Get Started Homeschooling for 2023/2024: 1st Year Guide to a Successful (& Satisfying) Homeschool 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 one veteran homeschool mama to a new one, here’s how 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 be uncertain or feel overwhelmed: you really can do this homeschool thing confidently (and enjoy it too).

Here are a few common concerns that new homeschool families have:
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:

  1. Legal requirements: Each state or province has its own legal requirements for homeschooling, so it’s important to research and comply with the laws in your province, state, or country.
  2. Curriculum: You will need to choose a curriculum that fits your child’s learning style. You can purchase pre-packaged curriculums or create your own using free resources.
  3. Learning styles: Understanding your child’s learning style will help you tailor the curriculum and teaching methods to meet their individual needs.
  4. Schedule and routine: Setting a schedule and routine can help you stay organized and sane.
  5. Record keeping: Keeping records of your child’s progress, grades, and other important information is important for meeting legal requirements and tracking their academic progress if you need to.
  6. Support network: It’s helpful to build a support network of other homeschooling families, as well as educational resources and groups in your area.
  7. Flexibility: One of the benefits of homeschooling is the flexibility to adjust your schedule, activities, and curriculum as needed to meet your child’s needs. Trust me, you’ll learn to be patient.
  8. Patience and persistence: Homeschooling can be challenging at times because you’re dealing with reorganized relationships and your big emotions.

get started homeschooling and remember to play play play

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, but if you’re clear on why you’re doing it and you’re willing to learn a few strategies, you’ll overcome a lot of those challenges and feel satisfied and successful in your homeschool…

Turns out my three little girls are way past wearing white dresses now: they’re 22, 20, and 18. (They’re more likely to wear Lulu lemons or waist-high jean cut-offs.) We added a son to the mix. He’s 14 and about to enter high school.

I learned you can homeschool in every province of Canada, not just PEI. And many countries around the world too…

We have indeed read a bajillion readalouds with tea in the afternoon, we got rid of that white couch, and truth? We didn’t live happily ever after, but we have enjoyed so many moments and memories because of this big beautiful freedom-based lifestyle called homeschooling.

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:

No question, it hasn’t been utopia, but what an amazing lifestyle for family living!

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, please continue reading.

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

As you’re researching for your first year of homeschooling, can I give you a little 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 and worldviews, or your homeschool philosophy choices…
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 1st Year Homeschool Mom Support Group (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 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.

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, and to learn from. Every single conversation.

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:

how to get started homeschooling? Accept that academics are not synonymous with an education.
It might be surprising, but academics are not synonymous with an education.

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 no 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 this question brackets 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 every week 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.

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 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 a benefit, join me in a chat. (There is no fee to connect and learn more about me and my coaching offerings).

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

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.

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.