Our homeschool year has begun! Advice and tips for homeschooling!

When we started our family, we knew the public school system wasn’t something we wanted for our children. We wanted them to grow and thrive in ways that supported their individual needs and learning styles. 

Key words there, learning styles. Each person learns differently and at their own pace. That’s the beauty of homeschooling! You can move at the pace your child needs. 

Here’s a review video on the My Father’s World curriculum

Where to start?

You’re either starting to homeschool or you’re considering homeschooling for your family.
What do you do now? You need to know your state’s laws and regulations. Each state is different and requires different things.  The easiest way to know this information is HSLDA – Home School Legal Defense Association. This is the easiest place find all your legal homeschool needs and requirements.

If someone were to ever question your schooling, records or something along those lines. They can be there for you legally. You simply pick up the phone and instantly have legal representation. 

I highly recommend getting a membership with HSLDA, simply to have that support if it were ever needed. 

Here you can look state by state at the different regulations and guidelines. They differ from state to state. 

We live in the state of Indiana. We simply need to track the number of days per year, 180 days. That can simply be done by marking them on a calendar. Some states require you to track your daily school hours. Indiana doesn’t require this. 

Choosing your curriculum

Picking your curriculum goes back to your family and child’s learning style. Our family chooses to have Yahweh/God as its foundation when we’re picking a curriculum. Our children thrive in a more nature and hands on based learning style. 

Our first year of homeschooling, we picked Abecka. It is a very traditional based curriculum. Our daughter honestly found it rather boring, and she struggled. Abecka is based on a lot of reading studies and at the time it didn’t have a lot of biblical information or lessons. I added a lot of bible studies that year for her. We were honestly disappointed in the curriculum. However, we do have other homeschool friends who have loved it. 

For first and second grade we chose the My Father’s World curriculums. We absolutely LOVED the first-grade curriculum. It was very biblically sound. Each year your child creates a timeline. The timeline for that year was Genesis-now. It was really neat. Second grade the timeline was US history.  With second grade we did have to supplement in different subjects (science and language arts). 

Going into third grade we’re going to be using The Good and the Beautiful curriculum. They do offer a lot of FREE curriculum or unit study downloads. All you have to do is print them off. It makes it really easy if you’re homeschooling on a budget. 

Here are some of our favorite homeschooling extras! (Affiliate link)

Where do you homeschool?

Being raised in the public school system, I had this specific view of what school “should” look like. I quickly realized that it did NOT have to look like desks in a row facing a whiteboard. Learning can happen where you allow it! 

When we first started homeschooling, I had all our supplies stored in a little corner. Now we have a homeschool room. You don’t need a homeschool room in order for your kids to learn and succeed! 

We are often snuggled up in the living room rocker surrounded by books, outside learning or sitting at the kitchen table. You don’t have to make it hard. Learn where your family feels most comfortable. 

“Of the three sorts of knowledge proper to a child, the knowledge of God, of man, and of the universe,—the knowledge of God ranks first in importance, is indispensable, and most happy-making.” – Charlotte Mason

Ellie is learning by experimenting. This experiment is all about buoyancy. Hands on learning is the BEST!

Homeschool Community

Community is important when it comes to homeschooling. When we first started homeschooling, we had only had a couple of friends who homeschooled as well. Now, most of our friends are homeschoolers. 

There are several online resources to find homeschooling communities near you. 
Homeschooling.com & Homeschoolmom.com
Both have a breakdown of all 50 states, with lists in each state. 
– Facebook is another great option. That’s been the easiest way we’ve found our local groups and co-cops. 

A homeschool co-op is a joint effort among homeschooling families to offer unique educational opportunities for children. They offer socialization, shared resources, specialized classes, and can be based on skills, subjects, ages, or locations. Co-ops are inexpensive and require parental involvement. Finding a community that shares your educational goals, values, and teaching philosophy is important as they are time-consuming and require effort. Co-ops can be a valuable addition to homeschooling and benefit children.

The Wolterman Homestead ran our first co-op this summer. We hosted nature-based classes each week. It was so much fun. It was a day filled with squeals, laughter and learning. We have a snake education day coming up in a few weeks. One of the other members is bringing their pet snakes and dragon to our house for reptile day. 

I could go on and on about homeschool and the joys of it. However, there are hard days and weeks. People judge you and sometimes offer unkindness. In those situations, I just want to remind you that only YOU know what’s best for your family and children. My best friend reminded me the other day that “God didn’t give us our children to not be able to teach them. He gave us the skills we need to raise our children. To teach our children.”

Highly recommend this book! I read it last year and it helped change my homeschooling perspective. 

“Homeschool Bravely teaches you to see homeschooling as a calling, helps you overthrow the tyranny of impossible expectations, and guides you through the common bumps in the road, including how to:

  • juggle school and parenting with toddlers at home
  • teach a struggling learner
  • plan with the end in mind
  • accept your own limitations without feeling guilty
  • stay the course even in the face of criticism

Reclaim your hope, renew your purpose, and transform your homeschool. Because the truth is: God will use every part of your homeschool, even your fears, faults, and failures, to weave good plans for your kids.”

(Amazon Affiliate link)
Homeschool Bravely by: Jamie Erickson

I’m praying over your year and your decision on if you will choose to homeschool or choose the public school system.

Happy Homeschooling!


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