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My best advice on how to start homeschooling

When it comes to starting homeschooling, there are many opinions out there! I know – I have seen a lot of them! It can get very confusing and you start to wonder if you are cut out for it, are doing the right thing, or perhaps just need to give up before you start. Please don’t. There is no need. There truly is great homeschooling advice out there!

But you do need to do some research and work out how to do it for you. One thing I like to say often is “Do what works for you” and I will come back to that later. To me that is so important. I would tie myself up in knots trying to do it like someone else. I need to do what makes sense for me and my family. 

So, I am going to give my best advice on how to start homeschooling. This comes from trial and error (yes, I have made many mistakes!), and the desire to see families successful in homeschool.


MY BEST ADVICE

Don’t just jump in and start looking at curriculum

Whenever someone starts talking about wanting to homeschool the first question they usually ask is about curriculum. “What curriculum do you use? What should I use?” I get why they do. Because many feel that you need a curriculum to homeschool (well, yes and no) and they feel that if they have that sorted then everything will be ok. Um…no. I have seen too many give up when really it was just the wrong curriculum for them. There are other things that should be discussed, thought through, discovered before you start looking at curricula. 

stack of books and school supplies on blackboard background painted with chalk

Talk to friends who homeschool

Let the interrogations begin! Ok, well not really, but there are questions you should be asking that can help you sort through all the competing ideas and find clarity for you.

Here are questions I encourage parents to ask:

  • Why did you decide to homeschool?
  • Has it been beneficial for your family? Why or why not?
  • How did you decide on the curriculum you use? What do you like about it? What don’t you like about it?
  • What was the biggest challenge for you at the beginning?
  • If you could go back and start again, what would you do differently?
  • Is there anything you want to change about what you do now? Why?
  • Do you think this has helped or hurt your relationship with your children? Why?

There are more you could ask, of course, but it is helpful to go deep and talk the nitty gritty about homeschooling. It is extremely helpful. Maybe you don’t need the answers to all those questions, but they are so very beneficial. 

2 women talking and drinking coffee

Get the support you need right from the start 

This support covers two components – having a group of friends you can talk to when you have questions or struggles.

But, if you are unsure or have hesitations, it can be worth going beyond talking to friends, it can be extremely worthwhile to get the support you need from the start. Find yourself a homeschool coach or do a course on how to homeschool. Yes, this is what I do. I love to help people with homeschooling and setting them up right. 

Check out my course – the How to Homeschool Masterclass – here. It is a self-paced online course that will take you from the very beginning and make sure you are making the decisions that are right for you and your family.  My passion is to partner with parents, to help them (you!) feel confident in educating their children.

Click here to find out what the modules cover.

Do what works for you

I am circling back to “Do what works for you”. This is so important in homeschooling. After talking to friends, perhaps doing a course, you might find that how you want or need to homeschool is different. You don’t want school-at-home and need more flexibility and structure. Or maybe you do want an all-in-one online curriculum. This all ties back to your whys, your wants and needs. Your children are very different from their friends, or your friend’s children. There is no one right way to homeschool (though there are some very strong opinions out there that there is a right way and a wrong way to do it!).  Don’t put yourself into a box or tie yourself up in knots trying to do it a certain way. You will not be happy. Your children will not be happy. Homeschooling will become a failure or a regret. It doesn’t have to be. Do what works for you!

do what works for you

So, this is my best homeschooling advice for when you want to start. Let me know if you have any questions!

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