How to Homeschool Your Child

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Figuring out how to homeschool can be daunting to start with! Take a deep breath and just take it a step at a time. My Beginners Checklist will help you out.

Homeschooling Your Child Checklist

  • Check out the legal position in your area. You need to know where you stand legally. Homeschooling is legal in both the UK and the US, but laws vary from state to state. Some states require you work a set number of hours per day, or month. If you are in Scotland please be aware that the legal position is different than the rest of the UK. And if your child is already at school you may need to deregister from the school.

  • Clarify your homeschooling-goals and write out your homeschool philosopy. What does homeschooling mean to you? What are you hoping you, and your child, get from it? This may depend on how old your child is and whether they have already spent some time in school. Check out university requirements if you are planning for your child to go into higher education.
  • Decide if you all need to deschool. School can be a stressful experience, and you may need to take some time to get it out of your system.
  • Decide on a homeschool method - or two! It is ok to mix methods. Read everything you can about different methods, and try to determine which ones would suit your family. How do your family like to learn? What is their learning style? How are you going to ignite their passion for learning?
  • Decide what subjects you want to cover based on your goals. Even taking an autonomous or unschooling approach, it is worth keeping in mind what you would like your child to learn - it seems to make you more likely to spot opportunities as they arise. Remember - many projects will cover several subjects. if you are looking for some ideas of the type of things you can do, then try here.
  • Determine your budget. Don't worry - you won't have to starve to homeschool. There are lots of free and cheap homeschooling resources you can use.
  • Decide what kinds of resources you will use. Will you pull together your own resources, or use a curriculum? Are your children very active and hands on? Do they prefer learning through literature?
  • Write a schedule. This can just be a loose checklist, or a much more detailed plan. Plan your first few days and see if it inspires you (if it doesn't inspire you, it won't inspire your children). You probably don't need to plan for more than a couple of hours per day - homeschooling is one-on-one and so much more intense than a normal school day. See my plan for One Hour Homeschools.
  • Plan how you are going to 'get started with homeschooling'. Will you keep regular 'school' hours, or be more flexible? What will your days look like?
  • Keep reviewing and learning. You never really learn how to homeschool - you can only keep flexible and go with the flow. Making contact with other homeschooling families will help you see that there are many ways to learn at home, and constantly feed you with new ideas.
  • Work through the 'How to Homeschool Your Child Checklist' and you will have everything covered. I wish you a happy experience - the benefits of homeschooling can be life-changing!

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