First of all, let’s clarify — all Moms are teachers. We have taught our children to eat, walk, dress themselves, and even use the bathroom. So you have that ability to teach, you just might need a little help when it comes to teaching school subjects. I have been homeschooling without a teaching degree for five years now, and I think we are doing just fine!
When I first started homeschooling, I relied heavily on reference books, the internet, and community resources to help guide me in what I should teach, and advice on how to teach it. So yes, you can successfully homeschool without formal teaching experience! Here are my resources!
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The most useful books I used when I first started out were:
- The Three R’s, by Ruth Beechick. This book helped me understand what the most basic components of teaching needed to be.
- What Your First Grader Needs to Know, by E.D. Hirsch, Jr. Awesome, comprehensive guide to what you should be teaching your child. There is a book for each year up through sixth grade.
- 102 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum, by Cathy Duffy. First I used this book to find curriculum suggestions, later I used it as a reference when I would come across new curriculum choices. The author does lean towards making her top choices Christian-based curriculum, but she does a great job of reviewing just about everything, which can help you in making your own decisions.
- Teachers Pay Teachers – this site is a valuable resource for unit studies or quick lesson plans. Everything is written by teachers looking to supplement their income by sharing resources they use in their own classroom. There are even some experienced homeschool Moms selling here too. There are also a lot of free resources!
- Education.com – I purchased a membership to this site when it was one sale, and it was really helpful to me in the first year. They provide worksheets in lots of different subjects, arranged by grade level. The nice thing about seeing things arranged by grade level is that you can get an idea of what you child might be learning at that stage if they were in public school.
- Share My Lesson – very similar to Teachers Pay Teachers, where teachers are sharing their resources, some for free, some at a cost.
- Homeschool Buyers Co-Op – this is a great site for finding curriculum at a discount. They are able to offer group discounts on programs that usually only schools would have access to. Programs like BrainPop, Discovery Education Streaming, and DreamBox, which are all quite expensive, are offered at a great discount.
- Magic Tree House Teachers Site – I have to mention this one because it was such a help to me in my first year. My son loved the Magic Tree House books, and so I used these to teach history. I still use them today if one happens to correspond to the time period we are studying. This teachers resource site is awesome, and even has lesson plans and activities to go along with the books.
- Find a homeschool group in your area! I found mine on Meetup.com. This is a great way to get more information from experienced homeschooling Moms, and introduce your kids to other homeschoolers.
- Attend a homeschool conference. Google “homeschool conference <insert your state here>” and see what’s nearby.
- Your library! One of our local libraries really supports the homeschool community and I can find a lot of reference books I would otherwise have to purchase. Don’t be afraid to ask a librarian if they would consider purchasing a specific book for their collection.
- Look for co-ops in your area. I haven’t found many around me, but I have heard that they are abundant in other areas. Co-ops offer opportunities for your kids to learn from people who are well-versed in a certain field of study.
- Check your local zoos, museums, science centers, and parks and recreation centers for homeschool classes. My boys have really enjoyed homeschool zoo classes, and we found a great art class through our local parks and recreation. Can you believe they actually offer classes specifically for homeschoolers?
This is certainly not a comprehensive list, but they are some of the resources that have helped me out the most. Remember — you may not be a certified teacher, but you are an intelligent woman and you are more invested in your kids education that anyone else will ever be! So go with confidence and courage, and always feel free to reach out if you need help!