Perhaps you have already decided to pursue homeschooling, or maybe you are still in the research and decision-making phase. While there are a number of benefits to homeschooling your child, you might be wondering what you’ll need to facilitate a successful home education journey for your child.
As experts in online schooling and home education, we have decided to cover everything you’ll need to start your homeschooling journey. In this article, we’ll cover planning for homeschooling, what to look for in a homeschooling programme, resources you’ll require, and more.
Find Accredited Homeschool Programmes
When planning to homeschool your child, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is choosing a homeschooling or online schooling provider and programme.
It’s important to remember that irrespective of which programme you choose, traditional homeschooling will rely on you, the parent, being the primary educational provider to your child. You’ll typically receive your textbooks, and then have to create your own lesson plans, teach the material to your child, and administer assignments, tests, and all other assessments.
An online school will provide you with course content, lesson plans, live lessons hosted by teachers, assignments, tests, and so forth. They’ll also be responsible for marking your child's assignments and tests, as well as grading these assessments and providing personalised feedback.
Once you have decided which option will work best for you and your family, it’s time to choose your provider. It’s important to ensure that the provider you choose is accredited and that their curriculum is highly regarded both internationally and locally. This will ensure that your child’s school qualifications are recognised and held in high regard, giving them the opportunity to attend the university or college of their dreams and pursue a career that brings them joy.
As an example, CambriLearn is Cognia-accredited and is registered with SACAI to ensure your child receives a highly regarded education.
Source Homeschool Books
When homeschooling your children, more often than not, you’ll have to source the required textbooks. The homeschooling programme you choose should provide you with a list of textbooks required to complete a year of schooling. They should also provide you with a list of book suppliers through which you can order your books.
Depending on which homeschooling provider and curriculum you opt for, you should also be able to join community or social groups where you can sell and buy second-hand textbooks. This will be a cheaper option; however, you won’t always find everything you need.
You should also be able to purchase a number of digital textbooks if you favour a paper-free household.
For example, at Cambrilearn we have partnered with a number of textbook suppliers to give you access to both digital and physical textbooks at reasonable prices. You can learn more about our recommended textbook suppliers here.
Get the Necessary Homeschool Supplies
In order to homeschool your child effectively, you’ll need to ensure that you have everything you need to ensure they can learn effectively.
- Internet connection: whether it be to research a topic for an assignment or to watch an education tutorial on YouTube, it’s important to ensure that your child has access to the Internet. This will also make it easier for you to access information when needed. If you have chosen to enrol your child in an online school, they’ll require a stable Internet connection to attend live lessons, access educational resources, download assignments, and more.
- Laptop: while your child can use your laptop or the family laptop, it’s advisable for them to have their own device from which to attend online classes or do research. This will ensure that they’ll always have access to their course work. This will also be beneficial if you have more than one child, preventing them from arguing over whose turn it is to use the device.
- Printer and scanner: you will need to print out all the assignments, schedules, worksheets, and other resources. It’s therefore important to ensure that you have a printer available to you. It’s also advisable to download a high-quality scanning app to your phone or purchase a scanner as your child will, at times, need to scan the work they have completed by hand, to send off for marking.
- Stationery: similar to traditional schools, stationery is required. From pens and pencils, highlighters, exam pads, calendars, and so forth. Investment in stationery will ensure that your child can complete all of their school work, take notes, create mind maps, and more.
- Desk and chair: while your child will be able to complete their school work from a dining room table, it’s best for them to have a space that is theirs in which to work. Therefore, it’s advisable to invest in a desk and chair for them. This will ensure that they have a dedicated space in which to learn.
- Organisers: as a homeschooler, you’ll want to arrange and file all of the forms, books, exercises, learning material, reports, and other important documents. It can be helpful to invest in organisers, files, and other organisational supplies. This will make it easy to find and access anything you or your child might need on their educational journey.
- Art supplies: it’s important for children to have some outlet for artistic expression and it’s, therefore, advisable to invest in some art supplies. This can serve as a welcome break between study sessions and will help them develop their creative side.
- Science equipment: while this is not always required as part of homeschooling programmes, it can be beneficial to show your child the physical application or examples of the theories they are studying. It might be good to invest in some scientific equipment such as a microscope, magnifying glass, or a science kit.
Invest in Homeschool Resources
If you decide to opt for online schooling, your child will receive a multitude of educational resources to support their educational journey. However, if you are homeschooling your child, it might be a good idea to search for your own resources. This could include worksheets, explanation videos, and more.
Find a Good Homeschooling Planner
When it comes to homeschooling, planning is crucial. Without this, you won’t be able to set goals, determine when assignments should be completed, when exams must be written, and more. With a homeschooling planner, you’ll be able to plan your daily lessons, breaks, and interactive activities. This will also allow you to set deadlines for assignments and create a study schedule.
Not only will this keep you on track but it will also teach your child important planning skills, which are crucial to their success throughout their life.
We at CambriLearn have created a comprehensive planner that has been designed for homeschooling families. You can find out more about the importance of planning by downloading the homeschooling planner here.
Make Time for Fun and Bonding
One of the greatest benefits of homeschooling is the flexibility and opportunity for family bonding that it provides. Therefore, it’s important to ensure that you leave enough time in the day for play, enjoyment, and togetherness. While it’s important to schedule time for studies and extracurriculars, it can be tempting to fill your days with these activities. However, it’s just as important to leave space for relaxation and enjoyment where nothing is pressured.
This will allow you and your child to enjoy the homeschooling experience and prevent them and you from feeling constantly pressured. After all, children perform best and flourish when they enjoy what they are doing and have a love for learning rather than a forced expectation.