Essential Tips: Do’s and Don’ts for the New Homeschooler

When I first decided to homeschool, I felt overwhelmed and excited at the same time. There were things that helped ease me in to the process, and there are things that did not. It can be overwhelming as well as exciting. Here are some Dos and Dont’s to help new homeschoolers get off to a good start. Take some of these thoughts in to consideration.It's someties overwhel,ig to get started homeschooling. Here are some Do's and Don'ts for brand-new homeschoolers to help navigate homeschooling in the beginning.


Don’t schedule out the next 12 years of school right now. Just step back and think about one day at a time.

Don’t buy curricula. At some point, you will have to make sure that you have what you need, it is true. But at this first moment you need to wrap your mind around your immediate needs. In my first months, I bought many curricula and books that I ended up not needing or liking. I wish I’d researched more before diving in!

Don’t accept curricula from well-meaning friends that you won’t need to use for 3-5 years. You are just starting out, so you don’t yet know what you need for this year, not to mention three years from now! Unless you have a very large house, I’d suggest kindly saying no. Chances are, if you take it, you will end up trashing it because it was not what you needed, it was dated, or it was otherwise unsuitable for your situation.

Don’t burn your bridges. If you are withdrawing your kids from public school, try to leave on a good note. If you are starting off as a homeschooler from the beginning, it is a good idea to keep up good relations with the public school district. Who knows what the future will bring, in terms of changing legislation and your family’s own personal situation?


Do seek out support in person and online. No matter how sparsely populated your area, you are not alone. More than 1,600,000 children are homeschooled in the United States alone. Find someone who can mentor you.

Do learn the local laws. I am not a lawyer, and most bloggers and forum friends you meet are not lawyers. Consider joining Home School Legal Defense Association or at least referencing their pages to review the laws for your state.

Do spend extra time with your kids. Learning how your kids learn and react to new things is an important part of becoming their teacher and recognizing their needs. For example, play a new board game and observe their reactions to new rules, new challenges, and so forth. What would help them learn with less frustration?

Do read about homeschooling methods and curricula. Before you buy curricula, you need to learn what options there are! Explore Cathy Duffy’s site, ask for suggestions on a forum such as Well-Trained Mind, read books about educational theory, and otherwise learn all you can before you actually spend a cent.

I hope these help the new homeschooler to avoid frustration!

It's someties overwhel,ig to get started homeschooling. Here are some Do's and Don'ts for brand-new homeschoolers to help navigate homeschooling in the beginning.

What do’s and don’ts would you add to the list?

I’m linking up with List it Tuesday and Hip Homeschoolers Hop!


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  • Hopping over from Hip Homeschool Hop! I totally agree with your point to not buy curricula. I have so many books I don’t need, and it’s a headache to try to sell it off again. Each year I tend to buy less curricula to both save space, but also mental space. When I have something at home, I feel like a should use it, and it can be a source of stress. Not needed!

  • I too was a curriculum junkie. Haven’t quite got over it though, lol! But we’ve pretty much settled on what is working out for us. Great list! Joining you from List-It Tuesday

  • I love this list! I would add, don’t assume that the curriculum and methods that work in the beginning, or with an older child, will automatically work in the future, or with a second child. Life changes, personalities are different, you never know. So don’t get frustrated if Macy doesn’t fly through the Abeka Math program like George did, maybe she needs a different approach!

    • Stefany, Great point to remember! I have yet to start schooling my little girl, so we’ll see how she turns out. Her personality is quite different from my son’s so it will be different I am sure! Thanks for your comment! -Rebecca

  • Great list! Especially about not accepting curriculum. You don’t know where you will be 3 years from now. That’s my advice is try to stay in the moment and not plan out more than you need. You of course want to keep the future in mind, but don’t let it overshadow your day to day life 🙂

    • Katie, yes! My mom was a teacher who was retiring and she was the first guilty party giving my curriculum! It became apparent to me pretty quickly that I would never have room for it all! I had to worry about the now instead. Thanks for reading! -Rebecca

  • Great suggestions! The only thing that I would add is that when you think you have your plans all figured out, they will change. With each child we had to change the dynamics of our schooling and trying to keep with the same plan led us all to feel like we were failing. Letting go of those plans and adjusting has been the best thing we’ve ever done! -Kim Life Over C’s

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