How to Homeschool For Free

How to Homeschool for Free

If you’re considering homeschooling or just starting to homeschool then you might be asking yourself how to homeschool for free, or at least find some cheap homeschool ideas to stay on a frugal budget. So today I’d like to share some tips with you that will help you to find free homeschool resources and ideas that will help you to do that.

How to Homeschool for Free

Free Homeschool: Is It Possible?

Homeschooling can get expensive if you let it. And, hey, if you have the budget to buy the latest homeschool gadgets or to stock up your Montessori homeschool classroom to the brim then by all means, go for it. There will never be a shortage of wonderful teaching tools, great books, and homeschool curriculum that you can add to your homeschool classroom. And all of that can be really fun and great teaching aids. However, that doesn’t mean they are necessary to be able to homeschool.

There are so many great free homeschool resources out there and if you don’t have an endless budget then you’ll need to learn how to homeschool for free or cheap at least for the most part.

So let’s talk about some tips and ways that you can homeschool for free (or mostly free). Of course there might be some supplies here and there that you’ll need to invest in, but if you think frugally then you can keep that list to a minimum.

Lay the Groundwork

As you begin browsing through free homeschool curriculum and printables you’ll need to first know what you’re looking for. Otherwise you’ll be spinning your wheels and following every rabbit hole that you find (and there are a lot of potential rabbit holes when it comes to planning your homeschool).

How to Homeschool for Free - Lay the Groundwork

So before you begin searching out free homeschool resources set the stage and determine and make note of things like:

  • The legal requirements in your state
  • Your child’s current grade level
  • Your preferred homeschooling method (at the moment)
  • Your teaching style
  • How your child learns best
  • What subjects you want to cover (above and beyond the legal requirements)
  • Your interests and your child’s interests

I talk about a lot of this laying the groundwork in my post on how to start homeschooling so be sure to hop over there and read through that for some ideas on how to lay the groundwork for your homeschool. It’s essential stuff that you’ll need to know as you move towards your goal of homeschooling for free.

Take Stock of What You Have

You probably already have access to a lot of great things that can be used for homeschooling, and you don’t even realize it! Start to take stock of what you have.

Free Homeschool Ideas - Take Stock of What You Have

Free Homeschool Supplies Around the House

Look through your office supplies for pencils, paper, etc. that can be used for homeschooling. Browse through your bookshelves or stacks of books. Take a look at your children’s toys, puzzles, and board games and see what you might be able to utilize for educational purposes in your homeschooling.

As you go through your home, take a piece of paper and a pencil and make note of all the things that you think you could use for your homeschool. You can even write down any great learning ideas that spark as you are looking around.

Save Those Containers for Homeschool!

Another place you might not have already been looking for free homeschool supplies is in your kitchen! If you haven’t already, consider washing out and saving various containers and things that you would normally put in the recycling bin. There are often a lot of great uses for these types of things like in sensory bins, crafts, and science projects.

Media You Already Have Access To

Also be sure to consider looking for learning material in places you might already have subscriptions to. For example there are a lot of great educational movies and shows to be found on Amazon Prime, Netflix, and your local cable channels. If you already have a subscriptions to these, then browse through them and save anything that looks promising to your watch list for later.

Plus, if you have Amazon Prime then you can also consider all of the other things included in your subscription like free Kindle books and free music that you can utilize in your homeschool for free. Yes, these services cost money, however if you already have them then I would consider it a free bonus to be able to use them in your homeschool too.

Consider What You Can Borrow

If you’re trying to homeschool for free then another thing you can consider if you’re comfortable with it is seeing what you can borrow from friends, family members, and other homeschooling families.

Homeschool for Free - Consider What You Can Borrow

Don’t become obnoxious about asking to borrow supplies and curriculum from them on a frequent basis. However, you can share with them that you are considering homeschooling but you’re on a tight budget. And if they seem open to it, ask them if they would mind if you borrowed a curriculum they’re not using or certain homeschool supplies they might not have a use for at the moment.

Again, I can’t stress enough that you don’t want to ask to borrow every single element for your homeschooling. So keep it to the really big stuff that you don’t want to have to splurge on. And if they do agree to let you borrow something, be sure to treat what they share with the utmost respect by taking good care of it and returning it in a timely manner.

Give (and Ask for) The Gift of Homeschooling

While it might seem boring to some, homeschool supplies can actually be incredibly fun. There are a lot of great educational toys that can be used in your homeschool and there are educational supplies that can seem like toys to your children because they’re so much fun.

Homeschooling for Free - Give (and ask for) the Gift of Homeschooling

So when it comes to gift-giving time consider making it an opportunity to stock up on some fun homeschool supplies that your children will love. Give them gifts for their birthday and other holidays that you know you can utilize in your homeschooling. And if you have friends and family who give your children gifts too go ahead and ask for specific or generic educational gifts that you know will benefit your homeschool days.

You might think that your kids will call you out on this, but if you instill in them a love for learning then you might be surprised when they actually love these kinds of gifts.

Familiarize Yourself With Your Library

There are a lot of great free services out there, but as a homeschooler probably the most valuable of them all is your local library. Not only can you stock up on the books you need for your homeschool for free, but you can even check out educational movies, documentaries, and audiobooks too.

Free Homeschool Books at Library

As you familiarize yourself with your library also check to see if they are part of a library network. If they are, then you might have access to even more books than those that are on your local library’s shelves. Our library allows us to place books on hold from a network of libraries all throughout our state and once they come in, we can pick them up from our local library.

Plus, there are other services your library probably offers that you might not have even considered using for homeschool. Typically the library offers the use of their computers and Wifi for free so if you don’t have access to a computer or the internet at home, you can take special trips to the library to get anything you or your children need to do on the internet done.

Your library might even offer the use of their printer. In this case, they might charge a small fee, but even so you might find this more affordable for your family than buying a printer for your home.

Another awesome thing that most libraries offer are free classes for various ages and topics. Keep your finger on the pulse of what’s going on at the library so you can jump on any free opportunities that you think would fit nicely into your homeschooling.

Find Free Homeschool Curriculum

There are a lot of great free homeschool curriculum options out there for all sorts of different homeschool methods, styles, and grade levels. While there is a lot of curriculum that costs money, you can certainly find curriculum for your child that is free as well.

Find Free Homeschool Curriculum

Here are a just a few of the more popular free homeschool curriculum choices:

For more ideas, you can check out this list of free homeschool curriculum and resources that I wrote on my other blog. There is also a great collection of links to free curriculum at An Old-Fashioned Education and Freedom Homeschooling.

Write Reviews in Exchange for Homeschool Curriculum & Resources

Another route you can try taking when it comes to your homeschool is to write reviews and testimonials for various homeschool curriculum and resources in exchange for those items. You don’t necessarily have to have a blog to do this, but that does certainly help lend to your credibility. But if you don’t want to start a blog, you can always offer to write reviews on Amazon for products, Goodreads for books, and even offer for them to use your testimonial on their website.

Write Reviews in Exchange for Homeschool Curriculum

If you’re not a fan of any of the free homeschool curriculum out there or you have your heart set on something specific then why not trying to get in touch with the publisher of the homeschool curriculum you’d like to try. Share with them a little bit about you, your family, and your homeschool journey or plans so far. Tell them about how you’re interested in their curriculum and that would like to offer an honest review or testimonial in exchange for a copy of the curriculum.

You can also try to do this for other various homeschool supplies and resources that you have your eye on too. You’ll have to do a little hunting to find the right contact information and it’s definitely not guaranteed, but you might find it worth it to try.

Here are some various homeschool resources that you could try writing honest reviews for in exchange for what you need:

  • Books
  • Curriculum
  • Educational Supplies
  • Educational Games
  • Educational Apps
  • Educational Videos and Documentaries
  • Educational Toys
  • etc. (anything you need for your homeschool)

Teach Using Unit Studies Instead of a Boxed Curriculum

One of my personal favorite ways to do homeschool with my kids is through unit studies. Unit studies are basically when you pick a central subject that you can study more in depth over a period of time (usually between 1-4 weeks but however long you want). Within this unit study you incorporate all (or most) of the subjects your children need to learn.

Teach Using Unit Studies for Free

As you plan out a unit study you would select related books, crafts, and activities that will help your child to learn about that theme while also practicing vital skills from other subjects such as math and literacy.

So as an example you might decide to do a unit study on ants. You would pick up a bunch of books about ants from the library, select some crafts that might be fun as your children learn about ants, and plan out some fun ant themed activities that would incorporate other key subjects like math, reading, and literacy for your children to do.

Like with anything else in homeschooling, unit studies could end up costing you a fortune if you let it. However, you can also do these kinds of studies for free or practically free by getting your unit study books from the library and finding free craft ideas, activities, and printables from Pinterest and other online sources.

Even though unit studies might take more planning, they can open up so many doors to learning for your children and they could help you to homeschool for free if you plan them accordingly.

Utilize Free Homeschool Printables and Online Resources

One of the great things about homeschooling is all of the amazing teaching resources at your fingertips. There are so many great free printables and activity ideas for all ages, grade levels, subjects, and themes. Whatever it is you’re looking for is probably out there for free.

Free Homeschool Printables and Resources

The very first place you’ll probably want to look for free homeschool printables is Pinterest. Yes, you can use Google too, but I personally find it a lot easier to find what I’m looking for using Pinterest because it’s visual. I also have a few favorite websites that I like to find free homeschool printables from as well, like:

These are just a few of my favorites, but again Pinterest is your best friend as you plan out your homeschool for free!

Use Free Educational Games, Apps, and Websites in Your Homeschool

Although you certainly don’t want to stick your child in front of their iPad all day and call it school, there are a lot of excellent free educational games, apps, and websites to be found through phone and tablet apps and online that can be used to supplement your homeschool for free.

Free Educational Games and Apps

As you search for free games, apps, and websites that you can use in your homeschool be sure to consider the math, literacy, and other essential skills that your child needs to learn for their age/grade.

Be sure to go through any websites, apps, and games that you want to use before letting your child try them. Make sure that there aren’t any inappropriate ads that they could click through and you’ll also want to verify that your child can’t upgrade without your consent. Most children’s apps, games, and websites should have safeguards in place to prevent that from happening.

Along those same lines you’ll also want to keep in mind that most free websites, apps, games for children will be limited until you upgrade. If you find that something that your child seems to be thriving on and learning from then consider if it’s worth it for your homeschool to go a head and upgrade. Otherwise you can utilize what you can and find other apps and games to learn any other skills that they might need to practice.

Here are a few free educational games and apps for children that you could try. There are so many more great ones out there but these are just a few good ones:

Again, there are much more free educational games, apps, and websites out there. I will be rounding up a larger list of these down the road and when I do I will link to it here.

Make Free Educational Videos Part of Your Homeschool

Did you know that you have access to a plethora of educational videos. From videos to learn the alphabet to science videos, to cooking and hobby classes, and even videos teaching children how to use instruments. With the internet, there is an endless supply of free information at your fingertips.

Free Educational Videos for Homeschooling

One of the best places online that you can find free educational videos is YouTube, believe it or not. You can find things like documentaries, how to videos, basic preschool skills videos, science videos, history videos, cooking classes, other hobby classes, and even music lessons. Just be sure to monitor your child’s activity on YouTube carefully because it can be easy to get off topic. Turn Auto Play off and stay close as they watch their homeschool videos, or watch them with them!

Other Places to Find Free Educational Videos

While YouTube is my favorite place to find free educational videos to supplement in our homeschool, it isn’t the only place that you can use to help you homeschool for free. Here are some other great places to find free educational videos.

  • Watch Know Learn – A directory of children’s educational videos organized by age and subject.
  • Khan Academy – Tons of free video courses and classes for all age ranges and subjects.
  • HowCast – How to videos on a wide range of topics (not specifically geared towards children so use caution)

Subscription Services With Educational Videos

Also if you have subscriptions to any of these then there are lots of great documentaries and educational videos to be found at no additional cost:

Devices to Find Free Videos for Homeschooling

Additionally if you have a Roku, Amazon Fire Stick, or another streaming device then often times you can find channels or apps that offer even more free video content that can be used to help you homeschool for free.

And don’t forget that you can even find educational video apps on your phone or tablet, even if you don’t have a specific streaming device like a Roku or Amazon Fire Stick.

Don’t Forget Your Library for Free Educational Videos

And finally don’t overlook your library for free homeschool videos. You can usually find a lot of great choices for videos and documentaries at the library, especially if they are participating in a library network.

Scope Out Free Local Classes and Services

While your library is definitely the top free local service you’ll utilize in order to homeschool for free, there are a lot of other great local services and classes that you can find for free too.

Free Local Classes and Services for Homeschool

Sometimes there are ongoing type services like free classes at the craft store while other times there might be special free opportunities that you’ll want to jump on as you find them. Here are a few ideas for places to look for free local classes and services that you can look into and potentially use in your homeschool:

  • Classes at your local library
  • Local nature centers
  • Free days at local museums
  • Free days at local zoos and aquariums
  • Craft classes at the arts & craft store
  • Free classes at your community center
  • Free extracurricular classes at your local school (band, PE, etc.)
  • Local businesses that offer tours and classes about their services
  • Free factory tours
  • Free classes and extracurricular activities through your church
  • Classes and workshops at Home Depot or Lowes

These are just a few ideas for finding free local classes and services that you can incorporate into your free homeschool model. Be sure to always be on the lookout for free offerings in your own area. You can also check out The Homeschool Mom’s list of other local co-ops and services here. She has a great comprehensive list of local things organized by state.

Take Advantage of Free Books, eBooks, and Audiobooks

Books are going to be a big part of your homeschooling. Whether you make learning from books your primary source of learning material or whether you plan to just use books alongside another boxed curriculum or homeschooling method, you will need books. Lots and lots of books. And this can get pricey pretty quick if you’re building your own homeschool library, even if you buy all used books. And while building your own homeschool library can be a wonderful thing, it isn’t always feasible.

Free Books, eBooks, and Audiobooks for Homeschool

But thankfully there are a lot of great ways that you can find books for free. Here are just a few ideas for places to find free books:

These are just a few of the many places you can find free physical books, eBooks, and audiobooks. I plan to write a whole post with even more ideas for where to find free children’s books and when I do I will link to that here.

Organize Free and Cheap Field Trips

As part of your homeschool you might want to also include days for special field trips whether just for fun or for educational purposes. You might even have a dream of doing even more field trips with your child than they would normally have at regular school. But these kinds of field trips can add up quickly for homeschoolers. Is it possible to have free (or at least cheap) field trips for homeschool?

Free and Cheap Homeschool Field Trips

Thankfully there are ways that you can plan free (or mostly free) homeschool field trips. You might have to get creative and keep your eyes open for deals going on, but there are ways that you can find field trip ideas for free.

Here are just a few ideas to try and places to look for free homeschool field trips:

  • Explore the outdoors by hiking and going for walks. You can make it even more educational by starting a nature journal or by focusing on something in nature to look out for and observer.
  • Go to the park and playgrounds. Lots of parks offer a lot of great walking trails and places to do various sports providing you bring your own equipment. You can also let your kids burn some energy on the playgrounds at the park too.
  • Look for free petting zoos in your area. Sometimes you can find free petting zoos in your area. We have one attached to a county park near us that’s really neat and completely free.
  • Visit your local pet store. If you don’t have a free petting zoo near you, then you might just have a local pet store that actually has pets (not just supplies). If you do, then this would be a really fun field trip idea. You can make it even more educational by researching and learning more about the animals you see there when you get home.
  • Take advantage of church outings for your kids. Youth programs at church will often plan special get-togethers and outings that you can have your kids go on for field trips.
  • Join a homeschool co-op or group. If you can find a local homeschool co-op often times they will put together free or cheap field trips to go on as a group in order to socialize and utilize available group discounts.
  • Local businesses, factories, and restaurants. Lots of businesses, factories, bakeries, and restaurants will offer free guided tours and workshops about how their business works and the products they serve. These could be great educational opportunities while also fun field trips for your kids.
  • Tours of city services. If you call ahead and plan it out, then places like the post office, fire department, police department, etc. often will allow you to tour their facilities and give your kids a bit of education on them in the meantime. You might even be able to set up interviews with your local mayor or other city representative too.
  • Go to historical buildings and churches. Make a list of some local historical buildings and call around to see if any of them offer tours or allow people to visit and look around. Be sure to mention that you’re homeschoolers because they might be more willing to set something up if it’s for educational purposes.

These are just a few ideas that you can try for free field trip ideas. Also be sure to keep your nose to the ground for special free days at local museums and zoos that would make good field trips.

Connect With Homeschool Co-Ops, Groups, and Programs

The last free homeschool idea I want to talk about is finding opportunities to connect with other homeschool families either through homeschool co-ops or other homeschool groups and programs. Doing this can open up more doors for learning and help you to find even more ideas on how to homeschool for free.

Find Homeschool Co-Ops and Groups

There are lots of great ways to connect with other homeschooling families either locally or online. And doing so can really help you to feel motivated, connected, find answers to questions you might have, and give you even more free homeschool ideas. There are other families who homeschool that have already walked in your shoes when it comes to just starting to homeschool, and they can offer valuable advice and encouragement.

With homeschooling becoming more prevalent you should be able to find one or more groups of homeschoolers that can help you on your journey. Here are just a few ideas for where to connect:

  • Find a local homeschool co-op
  • See if your church has a homeschool group to connect with (or put one together if they don’t)
  • Look out for homeschool curriculum exchanges near you
  • Search for Facebook Groups for homeschoolers
  • Get connected to other homeschoolers through blogs and those blogs’ social media pages
  • Join online homeschooling forums

Connecting with other homeschooling families will make this journey less daunting, more fun, and help you to find all the free and cheap resources available to you.

Now You Know How to Homeschool for Free

You’re now armed with a lot of great free homeschool resources. You have a better idea of how to homeschool for free. And that’s great! But I’d like to point out that even though it is completely possible to homeschool for free, especially when you’re just getting started, that doesn’t always means it’s the best option for everyone.

Homeschooling for free can sometimes take more work and be more stressful because you need to do a lot more research in order to find what you need. You might just end up paying for it with your time. In some cases you might end up sacrificing quality. And in other cases you might be trying to fit a curriculum or method into your (and your child’s) style when it just isn’t the right fit.

So even though you can certainly work hard to homeschool for free, also remain open to spending some money if needed on key supplies like a good printer and laminator, and perhaps a curriculum that you feel would be a better fit (if the free ones aren’t working for you and your child).

Free homeschooling is certainly possible. There are so many wonderful free homeschool resources out there that you can utilize whether you challenge yourself to do all of your homeschooling for free or are just trying to homeschool on a budget.

I hope these ideas have helped you learn how to homeschool for free. If you have any other ideas or free homeschool resource ideas please share them in the comments below. I’d love to know about them!

Homeschool Preschool Skills: What to Teach Preschoolers

Homeschool Preschool Skills: What to Teach Your Preschooler

What do children learn in preschool? This might be the question you’re asking yourself as you begin to consider homeschooling your preschooler. What preschool skills does my child need to master? Let’s talk a bit about what to teach preschoolers as you begin your homeschool preschool journey with your own little one.

Homeschool Preschool Skills: What to Teach Your Preschooler

What preschool skills do I need to teach my child?

Preschool is a wonderful and special time in the life of both the child and the home educator. Because it’s a time of discovery, exploration and play. It’s a time when things don’t seem as pressing and you can let your inner child come out and enjoy all of those little things that you secretly miss from your childhood (like playing with playdoh and coloring pictures).

But building certain preschool skills is also important. Because it gives your child the gift of being more prepared for more formal schooling as they enter into Kindergarten (whether at home or outside of the home).

The great thing though about all of these preschool skills that your child is recommended to learn before entering into Kindergarten is that most of these things they will naturally learn as you go about your days, reading, talking and playing with them.

That’s not to say that it’s a bad thing to intentionally play with them or have them “do preschool” for a short time each day. But I say that to ease your mind. Because you don’t have to worry about messing this up. Most kids will pick up on the majority of these concepts naturally. God designed their little brains to be incredible sponges that soak in information at a much greater rate than we can as adults. Thank God for that!

Having said all of that, I know that if you’re anything like me then you still want to have all your ducks in a row. You still want to make sure that you’re working on these essential preschool skills so that your child is ready for Kindergarten. And that’s great! I’m all about being prepared like that too, so I totally get it.

So let’s talk about what to teach preschoolers, and in particular YOUR little preschooler as they begin their amazing journey into the world of homeschooling.

What does your school district recommend?

Before I get to the list of preschool skills you’ll want to impart to your child, I want to quickly point out that it’s a good idea to look into what exactly your own school district recommends your child to know before entering kindergarten. Whether you plan to homeschool for the long haul or just for preschool, this can be a good guideline for you to follow.

Even if you plan to homeschool for the duration of your child’s education, you still will want to make sure that they are at level or above level with the children in your school district. Because depending on your state you may or may not need to turn in a portfolio and work examples on a regular basis as they get older. Some states also require regular testing to make sure your child is being taught what is required in your state. Some states don’t, but it’s good to make sure that you have all your ducks in a row and that your child is learning all they need to at each age.

If you’re unsure of how to find this information, try checking out your state’s website or do a web search for something along the lines of “kindergarten requirements for [INSERT YOUR STATE HERE]” and you should be able to find some more information about your state specifically.

So after you’ve checked in with your school district’s requirements and recommendations, then you can move on to the recommendations below.

Your Faith

While this may not be an requirement by the school district (far from it in fact), it is important to a family who follows God. And if that’s you, then now is the time to share that faith with your little ones. When they are young, they are so open to God and hearing about Jesus and opening up their little hearts to Him. Don’t wait until they get older and “can understand better”. Start teaching them about your family’s faith now and let their own faith begin to grow early in life.

Personal Information

There are some important pieces of personal information that your child should be learning about in preschool. Knowing this information not only helps to prepare them for Kindergarten, but it helps to keep them safe. If they are in a situation where they get separated from you or need to use their words to share where they might have gotten hurt, then knowing this kind of information will be essential for them.

Here’s some of the personal information that your preschooler should be taught:

  • Know their first name and what it looks like
  • Learn how to write their name
  • Know their full name (first and last)
  • Memorize at least one parent’s full name
  • Memorize at least one parent’s phone number
  • Memorize their address
  • Know and identify basic body parts (i.e. head, shoulders, knees, and toes ;))

Character Training

Preschool is a great time to start training your children to have good character. If you’re a Christian then looking to the Bible for character training is a must. You can teach them about all kinds of virtues through books, activities, discussions, and even pick up character training programs for preschoolers to help give your character training some structure. My personal favorites are the Little Lads and Ladies of Virtue curriculum and the We Choose Virtues curriculum. We use both of these together along with a few other resources that help too. Character training is also greatly impacted by the example they see in you (*ouch* I know, I feel the pressure too, believe me!).

But character training isn’t just for Christians. Whether you’re a Christian or not, guiding them in some vital character virtues from a young age would definitely fall under the umbrella of essential preschool skills. Things like:

  • Knowing right from wrong
  • Being honest and not lying
  • Showing kindness and gentleness to others
  • Helping them to learn to be content with what they have
  • Forgiving others when they are wronged
  • Showing respect towards others

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Basic Life Skills

Next you’ll want to make sure to teach your pr

eschooler some basic life skills that they will need in life. And if you plan to send them to Kindergarten outside of the home a few of these are a must as they enter Kindergarten because they won’t have the help there that they would at home.

  • Be fully potty trained (at least during the day)
  • Know how to wash their hands properly
  • Get themselves dressed
  • Put on their own coat
  • Be able to tie their shoes (if their shoes are the tying kind)

Basic Social Skills

We talked about character training as something that you need to teach (or at least start teaching) your preschooler. But there are a few really basic social skills that, while they might tie in to some of the character virtues you’ll be teaching them, also are important in their own right specifically. Whether they feel like it or not, they will need to learn how to follow some basic social skills needed as they enter Kindergarten. Things like:

  • Playing nice with others
  • Sharing with others (I love this book about sharing, it has a great overview of different ways to share)
  • Know how to take turns with others
  • Be able to wait in a line patiently
  • Learn how to sit and listen without interrupting (a very hard one!)
  • Be able to follow simple directions

Basic Crafting Skills

Preschool is the time for making crafts! And there’s a reason beyond it just being fun (although that is a good reason). But another reason basic crafting skills are essential preschool skills is because they typically force your child (in a fun way) to practice vital fine motor skills that will prepare your child for writing one day. So you’ll want to make sure they are working on these basic crafting skills:

Calendar

Preschool is a great time for learning about the elements of a calendar and how to read a calendar. Knowing how to communicate what day it is and in relation to other days is an important skill for preschoolers to master. The good thing about these things is that they can easily be memorized for preschoolers, especially if you teach them songs to help them memorize these things. They will need to be taught things like:

  • What “today”, “yesterday”, and “tomorrow” mean and be able to use them properly
  • Days of the week
  • Months of the year
  • The four seasons

As a side note, it’s also a great time to start teaching them about recognizing and describing the weather. Often times you can review calendar and weather together like in the morning either as you’re making breakfast or even as a special morning or circle time that can be really fun for preschoolers.

Letter Recognition

When it comes to preschool skills, something you’ll often hear about is teaching letter recognition using a letter of the week formula. And this tends to work out great for preschoolers. There are many different schools of thought on whether to go in alphabetical order or in another special order. But no matter which order you teach preschoolers their letter, it’s definitely a must.

The great thing about teaching letter recognition though is that there are so many ways you an go about it. There are a lot of great letter of the week programs you could use, or you put your own together using various activities, crafts, and worksheets.

Whatever level of planning you want to do, be sure to plan on teaching your preschooler to identify and name all the letters of the alphabet.

Letter Sounds

While teaching your child to recognize letters is important, even more important when it comes to learning how to read down the road is teaching them their letter sounds. This is the foundation that they need in order to be able to read. Once they know their letter sounds then they will be able to read so many short words just by sounding them out.

Many people believe that letter sounds should be taught before you even teach the names of letters. I personally have observed that teaching them simultaneously works fine too. With my first child I didn’t even know I should be teaching him letter sounds so he learned the names of his letters first. But now he’s five and reading simple CVC words and ready to move on to more difficult aspects of learning to read. With my second child she is only two and we’ve already been working on teaching letter sounds and letter names together and she’s doing great. She can already recognize several of the letters and mastered about 10 of the letter sounds so far.

So I think that whether you teach letter names or sounds first, or both at the same time it doesn’t matter. So long as they are learning these things in order to lay the foundation for reading.

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Counting (1-20)

Counting is where it starts with math. It’s the foundation that children need in order to advance to other mathematical concepts later on. It’s always needed and necessary. Typically by the end of Kindergarten, children are expected to be able to count up to 99. So teaching them to count up to 20 is a good start for them. If you can teach them to count even higher, like up to 29, then they might more easily pick up on mastering counting from that point due to the repeated pattern of counting.

Number Recognition (1-10)

Being able to identify and recognize numbers 1 through 10 is a skill you’ll want to work on with your preschooler. Knowing what numbers look like is a must as children begin to learn various math concepts. And I’m not talking about just being able to count to 10, but also they should learn how to recognize those numbers when written down even when they’re out of order.

Colors

Knowing and naming the basic colors is another essential preschool skill that is going to prepare them for so many things: math, art, sorting, and more. They don’t need to know every color under the sun, but they should be able to identify the basic colors like:

  • Red
  • Yellow
  • Blue
  • Orange
  • Green
  • Purple
  • Pink
  • Brown
  • Black

Shapes

Learning basic shapes before entering kindergarten is another critical preschool skill that you can work on with your child. Like with colors, we’re not talking about learning every wacky shape that’s out there, just start with teaching them the basic 2D shapes like:

  • Square
  • Circle
  • Triangle
  • Rectangle

If they’ve mastered those four and seem willing and eager to learn, then by all means move on to teaching them other shapes like ovals, diamond, hearts, etc. But as long as they learn the four basic shapes they’re good.

Patterning

Learning basic patterning skills is essential for math. Patterns are something that a child’s brain will begin to recognize even from an early age. But as preschoolers it’s a good idea to help them to practice the skill of recognizing and creating various types of patterns. As they begin to learn patterns it’s good to start with an easy type of pattern and progress from there as they’ve mastered each type of pattern. Here are some of the types of patterns you can work on teaching your preschooler:

  • AB (i.e. red-blue-red-blue)
  • ABC (i.e. car-train-plane-car-train-plane)
  • AABB (i.e. stomp-stomp-clap-clap-stomp-stomp-clap-clap)
  • AAB (i.e. raisin-raisin-nut-raisin-raisin-nut)
  • ABB (i.e. circle-square-square-circle-square-square)

Comparing

Teaching preschoolers how to compare different objects and sets of objects for similarities and differences is a vital skill. They will use this ability to visually discriminate throughout their entire lives. So laying the groundwork for them in preschool will prepare them for not only life but also for other math concepts further down the road. You can teach them comparing concepts such as:

  • Matching two identical or similar objects together (Bingo is GREAT for this by the way)
  • Sorting groups of objects (by color, size, texture, etc.)
  • Identifying objects using comparative terms (i.e. big, bigger, and biggest)

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Pre-Writing

Before your preschooler can be successful at handwriting, they will need to master several preschool skills that will help them to be successful. By introducing opportunities for them to exercise these skills, you will be preparing them for being able to write their name, sentences, and even entire book reports down the road.

One of the most important types of pre-writing activities that you can do with your preschooler is fine motor activities. This is an umbrella term for a whole slew of different activities. The ideas out there are endless and typically they’re really fun for your preschooler to do. But essentially you want them to begin exercising and strengthening those finger muscles to prepare them for writing. Anything that forces them to utilize a pincher grasp is great fine motor exercises.

Beyond fine motor you also want to build up their muscle memory for writing. What this means is giving them opportunities to practice (over and over again) tracing various shapes, letters, numbers, etc. so that the muscles in their hands will “remember” how to write those things when the crutch of tracing is removed. This might sound silly, but think about how easily and quickly you write your own signature, sometimes without even thinking about it. That’s muscle memory!

Here are some great pre-writing activities you can do with your preschooler:

  • Fine motor games and activities (i.e. using tweezers to move pom poms into an ice cube container, lacing cards, using a Lite-Brite, etc.)
  • Tracing shapes, letters, and numbers
  • Tracing lines of various types (i.e. wavy, curly, straight, etc.)
  • Doing simple one-solution “mazes” or tracks

Phonological Awareness

As a pre-cursor to reading children first master something called phonological awareness. Phonological awareness is basically the ability to recognize that words are made up of different sounds put together. While there are certainly things you can do to promote good phonological awareness, it is also something that they might pick up on naturally as you do other activities with them like:

  • Talk to them and have discussions
  • Sing songs with them
  • Read them nursery rhymes and other rhyming stories
  • Point to and finger-follow words as you read them in a book
  • Teach them their letter sounds and blends
  • etc.

So while this is a critical pre-reading skill that they at least begin to master before Kindergarten, it is something that they will continue to master as they work their way through learning to read by learning about rhyming, syllables, word families, etc.

Read

Your preschooler doesn’t have to be reading by the time they enter Kindergarten (although some really giften children are). But reading with and to your child is VITAL. It’s so so so so important. Because reading with your children helps to teach them so many of the other things we talked about like phonological awareness, patterning, letter sounds, and more. It’s such a gift you can give to your child.

Here are some important reading milestones and preschool skills that you’ll want to work on with your preschooler:

  • Read to them a lot — every day, multiple times a day if possible
  • Introduce them to beginning non-fiction books (not just fiction books)
  • Share classic and timeless children’s picture books with them
  • Show them how they can learn about their world through books
  • Teach them how to hold a book the correct way and turn the pages
  • Let them choose some of the books you read with them based on their interests
  • Help them learn how to sit still and listen to a story from start to finish
  • If they seem ready, start doing read-alouds from larger chapter books with minimal pictures with them

Play!

Probably one of the most important preschool skills that you can re-enforce in your child is play. It’s kind of toss up between reading and playing because they are both almost equally as important. But make sure they have TONS of great playtime.

Every child is enormously different so I can’t speak for every child. But most preschoolers don’t need to have formal homeschool time for more than 30-60 minutes a day (for 3-4 days a week). Most of the things we discussed above don’t need to take very long. And then the rest of the time they will learn so much of these valuable preschool skills during their playtime.

Here are some important ways to play with your preschooler to encourage learning and exploration:

  • Imaginative play (play house, tea party, dress up, etc.)
  • Playing with open ended toys (blocks, cars & trucks, doctor kit, etc.)
  • Sensory play (sensory bins, bottles, bags, etc.)
  • Nature exploration (take walks, play in the dirt, collect leaves, etc.)
  • Arts and crafts (make macaroni art, let them go wild with buttons and glue, etc.)
  • Free play (let them choose what they want to play)

I also want to note that free play is so so SO important. Let THEM choose what to play and you’ll be amazed at what they’ll learn. Often times children will naturally steer towards playing certain things because their brains are making connections and mastering certain skills. So roll with it and they will learn more than you can imagine through just playing.

Now You Know What to Teach Preschoolers

Do you feel more prepared to begin your homeschool preschool journey? Or did I just overwhelm you? lol It’s okay! I get it. It seems like a lot, but trust me when I say that a lot, and I mean a lot, of these things are things your preschooler will learn through everyday discussions, play, and reading. Meaning you won’t have to teach them a lot of these things in a formal kind of way. 

And then most of the other things can easily be taught simultaneously in a lot of cases — like how you can do a wooden shape peg puzzle with them that will not only teach them about shapes, but also about their colors, matching, and help them to use those pincher grasps to pick up the puzzle pieces for fine motor skills. So as you can see in this example, a lot of different preschool skills can be taught to your child through one simple activity.

Don’t let teaching your preschooler become overwhelming. Have fun and enjoy playing and learning together. They will learn these things in their own time and at their own pace.

And when you do start homeschooling your child, you can even find ways to minimize the costs and homeschool for free.

What Do Children Learn in Preschool Free Printable Checklist

To make things easier for you, I’ve created a free printable checklist with all of the preschool skills we’ve talked about in this post listed out in an easy-to-print format. That way you can print this out and stick it in your homeschool planning binder for easy reference as you plan out your homeschool preschool.

Just click the printer button below and fill out the form to sign up for our newsletter. After signing up you will automatically be re-directed to your free checklist to download.  Enjoy!

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How to Start Homeschooling

How to Start Homeschooling

So here you are, asking yourself how to start homeshooling. Perhaps you’ve already done some research but you still feel stuck on how to homeschool. You’ve read a thousand and one homeschooling 101 articles but you still feel so lost with how to get started homeschooling. Where do you begin?

How to Start Homeschooling

Homeschooling 101: How to Get Started Homeschooling

I remember when we first started looking into homeschooling before my first child was even born. My husband and I had already come to the conclusion that this was the right move for our family but we didn’t know where to start. It was overwhelming to think about how to even begin. I didn’t go to college to be a teacher. What if I forget to teach him something? What if I miss something? What if I’m not good enough to teach him? How do I know which curriculum to choose? What if I choose the wrong one?

Now, that we’ve been homeschooling for a little while I’m more at ease because here’s a little well-known secret: kids area ALWAYS learning and you really can’t screw it up.

I can tell you without a doubt that homeschooling is a lifestyle. But it doesn’t have to be complicated either. It can be as simple or as complicated as you make it. And there is no right or wrong way to go about it. Every teacher, every family, and every child is different. And the beauty of homeschooling is tailoring your child’s education to fit you, your family, and most importantly your child.

But while your journey along the way might look different than mine, getting started requires some of the same basic steps no matter who you are. And so I’m here to share with you a simple and straightforward list on the very basics on how to start homeschooling.

 

1. Pray

I’m a Jesus follower and believer in following the leading of Almighty God. I’m not perfect at it, but with such a huge step as this it’s important to enter into it prayerfully.

So take some time to pray. Talk to God about what’s been laid on your heart in regards to homeschooling, and be patient for the answer. If your child is young then you still have time to pray and consider your route. And if your child is still in the middle of their school year (or you’re in the middle of summer break) then take this time to pray and seek God’s wisdom about the school year to come.

If you’re in a situation where circumstances have forced you to start homeschooling, then give yourself the liberty to take a little time to get your bearings. Don’t worry about having everything figured out by tomorrow. Just allow your child to have some time off while you pray and research homeschooling more. They will be okay without any formal schooling for a few weeks, and they might just need a little break too.

 

 

2. Get Inspired and Motivated

Depending on your situation, this might have been what prompted your question on how to homeschool. It was probably where you journey began with. But if you’re just starting to look into homeschooling, then I would strongly suggest finding inspiration and motivation as you begin your homeschool journey.

Take some time to dream about what your ideal homeschool life with your children would look like. Browse around Pinterest for fun homeschool ideas and tips, bookmark some good homeschool blogs that you can come back to later.

One of the things that really inspired and motivated me when I was just starting out was looking at other homeschool family’s routines and schedules. This helped me to see the reality of a daily life as a homeschooling family. It also helped me to realize that everyone is different. Because for every homeschool routine out there, there will be a hundred different ones. Every family is different and what works for one might not for another. It’s all trial and error and we are all continuing to learn along the way. The sooner you accept that, the more at peace you will be with exactly where you’re at in your homeschool journey.

So find some motivation. Whatever that may look like for you, get excited about homeschooling your child!

 

 

3. Learn About The Legal Requirements in Your State

Homeschooling looks different in every state. Some states require that you notify the school district that you’ll be homeschooling your child. Some will require that you turn in samples of your child’s work on a regular basis and take state testing each year. While other states don’t require you to do anything when you start homeschooling. There are states on all ends of the spectrum.

So it’s important to look into exactly what’s required of you from your state in order to start homeschooling. I recommend looking into your state’s homeschool requirements directly on your state’s website. However there are a few great resources that help to break it down a little more simply for you. In particular I think the Time4Learning website has a great overview of state requirements for each state. I also love how the HSLDA has laid out the requirements for each state here.

Once you’ve nailed down exactly what your state requires, you can move on to the fun part — the planning! 🙂

 

 

4. Get Educated on Educating

Now that you have a list of requirements based on your state, you might have a little bit more of a direction on what to do next in your homeschool planning. But no matter how strict or loose your state’s guidelines are, it’s good to know what your child should be learning each school year. What are the general guidelines and recommendations?

As you’re homeschooling your child you want to makes sure they’re getting a full and well-rounded education. While that process will look differently for everyone, knowing what they should be learning is a good guideline and framework that you can follow as you select curriculum and activities to do in your homeschooling.

There are a ton of great books and websites where you can learn what your child should learn for each grade. But the three that stand out as being the most helpful are Home Learning Year by Year by Rebecca Rupp, What Your Child Needs to Know When by Robin Sampson (Christian Perspective), and The Well-Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise. I wouldn’t say you should get all of your information from just these several books alone. But they are great starting points.

The What Your Child Needs to Know series also includes a book for each grade that gets into more specific details which is helpful. I’ve linked to a few of them below for you to check out.

 

5. Find Your Homeschool Style

I’m going to preface this section by saying that it’s important for you to realize that your homeschool style can (and most likely will) change over the years (and even months or weeks), and from child to child. Plus, as you go through this journey you will better come to understand what you like and don’t like and what works for you, your family, and each of your children. But it’s good to have a starting out point.

So as you learn how to start homeschooling you’ll want to think about what kind of homeschool environment you want to create for your family. Do you want to model a traditional school room? If so, you might just favor a Traditional homeschool method. Or would you like to place a bigger emphasis on literature and learning through reading books? If so, you might want to look into the Charlotte Mason homeschool method. Or, you might like a combination of all (or most) of the various homeschool methods, which would be called Eclectic (or Relaxed) homeschooling.

Now, you might get to this step and feel stuck. What’s your homeschool style? What’s your preferred method? You might not know until you try something. And that’s okay. But it’s a good idea to look at an overview of what each method entails so you can determine what you think would work best for your family from the get go. Then you can steer towards curriculum and activities that will fall in line with your style and avoid the things that just won’t work for you.

Here’s a real life example. My five year old son is SO SMART. He picks up on things and learns so easily. But you know Tigger from Winnie the Pooh? Yeah, that’s him. He is just bouncing off the walls. All. the. time. He would absolutely detest if I sat him down in a desk for 3-6 hours a day. He would not learn anything. But he does splendidly with hands on activities and he even loves to sit down and be still for books despite his bouncy demeanor — who woulda’ thunk it!  But I have to be careful with what I expect of him. Even though a nice neat little curriculum filled with worksheets might sound nice (and work for some kids), it will not work for him.

And while this is the kind of thing that you grow to understand more as you get deeper into your homeschool journey, for now think about your child’s personality and your personality and try to find a method that you think will work for both of you. If it doesn’t seem to be working out then don’t be afraid to change it — even if it’s midway into the school year. Don’t spend the whole year on a curriculum or style you or your child hates. Find the joy in homeschooling and don’t be afraid to change things up if needed.

Homeschooling Methods

All of that being said, let’s get an idea for what the various homeschool methods are so that you can research them a little more. If more than one stand out to you then by all means mix-and-match (that’s my favorite thing to do).

Here is a list of the seven core homeschooling methods at the moment:

  1. Traditional Homeschooling
  2. Classical Homeschooling
  3. Charlotte Mason Homeschooling
  4. Montessori Homeschooling
  5. Homeschooling with Unit Studies
  6. Unschooling
  7. Eclectic Homeschooling

There are also a few other lesser-known methods such as Waldorf, Roadschooling, and Worldschooling. There are lots of great articles about the different homeschooling methods. TheBestSchools.org has a great overview of each one here. And I like how Time4Learning gets more in depth with each of the methods here.

I can’t stress enough that there is no right or wrong choice here. And you don’t even have to fit yourself into one of these neat little boxes. That’s why I love being an Eclectic Homeschooler!

Because I absolutely love reading living books with my children to learn about all kinds of things (Charlotte Mason). But I will typically pick our living books based on the Unit Studies I put together for various different topics that we want to get more in depth with (Homeschooling with Unit Studies). I will even put together Unit Studies based on my child’s interests (Unschooling). And I love incorporating Montessori-inspired trays into our Unit Studies as well as to help teach them valuable life skills (Montessori). But when it comes to math and phonics, guided primers and worksheets seem to work out the best for us (Traditional Homeschooling). So as you can see, in our day-to-day homeschool we incorporate no less than five different homeschool methods into our education as a family. And that’s okay. It’s a tailor-made style to fit us.

So take some time to consider what style might fit best with you, your family, and your child. But don’t get stuck here. It’s just a guideline so you can better understand what curriculum and activities you should steer towards as you plan out your homeschool.

 

 

6. Talk to Your Child

Before we get to the planning stage it’s a good idea to take some time to talk to your child about what’s happening. If they are old enough, share with them why you’re considering homeschooling them. Address their thoughts and concerns. And now would be a great time to gauge how they think they could make school better. Let them in on the planning process and take notes of what they’d love to see in their school, what they don’t like, and so on. Really listen to these concerns if they’re willing to share them because you can shape your plan around what they like best and make it easier and more enjoyable for everyone!

If your child is young and they’ve never gone to regular school then this step will be easier. Just tell them that you’ll be starting homeschool soon, build it up, and get them excited for starting soon and getting so big!

 

 

7. Make a Plan

Finally for the fun part! Well, it can honestly be quite overwhelming when you’re just getting started. But it doesn’t have to be. Once you have a list of the subjects and concepts your child needs to learn you can start researching curriculum and/or put together your own plan for the school year.

As with choosing a homeschool style, don’t think that once you make a decision it’s set-in-stone. Plans can change, curriculum can be switched out, etc. How your homeschool looks today is not how it’s going to look next year, or even next month. As you get started a lot of changing and adjusting will happen until you get into the right groove for you.

Plus your homeschool will look different in different seasons of your life. Like when there’s a new baby in the house, or when your children get older and can help out with younger children more, etc.

So there’s no right or wrong answer here. But I would like to make a few recommendations.

Brainstorm Your Requirements

Before you get into choosing curriculum, books, and activities, consider your requirements for homeschooling. Take into consideration the laws for your state, but also consider your own morals, values, and beliefs as you move forward. You want to be teaching material that you believe in and since this is your school room, you can decide what makes the cut and what doesn’t.

So take some time to think about your wishlist for the “perfect” curriculum. You might not be able to check all the boxes, but as long as the important ones are checked you can adjust the curriculum to fit your other requirements if needed.

Consider a Boxed Curriculum to Start

Unless you have a background in teaching and are the queen of planning, starting off homeschooling with (basically) creating your own curriculum can get overwhelming very quickly. And while it’s something that’s really fun once you get into your homeschool groove, it’s not something you have to start off doing; and it might just be a stumbling block for you to continue.

So instead consider using a pre-built curriculum at least for a framework. You don’t have to stick to it line-by-line (unless that works for you). But it’s good to have a structure with which to build the rest of your school around and expand upon with additional activities.

Whether you use an all-in-one curriculum or pick a curriculum for each subject separately is up to you and depends on the age of your child as well. For preschool there are a lot of great all-in-one curriculum options. But if your child is older then a standalone math and phonics curriculum might be a smart idea.

Either way, it’s my belief that when you’re just starting to homeschool, figuring out what to teach shouldn’t hold you back. Instead find a framework that you believe in and can stand behind that can guide you along the way.

I’m not going to go over your choices for curriculum here. There are too many to list in this post. Perhaps in another post I will get more in depth on that. But for now, Pinterest and Google are your best friends! Start searching for reviews and lists of curriculum based on your requirements.

Write Down Your Plan for Each Subject

Now take some time to make a list of your plan for teaching each subject. Write down which curriculum you plan to use or if you plan to teach that subject through living books, etc. The idea here is to get an overview for what you plan to do. Then you can go in later and get more detailed as you go.

 

8. Think Outside “The Plan”

Now even though you have a “plan” don’t think that you have to stick with it to the letter. Remember that children are always learning — even when they’re playing! Start looking for opportunities to make everyday moments into teaching moments. Think about how you can teach potentially boring subjects in a more fun way. And give yourself the liberty to step outside of the box when it comes to learning. Kids learn best when they’re having fun so take advantage of that.

Here are some great examples of extra fun ways to teach in your homeschool:

The more you do this whole homeschool thing, the more you’ll search for and find learning opportunities all around you. Make it fun for you and your children by giving yourself (and them) the freedom to learn from more than just a textbook. By doing this you will create lifelong learners who love to learn and grow in the knowledge of the world around them.

 

9. Gather Your Supplies

Now here’s a little warning about homeschooling — it can take over your entire house! But think about it this way. You are not just a home, but a school; and a school building has all sorts of learning tools at their disposal. So when school stuff starts sneaking out of the homeschool room, don’t get discouraged, just realize that having materials for your homeschool is just plain a necessity. It’s going to happen.

Having said that, I’m not saying that you have to spend of fortune in order to start homeschooling. You most certainly could spend a fortune. But you don’t have to.

Have a look at your specific curriculum choices to see if there’s any particular supplies that you need for them. There are also a few things that I would consider essential supplies that will help you to homeschool more than anything else.

Library Card or Other Means to Acquire Books

As I’m writing this we are in the midst of COVID-19 and we don’t have access to our library. And boy is our bank account missing it! Because we’ve been buying all of the books we need for our unit studies and it hasn’t been cheap, even though I typically will only buy used books from eBay, Thrift Books, or Amazon.

And while it’s nice to be building up our homeschool library a bit, it’s also nice to have a free local library at your disposal. And if you have a good library, especially if it’s a library in a network of other libraries, then you have a wealth of resources at your fingertips. Take advantage of it.

And the best part? It’s free!

If you don’t have access to a library then you’ll need to find other means to acquire books. Whether that’s from local thrift stores or from friends, that would be great. But if you have to buy books I highly recommend searching on eBay or Thrift Books first. If they don’t have what you need then Amazon is usually the best in price when it comes to new books.

Printer and Paper

The next essential is a printer and paper. There is quite literally a plethora of fun activities at your fingertips for you to print out. My favorite places to find activities are either through Pinterest (lots of free activities on there) or on Teachers Pay Teachers.

So get yourself a good printer and some paper. I decided to go ahead and invest in a nicer printer (this one to be exact) and learned how to refill the ink cartridges on my own. And boy has it saved me a ton of money. Yes, it was a more expensive printer, but now that I have it, it makes printing out activities extremely cheap when you break it down (and I have). Ink costs next to nothing since I fill it on my own (like I literally spend about $23/year on ink, that’s it).

As for paper I have a variety of papers on hand from standard printer paper, to slightly nicer paper that prints double-sided better, and then of course some cardstock for flashcards and things I want to be more durable.

This will easily pay for itself in the amount of amazing activities you’ll be able to set up for your child for free or cheap. It’s worth it, trust me.

Laminator and Laminating Pockets

While I suppose you don’t need a laminator, I’m going to argue that it is essential. And here’s why. Laminating the things you print out makes them more durable and last longer, it allows you to re-use worksheets by using them with dry-erase markers instead, and it gives you the ability to create pages and binders that utilize velcro which makes the activities more engaging and interesting to kids.

I have been using the same $20 laminator for almost six years and it’s held up well to weekly, if not daily, use. It’s worth it.

For laminating pockets I recommend sticking with Scotch brand. I’ve tried off brands and the problem with them is that if you cut them after they’ve been laminated then they will often peel. Even though Scotch is more money, they are good quality and will hold up to cutting and long time use.

Writing and Coloring Utensils

There are mountains of different craft supplies you could buy and lots of things I still think are great to have on hand. But if we’re talking about just the bare minimum to get started, just make sure you have some regular pencils and pens, colored pencils, crayons, washable markers, and dry-erase markers. This way you can utilize all of those great things you’ll be printing out.

Other Supplies As Needed

There will never be a shortage of homeschool supplies you could buy and there are other things that are very nice to have on hand, possibly even essential. But if you’re looking to get started on the bare minimum then those are my recommendations. Other good things to have if you have the funds are:

  • Various office supplies
  • Organization supplies (bins, labels, etc.)
  • Craft supplies
  • Math and color manipulatives (homemade or purchased)
  • Alphabet manipulatives (purchased or diy)
  • etc.

While having these things on hand are great, you can get creative with what you use from around the house, and you can print a lot of things out that will fall into these categories if needed. So instead of spending thousands of dollars out of the gate, I’d recommend thinking about what you need on a week-to-week basis and build up your supplies gradually instead.

 

 

10. Just Get Started

And the final step to get started homeschooling is to just start!

While you could spend eons of time planning and planning for starting homeschool, what it comes down to is that you just need to start somewhere. It doesn’t have to look perfect at the very beginning. I once heard a great saying that really helps me when I’m starting something new: “Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle”. Or in other words, don’t get caught up in comparing yourself to other homeschool families who look “perfect” because they’ve been doing it longer. I assure you their homeschool is not perfect. They probably have good days and bad days just like the rest of us, but they’ve also been doing it for longer. And there’s no benefit in comparing where you’re at now to where they’re at several years into their own journey.

So even though planning is a good thing, don’t let it get in the way of actually starting. And if you’re nervous about starting, then why not have a dry run of it? Pick out a free curriculum or even several activities that look interesting and spend one week trying out homeschool. Don’t nail yourself down for the long haul if that scares you. Instead just take it one step at a time. Trust me, in no time you’ll be addicted to it. 😉

But that first step to getting started homeschooling will always be to just get started.