Blog Post

Thinking about Homeschooling? Start Here!

A few people have either reached out, or I’ve seen mentioning that they want to homeschool. So, I’m going to provide all of you with some resources and point you in the right direction.

IT’S GOING TO BE OVERWHELMING, BUT YOU CAN DO IT. TAKE A DEEP BREATH AND READ THROUGH THIS AND I HOPE IT WILL HELP YOU FEEL MORE COMFORTABLE STARTING OUT.

THERE ARE SOME ENCOURAGING VIDEOS AT THE END OF THIS POST FOR YOU TO WATCH.

State Homeschooling Laws

Each state has a set of laws that pertain to homeschooling. I live in NM. So, I would go to New Mexico and these are the laws based from https://hslda.org/ It is the perfect place to start. If you don’t live in New Mexico, click on the website and you can find the laws for your state.

New Mexico Laws:

1. Be qualified to teach.

In order to homeschool in New Mexico, you must have a high school diploma or its equivalent (i.e. a GED).

2. Notify the state superintendent of your intent to homeschool.

Notification must be made to the New Mexico Public Education Department within 30 days of starting your homeschool and annually by August 1 thereafter. The August 1 notice must identify the school district in which you are homeschooling. Mail the form to this address:

New Mexico Department of Education
Attn: Home School Notification
300 Don Gaspar
Santa Fe, NM 87501-2786

You can also submit the notice of intent online, here.

3. Teach for the required number of days.

You should teach for the same number of days that your local public school is in session (generally 180 days).

4. Teach the required subjects.

You should include reading, language arts, math, social studies, and science in your homeschool curriculum.

5. Maintain immunization records.

You can obtain a waiver of this requirement if you have a religious objection or medical exemption.

Unschooling

If you are taking your child out of the public school system, there are going to be some habits that you will have to transition your child from. To start, public schools start at 8 and end at 3, approximately. That’s an all day session where students sit in a desk and often travel to different classrooms for specials.

When you begin homeschool, it is best to start slow. It won’t be as easy as you might think.

Unschooling is a form of homeschooling, which is the education of children at home or other places rather than in a school. It involves teaching children based on their interests rather than a set curriculum.

I personally went with this approach my first year and it has paid off in spades. You might be thinking, how the heck do I teach based on my child’s interest. Where do I start?

Don’t worry. Take a deep breath. Let’s start off with something easy.

For the first two to three weeks, you won’t have any formal teaching. Say what? Many people would think they are neglecting the child’s education. That’s not true. What you are doing, is getting the child used to changing the routine and getting used to being at home with you. If they play games, go online, hang out with friends, or simply do nothing other than spend time at home, that’s okay! Baby steps.

While your child is getting used to the new schedule, here are some things you should be doing to prepare your child for at home learning.

  1. Don’t try to create school at home. If you choose to homeschool, don’t go out and buy a desk and try to make the kid sit all day like they would at school. Trust me, it won’t work. You’ll drive yourself crazy.
  2. Ask a lot of questions. Unschooling teaches children to be independent learners. To be self-directed learners. In my opinion, public schools don’t foster this as much. If your child learns to be self disciplined now, it will pay off later. Think about when you went from high school where your day was scheduled and directed by staff all day, to going to college where it is all on you. Teach your child to be independent now, and it will help that transition along a lot faster.
  3. Provide your child with a rich environment. What does that mean? Leave books, resources, websites, games etc..in your child’s path. They will come to the knowledge and start wondering about what you put out there. Then, when they are interested, you can find and foster their learning experience.
  4. Don’t stress too much on how fast or slow they are learning. Every child is different. We all learn differently and the beauty is, you get to help your child flourish based on their specific needs. The one on one learning is going to be so helpful and your child will do well.
  5. Enjoy this time with your kids. Sometimes we work too much, have a lot on our plates, and we miss out on the simple moments. You get to share all of that with your kids while they are young. Foster those values and morals in them now. They will grow closer to you and that will help them learn better.
  6. Start thinking about curriculum.

Picking Curriculum

So, you’ve been home a few weeks with the kids, they are not on school schedule anymore, you are getting antsy to get started. There are many different curriculum options out there that you can choose from. I’m going to provide you with a number of free resources and then links to curriculum packages that are an option for you to buy.

FREE

  1. https://www.123homeschool4me.com/
  2. https://www.khanacademy.org/
  3. https://allinonehomeschool.com/
  4. https://freedomhomeschooling.com/
  5. https://www.k12reader.com/
  6. https://www.homeschool.com/printables/ FREE PRINTABLES
  7. https://a2zhomeschooling.com/materials/curriculum_shop/free_curriculum/free_homeschool_curriculum/
  8. https://lifeinthenerddom.com/free-complete-homeschool-curriculum/

You can find FREE worksheets and PAID worksheets on https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/ and https://www.pinterest.com/

ONLINE HOMESCHOOL PROGRAMS WITH MONTHLY FEES

  1. https://www.ixl.com/
  2. https://www.time4learning.com/
  3. https://www.abeka.com/

BOXED CURRICULUM

  1. https://www.christianbook.com/page/homeschool?navcat=Homeschool
  2. https://www.goodandbeautiful.com/
  3. https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Complete-Homeschooling-System-5342076

You can search Amazon, the web, and many other places for boxed curriculum. I’ll be using some parts of a curriculum set, but not for all subjects.

Just remember, you can do simple worksheets, online, or buy workbooks. The important things is to use the resources you have, and I suggest looking up the grade level skills your child needs to learn to keep you on track.

Find Support

Not everyone is going to agree with your choice to homeschool. Boy did I get a lot of looks and heard some whispers when I first started. Don’t let the naysayers put you off. You’ve already agonized and thought on this enough to have to worry about what other people think.

Investing in your child’s learning and wanting to be there for every step is really admirable and I’m here for you.

Facebook groups really do help me. There are a lot of people who will support you.

Watch YouTube Homeschool Families

This is where I started. Here are some channels I recommend for you to see what others are doing. It might ease your mind a little to watch what others are doing and how well their children are doing. If you feel overwhelmed right now, I was too. It was so much and I didn’t think I could do it. But, I’m going on three years and I don’t regret it one bit.

  1. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_lR4Yyl7oXPukf64nP2LxQ THE FALLCO FAMILY-SERENA
  2. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoh0iC03xsDvmqWir2wh5ag ANGELA BRANIFF
  3. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4EaIDE3KUTnL-Gs4cqxCrQ GRACE AND GRIT- ASHLEY
  4. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCd5QtNTKS5idxJon05eXagw HOMESCHOOL ON THE HILL

These are my favorites but there are TONS of homeschooling videos that will help you. Here are a few.

If you need any more help, need more reassurance, or want to ask questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I will help as much as I can outside of these resources. I’m still figuring out what works for us and we do have a ton of fun.

Happy Homeschooling! 🙂

Ruth Anne 🙂

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