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How to figure out what you need to teach in a year…

How to figure out what you need to teach in a year... | Making Her Mama
How to figure out what you need to teach in a year…

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.


How do you know 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


Once you’ve determined what you need to teach legally, you can start narrowing in on your focus.


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 to get an overall view of the learning as laid out by grade and age.  Get connected 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.


Now comes the fun part!  The HOW in teaching…



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).  

There is SO much out there.  How do you decide what is going to be right for you?

Do you know what style homeschooling speaks to you or seems like a good fit for your child? Click To Tweet

If you haven’t already, check out the post about the importance of knowing about homeschooling styles.

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 have one 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!


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I also have some sheets to help you organize your thoughts and research!  Just enter your email address in the box below and you will the receive your password to access my free resource library and print out your homeschool planning worksheets.


How to figure out what you need to teach your homeschooler every year - a how to guide covering how you figure out what your legal obligations are for homeschooling and planning your school year accordingly.


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!!!)

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  • lakesidemom says:

    Great idea to include the HSLDA link. That’s so good for new homeschoolers to know! Lots of inspiration here. Thanks, as always, Nadine! 🙂

    • Nadine says:

      Thanks Michelle! I didn’t recognize your nickname at first! I hadn’t actually spent a lot of time going over the HSLDA website before this month but what an amazing resource!!! And it’s nice to see info for so many countries on there! Truly a priceless resource.

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Nadine Best

I am a follower of Jesus, SAHM, THMer, and homeschooler to my 4 boys. I love to garden and am a wanna be homesteader. I also LOVE organizing.

  • #captainunderpants .... well, captain #easyups LOL. Mickey Blue was given a pack for his 3rd birthday and Little Lou approves 😝 my boys are such hams, they are always making me laugh! I 💕 #momlife !!! What funny or sweet things have your kids been up to?
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  • #captainunderpants .... well, captain #easyups LOL. Mickey Blue was given a pack for his 3rd birthday and Little Lou approves 😝 my boys are such hams, they are always making me laugh! I 💕 #momlife !!! What funny or sweet things have your kids been up to?
  • Isn't #lettuce cool the way that it grows up and out in a spiral fashion!?! This is our first time growing #iceberg lettuce - it's my hubby's favourite! We've had a weird year with growing lettuces, this one is enjoying the whole stretch of garden to itself because none of the other seeds have sprouted, even from the second seeding! I'm going to be potting some to start and transplant! I NEED LETTUCE (I ❤ salad). How's your lettuce doing this year? Got any #tips or #tricks for me?
  • One of the best things about #homeschooling is the chance for a deep and strong relationship between siblings that would otherwise have no contact with each other!! They're still siblings, they are great together most of the time but sometimes they drive each other crazy and push each other's buttons. But if they didn't have all the time together that they do I don't think I'd get near as many sweet moments like this, curled up on the couch together sharing a moment 💕 What heart melting moments have you had recently?
  • I had never seen a #potato flower before! Growing a garden is so much fun. I can't believe how much I've learned this year and how something can grow from almost nothing. Our #Russianblue potatoes are doing so well - I can't wait to dig them up at the end of the season and see if the beauty below the ground will be as rewarding as it's been above!  Anyone else got potatoes in the garden? What variety did you pick?
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  • Our beautiful #paintedlady butterflies are emerging!!! We have 3 so far. This is our fourth year observing their amazing #metamorphosis and it never grows old. Izzy loves their emergence and the excitement of releasing them. This is the first year Mickey Blue has paid any attention to them. He is fascinated by their wings and flapping as they dry them. A few more days and they'll be heading out into the wide open skies (provided the rain ever stops.....)
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