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I often get asked how to begin homeschooling, or where to start, or how to know what’s right and so much else. I get it! I was not homeschooled, nor was anyone around me growing up homeschooled, and the same experience for my husband. I was extremely overwhelmed at the thought initially. Thankfully, now it seems that there are a TON of resources available for homeschoolers, no matter which method you decide to go with for your family.

How To Begin Homeschooling

First things first: check out how your state handles homeschooling. It will be different for every state in the US (and I’m not sure on any details for other countries), but for where we are (Oklahoma), it is incredibly simple and the state is completely hands-off.

You can find all the information you’ll need for your state through the HSLDA. This organization offers other resources for homeschoolers, as well.

Book Recommendations

For finding the right method that you’re drawn to, I recommend grabbing THIS BOOK. Order it, or see if your local library has it, check if your Libby app (connect your library card info) has it to borrow for audiobook or e-book, or grab it on Audible! Ainsley goes through each method of homeschooling in this book and for me personally, it was a wonderful introduction to how homeschooling can look when I first began researching several years ago.

If homeschooling is a brand new idea to you, if you’re very used to the standard school system, or you just feel ill-equipped to educate from home, I also recommend borrowing or ordering THIS BOOK. It is eye-opening, and although it was not my favorite book to read, I think it is an important one.

I have loved getting to know Jennifer Pepito on Instagram over the years, and adored her book this past year. It really brings homeschooling to life and addresses the many fears mothers have through motherhood and home educating.

Another incredible mentor I look up to is Sally Clarkson. She is a WEALTH of knowledge. I HIGHLY recommend THIS BOOK. It was my launching pad last Spring as I was preparing for my first “official” school year and it was an absolute breath of fresh air. Incredibly encouraging and beautifully thought-provoking for the mother-teacher.

Sally also has a podcast that is basically enjoying tea time with her, and it is precious. She has many many other books, and if you enjoy one, you’ll surely enjoy them all. Another one I recommend for the home educator is THIS ONE.

I also recommend THIS BOOK, and her podcast as well! Read Aloud Revival is a wonderful resource for any family, but especially homeschoolers.

Lastly, I absolutely adore THIS BOOK. I have read it twice in the last year. This is the book that began me down the path of Charlotte Mason (the method we ultimately chose for our family, which I’ll share about in a separate post).

I will share more Charlotte Mason specific book recommendations in another post, but I think the list above is a great launchpad for starting down your homeschooling journey.

Finding a Community

Having a community is essential for any family, in any season. Some churches have a devoted homeschool community group, or co-op, but if yours doesn’t, perhaps you can be the one to start one! Depending on your demographics of course, if you know that others around you are also planning to homeschool and not plugged into community, you can totally begin a nature group, or a book club yourself!

A wonderful resource already in place is Wild + Free Groups. You can check THIS SITE for any groups in your area. Typically, these community groups are filled with nature-lovers (or perhaps those learning to enjoy it), and often meet up bi-weekly or so for little hikes or nature study days, but specifics will look different for each group. I’ve heard nothing but wonderful things about these!

You can also always check Facebook for any homeschool or mom groups in your city/state and oftentimes people make wonderful connections through there. You can likely ask in the groups if anyone knows of a homeschool group to get plugged into, and I’m sure you’ll receive a myriad of answers. Utilizing social media in this way is such a gift.

Choosing Curriculum

This one will be VERY dependent on where you land as far as method of educating. There are a million options out there for curriculum. I wouldn’t even be able to list them all if I tried! Having our faith and Bible central to our personal choices are important, so I will not personally recommend any secular options as I’ve not researched any.

We’ve begun with The Peaceful Press and LOVED it for Peaceful Preschool, Nourishing Nature, and Playful Pioneers. It has been such a gift for us in these early years and I absolutely recommend for an affordable option, especially if starting out and needing something flexible and also lovely. They have several other options for early learning through elementary. This is a Charlotte Mason inspired curriculum, and you can check out their site for more details, and other wonderful resources.

Another beautiful option is AmblesideOnline which is a completely free resource. I have heard truly great things about this curriculum. I know MANY who use this resource, including women my age who grew up being home-educated through this and are incredible, capable, amazing, adults! It certainly stands the test of time. This is a solely Charlotte Mason curriculum and resource.

We are registered for The CMEC for this next year after deep-diving into Charlotte Mason’s overall life philosophies this past year. The CMEC offers countless amazing resources for the mother-teacher, along with a robust, classical education curriculum, truly based solely off of Charlotte Mason’s original PNEU school, volumes, Parents Review articles, and philosophies. I’ll be sharing more specifically about this in a separate post.

Many people also love The Good and the Beautiful for an “open and go” workbook style curriculum. We used a few of their pre-k resources a few years ago, and it was perfect for what I needed at the time. Although we did not continue using it, several friends of mine use and love it as it’s faith-based and simple for the children to be mostly independent while working on it.


Getting Out of the House

Home educating has this super power, where you get to take your lessons with you, wherever you are. You do not have to have a perfect homeschool room. You do not need to re-create a classroom in your dining room… and you do not need to make your days look identical to anyone’s on social media, or a classroom setting.

You CAN go to your local museums on a Tuesday morning, take your books to the park, identify trees and birds on morning nature walks, do your math lessons on the lawn, enjoy local nature centers, frequent your library, visit local nature preserves, hike while reciting Beatrix Potter, skip on over to the Zoo on a Thursday afternoon, mid-week morning music or dance lessons, or spend every Spring afternoon in your garden.

Homeschooling offers as much freedom as your family needs to thrive and enjoy learning, and being out of the house is one incredible misconception that can be truly wonderful for homeschooling families.

Habit Training + Household Tasks

A large part of homeschooling is building healthy habits for life and taking part in learning skills for the family household. Children are people. They will grow and eventually become part of normal society on their own, and it’s our job and honor to instill within them the good habits and skills they’ll need for everyday life. We get to be part of the journey!

Bringing them alongside us in every day home care, making meals, baking, learning to safely cut and chop, gardening, caring for pets, learning how to help with switching laundry loads, putting away their own clothes, emptying the dishwasher and so much more. Each child having their own age appropriate chores and tasks sets them up for lifelong success with habit building and learning new skills along the way. Taking the extra time and care to teach them while they’re young, creates ease in our daily routines as they grow older and even more capable.

Final Thoughts

You are capable of educating your children from home

Your own schooling experience does not dictate your child(ren)’s. It is truly simpler than not, and what a JOY it is to be the one watching your child learn to read, learn their sums, learn through story, right in front of you. YOU choose their curriculum that suits your family best. YOU know your children the best, and know how they thrive, and also… how to stunt their growth. And if you don’t? Then choosing to homeschool is a beautiful opportunity to grow and get to know your children better.

Oftentimes, the biggest excuse I hear for not “being able” to homeschool is a lack of patience. What better way to grow in that area, than to work on it and strengthen those weaknesses? We don’t magically become patient. We work on those muscles, we invite the Holy Spirit to help us, equip us, and teach us. He strengthens us where we’re weak.

Homeschooling has stretched me beyond belief in just one year. Although I have never sent my children elsewhere, we had never done formal lessons prior to this year. My oldest is 6, nearing 7. We loosely followed play-based “preschool” but it was extremely casual based on life circumstances. I have seen my own sin bright and shiny in my face, and been forced to work on myself, through being my children’s full-time mother-teacher.

Choosing home education has been incredibly rewarding, it’s added richness to our days, and I cannot express how wonderful it is to watch my  children grasp concepts right before my eyes. That is an enormous gift in itself.

Teachers who CARE and teach thoughtfully and lovingly in schools are needed. The school system has a place, absolutely. Many families need to use the school system, and I completely recognize that, and honor those teachers who devote their time, care, and attention to the students who walk through their doors. They are a gift! And, they’re educated to teach in that school, with many students at a time, and specifically in that environment, following the curriculum that they need to by their school/city/state has chosen.

If you, mama, are feeling that tug in your heart to pull your kids home, or to keep them home, do it. You ARE capable. You can do things that work well for your family. Homeschooling is NOT schooling at home. Home educating is simply a way of life; a life of learning. You can do it!


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