolers feel more comfortable with laid out curriculum. Buying curriculum can wait until you have time to research it.
I have some ways to help you understand first how to choose curriculum.
My video How To Easily Choose and Distinguish between Homeschool Educational Approaches will help you to narrow down how to homeschool.
My point is do NOT buy a lot of curriculum in the beginning until you have time to get to know your children. Save some of your budget to buy the fun things or do classes your children are interested in taken.
Overbuying curriculum almost seems a rite of passage, but avoid overbuying.
New to Homeschool
Math and language arts are essential subjects needed all the way to high school. However, there are many ways to meet each of the needs of your children. Below I have some posts which will help to give you a starting point.
- How to Build Elementary Homeschool Curriculum Directly From Amazon
- How to Build Middle School Curriculum Directly From Amazon
- How to Build High School Curriculum Directly From Amazon
In addition, you can use free online curriculum until you decide if you want to purchase curriculum. Easy Peasy all in one by Lee Giles was created years ago. It’s a great way to start.
Another one of my TOP tips for first-time homeschoolers is understanding how to deschool.
4. You ABSOLUTELY have to deschool.
It’s hard to deschool when you don’t what it is or why. Even families whose kids will never go to public school need to deschool. Definitions will vary; here is mine.
It’s the time to unlearn what you think education should be as taught from a public-school mindset and to be open to new, natural, and creative ways to teach your kids.
It’s realizing that taking your kids out of school one day and doing the exact thing at home the next day which wasn’t working in public-school is the definition of insanity (ouch).
It’s letting go and letting in something new in your life; it’s accepting the homeschool lifestyle which is opposite of the public-school lifestyle.
In short, deschooling is a tool both for the first-time homeschooler and long-term homeschooler. When you first begin to homeschool, you need to rethink your view of education. As you homeschool longer, you are subject to burn out and need to return to your deschooling habits.
As I mentioned even if your children will never go to public school, you still need to adopt your view of what is homeschooling. That takes time. The amount of time each family deschools will be different.
How to Deschool – Are You Doomed If You’ve Never Deschooled is another video I have for you.
If your kids have been in public school, you need to take time to educate yourself to what is available in the homeschooling world.
Sure, you can research, but through my many years of teaching new homeschoolers in person I created a course focused just on the unique needs of first-time homeschoolers.
If you don’t want to wait on the ins/outs of how to homeschool, look at my online self-paced KickStarter course. You’ll be in the KNOW NOW.
What Is Included in the Homeschool Kickstarter Course for
What I DIDN’T Learn From My Homeschooling Mother, But Should Have
(1 workshop & Printables)
Support is important and you should trust your ability to teach. You’ll walk away from this workshop knowing you’re capable of teaching your kids and why you’re capable. The nuggets in this workshop are golden for the beginner.MODULE 3
How to Choose Curriculum (Wisely)
(9 workshops & printables)
The BIGGEST mistake new homeschoolers make is buying curriculum without knowing how to buy it other than the looks good method. Avoid stress two or three months into your journey by knowing EXACTLY what to choose for your children.MODULE 5
How to Organize it ALL
( 5 workshops & printables)
Finding balance with all the new hats you’ll be wearing and time management are not easy. Using the AWESOME sample schedules in this module and the step by step plan, I walk you through creating a routine or schedule UNIQUE to your family. Beginning homeschooling by stuffing it into an already busy life is not the way to begin. Did I mention as an organized person I have many tidbits of organization help sprinkled throughout the workshops?MODULE 2
Diving In (Leave Your Public School Mindset Here)
(3 workshops & printables)
If you’re struggling with your public school mindset or that there is one right way to succeed you’ll understand what it means to homeschool and why it’s not public school at home. Homeschooling is a superior approach for a reason.MODULE 4
Teaching the Stages of Homeschool
(8 workshops & printables)
Jammed packed with great information on understanding the transitions children go through from PreK to High School prepares you to homeschool for the long run. Each learning stage is broken down for you so that you gain the best tips for how to teach and what to teach.MODULE 6
Facing Your BIGGEST Fears Not If But WHEN They Happen
(1 workshop & printables)
There is a GREAT BIG list of wrong things you’re focusing on in your first or second year which will suck the life out of your homeschool journey.
Begin your journey with the wisdom of the past which has worked successfully for thousands of homeschool families who have gone before you.
Lastly, my fifth top tip for new homeschoolers is learning when to say yes and when to say no.
5. When to say NO and when to say YES is a must learn quickly your first year.
And it’s not easy to know when to say yes and when to say no. So, here a few tips to help you use your time wisely and focus on what is important.
- When completely curriculum suddenly becomes the focus instead of your child’s needs, it’s time to say no.
- Trying to right all the wrongs of public school by putting your children in every enrichment activity available is a huge no. You will have time to understand the homeschool world, but you need time with your children to heal. Especially if your child was bullied, has anxiety, or is flat out exhausted, your healing time should come first.
- Say yes to seizing unplanned moments in your year to learn like packing up the books and heading to the park for a beautiful day outside.
- Another yes is when your significant other has off from work, savor that time because it’s family time.
- Taking time to educate YOURSELF is another huge yes. It’s easier and smoother your first year when you know how to schedule more efficiently, learn how to choose curriculum, and know how to teach to your children’s learning style. There is no need to take years doing that. If you want the fasttrack, I am here to help you through my Kickstarter program for first-time homeschoolers.
IF you have any questions email me at tinahomeschools at gmail dot com. I am here for you!
Look at these other tips you’ll love:
- Dear New Homeschooler – Are You Making this BIG Mistake? (I Was)
- New Homeschooler – Mustering the Courage to Face THE 4 Homeschool Biggies – Part 1.
- Top 10 Tips For New Homeschoolers – Curriculum, curriculum, curriculum – Isn’t that how to begin homeschooling? Part 1
- When You Don’t Know Where to Begin in Homeschooling. The 3 R’s for New Homeschoolers. Part 2
Hugs and love ya,