Halfway through our oldest son’s kindergarten year, we surprised ourselves by accepting the call to homeschool our children. Once we made the decision to begin homeschooling, it was time for me to take off my earrings and get down to the serious business of full-on, note-taking, Pinterest-pinning, obsessive research. And it was glorious.
I had about six months for homeschooling research before we had to start for-real preparations. So I chose a four-pronged attack: YouTube videos, blogs/websites, experimentation, and books.
Surprisingly, the research I did involving books was probably the least useful thing I did. I KNOW. I was surprised, too. Especially since I came across so many recommendations for reading this book or that book. But here’s the thing – so many of the book recommendations are biased toward one particular teaching methodology or another. And that bugged me. How could one particular style of teaching or learning work for all of my kids all of the time? But that’s a discussion for another day.
For now I’ll just say that I wasn’t interested in spending my precious time reading any book that would try to indoctrinate me into a particular way of thinking. I wanted real stories from real homeschool moms living the nitty-gritty details and willing to share about them. Because I looooove the nitty-gritty.
The following list contains the resources that I found to be helpful as I dove deep into homeschool research, as well as a few that I discovered during our first year of homeschooling. I hope that you find this helpful, because, I’m not gonna lie, documenting all this stuff was a lot of work and really put a dent into my Candy Crush time.
Helpful Resources to Prepare to Homeschool
- YouTube Videos – As a nursing mom with seemingly endless stacks of laundry, I made use of the YouTube app on our TV to learn about homeschooling. The following are the YouTube channels that have helped me the most:
- Confessions of a Homeschooler – My favorite. I love Erika’s homeschool room tours and tips.
- The Unlikely Homeschool – I watched Jamie’s lesson planning videos over and over again. And she has other nitty-gritty content that gave me a lot of food for thought.
- Raising Clovers – Kristi’s channel has been a recent discovery. Her homeschool organization advice has inspired me in ways that I hope will make this school year run more efficiently.
- Virtual Homeschool Co-op – Homeschool parents share their thoughts and perspectives on homeschool-related topics.
- You may also want to enter the following into YouTube’s search box:
- homeschool methods
- homeschool routine
- homeschool schedule
- homeschool room tour
- homeschool organization
- homeschool curriculum choices
- homeschool day in the life
- homeschool tips
- virtual homeschool coop
- Blogs / websites
- Experimentation – Since we were in the middle of our oldest son’s kindergarten year in public school, I decided to do a little hands-on research by “practicing” homeschooling during homework time (which, let’s be real, made me question homeschooling every. single. day.). Homeschooling is different from doing homework with your kids because you didn’t choose the curriculum, you weren’t there when the material was taught to your kids, and doing school work after a long day isn’t the best. But it was helpful to see how my kids responded to where we worked (play table vs. dining room table vs. couch) and how we worked (1-on-1 vs. group).
- Books (This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using the links. See my disclosure for more information.)
- Homeschooling 101: A Guide to Getting Started
- The Read-Aloud Handbook – I’m just now reading this book, but wish I’d read it a year ago.
- What Your First Grader Needs to Know – I have several books in this series and love them.
Check out my homeschooling Pinterest boards to see the fruit of my labor. 🙂
Do you have any helpful recommendations for resources to help rookie homeschoolers?
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