Are you planning to start homeschooling your children for the first time this year? This blog post is a great resource for helping you understand which steps you should take to prepare.
All Set for Homeschool
Making the decision to homeschool your children is a big and exciting one. Whether you're planning to homeschool your children as soon as they're ready for preschool or kindergarten, or switching from a traditional to a home-based school, you'll go through a process of preparation during which you'll transform yourself from a parent into a school administrator and teacher and your home into a school.
The best way to go through this preparation process successfully and smoothly is to be as organized as possible. This homeschool preparation timeline covers each of the steps you'll need to take and when to take them in order to successfully transition to homeschooling.
Step 1: Research (3-12 months before homeschooling)
The first step in the homeschool preparation timeline is to do your research. This step is crucial, as it's the stage during which you'll gather all of the information you'll need in order to have a successful homeschool. It's the easiest step to skip, but we highly encourage taking the research process seriously and giving it the necessary time, a minimum of one month. To that end, we recommend starting this stage three months to one year before you plan to start homeschooling.
During the research stage, you'll want to do some digging to explore all of the various homeschool options that are available to you, ranging from the classical to the Charlotte Mason to the Montessori to the unit studies methods and more.
You'll also want to research your local homeschooling laws to make sure that you're in compliance with all of the homeschool requirements and regulations set by your state. As part of your research, we recommend:
- Looking for information online
- Reading books about child development, education, and homeschooling
- Talking to other homeschool families
- Joining homeschool groups and organizations
Step 2: Decision-Making (two months before homeschooling)
The next step in the homeschool timeline is the decision-making stage, during which you'll choose which homeschool method, curriculum, and educational materials you'll want to use. You should aim to have all of these decisions finalized no later than two months before you plan to start homeschooling.
As part of this phase, it's useful to create a list of all of the things you'll need to source, gather, and purchase in order to enact the plan you make.
Step 3: Supplies and Space (one month before homeschooling)
This is the step where you'll gather all of the things you'll need for your homeschool. This stage involves:
- Ordering textbooks and workbooks
- Buying school supplies
- Subscribing to any relevant magazines or online educational resources
We recommend doing this one month before starting homeschooling. This is also the stage during which you'll prepare for and create the physical homeschool space in which your children will be studying every day.
Step 4: Final Planning (a few weeks before homeschooling)
The final stage includes any remaining planning initiatives, which you can complete in the last few weeks before you start homeschooling. These plans can include creating educational and social goals for the school year for each child, as well as the daily, weekly, and yearly schedules you'd like to follow.
Once you've completed all of these stages, you'll be ready for your first day of school!
An online education resource perfect for homeschool families is Study.com. Check out this article about the Study.comer of the month to find out why homeschoolers love Study.com.