When you are working out how to homeschool - you will not only need to know the WHAT you are teaching: knowing what you want to teach, writing out homeschooling goals for each subject area, learning activities that match the skills you are teaching, and homeschool materials that will serve you,
but also the HOW: what it would look like in your family. - HOW will you teach these subjects to reach your goals? This page helps you to see that knowing the type of homeschooling approach you will be using actually affects your planning.
In STEP FOUR of my website, I discuss homeschool approaches and use questions to help you find a method which may suit your family. Of course, none of this is set in concrete and you even find that you like a unit study approach when your children are younger and move to a more self directed approach as they mature and show their own interests. That's all fine!
How will your family homeschool? What will it "look" like?
Often families who begin to homeschool (especially if they have taken their children out of school) - try to implement a traditional 'school-at-home' approach - Independent workbooks or textbook style. This doesn't usually last long especially when you have a number of children;
Having said that, I know of families who have successfully homeschooled their children all the way with textbooks. If you think that will really suit your child's learning style -then you will plan accordingly. However, although the temptation is to order books for the whole year or even for years ahead, I would encourage you to take it slowly when you begin, because as you find your feet, you might find another approach may suit your family better and then you would have wasted many $$$. So, order some materials for a term or two, and see how it goes;
If you decide your family loves to work together, you might really like to try a unit study approach, or a literature based approach, reading aloud and doing all sorts of projects together to consolidate your learning. If that is the case, then you will probably like to plan blocks or units of work; As you make your homeschool plan, you would choose books, projects, library excursions, other excursions to supplement the study to support whatever topic it is that you choose to study. How will you choose? Ask your children what they would like to learn about next? What do they know about the subject and what do they want to find out? Use a chart to organize your thoughts and make planning part of their education as you do it together.
As children grow, you will see a growing, natural curious mind at work; It is so exciting to watch children develop their own interests and you may then discover during the course of homeschooling, that your children will benefit from developing and planning their own self-directed learning. You can do it formally, by discussing things with them each month, working out a course of study they will follow, a book they will read, a project they will take on etc and together, create a written plan. You can do this with the help of the self directed learning contracts here.
Online Homeschooling? - Will your children learn best by an online course? Spend some time to explore online homeschooling courses, try them out. You don't need to do every subject - but can choose what suits your child at the time; This will affect how you plan their work; For example, their math program may be an online program, so you may need to schedule it in their day or if sharing a computer, schedule time for each child;
Homeschooling Courses outside the home? This will need to be planned and scheduled into your weekly routine;
A bit of everything? Well, that's what most of us do! So, planning your courses, adding them into a routine, writing in where you need to go and when, what times your child needs to be at the 'online' class, how you will develop a unit study and how you will fit it in your day - depends on the homeschool approach/ approaches you will be using.
The Homeschool Approach you choose will also help to determine what your learning environment will look like. Still not sure what it looks like? Find out more about Homeschooling Approaches here.