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NEW-- How do you do it? How & Where to start?

Posted by on Jul. 24, 2011 at 1:29 PM
  • 7 Replies

 I am so new to this it's scary!!!  Right now it's an idea I want to persue, but have no idea how to proceed.

My oldest is five.  I worked with her early on.  She knows her alphabet, colors, numbers, reading, shapes... tons about science (at least for a 5 year old.  it's her favorite subject)... and we're still working on writing & spelling.
However, this is the year she "officially" begins school.  I'm going to have to enroll her in a local school system, even though I plan on homeschooling. 
I am so overwhelmed, I just don't know where to start.  We've always just taught as it comes up, but I know I have to have some sort of plan now, especially when we could get inspected. 
So, how do you make your lesson plans... what would you recommend?  Where do you go for ideas & info & supplies.  What supplies would I need?  Do you have lesson plans mapped out? 

I feel so out of my league on this... but I want to do it so badly.  It's just so scary when I don't know what I'm doing... like there's a right way to do this & I'm doing it all wrong.

How did you start?  What mistakes did you make & learn from?  what worked for you & what didn't?  What's unschooled?  How do you make your lesson plans?  How far ahead do you plan?  What topics would you focus on for a five year old?

...I'm just so overwhelmed.  Any advice or websites or whatever will be HIGHLY appreciated. 
Thanks so much.

by on Jul. 24, 2011 at 1:29 PM
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by on Jul. 24, 2011 at 1:51 PM
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by on Jul. 24, 2011 at 3:43 PM

I accidental deleted my initial response to this post *grrrrrrrrrrr* :S I'll try again!

It's not uncommon to feel overwhelmed, I think just about everyone does when they first start out, and it's easy to get there even for seasoned homeschoolers- in other words, breath (!!) you're not alone :) There's a ton you can learn, always, and there's so many places to gain insight, so start by narrowing down your priorities: begin a list. I suggest your 1st priority be to find out what your state requirements are so you can meet them. The Home School Legal Defence Association is a wonderful resource for this. Spend sometime searching their site, you may find they are a great resource for many things you'll be interested in as you go along. Once you learn the requirements you have to meet, you then need to find out what your daughter needs to know based on her chronological age (try Home Learning Year By Year by Rebecca Rupp). After that you need to see where she is academically, so you'll need to asses your daughter's level of learning. You can google search assessment tests online for free resource, articles, and suggested reading. This whole process will eventually lead you to your curriculum choice. There's a ton to choose from; you can build your own curriculum from either free resources/curriculum's or purchase curriculum's, you can go with a single free or purchase curriculum, or you can use an online school (some are free, and yes it does count as homeschooling). I suggest you start researching curriculum (free or otherwise) based on the key elements you want your curriculum to contain. Make another list of your homeschool curriculum standards. For example, a few of my standards are; Christian, low-cost, covers all of my academic requirements or can easily be supplemented with them. Educate yourself about how to choose and or build a curriculum (The Everything Homeschooling Book is a good resource for beginning homeschool, it cover SO much, as well as deciding on curriculum). I suggest that before you decide on a curriculum, try some things our first; do some easy and fun crafts with your child, try doing a reading lesson or math lesson together, etc. Trying things out will give you a better idea of how best your child learns and what style of teaching will work for you to cater to your child, that is of the most important things to keep in mind when building your curriculum.

Keep in mind that homeschooling is an adjustment for everyone involved and that over time you'll all get it figured out. Be patient and kind to yourself; the best thing about homeschooling is that you can always set something aside, no matter what it is, and come back to it later. Utilize this group, ask questions(!!), and educate yourself as much as your able. Also, take time to breath and remember that no one knows everything and you're not expected to teach your kids EVERYTHING ;) The most important things are that you instill in them a love of learning and provide them with the means to educate/teach themselves. Post your interests and questions in the forum for help as you go along. I hope some of this can help you get started.

Keep in mind, there is no right or wrong way to homeschool, there is only the best way for you.


by on Jul. 24, 2011 at 8:54 PM

MommaChell has great advice as usual!!! :)

Sounds like your little one already has a huge love for learning so just continue to do what you do... fun ways to learn are the best!!!  :)  What you have been doing all along is basically homeschooling :) 

Our first year we used  a lot.  (online interactive program)  It keeps records of everything for you/printable.  I would also make out lesson plans for everything not through time4learning.  Now we've gotten to the point where we sit down with workbooks, do what we can then write everything down.   Premade lessons plans just didn't work for us.... lol  We are in Florida though and things are very relaxed.  We go through an umbrella school so all we have to submit is attendance.  :) 

What state are you in? 


by Member on Jul. 25, 2011 at 11:59 AM
We are in TN and may be moving in September to CO or Utah... So, I guess I'll be checking out the regs & standards for TN. At least it will give me a starting point. I really appreciate the advice & info! Thanks so much. I'm actually starting to feel excited. :)
by on Jul. 25, 2011 at 1:30 PM

You have already gotten some great advice. I only wanted to add something. Why do you "have" to enroll her in the school system? Do you mean you have to report to them, as in, send in your letter on intent? Make sure you are aware of the compulsory age of attendance before you do that, it may not be until age 6. But, if you are almost certain you will be moving sometime within the year, I would not contact the school district in TN. Attendance before first grade is not mandatory in many states. And if you are not in the system yet, they do not know you exist.

by on Jul. 26, 2011 at 10:11 AM

I hear in your post how much you care about this..don't worry, .you will succeed because of that deep caring,   It is important to connect with other homeschool families for support and information.  Your State homeschool assiciation should be able to help you do that (they will aslo help with legal requirements).


At the following link, click on your State, and you will be taken to at least one in your State (usually 2 or three choices depending on your State)

by on Jul. 26, 2011 at 12:23 PM

I see some great responses here!  I do want to say, there is no "right way to do this".  As long as you are working to fit the needs of your family and your children are learning, you're doing it all right!

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