The beginning of a homeschool year can always be a little tricky, for veteran homeschoolers but especially for new or even newish homeschoolers. This is a guide to help you start the homeschool year (with a fun checklist included)!
This year we will be starting our 9th, yes 9th, year homeschooling. And honestly, it never goes perfectly or according to plan. Thank heavens flexibility is a huge part of homeschooling.
With flexibility in mind, here is a list (with a printable checklist) to get you well on your way to a smooth transition from summer break to a learning routine. When you start the homeschool year good, its easy to have confidence the rest will work out fine.
How do I start homeschooling my child?
Now, this post is not intended to be a complete “how-to” on starting homeschooling in general, plus there is no one right way. I encourage you to explore and experiment and find out what works best for you.
That being said when you have decided you want to homeschool I strongly encourage you to use HSLDA and do your research. Find your states Homeschooling laws, and make a plan that can fit within that.
Then secondly find what learning styles you would like to try, and what homeschooling resources you will need to have. My advice is don’t go for the most expensive thing you find (I have been there and done that)!
In my first year homeschooling, I spent almost $1000 homeschooling ONE CHILD because I was afraid I would mess it up somehow. Fast forward to today, I spend less than $300 homeschooling 5 kids (yes 2 are sorta preschool, but they still have curriculum)!
How to start the homeschool year
This list is intended to be an easy to follow list of ideas to help get you on track for the new school year.
- Research and for the best curriculum options for you.
- Collect supplies you will want to have on hand.
- Get or make a homeschool planner.
- Purchase, print, or otherwise collect your curriculum.
- Make a curriculum or lesson plan (and a guideline) to follow for the year.
- Start a homeschool mom’s morning routine. This one looks small but I promise it gives you big results!)
- Measure kids on the wall.
- Start a good morning routine that works for your family.
- Start a new school year tradition.
- Have a family/school sit down a let everyone talk about school year expectations/ desires/ plans etc.
- Take a Start of the Year field trip.
- Take fun first day of school pictures.
- Have kid(s) make new school year goals.
- Make parent or teacher goals for yourself.
- Have kids write about themselves for the start of the new year (makes for great keepsakes).
- Pick out good books as read alouds.
- Take a nature walk and have kids journal about what they see.
- Calm down if you are feeling stressed (remind yourself homeschooling is a journey, not a race or a destination).
- Ease into your curriculum little bite-size steps at a time.
- Evaluate your schedule or routine to see if a change is needed.
There is no “perfect” way
Here is a no-stress list, just to help keep you on track. I want to add that starting school every year has always been a little chaotic around my house.
Every year my oldest spends the summer at his dads’ house where no rules and super late bedtimes are a bad habit I have to break right at the same time we start school. Then there is the fact that school has to come back to the front of our minds, in routines and habits. The kids have to be reminded school comes before play.
I say all this to encourage you to see there is no perfect way to start school, and often there are hiccups, and that is ok. You are still doing great!
There is no right or wrong way, and there are no ‘perfect’ homeschooling methods or tricks. Homeschooling is as much more about learning what works best for you than it is about following any one path. However, I can say these are tips and tricks that I have learned to use that help start the homeschool year, in a no-stress way. I have learned a smooth and easy transition from summer break to learning helps keep the kids be happy learners ♡♡♡
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Beth is a mother of 5 living on a handful of acres in an old farmhouse in central Kansas. Beth has a background in the military and health and fitness however her passions come from her homestead life. Beth is an enthusiastic homeschooling mom, avid organic gardener, chicken & goat wrangler, who is obsessed with herbs and natural remedies and maintaining an all-around Do-It-Yourself lifestyle. Beth loves to share all she has learned about and sustainable living. While striving for a healthy, natural life, family-centered life.