Homeschooling for Beginners: Tips, Examples, and Schedules
Homeschooling for beginners is an exciting time, but also full of questions!
While planning your homeschool experience could become an overwhelming experience, it doesn’t have to be that way. With this guide, I’ll not only cover some of the benefits of homeschooling, but also give a solid overview of how to start your journey.
In this guide you’ll find:
- basic homeschooling setup
- organization and scheduling tips
- practical lesson examples (by age group)
- homeschooling methods
Benefits of Homeschooling
The advantages of homeschooling for your kids are wide and varied.
You can customize your child’s curriculum, improve their academic performance, avoid negative social interactions, and have access to a flexible schedule.
For a complete analysis of this topic, I recommend you read The Pros and Cons of Homeschooling. For now, let’s focus on how to start this fascinating journey.
How to Start Homeschooling in 3 Steps
Let’s say you have already decided to homeschool but still have this lingering question: how does homeschool work?
I also thought about it.
I didn’t know where to start, who to ask for advice, when was the best time to start, etc.
Let’s go step by step:
1. Find Out About Your State’s Homeschool Laws
Please don’t skip this step!
You must know how homeschooling works in your state, as you don’t want to face problems after investing a lot of time trying to help your child.
2. Choose Your Child’s Curriculum
As I said, one great benefit of homeschooling is the opportunity to choose your child’s curriculum.
This way, you can mold it to your child’s learning style and adapt it to your family’s situation.
There are different homeschooling curriculums to choose from. They can be all-in-one or à la carte curriculums, depending on the number of subjects it offers.
There are Christian curricula, secular, and parent-led or independent learning.
Look at some of the most popular curriculum options, and look for the one that best fits your own needs and interests.
3. Plan Your First Year in Advance
By doing so, everything will be more accessible.
It’s not an easy task to plan a whole school year. But I think you should focus on the general program and the main projects and activities. This way, you’ll be better prepared to face unexpected challenges.
4 Handy Homeschool Tips
The main goal of this guide is to show you how to homeschool so that you can thrive in it.
The following tips aim to give you ideas to make it easier to start and handle the challenges that homeschooling presents—and there are quite a few.
1. Create a Cool Learning Environment for Your Child
This is crucial. You won’t survive the first month of homeschooling if you don’t designate a specific area of your home for it.
Doing homework in the living room while having dinner one day is one thing. However, hoping to go through the whole school year like this is nonsense.
If the living school is your designated area, that’s okay—as long as everybody at home knows this. But you and your child must also customize the learning environment to be practical and attractive.
2. Use a Schedule and Follow It
Easy, no? Trust me, homeschooling will test your organization and scheduling skills.
Remember, you’re taking the role of the school in your child’s life. So, keep in mind that schools do a lot of things with many different people.
Plan ahead and design a learning routine that fits your family dynamic and your child’s learning style. Just keep in mind that a homeschool schedule is always shorter than a school’s schedule and that you can choose from different types of homeschool schedules.
Example Homeschool Schedules
Let’s see a few examples of homeschool schedules that can inspire you to create your own:
— Block Schedule
This is the typical timetable used at schools. You can adapt it for each of your children if you have a big family (as shown in the image below). Otherwise, you can use each column for a different day of the week.
It’s easy to follow, as each block represents a learning unit as part of a subject or activity.
— Daily Routine
I find this option more appropriate for preschool-aged children who need more guidance. With a daily routine, you can mix up school activities with personal ones, such as learning a song or brushing their teeth.
— Weekly Schedule
Similar to the block schedule, but without a specific timetable. It allows for more flexibility, and you can include extracurricular activities and weekends.
3. Accept That You May Need Help
As parents, we often believe we’re superheroes and can overcome any challenge.
Homeschooling, however, is a complex task requiring a wide array of skills and presents several tasks and challenges you may not have faced before. It’s expected that, at times, you may not know how to proceed. So, accept can’t do everything and that it’s okay to ask for help.
There are homeschool groups, tutors, and institutions that offer homeschool services, and schools that provide homeschool lessons for specific subjects.
Allow yourself to ask for help. Different approaches and points of view will undoubtedly enrich your kid’s learning experience.
4. Include Fun Activities
To do homeschooling work, you need your child to be on board with the idea.
The best way to achieve that is to keep it fun for them. You do this by including fun activities in your daily routine. Both of you can also organize exciting field trips now and then.
Kids learn better when they’re having fun. I’m sure you knew that. Then, they can focus on the task at hand and learn without even noticing they’re learning.
Keep this in mind as you move through your homeschool journey!
Practical Examples of Homeschooling
Let’s have a look at some practical examples of homeschooling. This way, you can get a most accurate idea of what homeschooling looks like in real life.
Homeschooling for preschool children is based on fun and game—structured or unstructured. At this early age, the kids must be playing and having fun. However, your child can play in different ways and still be learning.
So, time to get creative!
An excellent way to approach this is by separating your homeschool preschool activities into four categories:
At this stage, it’s very useful to design and follow a homeschool preschool routine like the one discussed above.
Please remember that you can include support from outside sources. For example, you can add Spanish to your kid’s homeschool experience. Consider enrolling them at Homeschool Spanish Academy.
With HSA’s preschool Spanish program, your kids will have access to professional tutors and fun one-to-one online lessons.
Hear Your Child Speak Spanish! Your Free Trial Class Is Waiting ➡️
There are different homeschool methods that you can choose for elementary education.
Let’s learn more about a couple of them:
This homeschooling method doesn’t follow a strict schedule but tries to cover all the “important” subjects thoroughly. It relies on “regular classroom standards for child’s grade level.”
The main characteristic of this method is that children are expected to meet certain educational standards, although without setting up a specific time for any subject.
This one is the traditional homeschooling style.
It’s a very structured program, with textbooks for each subject, daily assignments, and chapter tests. The school-at-home method is driven by the teacher (a parent in most cases) and most times requires state standardized testing.
Middle School/High School
Finally, let’s take a look at a couple of homeschooling methods that are made for middle school and high school students.
Also known as “natural learning,” unschooling is an educational approach based on independent learning. It denies the borders between subjects such as Math and Geography, History and Sciences.
In this method, “parents are the primary facilitators of their children’s education, providing them with all kinds of resources.”
There’s no curriculum, and most times, not even a textbook. Tests and grades aren’t necessary for this context, as learning is experience-based.
This is the approach followed by IB schools all over the world. In this method, “one topic is studied through various subjects.” The challenging part of this approach is how to plan the unit study.
Are You Ready to Start Your Homeschooling Experience?
As I mentioned, homeschooling can be challenging. But I can honestly say it’s an enriching experience. It requires patience, creativity, and endurance, on both parts.
Check out some of the articles I included in this piece—knowledge is your best ally. I’m sure that after some research, you’ll feel more confident to leap into the homeschooling world.
Learn more about Homeschool Spanish Academy and Our K-12 Spanish Programs!
Join one of the 40,000 classes that we teach each month and you can experience results like these
“It’s a great way to learn Spanish, from native Spanish speakers in a 1-on-1 environment. It’s been fairly easy to schedule classes around my daughter’s other classes. The best value for us has been ordering multiple classes at a time. All the instructors have been great!”
– Cindy D, Parent of 3
“HSA offers very affordable, quality, one on one classes with a native speaker. My son has greatly benefited from taking classes. We have seen his confidence increase as well as his pronunciation improve, because he learns from a native Spanish speaker. HSA has quick, personal customer service. I have appreciated the one on one interaction and teaching that my son gets from his teachers. He has gotten to know his teachers, which has increased his confidence in speaking Spanish. Our family has been very pleased with our experience so far!”
– Maple, Parent of 3
“My Son, Heath, is taking the classes. He’s been with Luisa the entire time and we absolutely love her. She is always patient and is a great teacher. Heath’s dad speaks Spanish so they get to have little conversations.”
– William R, Parent of 3
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