The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling: Everything You Need to Know

by Briana Marie
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Homeschooling has gained popularity in recent years, especially since the pandemic impacted traditional education systems.

For many parents (myself included), homeschooling offers an appealing alternative to traditional schooling. It also presents a major opportunity to tailor your child’s education to best serve them as an individual.

However, if you’re new to the concept, it’s natural to have questions such as:

What is homeschooling?

How does homeschooling work?

How will I know what to teach??

But no worries, Major League Mommy is here to help you out!

In this ultimate guide, you will learn all about homeschooling. We’ll explore the various aspects of homeschooling, providing you with a comprehensive understanding of the process and equipping you with the knowledge to make an informed decision on whether or not it’s a good fit.

So let’s get to it!

mom homeschooling son
Photo Credit: AleksandarNakic from Getty Images Signature via Canva.com

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What is Homeschooling?

Homeschooling refers to the education of children within the home environment, facilitated by parents, tutors, or online programs.

Unlike traditional schooling, homeschooling typically allows for a flexible curriculum which means you can tailor it to best fit your child’s needs and interests. Parents assume the role of educators or a “home coach” as my kids’ program calls it, guiding their children’s learning journey and providing the necessary resources and materials.

How Does Homeschooling Work?

Before you decide to dive into homeschooling your child, it’s important to know what to expect and how to be successful. So let’s discuss.

Legalities and Regulations

Before embarking on your homeschooling journey, it’s crucial to research and understand the legal requirements in your region. Each country and sometimes even states or provinces may have specific regulations governing homeschooling.

Familiarize yourself with these regulations to ensure compliance and avoid any potential issues.

Create a Homeschooling Plan

Developing a well-structured homeschooling plan is essential for success. Consider your child’s interests, strengths, and areas of improvement. Determine your educational goals, the curriculum you wish to follow, and whether you prefer a specific homeschooling style, such as classical, Montessori, or unschooling. Establish a schedule that suits your family’s needs and allows for a balanced education.

Choose Curriculum and Resources

One of the advantages of homeschooling is the ability to choose from a wide range of curricula and resources. You can opt for pre-packaged curriculum sets, or online platforms, or design your own personalized plan by combining various resources.

Take into account your child’s learning style and educational goals when selecting materials. Make sure you spend some time researching the different homeschool resources and programs available for you to find the best fit for your family’s needs.

For example, my kids are in a flexible-learning online charter school in our state. This makes the process so much easier for me as a parent as I don’t have to step into the role of a teacher. As I mentioned earlier, my kids’ program refers to parents as “Home Coaches.”

They have teachers for each subject through the program and even have field trips, access to learning labs where they can get one-on-one assistance, and plenty of opportunities to connect with other home-schooled children!

Through this particular program, they have all of their materials (workbooks, school supplies, devices, and wifi) shipped directly to our doorstep. We even had a full-sized piano delivered to us for my middle schooler’s piano lessons offered through the school!

I wouldn’t have even realized this program existed had I not done proper research! So yes, research, research, RESEARCH before making a decision.

Engage in Lesson Planning

As a homeschooling parent, you have the flexibility to tailor lessons to your child’s individual needs. You can utilize a mix of traditional textbooks, online resources, educational games, and hands-on activities to make learning engaging and enjoyable.

Incorporate field trips, community involvement, and extracurricular activities to provide a holistic learning experience.

Keep Track of Progress

Maintaining records of your child’s progress is crucial for homeschooling. This can include portfolios, work samples, exams, or standardized tests, depending on your local regulations. Tracking progress helps to evaluate your child’s growth and provides evidence of their educational achievements.

Seek Support and Community

This is always one of my top tips when discussing homeschooling with those who are considering it.

Homeschooling can sometimes feel isolating, but there is a vast community of homeschooling families out there. Join local homeschooling associations, co-ops, or online forums to connect with other parents, share experiences, and gain valuable insights. Utilize support networks to exchange teaching ideas, resources, and seek guidance when needed. This will be EXTREMELY helpful for you, especially in your first year of homeschooling.

infographic-how to prepare for homeschooling | Major League Mommy

Deciding if Homeschooling is Appropriate for Your Family

When deciding if homeschooling is appropriate for your family, there are several factors to consider.

Firstly, consider your family’s values. Homeschooling allows you to have full control over your child’s education and tailor it to your family’s values and beliefs. If you value personalized learning, customized curriculum, and the ability to incorporate your family’s values into education, then homeschooling might be a good fit.

Secondly, think about your educational goals for your child. Homeschooling offers flexibility in terms of curriculum and learning methods. If you have specific educational goals, such as focusing on certain subjects or providing an accelerated learning pace, homeschooling allows you to tailor the education to those goals. However, if your child needs professional intervention for specific areas, you need to keep this in mind as well.

Additionally, assess your family’s resources. Homeschooling requires time, commitment, and resources. Consider if you or your partner can dedicate the time needed to plan lessons, provide instruction, and assess your child’s progress. Financially, homeschooling might require purchasing curriculum materials or enrolling in online classes. Evaluate if these resources are feasible for your family.

Furthermore, consider your child’s learning style and needs. Some children thrive in a homeschooling environment as they receive individual attention and can learn at their own pace. However, others may benefit from the social interaction and structure provided by a traditional school setting. Assess your child’s personality, learning style, and any specific educational needs they may have.

Lastly, make sure you research the legal requirements and regulations for homeschooling in your region. Ensure that you can comply with any necessary documentation, reporting, or evaluations mandated by your local education authorities.

BONUS TIP: If you feel like your kids will be missing out on things like school pictures, you can always use companies such as Life 365 Portraits who will come to your home and capture those back-to-school photos for you!

Wrapping Up

Homeschooling is an educational approach that offers flexibility, customized learning, and a closer parent-child relationship.

By understanding the basics of homeschooling and following the necessary steps, you can embark on a successful homeschooling journey.

Remember, each family’s homeschooling experience is unique, so adapt and refine your approach based on your child’s needs and educational goals. Embrace the incredible opportunity to foster curiosity, nurture a love for learning, and watch your child flourish within the comfort of home.

Feel free to drop any questions you may have about homeschooling in the comments, and I will do my best to answer.

Author

  • Briana Marie

    Briana Marie is a mental health and financial literacy advocate, and founder of Major League Mommy. In her spare time, Briana enjoys yoga, travel, and spending time with her Husband and two daughters.

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