Every family is beautiful and unique. Discover how homeschooling gives you the freedom to do what’s best for your child.
Everything you want to know—from what homeschooling is and how to get started, to common questions you may be asking.
7 Simple Steps to Start Homeschooling
“Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.” —Vincent van Gogh
- Simple Step 1 Connect with parents who are already homeschooling.
- Simple Step 2 Understand your state’s homeschool law.
- Simple Step 3 Learn about teaching styles, learning styles, and educational approaches.
- Simple Step 4 Choose curriculum.
- Simple Step 5 Decide where you will homeschool & create a schedule.
- Simple Step 6 Enjoy the learning process. Re-evaluate. Change what isn’t working.
- Simple Step 7 Celebrate & highlight your students’ growth & achievements.
What Is Homeschooling Really Like?
Homeschooling may offer unique opportunities and benefits for your family. Just like many other choices, it may also have challenges and surprises. Here are a few examples to consider:
First, you might be surprised to discover that the typical homeschool day—especially for elementary-aged children—takes a lot less time than it does in a traditional school setting.
But your instinct to consider the time commitment is right on. Homeschooling is a big investment for you as a parent. It involves taking full responsibility for your child’s education—planning out their school year and field trips, arranging for testing or other assessments, recordkeeping, figuring out what parts you will teach and what parts you might delegate to a tutor, a co-op, another parent, or an online or local course, etc.
And you’re already wearing a lot of hats—that’s true, too! Homeschooling is incredibly flexible—that gives you the beautiful opportunity to completely customize your homeschool schedule around your child’s learning pace and interests, your family’s calendar, and unique learning opportunities.
While homeschooling will not magically make them perfectly behaved, you’ll get to really know your kids and their passions. You’ll be able to develop a deep and lasting healthy relationship with each child, to nurture strong relationships with their siblings, to see their “firsts” and ah-ha! moments, and to help them learn to persevere through tears to triumph over their own challenges. You’ll also probably get to connect with other parents who will be happy to swap teaching or babysitting with you occasionally so you and they can get a break!
Well, it depends! Homeschooling is so personalized to each child and each family—you may be surprised at how much homeschool budgets can vary. If you have the time and flexibility to take advantage of opportunities to borrow curriculum, use the library, shop for used books, find reusable, multi-level, or free curriculum, and exchange services for extras like music, art, etc., you might pare your costs down to $50–100 per student. Adding in some paid extras like co-ops, online courses, enrichment classes, or sports could bring your budget up to $300–500. And if you opt for tutors, video courses, or all-inclusive curriculum packages, your cost may easily be $500 on up. (Still, that’s a lot less than private school!)
You can check out more creative ways to stretch your dollars here.
That’s OK! Not every school teacher teaches every subject! For the elementary grades, a textbook with a teachers guide will give you the structure and the teaching tools that you need. When your child reaches high school, that can be the time to call on subject specialists to help you out! You can reach out to your friends, family, faith community, homeschool groups, local networks, and online communities to meet your child’s needs in a unique and personalized way. For an added boost to your confidence, keep in mind that homeschooling uniquely melds two of the strongest predictors of academic achievement: parental involvement and one-on-one learning.
Yes. And it can be a great option! Whether your child is physically or mentally disabled or has a specific learning disability or a learning block, homeschooling may be the best option to help them thrive educationally. You may not be a special education expert, but you are an expert on your child. You can find your state’s homeschool requirements here. And you've got lots of helpful special needs resources and support available from HSLDA’s Educational Consultants.
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Making Homeschooling Possible...
Like you, our driving motivation is for the sake of children, and we believe homeschooling provides the best opportunity to love, nurture, and honor their uniqueness.
As a parent, you are crucial to the success of your child and we offer encouragement, guidance, and support for every stage of your homeschooling journey.
for 37 years
HSLDA works diligently across the nation to advocate, defend, and further the cause of homeschooling freedom for millions of families.
What Other Moms Have to Say
It’s our first year of homeschooling. HSLDA has already been there to answer our questions. I feel confident knowing they’re here in case we need them!
Thank you for helping me know that whatever might come my way on our homeschooling journey that I don’t have to face it alone.
This organization is the most practically helpful and encouraging resource available to homeschoolers. Our family has benefited, on numerous occasions, with legal and academic advice from the kind and professional staff at HSLDA.