Getting you started on your journey with ease.
Written by itscoolmom founder, Sara Edgar
Starting your own homeschool journey can be scary. With all of the requirements that each state has setup it can also be extremely confusing and overwhelming.
The last thing you need is to spend hours researching how to get started. Here you will find the answers you need to start your very own homeschool journey with ease!
Required State Documentation
Make sure it's legal!
The most important thing that you need to do first is find out what documentation your state requires to be submitted in order to homeschool your children.
Some states require a simple Intent to Homeschool form and Education Plan once like Nevada, and some states require an Intent to Homeschool Form, an Education Plan, and assessments that need to be completed each year like Ohio.
To learn more about the homeschool laws and requirements read this article!
If you are unsure of what your state requirements are you can send an email to email@example.com with your residing state and we can track down that information for you or you can visit HSLDA where they have each state's info for you!
Create Your Plan
What do you want your school year to look like?
There are many things to consider when building out your homeschool experience. The good news is, you’re in control and you can build it as you go!
Here are just a few of the many things to consider:
How will you set up your school calendar (when do you want to start and how much time do you have to prepare?)
What curriculum will you use? (Will you buy one or build your own?)
Will you have elective courses or just general courses? (And if you do electives, what will they be and how will you teach them?)
What administration and organizational tools will you use?
What tasks should you complete throughout the year?
To keep in mind...
When you get enough experience in anything, you find tips and tricks to help make things run a lot smoother. Here are some important things I have learned over the years of our homeschool journey.
Create a schedule that works for you and stick with it
Work in short blocks and take lots of breaks
Consider the amount of time you spend homeschooling (less is more when you are working one on one)
Get creative – use everyday life as part of the learning experience (homeschool doesn’t have to be taught within 4 walls)
Add your own spin – what additional skills do you want to teach your kids?
To read more and check out some of the resources I suggest, read the whole article HERE!
Re-evaluate Your Plan
Adjust accordingly each month.
I found that if you re-evaluate your plan each month it helps keep you on track to reaching your homeschool goals. You can continue with the things you like and tweak or get rid of the things not working.
I like to take notes throughout the month, asking myself these questions:
What skills are my kids just smashing and what skills do we need to focus more time on?
What new resources or learning tools did we try?
What were their favorite things to learn this month?
What was something new we tried?
I base my adjustments on how I answer these questions.
Close Out the School Year
What do you need to do?
When finishing out the school year it may seem like once lessons are done you are done but that’s not the case. Closing out the school year requires making sure all of your documentations are in order and complete. If you have documented throughout the school year, closing out will be a breeze!
Some documentation to consider would be:
Final grades, remarks, comments (however you plan on showing proof of growth)
Assignments and projects completed that show proof of work
A summarization of the school year
Having the right organization and administrative tools will help make this process seamless.
Some of the most important items that you will need include:
a grade card, assessment, or final evaluation to add to their portfolio for each year
a weekly schedule
a weekly and daily lesson planner
Keep in mind, some states do not require documentation or submission of documentation but there are a few reasons to do it anyway. One being in case you plan on putting your child back in school at some point and it is always a safe bet to protect yourself in case laws or standards change.
To stay in the know with all things homeschool, make sure you join our monthly newsletter below!