Hey! Welcome back to the Getting Started With Homeschooling series! If you are just joining us for the first time, you might want to check out How to homeschool and where to start. Last time we talked about What You Need to Know About Creating Your Homeschooling Schedule. Today we’re going to continue on with that topic by looking at how to figure out exactly what you need to teach in a year.
This can be a pretty complex question to answer as a broad and general question. However, for your individual needs, you can have a pretty simple answer. You need to find out what the legal requirements are for the area that you live in.
Depending on your country, there can be several ways to go about doing this. You can contact your local school board and ask them about the requirements for your area. However, if they aren’t very informed (or very supportive) the Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) has a fantastic website where you can find online resources to find out what the requirements are in your particular area.
Some places have very strict regulations about what subjects (and what topics within those subjects) need to be taught in a particular year. And other areas, have few to no regulations at all. The most important thing in determining what to teach it to know what your legal requirements are.Do you know what your homeschooler is supposed to be learning? Click To Tweet
Again, what you need to teach will guide your planning. Your choices can be pretty easy if you live in a highly controlled area where every topic and subtopic are predetermined for you. You just need to pick how you are going to cover those areas.
If your district is less restrictive, trying to figure out what you are supposed to be teaching can be a bit more confusing. Something that I have found very helpful over the years is to look at the table of contents for curriculum that are at the right age or grade level for my child.
You can also refer to the requirement of more controlled districts. This will help you get an overall view of the learning as laid out by grade and age. It is important to connect with other homeschoolers in your area. This is a great way to learn what others have been doing and what the ins and outs are for where you live.
Furthermore, if you’re an American, Heather, from Special Needs Homeschooling has a great post covering all the State Law Requirements for Special Needs Homeschoolers.
Choosing how you are going to cover your mandated or chosen subjects and sub topics for the year is fun. It may be something that seems overwhelming when you first start homeschooling (or even later into your journey if you just don’t enjoy this kind of thing) but I personally LOVE this part.
Usually around April I start to begin dreaming about the next school year. It’s fun to dig through curriculum and see what is new, or what is popular. Usually by this time of year I have a good sense for what really worked well for the year, and what didn’t. Furthermore, I have ideas circling about what the next year could look like to make the days run more smoothly.
So, the next big decision is to choose what you are going to use for teaching (or not use depending on how you want to school).
If you haven’t done so already, check out the post about the importance of knowing about homeschooling styles. (You can read it here, Do you know what the best homeschooling style is?)
So, now it’s time to start dreaming! The sky is the limit. Think big and then we’ll narrow in from there. Take your major subjects and look at what is out there. Find resources or curriculum that speaks to you and excites you. Finding something that feels like the right fit for your child is also important.
If you need some ideas of inspiration, check out my Pinterest boards. I even have boards for each of the major school areas for elementary education. Don’t forget to follow me to stay up to date with all the new finds I come across!
I also have some sheets to help you organize your thoughts and research! Just enter your email address in the box below. Shortly after, you will the receive your password to access my free resource library.
Happy planning and I hope this helps you to enjoy this part of the journey. It’s certainly one of my favourite parts of the year. Stay tuned for our next post where we look at homeschooling books that every homeschooling parent should read! (Recommended by many of our fabulous followers!!!)