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How to Get Started Homeschooling

How do I get started- (2)So… you are interested in homeschooling but have no idea where to start? Let me help! Read through this post on how to get started homeschooling and you will have a much clearer vision of what you need to do.

First of all, the information is overwhelming for everyone, don’t get discouraged! Lots of options is great, that’s probably part of the reson why you are choosing to homeschool, but it can also be daunting and leave you completely uncertain of what direction you want to go in. So get a pen and paper, and I’m going to help you write it all out to clarify what you are looking for.

Got your paper? Let’s go!

How to enrol/register

*I am in Canada, every province, every state varies on what they offer and how they approach homeschool families, so you do need to figure this one out where you live, which shouldn’t be too hard. If you know what options you have for registering and enrolling, write them out under this heading on your paper

In BC we have four options:

  1. Registering (this just means telling the gov’t that you are homeschooling)-$150 reimbursement/child
  2. Individualized  Option (you create a SLP {Student Learning Plan} with your teacher and work with a support teacher to ensure you meet standard PLO’s {Provincial Learning Outcomes}. You report on a weekly basis with your teacher and submit 3 portfolios throughout the year, a bit more work, but more accountability and you get some financial support for your books) -$1000/child (this amount varies greatly in different schools, we are enroled with onlineschool.ca.)
  3. Integrated Option (this is a blend of online courses and your own courses/curriculum that you work out with a teacher in the SLP)-funding depends on how many courses you do and how you set it up
  4. Online Option (all courses are done online with a teacher, you do not teach them their courses but they are still doing school at home) -no reimbursement, no costs.

This just gives you an idea of the different options and choices that may be available.

Now that you have your list, (if you don’t know, just do a bit of research to get a general idea and list them here) you need to decide what kind of homeschooler you want to be. Do you want TOTAL freedom to choose your books without reporting or learning outcomes? Do you want some help with the costs of curriculum/extra programs? Are you worried about teaching your older child and are interested in an online option where they can be home but you know their educational needs are being met? Whatever you are looking for, this is the place you would check off the option that best suits your family that is available in your area.

Choose Your Homeschooling Style

There are 8 main teaching/homeschooling methods (click on the name for more info if applicable):

  • Classical: Think latin, memorization, teaching for the natural brain development of the child.
  • Traditional: Think a little mini school in your home with lots of bookwork!
  • Charlotte Mason: Code word: living books (basically junior non fiction)! Giving your child tools, resources and ideas to learn.
  • Unschooling: Allowing the child to direct their own learning. There are varied levels of this and a lot of different unschooling styles.
  • Montessori: Think trays! Setting up your home/school room as an ideal learning environment and allowing the child to explore and learn how they want with the tools you give them.
  • Eclectic: A mix! You choose, use what works when it works, try a little of everything.
  • Online: Your child sits at the computer for their lessons/tests. They deal directly with their teacher online with less parental involvement.
  • Unit Studies: Using a unit (say, learning about the solar system) and integrating all subjects into that. They write about it (LA), read about it, make art projects to go along with it (art), try to count the stars or figure out how far the moon is (math), make their own clouds (science), etc.

Now that you know the main homeschooling methods, I want you to write one sentence down describing your vision for your homeschool journey (in regards to teaching style).

ie. I want to do bookwork for some of the core subjects while allowing the children to direct their own learning when it comes to science/socials.

Once you have that, I want you to check off the style that most describes you.

What’s Next?

So you know what kind of options you have for enroling/registering in your area, you know what kind of homeschooling method you want to start with you are ready to start looking at schools. This part can be a little overwhelming but once you have an idea of what you are looking for, you will be able to ask more concise questions.

Make a list of the questions you have for the school based on your results. Some of my go-to questions are:

  • What kind of funding do they offer?
  • What are their enrollment/registration options?
  • What are the requirements from me?
  • What can I use my funding on?
  • Will they fund Christian curriculum?
  • Do I have to submit receipts and get reimbursed or do they pay up front?
  • What kind of resources do they have? (library, subscriptions… my school offers reading eggs, brainpop jr. right now media, etc. so this is a good question to know beforehand)
  • Are the teachers local and can they meet with me during portfolios or are they long distance?
  • _________________________________

 

Add your own questions to this list and make the call or e-mail to a few different schools to find out some of your main ones.

Join a facebook homeschool group in your area and ask them what are the main school options in your area if you don’t know.

Once you choose a school, you’ve done the hardest part! You have an idea of what you want so choosing books will be much simpler and you are well on your way to homeschooling! If you have any other questions, feel free to post them below, I would love to help clarify things and will respond as soon as I can!

Comments

  1. I would definitely look into this if I had more than one child. I just feel that in our situation he needs the outside type of school. It’s great for those that can, though.

    • I know how you are feeling Jessica! I would say that very few people are really “cut out for it” in the general meaning of the term. As in, it doesn’t come naturally. It is a daily battle to be patient and try to get everything done and wear all the hats and a HUGE sacrifice on your time. It is hard! I highly recommend looking at your local school, doing some research, find out where it ranks federally (ie. where we live, our school is one of the worst ranked) and then figure out why you would be interested. Make a list of the pros and cons, be frank and honest with yourself. Take into account your patience level, the personality and level of energy of your child, your house, your financial situation, your personal goals and aspirations. It is not an easy choice, but I do promise, even if you were to try it and end up putting your child(ren) into school, you won’t regret the time that you do it. It builds a very special relationship with your kids, ties you together as a family, gives them time to grow and learn in a safe environment, etc. 🙂 Good luck on your journey and thanks for visiting!

  2. This is my first year homeschooling my kids! I have 3 kids (7, 8 & 10) and my oldest has Autism. I’ve figured out we will be doing a more of an eclectic style this year until we can really figure out what works for us. It’s going to be a challenge, but so worth it! I appreciate your blog and everything you are sharing, it is extremely helpful!

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