Q&A: How do I get started homeschooling in a hurry?
"I've decided to homeschool my 5th & 8th grade children. I am CLUELESS!! HELP!! I have done a lot of web surfing, which was very helpful. What do I do now? Where can I find free or very cheap homeschool materials? I'm open for ANY suggestions."
Answer: I would need a little more information regarding your family and children in order to give you a full and complete curriculum plan, however like most homeschoolers, it sounds like you're looking for as much as you can get for as little as possible...we all are! That's how our site got started. Anyway, here are 10 quick suggestions I hope will help...
- Relax and take a deep breath. Homeschooling is a lot like raising children, take it one day at a time! You're a great parent and you'll be a great homeschooler.
- Look over our Resource Pages on Homeschool Views. There are a lot of free and inexpensive learning tools available online. These pages (unlike most homeschool resource pages) are advertisement free and well organized.
- Find out your children's Learning Styles. We've designed a quiz to help you better understand how your children learn. Take the quiz yourself. This will help you understand the differences between yourself and your two children.
- While you're at it, take the Teaching Style quiz. This will help you understand which types of curriculum will work best for your family. It's also the fastest way to give you a better understanding of the different types of curriculum available.
- Take a break from schooling. I'm not sure if you're starting to homeschool right now or if you will begin in the fall. However, I would suggest a little break for your whole family. Your kids are a little older and it's a good idea to spend some time with them before you switch into homeschool mode. I suggest at least a week.
- What does your city have to offer? Look in your area and see what inexpensive and educational things you can do that aren't about bookwork and worksheets. Go to the museum, fire station, state capitol, police department, or local farm. You can probably get a free tour and who knows what your family will learn. Homeschooling is all about taking the lesson out of the classroom and into the real world. Have fun with it!
- If you're looking into inexpensive homeschooling alternatives, you'll want to stay away from complete curriculums and lean more toward unit studies and creative alternatives. Unit studies can work for anyone and will help you to be able to homeschool both kids at the same time. You can also have your kids choose one topic, place, or event from history they're interested in. Then go to the library, where everyone can get their own library card, and do a little research project about what interests them. This can make the transition into homeschooling easier. Teaching them how to teach themselves is what homeschooling is all about!
- Don't get cheap about math! If your children plan on going to college, don't skip the math lessons. This is one area where kids need real direction from parents. Look into a good math program for both of your kids. Check out our Math Resources for some good suggestions.
- Join a local homeschool group! Here are some links that we've found to help you locate homeschool support groups in your area:
- Learn and understand the homeschool laws for your state. You have every right to homeschool both your kids, and chances are you'll do a better job than any school, but don't ignore your state's laws. Call your local or district superintendent to get a full and complete list of your state's laws. You can also look at the Homeschool Legal Defense Association website to get an idea of the laws in your state.
That'll definitely get you started. Be sure to browse our web site, too; we have tons of resources just waiting for you. Our Homeschool Forum could be a lot of help to you. It's a great place to talk one-on-one with other homeschoolers. And don't forget our Curriculum ideas & Activities ideas from our past newsletters. And here's the link to an Ask a Mom article I know you'll want to look at: "Where is the best place to find used curriculum online?" Last but not least - Check out our Homeschooler's Toolbox.
Good Luck & Happy Homeschooling!