Starting Your Homeschool Journey
So you’re thinking about homeschooling?
Here are 6 things you should do before you start your homeschool journey.
First, know your state’s homeschool laws.
Different states have vastly different homeschool laws.
While some states require registering, reporting, and testing others don’t.
I’ve been blessed to homeschool in Missouri and Michigan which are both considered to be homeschool-friendly states because neither state requires prior notice, reporting, or testing.
Click this link to find out what you need to know about homeschooling laws in your state and whether your state is homeschool-friendly or not.
Secondly, cultivate a homeschool mindset.
A homeschool approach to education is very different from a public school approach.
When I first started homeschooling, I defaulted to the only school model I knew. I tried to imitate public school at home.
I stressed about staying on schedule and I thought that if we didn’t complete an assignment or finish every subject we were behind.
I spent alot of time fussing about time and in fear of falling behind. My children hated it!
Since many of us attended public schools as children, we have to be intentional about cultivating a homeschool mindset.
Click the links below for affirmations and tips to help you cultivate a homeschool mindset and keep your mind renewed.
My Top 5 Best Tips for New Homeschooling Moms
My Top 5 Best Homeschool Tips for New Home Educators
Third, familiarize yourself with the different methods of homeschooling.
When I first began homeschooling 16 years ago, I purchased a complete boxed Christian homeschool curriculum and tried doing school at home.
By year four of homeschooling, I’d found and transitioned to the Charlotte Mason method.
Charlotte Mason’s philosophy resonated with me and aligned with my values.
Although I still apply many of Charlotte Mason’s principles in my homeschool, I don’t consider myself a Charlotte Mason homeschooler.
Over the last 5 or 6 years, my homeschool style has become more eclectic in that it borrows from several different homeschool methods.
Don’t get overwhelmed or worry if you’re not sure what your homeschooling style is right away.
Homeschooling is a lifestyle and a journey.
Eventually, you’ll figure out which style or method works best for you and your child(ren).
Fourth, consider your child(ren)’s interests, needs, and your family’s values.
One of the beautiful things about homeschooling is that it allows you to individualize your child(ren)’s education, so you can teach in a way that works best for each child’s individual learning style, strengths, and weaknesses.
Homeschooling also allows you to personalize your child(ren)’s education meaning you can focus on subjects and topics that personally interest each child.
Homeschooling also allows you to create an environment and provide instruction that is consistent with your family’s moral values.
For me, it has always been of most importance that my children learn from a Christian perspective so that they understand life and the world around them through God’s truth.
Secondly, I want them to know the real history of our people and this country so we study Black history year-round.
Additionally, as the mother of extremely creative children with diverse interests and multiple talents, it’s also very important to me that they have the time to pursue their interests and the resources to hone their God-given gifts and talents.
I believe all of these things should be considered before choosing your curriculum and creating your schedule.
Fifth, explore curriculum options or create your own.
Many new homeschoolers find it easier to use a boxed curriculum starting out but they can be hard more costly.
You could purchase used books and curriculum to save some money.
Then, resell your curriculum when you’re finished and make some of your money back. Or you save it for later use with your younger children.
The only boxed curriculum I would personally recommend is Sonlight because it is a literature-rich curriculum meaning it uses literature vs. textbooks.
I would also recommend Ambleside Online, a FREE curriculum that provides book lists, lesson plans, and links to online e-books to use with the Charlotte Mason method.
Some online options I have used in the past to supplement our learning and would recommend are MobyMax and Easy Peasy All in One.
You can also curate and create your own curriculum.
Check out the RECOMMENDED RESOURCES page to see a curated list of over 90 curriculum resources my family and I have enjoyed most over the years.
If you need personalized one-on-one help with clarifying your homeschool values and curriculum, schedule a Private Homeschool Coaching.
Sixth, connect with other Black homeschoolers
Finding community with other homeschooling families will greatly impact your family’s homeschool experience.
Being part of an active and thriving homeschool community provides encouragement for days when homeschooling is hard and access to resources to make homeschooling easier.
It provides an opportunity for you and your child(ren) to connect with people that have similar experiences and share your values.
For many Black homeschoolers (not all), it can be hard to cultivate authentic relationships within the broader homeschool community, and unfortunately, most cities don’t have a central hub where Black homeschoolers can find and connect with one another.
This is why my husband and I created WhatupHomee.
Our virtual homeschool meetups, book clubs, anime club, and other special events provide a safe space where you can be heard, affirmed, validated, and encouraged no matter where you are on your homeschool journey.
Additionally, we offer access to free and affordable resources and support.
If you’re not already an active member of our community, I want to invite you to join us at our next Virtual Homeschool Meetup. We have them every first and third Tuesday of the month.
I hope you find this “To Do” list helpful as you start your homeschool journey.
I wish you much love and many blessings on your homeschool journey.
Let us know how we can help.
WhatupHomee is an online community + online class platform created by Black homeschoolers for Black homeschoolers.
Our virtual homeschool meetups, book clubs, anime club, and other exclusive events provide opportunities for black homeschoolers to meet up with each other regardless of geographical location.
The WhatupHomee Collaborative, also known as The Collabo, is our online class platform that offers LIVE online classes for kids.
If you’re looking for a safe space where you can be heard, affirmed, validated, and encouraged no matter where you are on your homeschool journey, then you’ve found the homeschool community you’ve been looking for.
Join our community for access to resources and exclusive events!