Beginning your Homeschool JourneyMay 17, 2022
We’re so excited that you’ve chosen to homeschool, and we’re here to support you in the best ways we can. We'd like to offer you some steps to help you on your journey into homeschooling. But first, did you know that 95% of our thoughts, behaviors, habits, and beliefs are formed during the first 7 years? Your impact as your child's teacher is so very powerful! Take a moment to reflect on this and imagine for a moment a world where your children can grow at their own pace, fully supported, and in tune with their own needs. This is what you are opening up for them. Hold some space for that and offer yourself a gentle hug of gratitude for the choices and movement you're creating for your family.
US Homeschool State Requirements:
One of the first things every new homeschooling parent needs to do is to understand and fulfill their state’s homeschooling requirements. Check out Homeschool State Laws and make a plan with what you need (keep a journal to track progress and questions). Remember, public schools focus is keeping students in school, so they won't necessarily be the best option for inquiry. We recommend connecting with other homeschoolers (Facebook is a great place to find local homeschooling families), and you can join the Origins Community as well. There are often designated groups that offer articles and links to the most frequently asked questions. Having this support and guidance can be a game changer and breath of fresh air.
Reflect on Your Reasons:
An impactful piece to transitioning into homeschooling is writing out and reflecting on your real “why's”. Why are you planning to homeschool? How will this positively impact your family's life? What hopes do you hold for your family's homeschool experience? Whatever the reasons that leads you to homeschooling in the first place, many families are finding it to be a wonderful opportunity to learn and grow collectively and consciously.
One benefit of homeschooling is the individualized academic instruction which offers children more direct instruction and can be extremely beneficial for children so they do not lose interest due to lack of challenge or due to frustration out of difficulty understanding specific concepts. The flexibility homeschooling provides can give your family more time to connect and concentrate on life in a more fluid way, and it allows your family to learn in different environments--from the great outdoors to local monuments and discovery centers.
What about fostering healthy socialization? When you connect with other homeschooling groups, find pods and co-ops, you are actively helping your child form bonds with those they share connection with of different ages and levels. This brings about both leadership, social/emotional, and critical-thinking and problem-solving skills! There's a multitude of benefits; these are just a few to reflect on.
Discover Your "Hows":
Your “hows” are how you will teach your children during your homeschooling journey. This is often referred to as your homeschool approach, method, or style. Every homeschool is unique and it's not often that there's no one approach to fit all your values. A few to consider are Classical, Charlotte Mason, Montessori, Unschooling, School-at-Home, Unit studies, Eclectic education methods and our designated Conscious Curriculum approach. Every child is unique which means one style may not fit the whole family and we recommend offering a hybrid approach to begin to see what your children gravitate to, and are inspired by the most. The magic of homeschooling is that there is flexibility and opportunity to connect deeply with your child's wants and needs.
If picking a specific style deems challenging, you may consider yourself an eclectic homeschooling family! Additionally, we encourage you to connect with other local homeschooling families as they can be a great resource for collaborative learning opportunities, homeschool field trips, and more!
Working and Homeschooling:
Consider your situation..What are your child(ren)‘s and families needs? If both parents work, consider creating a consistent, yet flexible schedule to allow everyone room to be successful. This may mean school time doesn't start first thing in the morning, but rather in the afternoon or that you pick designated days to school collaboratively! Being a homeschooling family while working is possible, just remember everything doesn't have to get done by the end of the day and homework can even be considered a non necessity since everything is more hands-on. Knowing it may take a bit of creativity, and unschooling of our own minds as parents and what we learned as children, but it is entirely possible! You can even pick specific days to study main subjects such as Math and Science on Tuesdays and Thursdays..offering more in depth lessons, projects, and excursions. Create a flexible routine that supports your child(ren)’s learning and your lifestyle. (There are always teachable moments!)
Tuning into your Child:
One of the greatest parts of homeschooling is the opportunity to connect and validate who your child is and their unique spirit. When a child is motivated and supported based on their developing interest they are much more likely to want to learn and absorb the information presented to them. So, if they are learning how to properly identify parts of speech based on their favorite tv show or their favorite things (i.e. The unicorn ran quickly over a bright rainbow) then they are learning through joy and fully comprehending this in an impactful way. Taking both your homeschool teaching method and your child’s learning preferences into account is an important part of creating a solid homeschool foundation. Consider your child’s personality, likes/dislikes, strengths/weaknesses, and what kind of curriculum would be the most engaging and enjoyable for them.
Trial & Process:
Homeschool takes time to find the right process. A lot of it is about trialing things for a while and seeing what does and doesn't fit well as a family and for your child. So, we recommend simply giving things a try! Purchase a free trial subscription for Preschool or Homeschool K-6 and try a lesson or two. If things are going well, begin to gather more lesson plans that are of interest to your child(ren) and use a planner or notebook to keep track of dates, subjects, and work. Keep going and keep trying new things! Don’t be afraid to ask for help or connect with community .
Remember to check-in with your child. Keep holding space for their individual ideas and feelings. Validate these. Make changes when you as a caregiver feel necessary and include your child when you feel it's appropriate. Stay open and HAVE FUN with it!