Maybe it’s because you’ve recently moved,the recent epidemic of school shootings, or simply because you feel the move of the Holy Spirit leading you — whatever the reason, you find yourself starting your homeschooling mid-year.
Don’t worry! You are NOT alone.
Even if you decide to begin your homeschooling in the middle of the year, there are some great tips for making this difficult transition easier on everyone.
five simple tips to making your mid-year transition into homeschooling easier
1) Don’t spend
Any Much money
You are mid-year – respect that. The pressure to start fresh with brand new sparkling books will result in you feeling guilty when you can’t finish a year’s worth of material in five months. Hastily buying curriculum for the sake of “doing school” is a waste of money. Just wait.
Ease into homeschooling and have fun. Learn how to homeschool together as a mom/kid. Ask them what they want to learn and do that. Do they love reading? Give them some parameters, a free pass to rent 30 books at the library and call it a day. Science-junkie? Look online and do some science experiments. Download math apps on the iPad/Kindle.
Don’t feel stressed if you have an older child either. They might have been doing chemistry in high school, but take these next few months to let them explore learning too! Freedom in learning isn’t just for little ones!
That is the beauty of homeschooling — at least in Texas where the laws are super lenient.
2) learn your state’s laws about homeschooling
Some states, like Texas, basically have NO restrictions/requirements, while others want you to report your grades and have a physical inspection of your “schoolroom.” You should get familiar with how your state works.
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The Texas Homeschooling Coalition is a great resource. They are VERY active in policy making. If you aren’t in Texas, google “Homeschooling Coalition in [State]”.
Remember some states monetarily reimburse you for homeschooling…like Alaska. (http://www.ideafamilies.org/info.html)
3) Get into a local homeschooling group…now!
This is the #1 way to have all your specific questions about homeschooling answered. The personal relationships that you will develop in these groups will give you the motivation and staying-power you need to travel the bumpy roads ahead…and yes, there WILL be some rough patches in every homeschooler’s year!
From there, find one or two families that you and your family connect with in order to have meet ups. Remember that your kid is used to seeing their peers EVERY DAY, so the occasional peer interaction will help ease the transition.
Also, getting into these groups will help you save money. Many times groups will post upcoming used curriculum fairs or sell used books/sets. (Check out my Used Homeschool Book Fair Haul)
Google “Homeschooling Coops in [City]” or perform a search on Facebook for “homeschooling groups” in your area.
4) Expect tears.
Many homeschooling moms go into their first year of homeschooling bright-eyed and bushy tailed, only to end up looking like Taylor Swift’s raccoon-eyed-self on her video, Blank Space.
Sure, your kid will cry…but I’m kinda talking about your own tears here.
Or was that just me?
5) Make plans.
All those visions of dry-erase markers and little brown school desks are wonderful. Capture your ideas on paper. You don’t have to rush into making the perfect schoolroom, but you don’t want to forget about them either. Check out my 2-year journey on assembling my homeschooling room – 360 View of a Homeschooling Room with Video.
After you’ve brainstormed, take your “idea” list to your husband and ask what he thinks. Respect his opinion. He’ll be honest with you. Sometimes we have grand ideas that need to be taken “down” a notch to become realistic. As a couple, take your hopes and dreams about homeschooling to God and ask him to help you sort through your wishes versus His plan for your homeschooling.
When you decipher your best route, make a plan of action and a skeleton schedule. Note: Your schedule is a tool, you are not a slave to it. It exists to serve YOU.
Final Note On Starting Homeschooling in The middle of the year
Even if you “mess up” your first steps as a homeschooling mom, you haven’t ruined your child. Homeschooling, much like learning, is a journey.
Visit My Top 12 Homeschooling Mistakes for more tips on homeschooling.
Please comment below if you have an questions. I read (and cherish) each one. Share this if you know someone who is starting homeschooling mid-year.
If you need prayer, I would love to pray about your homeschooling commitment. Your family is worth it!
Also, I asked my daughter for her advice to your homeschooler-to-be. Here is what she came up with.
3 Tips from my Oldest daughter to the “New student:”
1) Expect the few months to be “different” – don’t compare it to public school.
2) You’re learning how to be a “homeschool student,” but remember that your mom/dad is also learning how to be a “homeschool teacher” too!
3) Focus on the positive aspects of homeschooling instead of the negative (like going to school in your pjs and not waking up to catch the bus)!