Get Started Homeschooling in 2024: A Guide for a Successful & Satisfying Journey!

When you first step off the beaten path, leaving the conventional schooled path, you might have uncertainties and doubts; you might research & read more than Wiki itself.

Of course, it is a rite of passage for all new homeschoolers to do that, as one should (we are taking responsibility for our children’s education and that’s a big responsibility).

So, from this graduated homeschool mama to one just beginning her journey, here’s my guide to get started homeschooling…

I’m here to equip you to get clear and confident as you get started homeschooling so you don’t have to ride the tsunami waves of uncertainty, grapple in angst with other people’s concerns, or feel alone in your choice to do this thing: you really can do this homeschool thing confidently (and enjoy it too).

And a big warm welcome to you!

In the podcast season dedicated to new homeschoolers, here are a few common concerns that new homeschool families have:

And if you’re intending to Homeschool in Canada, I’ve got two episodes you’ll want to listen to as well:
If you have any questions as you get started homeschooling, you’re welcome to send a message here or book an appointment with me to chat…

Join the 1st Year Guide to Homeschooling to get Insights & Support all year long…

To get started homeschooling, there are a few key things you need to know:

Each province, state, or country has legal requirements for homeschooling, so research them and become familiar with them. (ps getting to know them will help build your confidence in addressing the non-supporters).

2. Curriculum:

You will want to choose a curriculum or resources that make sense to you and fit your child’s learning style. You can purchase pre-packaged curriculums or create your own using free resources.

(Borrow, don’t purchase, get a library card, and assume you’ll overbuy this year, but know that just because it’s curriculum or a lovely resource doesn’t mean it’ll be a useful tool for your child).

3. Learning styles:

Understanding your child’s learning style will help you tailor the curriculum and methods to meet their unique needs.

Oh, and since you’re researching all things homeschool right now, consider reading about:

In fact, if you heavily weighted your research here, rather than curriculum, methods, schedules, or time management, you will be happier at year 4.

If you don’t know where to start, join me in the Homeschool Mama Book Club, where I’ll lead you in conversations on important books & concepts that can benefit your homeschool and your homeschool mom life.

4. Determining a routine:

Setting a schedule and routine can help you stay organized and sane.

And I know you know you need this because this is one of the first things that 1-year homeschool parents ask me.

I’ll happily show you how to set it up in the Confident Homeschool Mom Collective. We can walk through what matters to you, help you clarify how to spend your days, whether you work in addition to homeschooling, or not, how to incorporate your Wellness Plan into your days, and also include relationship-building practices because the homeschool family life isn’t just about multiplying fractions, teaching your kiddo to read, or facilitating extracurriculars (but of course, we’ll talk about that too).

Here are a few resources to set your routine:
5. Record keeping:

Keep records of your child’s progress. I believe that tracking their progress is useful for you to build your confidence, not just because someone might come to your home one day (cause maybe they will, but probably they won’t)…

  • you want to know that you are doing right by them,
  • and keeping continual records will reinforce to YOU that you’re doing a bang-up job engaging them,
  • enabling their curiosities,
  • and giving them a feast of ideas so they can contribute meaningfully to their lives.
6. Support network:

Build a support network of other homeschooling families in your area. In the Confident Homeschool Mom Collective, I’ll give you a play-by-play of how you can create these relationships and support networks in your real world. and you can experience it virtually around the world too, and be cheered and encouraged by other first-year homeschool moms too.

7. Flexibility:

One of the benefits of homeschooling is the flexibility to adjust your schedule, activities, and the events of your life as needed to meet the needs of your children, yourself, and your community.

Know this, you’ll need flexibility, and whether you are willing to learn it or not, you’ll learn it.

Consider exploring areas where you’re naturally flexible, and where you’re not, in your journal.

ps if you haven’t started journaling, it might be time. She’ll be your constant witness, companion, and clarifier. You can use any of the journals I’ve designed for homeschool moms, found on my website, or grab a simple dollar store notebook, and write anything that comes to mind at the same time every day).

Journals I’ve designed for you:
8. Patience and persistence:

Homeschooling can be challenging at times because…

Guide to your 1st Year Homeschool

My first perceptions about homeschooling before I did it…

Once upon a time, I had an expectation my family would experience utopia via a homeschool life.

Early on, I wrote about my three little girls in white dresses, slamming screen doors as they ran in from our Prince Edward Island homestead garden, enjoying readalouds with tea in the afternoon, reading classics like Secret Garden and Anne of Green Gables, on our white couch, and living happily ever after.

You know, utopia.

And yes, for some reason, it had to happen in Prince Edward Island, not British Columbia (where I now live)...

And why a white couch? Because I already purchased one from Ikea (which I might add is the antithesis of homeschool utopia: a white couch in any family home is always unwise!)

I learned that homeschool is not utopia: there are plenty of challenges along the way; however, if you’re clear on why you’re doing it and you’re willing to learn a few things, you’ll overcome many of those challenges and feel satisfied and successful in your homeschool journey…

Turns out my three little girls are way past wearing white dresses now: they’re 23, 21, and almost 19. They purchase their own clothes and I’ve not seen a white dress. We added a son to the mix. He’s 15, almost sixteen, and thick into the high school years.

I learned you can homeschool in every province of Canada, not just PEI. And many countries around the world too… Most of you listening to me are my neighbours to the south: hello to you!

In our homeschool years, we indeed read a bajillion readalouds with tea many afternoons, we got rid of that white couch, and you know what? It was a long hard road to happily ever after, and the way I understand life now: happily ever after belongs in fairy tales, not real life.

But this homeschool lifestyle has brought us so many moments and memories, so many opportunities to grow and learn alongside one another, the freedom to think and live outside the conventional societal box, and therefore, to be drawn to what is truer for each of us, becoming more authentic, congruent, and intentional, in all the different areas of life: and all because we chose to step off the beaten path.

What my reality is and what my original vision was definitely were not the same, but freedom most certainly has remained a constant family companion.

Here are a few of the challenges I’ve had to overcome:

For those regularly listening to this podcast, now you know why I speak to these topics on the regular. Because I’ve lived and grown into them.

I see them as the most important elements of a happier, more satisfied homeschool mom life.

No question, this homeschool family life hasn’t been utopia, but what an amazing life it’s been!

(If you’re here contemplating whether you should even homeschool, head over to my YouTube channel, Homeschool Mom Wellness & Mindset Coach, and type “Should I Homeschool” in the search bar. I give you an honest overview of the things I believe you should consider if are trying to decide whether you’ll homeschool this upcoming year).

Before you even consider how to get started homeschooling, should you homeschool?

Should you homeschool? Let’s discuss that first.

Now that you’ve watched the video above, are you still hoping to get started homeschooling?

If you are planning to homeschool this year, please continue reading.

If you’re not sure, you’re welcome to connect with me to decide. Find my booking link here.

Can I give you advice, 1st year homeschool mama?

As you’re researching for your first year of homeschooling, can I give you advice?
Be realistic about how much time you have to plan for your upcoming homeschool.

You could spend the entire summer planning for your homeschool: there are so many options, ideas, resources, bloggers, social media influencers, books, and podcasts.

I share about homeschool books that could help you research your homeschool plans, but here are a few podcasts that might help you too.

(FYI you can access my Homeschool Mama Reading List to get you started. So many books.)

Your homeschool research can be informed by your natural preferences, beliefs on education, or your homeschool philosophy choices…
ps I’m just going to interrupt my list of homeschool mama podcasters here to say, I’ve interviewed these mamas, so if you want to hear us in conversation, put their name in the search bar at the top of my website.
Every last bit of research will be useful, but you don’t want to be in constant research mode. You want to be present doing fun stuff with your growing kids now.

Because they’ll keep growing up whether you’re glued to your phone or not.

So time block your homeschool research time.

(FYI I have a Time Audit to help you learn to manage your time and use your time for intentional purposes, you can find that here.)

Decide when you are going to set aside time to plan for your upcoming homeschool year.
  • Will you listen to a podcast while you’re walking the dog or pulling weeds after dinner?
  • Will you turn on a podcast while you’re doing a Pilates workout?
  • Is Wednesday evening in a library cubicle near you the right time to both get away and plan?
  • Of course, you’re especially invited to set aside time to join me in the Confident Homeschool Mama Collective (virtually).

So when will you decide to plan for your upcoming homeschool year?

how to get started homeschooling: do a whole lot of research, of course
You will do deep dives on all things homeschooling, just remember, you can’t research everything (nor do you want to! no you don’t, really, you don’t.)

Academics are not synonymous with an education so think outside the traditional learning box.

Of course, you can learn from a teacher’s lecture, a workbook, or tests (that can sometimes encourage recall).

However, you can also learn from these things:
1. You can learn from games.

Name a game, and I, or someone who has homeschooled for many years, could easily tell you how your child is uniquely learning through that game.

  • A game of chess enables strategy,
  • and a game of chutes and ladders enables simple arithmetic.
  • Professor Noggins’ games can help us learn geography, Canadian provinces, astronomy, biomes and habitats, and any other knowledge titbit under the sun.
  • Poker can teach statistics.
  • Board games, gaming systems, portable car games, card games, and dice games all have their learning potential.
2. Kids can learn from conversations & questions.

A conversation might break out after listening to a radio, or news piece, or after uncle so-and-so, had a discussion with dad about a recent current event, or your child sees something in the common culture that they haven’t seen in their own home, or when a child reads something they’re not familiar with, or when your child is interested in literally any activity: all these conversations can be fertile ground for a child to think and learn to build critical thinking skills.

Every single conversation is a learning opportunity.

3. Your child can learn from people outside your home.

We are known as homeschoolers, but we are anything but at home all the time. Can I hear an amen?

We do interesting things. Sometimes that’s at home and sometimes it’s not.

When kids have an interest in a specific area where we do not have skills or knowledge, we look for resources and mentors in our community to come alongside our kids so they can have useful mentors.

These community mentors can come alongside our kids for a few years or just an afternoon. These mentoring opportunities are meaningful educational opportunities.

If your kiddo is interested in something, anything, ask around to find out who might be interested in sharing their expertise with your kiddo, because there is always someone.

4. Anything your child reads watches, or listens to could be a learning opportunity contributing to your kid’s education.

Just because it’s not found in a classroom doesn’t mean it’s not educational.

But FYI the traditional classroom uses cinematic films, documentaries, games, workbooks, manipulatives, & online language programs too.

All this stuff is educational. If your child is learning, there is something educational there.

To get started homeschooling, people also ask:

Plan for the “S” question. 

You will have to answer this question to infinity and beyond.

Even though someone may comment on how kind and considerate your children are toward each other at the playground, even though most people have been educated in a brick-and-mortar school, and socialization is not encouraged during class time, and even though most adults know that they don’t want to spend 30 hours in a room with 24 other people, their exact age, I believe you are likely to be asked about the socialization question to infinity and beyond, so pre-plan for it.

What is your answer? Your peace-oriented, authentic, and non-reactive answer? Practice it.

To get started homeschooling, people also ask:

Every week, you can access free encouragement in your inbox every week during the 1st homeschool year.
Every week, you can access free encouragement in your inbox during the 1st homeschool year.

When you get started homeschooling, remember, there is no ONE right way to homeschool.

Since there are only one to 15 children in your home, and you are only responsible for homeschooling 1 to 15 children, you only have to find one to 15 ways to homeschool.

And from one homeschool mom to another, I’ve learned that you never get things fully right for any of them.

Sure we can try, and we are constitutionally bound to do so, I believe.

But as with every area in our lives, perfection will not be found. Because perfect ain’t a thing.

Growth is a thing, process is a thing, and learning is a thing.

So I believe there is not one right way to homeschool. So take a deep cleansing breath, and accept your perfectly imperfect, homeschool life.

Do it in whatever way seems right to you today and continue to learn and process and grow and discover a new way tomorrow.

People also ask when they get started homeschooling:

The Wiedrick family in their first homeschool year
My family in their first homeschool year

You want to create a community that will support and encourage you along the way.

You already know who might not be supportive in your sphere. (Or they’re skeptical about your choice.)

So until they warm up to your choice (you can always hope they will see that this homeschool thing is indeed working for your kiddos), you’ll want to be surrounded by a supportive group.

You are welcome to try out the 1st Year Homeschool Mom Support Group.

I'm Teresa Wiedrick, your Homeschool Life Coach. Please let me know how I can serve you.
I’m Teresa Wiedrick, your Homeschool Life Coach. Please let me know how I can serve you.

Hey, and can I just say, welcome to homeschooling!

If you’re new to homeschooling, you want to learn more about options to help you transition toward clarity, confidence & vision in your homeschool life…

You can do this first homeschool year alone, of course.

As you get started homeschooling, you will feel supported, satisfied, and successful when you do these in your first homeschool year…

(And you really should do some of those things, of course).

But if you want someone to encourage and inspire you, if you want someone who can help clarify your challenges during the most demanding year of your homeschool family life, I’m here to walk alongside you.

If you wonder if that might be benefit you, join me in a no-obligation chat to learn more about coaching opportunities. 

I look forward to connecting with you & learning about you and your family.

And welcome to homeschooling! As you get started homeschooling this 1st year, know this, you can do this, you really can!


Teresa Wiedrick, your Homeschool Life Coach

Guide to your 1st Homeschool Year

People also ask:

Teresa Wiedrick

I help overwhelmed homeschool mamas shed what’s not working in their homeschool & life, so they can show up authentically, purposefully, and confidently in their homeschool & life.

Call to Adventure by Kevin MacLeod