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7 Tips for Newbie Homeschooling Parents
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It's so exciting to see many families choosing the homeschool their children. As a homeschooling mom of many years and a HomeWorks by Precept Consultant, I have many parents asking for some tips for getting started. Here are my top seven tips for newbie homeschooling parents.

Check your state law

Check the laws for homeschooling in your state. It’s usually very simple to comply. Most states require that you send a letter of intent to homeschool to your local district. Check HSLDA for your state’s requirements.

Check your local groups and schools. See which activities are available for participation by homeschoolers. Some offer opportunities to be included in sports, field trips, and more!

Choose teaching materials

Choosing teaching materials with a lesson plan gives you a place to start. Even if you deviate from the plan, it’s much easier than creating one from scratch. I don’t recommend waiting a few months before you choose materials. If choosing all of the materials that are needed to teach all of your children is overwhelming you, consider choosing at least two or three subjects for each child so you can start with something. Then you can add as you become more comfortable with schedules and such. A HomeWorks by Precept Consultant can give you advice on homeschooling materials and how to get your homeschool up and running.

Adjust home rules for homeschool hours

Changing from a home-on-vacation environment to home-schooling is an adjustment. To make it easier, explain how the rules change. A homeschooling environment creates its own set of rules.

For example, where can kids be during a break? (Riding their bikes down the street may have been fine in the summer, but you may need a different rule during the homeschool year.)

Do you want different rules about TV, computers, snacks, or phones?

What kind of wake-up/bedtime routines do you want during the school year?

If your children have been in public or private school, remind them of new freedoms they’ve gained. Your new home rules won’t look so restrictive if they compare them to the school’s.

Create a homeschool space

Decide where you want to “do” school. A separate school room isn’t necessary, but you will need to arrange your home to accommodate your new homeschooling lifestyle.

Hit the ground WALKING

Set realistic expectations. It is a great idea to start with two or three subjects the first week. Each week, add another subject or two. Don’t delay starting, but give yourself time to warm-up. You’ll be much less likely to lose steam right away. I allow myself a few conveniences the first couple weeks. Paper plates and easy meal plans are perfect. It takes planning to keep up with homeschooling and homemaking too.

Finish adding core materials

If didn’t choose all your teaching materials at the beginning, finish. You’ve had some time to see what you did or didn’t like. If you’ve worked with a HomeWorks by Precept Consultant let her know how things are going. She may have some suggestions for you including distance learning options.

Branch out

Provide opportunities for electives or deeper learning according to your child’s interests. Plan trips to the library, music lessons, sports. . . the list is endless! These opportunities make homeschooling special.

Meet the Author

Cynda Moore, HomeWorks by Precept Consultant & Homeschool Mom


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