When I decided to homeschool, I thought that buying curriculum and having a stack materials that no one could take away from me was the first step. I still feel my blood pumping whenever I purchase a school book, or walk into an office supply store!
Maybe it's OK to purchase one small thing, but I am asking you to stop and step away from your wallet for a minute.
Consider the following:
1. Train your child to listen to you in the school room. Discipline is key or nothing is getting done no matter how much money you spend on curriculum.
2. How does your child learn? Most really young children are going to need some kind of hands on demonstration even if they ultimately prove to be auditory or visual learners. Curriculum is often designed to work best with a certain kind of learning style.
3. How do you teach best? While you definitely want to pay attention to your child's learning style, it may have to be tempered by how you understand and like to work with things. If you hate being crafty, but your child really needs to have an experience to process information, you can plan ahead to make that happen even if you don't do all of it yourself.
4. What is your budget? You will find curriculum at every price point. Some people even make an art of paying absolutely nothing for what they do. In the beginning, make use of the library to try out items to see what you think of them. They may look great online, but work terribly for you in practice. Also, what may be working very well for your friend, may not be what you are looking for. If you can borrow materials or try them out without much expense, it will be easier to drop them and move on.
5. Know your state requirements. Everything from letting your state know you plan to homeschool for the year, progress reports, to liberty in choosing a curriculum will vary according to the laws that govern the state you live in. Your state homeschool support system is a great way to get support from other homeschoolers about what the process looks like where you live. They are also an awesome resource for researching and trying out curriculum for free.
When you are confident about the above five, you'll find Google and Amazon to be your best friends. I always research customer reviews.
Ready. Set. Go!
Congratulations on your decision to homeschool! It's not easy, but I thank God for it.