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Pinterest Picks- Homeschool for Newbies Edition


While Dollar Store Mom is not a “mom blog” per se, it is by moms and for moms, and sometimes I like to share things about my life with you. Today is one of those times. Last night my husband and I had a long conversation, one that we’ve had in bits and pieces over the last few months but never really sat down and talked it all out. By the end of our chat we had decided to start homeschooling our daughter (who is 5 and is our only child). We both knew this decision was going to be made eventually, though I had fully expected that she would finish Kindergarten  at the private school she’s been attending. For lots of reasons (none of which need to be spelled out for the purposes of this post) we realized last night that NOW was the time, not later. NOW as in…she didn’t go back to school today NOW, see what I mean?

Although I know full well that this is exactly the right decision for her and for our family, I’m kinda freaking out over here! I don’t know almost anything about homeschooling. And I’m a planner, a perfectionist, a research addict. I like to spend copious amounts of time reading and researching things before I begin. I like to know precisely how I will go about it and have some sense of what it will take to succeed. So the part where we decided *last night* that homeschooling would start NOW (did I mention NOW?!) has me dizzy and a bit panicked!

I didn’t sleep much last night.

Instead, I tried to cram in as many hours of reading/research as I could. I learned a good amount of things last night, I feel like I’ve got a small idea of what I need to do next. Did I become an expert overnight? NOPE. So, this post isn’t designed to tell you what to do, where to go, what to buy or how to teach your children. My intention here is to bring you along on this journey with me. To share with you the things I find as I find them, to show you how I’m going about learning how to do this as I’m doing it.

Naturally, I turned to Pinterest.

I found some really great articles for moms like me who are at the VERY beginning of their homeschooling experience. Moms who are considering it but haven’t decided, moms who have decided and have NO CLUE what to do next. I hope you’ll find them helpful! I hope that, like me, you’ll read through a few and come away feeling less freaked out and overwhelmed, and have a greater sense of excitement about what you’re getting yourself into.

One last thing (if anyone is still reading along!), if you’re interested in following along in my head-first journey into homeschooling and seeing future posts about homeschooling on a budget, homeschool crafts etc, would you please leave a comment below to let me know? I’m happy to post about all these things if it’s something you’d want to see on Dollar Store Mom! Additionally, if you’re a homeschooling mom (or dad!) who’d like to share your favorite resources/tips/advice/encouragement with me in the comments section, I’d be terribly grateful!



This article talks about some of the most basic things for homeschooling preschoolers and kindergarteners. It includes ideas for workboxes (a word I’d never heard until yesterday!) and simple activities. via Holy Spirit Led Homeschooling


pioneer woman homeschooling

I had all but forgotten that there’s a huge homeschooling community over at The Pioneer Woman! This particular article addresses how much to do in kindergarten and first grade. The super helpful information of this post is actually found in the comments! Reading through them really helped put me at ease!


homeschool-schedule I’m not much of a scheduled person. I’m organized and like structure, but having a set daily schedule has never been my thing. So the thought of having to set up a daily routine/schedule for our homeschooling days feels COMPLETELY scary. This article from She Knows gives some great tips on how to set up a basic homeschool schedule that works for your family.



After reading that article, I really wanted to see some samples of how other homeschooling families have scheduled their days. This post from Successful Homeschooling includes quite a few sample schedules and links to tons more samples! I really liked looking through these!


homeschooling101_smaller_thumb Okay, time to start getting into some of the bigger decisions like choosing curriculum, setting up your homeschool space, stuff you’ll need, how to be prepared for “critics” of your decision. I came across this series of 10 posts addressing these topics (and more!) at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers and I’m really glad I did!


101TopPicks curriculum Speaking of curriculum (the word itself scares me!), over and over in my reading last night I saw experienced homeschooling parents giving rave reviews of this book by Cathy Duffy. Here’s a review of the book by The Curriculum Choice.


home school room ideas  At this moment I have no idea where/how I’ll set up a space for homeschooling. This post from Real Mom Resources links to over 20 homeschool room ideas and examples.


That’s all for now. I’m trying to go one step at a time, give myself some grace and permission to not know everything I need to know right away. Ultimately, I’m trying to remember to enjoy this process and the honor of being able to educate my child and spend these precious years with her watching her grow and learn and explore!

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14 Responses to Pinterest Picks- Homeschool for Newbies Edition

  1. Janine says:

    Hello! And congratulations on your decision! I know it’s a super scary and exciting one. We made that decision on the day I was going to turn in my son’s registration for Kindergarten 7 years ago. Best decision ever, and it has been a crazy wonderful experience. I would love to follow along on your journey! My best advice is to take things slow. And know you are gonna make mistakes along the way. You’ll change curriculum and scheduling and methods over and over until you find your fit for both your daughters learning style and your teaching style. You’ll think she isn’t getting all she needs and you’re messing her up for life, but you’re not. 🙂 I was flying by the seat of my pants lost, confused, panicked, inconsistent and just plain spazzy. (uh,hum, maybe not just was, should make that still kinda am) But every time it came to testing he was doing wonderful. Amazing even. WAY above normal. The fact is that even as your trial and error-ing she will still be learning more and growing more than she would have in a class room just because she has you and is living life with you. Stay strong. FIND SUPPORT! The best thing that happened to us was a co-op where I learned that everything I just said above is the process all homeschooling families go through. And if you ever need any help or anything I would be happy to pass along any wisdom like things I have picked up along the way!

    Janine – Homeschooling mom of 3 crazy boys 12, 7, and 2

  2. April Brisson says:

    I have 4 school aged children from 7 to 11 and twin 2 year olds. I have secretly been contemplating home schooling but fear I lack the discipline. I am very eager to read your posts 🙂

  3. Alicia says:

    Nice Post! As a veteran homeschooler I welcome you to the lifestyle that we enjoyed so much as a family. My children are in college now so my homeschooling days are done. Some things I learned —

    1. Follow your child’s interests.(Interest leads to engagement; engagement leads to learning.)
    2. Share your own interests with your child.
    3. Don’t worry about a curriculum. You can make your own by focusing on #1 and #2.
    4. Learning happens everywhere, all the time.
    5. Field trips!
    6. Books, books, books!
    7. Video games are often great learning platforms.
    8. If you want your child to read a book, don’t assign it, just throw it on the couch.
    9. Your whole house is a learning place. Don’t need a school room.
    10. Learning along with your child is one of the best joys of homeschooling.

  4. Jessica says:

    Thank you so much for the information and I would love to read more about what you find out. My husband and I have been seriously considering this for our family although our oldest daughter hasn’t even started preschool, she will be 3 in March.

  5. Nana Cheryl says:

    Looking back, I wish we had homeschooled our boys (now grown men). I think one would have learned more with less stigma due to having severe Tourette Syndrome. And the other would have done equally well or better intellectually, but with far less negative peer pressure. But hind sight and all that…. I’m excited to hear about your new adventure. Please keep us posted!

    I also appreciated Alicia’s post. I especially agree wholeheartedly about just having books easily accessible and lying about. I think shared reading time (where you read something for pleasure at the same time the Precious Daughter “reads” her favorites) is a wonderful way to communicate the value of reading. Dad can even do his part by doing shared reading with the sports page or magazine. Children love to read when their parents love to read!

    I wanted to add that learning opportunities are everywhere and can happen with anyone who loves your child. I think it’s just about caregivers being mindful of the opportunities. Precious Grandson is always learning…I think because the adults in his life make a habit of thinking about of it. As an example, when we go to IHOP and color on the kids menu together, we do math. (Started out with him counting the squares we colored in, then at the next visit we started adding them together.) I heard him over the holidays adding together groups of Lincoln logs while he played. It made me smile. And just today we watched a few minutes on the History Channel about castles. Now he knows they aren’t just toys like his Playmobil set. They were real and big and made to keep bad guys out. Just 10 min of a program we caught flipping through to Sprout TV. But we learned something new because Nana remembered he just got the Playmobile set for Christmas. Easy things like this throughout the day can add up to a well-rounded, educated child. It’s just about mindfulness.

    Well, I’m being way too chatty. I just love the natural education process! Kids really thrive in it. I know you and the Husband will do a marvelous job. Take it easy on yourselves and enjoy the days…children are designed by their Creator to learn. Just stay out of her way 😉

  6. Jenny says:

    We are in process of making school decisions for kinder. We know we are waiting til she’s six so that gives me one more year, but homeschooling is on the list and we have no idea where to start! My main concern is how do I know it’s what’s best for y child as I don’t think it’s right for everyone…
    Looking forward to hearing your adventure!

  7. Kizzy says:

    I would love to follow journey through home schooling. Good luck

  8. amw says:

    We also just made this decision. May I ask why you choose to homeschool so quickly? We are pulling our kindergartner out of public school at break. So it’s really nerve-racking. There are a lot of things she is going to miss. Your story sounds like ours.

  9. Lyndsey says:

    THANK YOU! I could not fall asleep last night worrying about how in the world I am going to homeschool my kiddos but its nice to see I am not the only one. I really want to see more of your journey because I think we are very similar and could learn a lot from each other! Thanks for posting and for blogging! You have inspired me MANY times!!!

  10. Pingback: Free Printable: Basic Daily Schedule Template | Dollar Store Mom Frugal Fun – Crafts for Kids

  11. Congratulations on your decision to homeschool. As a second generation homeschooler, I have had the opportunity to be both student and teacher in the homeschool environment. I am also a curriculum junkie, research addict, and mother of nine. 🙂 If you have questions about homeschooling, I’d be happy to try answering them for you. I have also written an article on Squidoo called “Homeschooling? Six Things You Should Know” that you might find useful.
    as well as a page explaining how I teach my preschoolers to read, without a curriculum.

    Melissa Telling
    Lilliput Station

  12. Donna Rogers says:

    I had to repin your article and start following! Congrats on Homeschooling! It is our first year as well. We are having a blast. I started a Facebook social group for our area which is creating field trips and other play dates which is working out wonderfully well. With sites like and social media, it isn’t as scary as it seems. 🙂 I’m sure you will be fine.

  13. Pingback: Homeschool Supplies at the Dollar Store | Dollar Store Mom Frugal Fun – Crafts for Kids

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