Homeschooling 101: Finding The Perfect Way For You And Your Family

Homeschooling 101: Finding The Perfect Way For You And Your Family

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Finding the right way to homeschool can be a challenge. Once you have prepared your child's learning space, found the right curriculum, and found a support group, you will be ready to begin your homeschooling journey.

By Crystal Gammon

Let’s start with a basic fact: there is no “right way” to start to homeschool! Or we should say, no “one way.” Homeschooling families are as diverse as public or private schooling families. The decision to homeschool will be a personal choice that you must make for your family. You must identify why, how, and for how long you will homeschool.

While there is no right way to homeschool, you can find the perfect way to homeschool for your family.

Making the Decision to Homeschool

This is perhaps the hardest part. The decision to homeschool is very personal. It’s often not quick or easy. Read up and be informed. Reach out to your friends and family for guidance but bear in mind that homeschooling is often little understood by those who have not experienced it, and you may have to find new resources. Reach out to Facebook groups, co-ops, and more to get information. (All of which are available and custom matched to you on Anything Academic!) Find your tribe and ask questions!

Read a few books, ask some questions. Read a few more books. Look at the “Parent Help” subjects on Anything Academic for homeschool resource reading for parents.

Take your time. This is not a decision to be rushed. An informed decision and a well-laid plan will make all the difference in successful homeschooling. You won’t be perfect on day one, but you will get there!

Homeschooling Laws: Start here!

Start by researching your state’s homeschooling laws. What will you need to do to begin homeschooling? Some states require that you send a letter of intent to the state department of education stating that you intend to homeschool. You will need to include your children’s names and include the school year or date you intend to begin. Other states require that you keep track of your school records, lessons, attendance, and track the amount of time you dedicate to school each day. Make sure you understand your state’s legal requirements for homeschooling before you begin. Anything Academic has a State Law Requirements library, so you can easily find what’s required in your state.

Set Up Your Dedicated Learning Space, or Not!

Let us let you in on a little secret. Despite your best-laid plans, organization, and more, odds are your children will study at the kitchen table, the sofa, in bed, on the floor, or anywhere they feel like. The beauty of homeschool is that this is all “okay.” Let learning adapt to what your child needs most. Are they happy curled on the floor doing math while petting the dog? Why not allow it? Do they succeed in getting a good knowledge of math while they do it?

That being said, many homeschooling families still have some dedicated school rooms or spaces. Maybe this works for you! Be adaptable but find what is best for your family and their learning styles. These rooms can be set up to support a great learning environment. Often the rooms are full of books, school supplies, technology, and natural lighting. They may even include an art space, maps, or more, often evolving with time.

You do not have to spend thousands on remodeling your home or turning a bedroom into a schoolroom, though. Just make sure that your child has a quiet, peaceful place to read and study. You can buy a simple desk, a whiteboard, hang twinkle lights, get some house plants, add a bookshelf to keep your books and supplies, and a charging station for all needed technology. Just don’t be surprised if, despite all this, your child ends up pulling that Amazon box over, turning it into a fort, and reading in there. Remember, they are reading!

Choose a Curriculum

Okay, before you do this. I’m going to give you a little advice. You won’t take it. I didn’t. But I’m going to give it anyway. Don’t buy a ton of curriculums. It’s effortless to get carried away in the beginning because you are excited! You want the best for your child. But heed my advice, take a breath. Do your homework first! Just do the basics, maybe one thing to start. Maybe start with a simple all in one curriculum as a place to begin. Do more later when you know what your child needs better.

That being said, you can invest thousands of dollars in homeschooling programs before you find the right one for your family if you don’t take my advice. The curriculum does not need to be terribly expensive and, in fact, is quite affordable. Still, before you invest your money and time in a pre-packaged homeschooling curriculum, you need to understand a few things about your child and yourself.

  1. What is your child’s learning style? Every child will learn best in different ways. Be prepared to understand your child’s learning style. Will they need to read textbooks, watch videos, listen to lectures, complete projects, or take frequent field trips? Will, your child, need a quiet learning space, do they learn better outdoors, and will your child need frequent breaks? It may take a while to understand your child’s learning style, but it is essential to ensure success. Odds are, when leaving a traditional school, you may have never really looked at this closely. In a brick and mortar school, you don’t have a choice. You learn what is taught, how it is taught. Not so with homeschool. Here you can dig deep into the perfect way for your child to learn.

  2. What is your teaching style? You do not have to have a teaching or child development degree to homeschool. There are several curriculum philosophies and methods you may like. Try taking a quiz to figure out what works best for you! There are lots of programs with scripted lessons that you can purchase and follow. Are you more creative? If you do not want to stick to a script, start by looking at your state educational organization website and looking at your child’s age or grade standards. Research the standards. The standards will outline what they should know and even link to activities to meet the standard. 

  3. What are your priorities? You know your child and your family best. What are your priorities? Are you wanting to enhance your child’s learning experience with travel, real-world experiences, or challenge them with activities that help them develop and grow at their own pace? Do you want to include religious or spiritual growth into your day? Is your focus on theater arts? Sports? Something unique to your child?

  4. What are your child’s interests? You have an opportunity to personalize your child’s learning experiences and raise a lifelong learner. You can inspire your child to reach their goals and ready them for success when choosing careers and building their own families. Find out what motivates your child and use those interests to create fun and exciting learning experiences that they will never forget.

  5. How much time do you have to dedicate to planning? If you love research and planning, you can build your curriculum without buying textbooks or curriculum kits. If you do not have the time to develop your curriculum, you can still find fun and engaging yearly curriculum kits that will be fun and inspiring for you and your learner. You will find many free resources and excellent paid developed curriculums in your personal search on Anything Academic. Let us show you what is out there!

  6. What is your Budget? You can easily spend thousands of dollars a year investing in technology and curriculum kits, but you do not have to. Look for used curriculum kits to buy or invest in a curriculum that you can reuse for your younger students. You can also invest in just a few pieces of a curriculum rather than an entire kit. You may want to purchase readers, but not the expensive workbooks. Do your research and only invest in materials that fit within your budget. Look for free resources, often online, that can supplement your education. Many curriculum that uses books focuses on novels/books available for free at the library.

Find Your Support Network

Find a homeschooling group or co-op. These groups are beneficial for new homeschooling families. Share your struggles, seek advice, or attend social gatherings often. Homeschooling groups and co-ops are an excellent resource for new homeschooling families. Sometimes, it is nice to talk with other families that share your interests, fears, and values. Look for matched groups for you under co-ops and Facebook groups in your child’s personal results.


Finding the right way to homeschool can be a challenge. Once you have prepared your child’s learning space, found the right curriculum, and found a support group, you will be ready to begin your homeschooling journey. Remember, this is a journey, not a test. You are just beginning to take the first steps. Enjoy it!


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