Mom-to-Mom Support/How do I get started homeschooling?

How do I get started homeschooling? How do I make the transition from public school to homeschool?

Boy at home completing schoolwork


How do I get started? How do I make the transition from public education to homeschooling with a Catholic curriculum? Will my child (who is presently miserable at school) get behind if I would ever have to send him to school in the future?

Is there paperwork that I need to file for the state? Can you help me in getting started this fall? Could I start late, because I will be having a baby and undergoing 2 surgeries? Has anyone ever homeschooled while taking college courses or working part-time?

Dear Mom,

Let us begin today with a Hail Mary.

Let us ask our dearest Mother to take you in her arms at this time and comfort your spirit. Mary our Mother please guide and protect all mothers as they work through the challenges that Your Son Jesus allows that they bear. Amen.

Many times when we are facing a change in our situation (a new baby, the start of homeschooling, surgery, etc), we can get caught up in many details that further unsettle our hearts and make it very difficult for our spirits to rest quietly in the Lord’s embrace. From the information that you have shared, it is obvious that the only child in your household who will need formal education is your oldest. A first grade student is more independent than many realize and requires only one or two dedicated hours in a day to accomplish the work necessary for schooling.

Many of your questions about homeschooling might be answered on the page “How Do I Begin to Homeschool?” But let’s look at the challenges that you are facing a little closer than just homeschooling.

You asked that I help you get started. I am about to tell you that your journey with the homeschooling lifestyle began the day you conceived your first child. Each day that you had the knowledge that you were carrying a new life, you spent your time in preparation for the day you would give birth and continue the journey in a new way. You watched what you ate, you exercised, you kept your medical appointments, and you prepared a nest for the new baby.

You are the one who taught your child to walk, talk, feed his or herself, and be potty trained. You have been responsible for teaching your child nearly every skill necessary for that child to progress to this point. Think about all the information that your little child has to date. They know when a favorite program comes on the television, which foods they like or dislike, where you store their favorite snack, and they also recognize people and places.

I would venture to guess that your child knows where you are going in the car just by the landmarks seen from the car. I could go on and on, but I trust that you get the point that I am trying to make.

You have been an excellent teacher up to this point, and you will continue to be an excellent teacher from here on. Quiet your spirit and pray. The Lord must be calling you to this lifestyle, and therefore in that call He will empower and inspire you to take the next few steps.

Check with other homeschoolers in your area who have traveled the legal roads of the homeschooling journey. You can also visit the website of the Homeschool Legal Defense Association to find out what rules to follow in your state. It is not nearly as complicated as you might think, and with a few phone calls you will be all set and ready to go. I would suggest that you take the next couple of days to investigate the different curricula that are available to use for homeschooling.

I personally prefer a Catholic curriculum. In my opinion, if I am going to homeschool, then I am going to use a Catholic curriculum so as to have a well-rounded, faith-based education. Please take time and view the curriculum that CHC has to offer. If your budget allows (and note that a curriculum is an excellent investment), having a preplanned curriculum that is laid out and easy to follow day to day will actually free up your time immeasurably.

When you have to have the children under the care of another, a curriculum makes it easy for another caregiver to follow the lesson plan and keep the children on task, ensuring a continuity of education. If you decide to order a curriculum, do so now so that you are able to start teaching from the curriculum when school begins. Or perhaps you can teach a little through the summer in anticipation of the interruptions that will occur with regard to your surgery, etc. Look over the curriculum and familiarize yourself with it. CHC’s curriculum is totally Catholic in content and teacher/mom friendly, making it a joy to use.

Above all, rest in the secure knowledge that the Lord’s own strength is your strength as well. After Mass, sit before the Blessed Sacrament and quietly rest in the True Presence. Jesus has the power to take us far from the busy, frantic concerns of the world and into the peace that passes all understanding. In this peace, we find our ability to meet challenges and go forward.

I admire you very much. You are a dear, sweet mommy who has a heart for her children. The Lord is holding you close and giving you the courage and the strength to do what is necessary. Please make certain that you get enough rest and good food to eat.

Take time to walk every day and to sit quietly in prayer so as to ensure that you are peaceful and ready for the birthing journey. I pray that you will have an uneventful and uncomplicated labor and delivery. I pray that your little baby will grow vigorously and be happily content.

Sending out a prayer,
Rita Munn

About Rita Munn

Rita Munn is a veteran homeschool mother of ten. For many years she was a popular speaker at Catholic homeschooling conferences. Writing has been a passion of hers for as long as she can remember, and she loves to use her writing skills to share her homeschooling experience with other parents. Her “family journal” reflections are featured in CHC’s Educating for Eternity e-newsletter.