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You’ve made the decision to homeschool… congrats momma!
Or maybe you’re still checking out this crazy homeschool thing… congrats to you too!
(If you are still on the fence about homeschooling, or you just want to read another momma’s homeschooling journey, check out my post here!)
Deciding where to start with your homeschool can be overwhelming. There are so many curriculum companies and instruction styles to pick from. Then there’s the cost… the total of your shopping cart can be shocking. But it doesn’t have to be.
It doesn’t matter if you are starting your homeschool in Kindergarten or later. These 5 steps will help you build the foundation of your homeschool.
Step 1. If You Haven’t Already, You Need To Research Your State’s Homeschool Laws.
The HSLDA is a great place to start! It breaks the state down by ease of compliance, as well as a detailed breakdown for each state. Make yourself familiar with what records you need to keep and any hoops you may need to jump through.
Step 2. Match Your Teaching Style To Your Child’s Learning Style
Before you can decide on what books to order, you need to pick a teaching style, or styles. There’s Charlotte Mason, Classical Education, Unit Studies, and more.
Our homeschool operates on from a base of Classical Education, mixed with Living Education. I call it a laid back home education – not homeschool (very little of what we do matches up with the idea of traditional schooling).
Step 3. Choose Your Curriculum
If you go on www.christianbook.com you can browse books based on the curriculum manufacturer, subject, grade level, and teaching style.
Some reputable companies in the Christian homeschool field include: Abeka, Well-Trained Mind Press, Saxon, Apologia, and many more! You can purchase a whole set of subjects from a company like Abeka, or you can pick and choose subjects from different companies to create a custom curriculum set for your child.
For our homeschool, I like to pick and choose the curriculum. (See our kindergarten K5 curriculum here!) I base my choices not only on Miss C’s learning style but also on the overall price of the book and any required materials. I don’t like the idea of having to buy a teacher’s guide, I feel like it’s an unnecessary cost for the age we are at.
Once you have your books for each subject you can keep track of them on my free printable Homeschool Curriculum Planner. Then you will want to breakdown each subject with goals for each week of your instructional year (usually 36 weeks). See a sample of our weekly breakdown below:
Step 4. Gather Any Necessary Supplies
Some books require or suggest a separate workbook. Some tell you to have certain art supplies or manipulatives. Be sure to have all needed supplies on hand before you begin the year (or at least the week… if you are a procrastinator like moi!)
The end of summer is a great time to load up on school supplies at your local Wal-Mart. Be sure to grab doubles, and put half away until after the Christmas break. Some of the basics include:
- Pencils, markers, crayons, colored pencils, highlighters (great for Mom), etc
- Loose leaf paper (age appropriate letter height), construction paper, etc
- 3-ring binders, subject dividers, sheet protectors
- Hole punch, stapler
- Beans, buttons, etc – manipulatives
See, homeschoolers aren’t that different from mainstream society – we still do back to school shopping!
Check out great frugal craft supplies for kids on my post here!
Step 5. Designate A “School” Area In Your Home
Find a place where you and your pupil(s) will feel comfortable. Maybe you have an unused room that you want to convert into a traditional school set up, with desks and a chalkboard, or maybe you plan on commandeering the kitchen table for a few hours a day. All you really need is a space to write, a comfy area to read, and a small space for storage. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or empty your bank account. Be sure to work within your means.
Learning takes place at our kitchen table. I like to keep the school clutter out of site, so I designated one of my kitchen cabinets is set aside for things like pencils, art supplies, and math supplies. All of the textbooks and notebooks are stored in a cube storage cabinet. Easy peasy!
Now that you know what you need to do, get going momma!
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