This list will give you 12 ways to prepare your home for homeschooling that you can begin today!
No matter your curriculum choice or homeschooling style, a prepared home for homeschooling will help your school year go much smoother.
Many of these tips tie in with home management and will help your home function better and feel more organized.
Before getting into the 12 ways to prepare your home for homeschooling, I want to address 3 of the most commonly asked question for those new to homeschooling.
- What do I need to know before homeschooling?
- How do I homeschool as a beginner?
- How many hours per day should I homeschool my child?
WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW BEFORE HOMESCHOOLING?
Before starting your homeschool year, check with your state’s local homeschool requirements to see what is required for your homeschool.
Some states require attendance record keeping and some don’t. Some states require homeschool students’ immunization documents while others don’t.
It’s very important to know what your state laws are to avoid legal consequences.
Once you know what is required by your state you want to decide your homestyle.
Choosing to use a boxed curriculum, an eclectic approach, or a more unschooling style are things to consider before starting.
There are many other options such as online classes, co-ops, and tutor involvement.
Choosing what will work best for your child needs to be considered before starting homeschool.
And even after much consideration, you may decide to change or alter your homeschool plan as needed. And that’s okay.
It’s important to remember that when choosing to homeschool, you are choosing to create a program that best serves your child’s needs.
Homeschooling is not about copying the classroom at home.
Or duplicating what teachers do inside the classroom.
Homeschool has the benefit of being carved out specifically for your child and your family’s lifestyle.
Last but not least, you also need to be honest with your abilities or limitations.
For example, if you have no interest in subjects such as art don’t pressure yourself to come up with creative artistic ideas.
Use the available resources such as an online course, an art class, or an art curriculum that you can help your child follow along with.
You don’t have to homeschool alone.
But reach out to family, friends, and your local and online homeschool community to get the help and support you need.
HOW DO I HOMESCHOOL AS A BEGINNER?
One of the most important takeaways for a beginner homeschooler is to relax.
It is so easy to become extremely uptight, stressed, and anxious about homeschooling our children.
I wholeheartedly understand.
Nobody wants to feel like they have taken the responsibility for homeschooling their child and failed.
So the best way to avoid that is to access what’s working and what’s not and create a home environment that will work best for your child’s learning experience.
The curriculum is important but by far it’s not everything. Color-coded labels are cute but that’s not what makes a successful homeschool.
A parent who is willing to learn alongside their child, while providing patience, encouragement, and consistent learning are the crucial parts of homeschooling and meeting your child’s needs.
After homeschooling for 7 years, I know this is not always easy.
But it’s always worth striving for.
I would tell any new homeschooling parent who’s new to homeschooling, to be prepared to be your child’s biggest cheerleader and supporter.
HOW MANY HOURS PER DAY SHOULD I HOMESCHOOL?
Whether homeschooling high school or preschool the goal should remain the same.
Focus on the tasks, skills, or goals you want your child to accomplish for the day and plan your schedule around that.
A longer school day will naturally happen as your child grows because expectations of their work will only increase.
And, it’s important to remember that older children do not have to complete all work-related tasks with a parent.
Reading, for example, is an assignment that can be completed independently of a parent.
Most homeschooling families can complete a full homeschool day in half the time of a typical traditional school day.
12 WAYS TO PREPARE YOUR HOME FOR HOMESCHOOL
- Declutter. – Go through each section of your home and sort, store, donate, and trash items as needed. This can include categories like broken toys, games with missing pieces, expired pantry items, unworn clothes, papers, etc. The start of a new homeschool year always pairs well with a freshly updated, organized home.
2. Carve out homeschool work/storage space. – This does not mean a full homeschool room (unless that’s what you want). But rather, the place in your home where you and your children will gather and a designated space to store your homeschool books, and supplies. If you are completely new to homeschooling I would recommend taking a neat and simple approach before making drastic changes so that you can get a better feel for how you want you want your homeschool system to flow. This will take some trial and error so think about it before making too many permanent changes to your home.
3. Think about your meals. (Breakfast and lunches included) When meal planning, dinner is what usually comes to mind first. But when getting your home ready for homeschooling breakfast and lunch is equally important. I can not tell you the number of times our breakfast has taken up so much time in the mornings because I decided at the last minute to make a full spread. Or, what was supposed to be a “quick lunch” left the kitchen in a disaster and took much longer than expected. Plan, and give yourself the necessary time to prep and cook if you want to make more meals from scratch.
4. Organize your curriculum materials. – Storage cubes, shelving, a file cabinet, bins, or baskets can all be used to neatly and creatively store your curriculum materials. Beginning the school year with an organized system will help you and your child feel more prepared and confident.
HIGH TRAFFIC AREAS
5. Freshen up your entryway, shoe/coat closet. – You may be thinking what does this have to do with homeschooling? Remember, our homes are where most of the homeschooling will take place. To keep things running smoothly, keeping high traffic areas decluttered and neat will be very helpful.
6. Draft some type of schedule to follow. – Following a schedule may sound rigid, but a schedule of some sort can help you accomplish more, find a balance between homeschool and home life and help you keep better track of your progress.
7. Create a homeschool parent binder. – I love having 1 binder where I can store current homeschool records, resources, or other related homeschool documents all in one place. Preparing a binder to store your homeschool documents helps to avoid disorganized or lost paperwork.
8. Organize kid’s clothing. – Once your homeschool is up and running the last thing you want is children scrambling to look for shirts or socks. It’s common for children attending traditional school to go back to school shopping, but homeschooling requires some type of clothing refresh as well. Getting rid of torn clothing, too-small items, or items not worn helps to cut down on unnecessary clutter. This is also the perfect time to do an inventory of any clothing items your child may need more of.
9. Catch up with laundry. – After organizing and sorting clothing, it’s a good idea to try to not start homeschooling with piles of dirty laundry. Keeping all the minor details of homemaking in check will allow you to focus more on finding your new homeschool rhythm without being overwhelmed with housework.
10. Create a chore chart. – Chore charts are great for helping children build independence, understand their daily responsibilities and share in household duties. Picture labels can help pre-readers while simple lists are good for older children.
11. Establish your planning/workspace. – As a homeschooling parent you will quickly see the benefits of having a designated workspace for you to plan and work. You will want someone in your home where you can keep your “teacher” supplies, computer, files, etc. A central location will allow you to calmly think through upcoming homeschool plans.
12. Organize your calendar. – Scheduling out appointments, field trips, breaks, etc. in advance are helpful for your homeschool planning. By knowing important dates coming up you know how to adjust your homeschool schedule and assignments to fit into your family calendar.
- Tackling one area at a time will help these steps feel more manageable to tackle before you begin homeschooling.
- Make it a family affair by getting everyone on board and involved in the process of preparing your home.
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