Starting Your Homeschool Journey

So you’re thinking about homeschooling?

Here are 6 things you should do before you start your homeschooling journey.

First, know your state’s homeschool laws.

Different states have vastly different homeschool laws. Some states require registering while others don’t. Some states require testing while others don’t.

Click this link to find out what you need to know about homeschooling laws in your state.

I’ve been blessed to homeschool in Missouri and Michigan. Both states are considered to be homeschool-friendly states due to the fact that they don’t require prior notice nor do they require any reporting or testing.

Secondly, change your mindset.

Since many of us attended public schools, we have to change our mindset about what education and school look like.

I didn’t know any other homeschooling families when I started homeschooling so I didn’t have anyone to ask for advice or insight.

I had never heard of deschooling.

Deschoooling not to be confused with unschooling is a period of transition for both parent and child when going from public school education to home education.

When I first started homeschooling, I defaulted to the only school model I knew and 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. My children hated it!

Over the years, I’ve adopted the philosophy that there is no such thing as being “behind” in homeschooling. Your child is never behind. They ARE where they ARE.⁠

Having a homeschool mindset means focusing on helping your child(ren) cultivate a love for learning and teach them that education (the act of learning, acquiring knowledge, developing skills) is a lifelong journey.⁠

Take a look at these two blog posts for affirmations and tips to renew your mind and change your thinking to empower you to educate your children at home.

Five Daily Affirmations for Homeschooling Mamas

My Top 5 Best Tips for New Homeschooling Moms

Third, familiarize yourself with the different methods of homeschooling.

During deschooling, you can begin to familiarize yourself with different homeschooling philosophies and methods.
 

When I began homeschooling 16 years ago, I started with a more traditional homeschool style. I purchased a complete boxed Christian homeschool curriculum.

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.

She believed that children should be educated through their natural environment, the training of good habits, and exposure to living ideas and concepts. She also believed that knowledge of God, as found in the bible, is the most important and primary knowledge and that all truth was of God regardless of the vessel.

Although I still apply many of Charlotte Mason’s principles in my homeschool, I don’t consider myself a Charlotte Mason homeschooler. 

About 5 or 6 years ago I started to create a more personalized and individualized curriculum for my children so my homeschool style has evolved into a more eclectic approach that borrows from many different homeschool methods.

Don’t get overwhelmed or worry if you’re not sure what your homeschooling style is right away. 

Homeschooling is 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 them based on their 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 interest your child(ren) and as well as the values that you want to instill in them.

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 history of our people 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 freedom to pursue their God-given gifts. 

All of these things are considered when I begin creating our curriculum and 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 costly. Keep in mind, you can always resell your curriculum when you’re finished and make some of your money back. You can also purchase a used curriculum to save some money.

The only boxed curriculum I personally recommend is Sonlight because it is a literature-rich curriculum meaning it uses literature vs. textbooks.

I 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.

There are many online homeschool resources available for free or to purchase.

Some online options I have used in the past to supplement our learning are MobyMax and Easy Peasy All in One.

As I mentioned earlier, I initially started with a boxed curriculum. After discovering Charlotte Mason, I began using Ambleside Online. Now I create my own curriculum.

Sixth, connect with other black homeschoolers

Few Black homeschoolers find community and authentic relationships within the broader homeschool community and unless you live in somewhere like metro Atlanta, then you may find it a bit more challenging to find black homeschoolers locally.

This is why my husband and I created WhatupHomee to make it easier for us to find and connect with other Black homeschoolers both locally and nationally.

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.

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.

Private Homeschool Coaching is now available for families desiring more personalized one-on-one help getting started.

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!