Making the Transition from Public School to Homeschooling

If your child is struggling in public school, for whatever reason, and is getting more discouraged as the year progresses, choosing to homeschool might be a valid option to consider. However, be prepared for a transition period after taking your child out of public school before jumping into homeschooling.

If your child is currently in public school, before you withdraw them, you need to determine your state’s homeschooling laws. Make sure you meet all of the state’s requirements before taking further action. After you’ve met each of the laws of your state, contact your child’s school and formally withdraw your child. Failing to formally withdraw your child may lead to truancy issues in the future. Also, be prepared for them to ask questions.

The manner in which you withdraw your child will probably vary depending on where you live, possibly writing a letter to the superintendent of your child’s school system. Explain to them that you have chosen to homeschool and are formally withdrawing your child. Provide proof that you are following your state’s laws and are legally allowed to withdraw your child from school. If you can quote part of the law in your letter, it will show that you understand the law and your rights as a homeschooling family.

  • When you have your child at home, be prepared to take some time off of actual school work. This will give your child a chance to learn a new lifestyle. After all, your child has been used to the school’s way of doing things. They are no longer imprisoned by the rules and regulations they’ve come to know.
  • Take some time to get to know one another again. You may think you know your child, but it’s quite possible that you don’t know them at all. There may be parts of your child’s personality that you never knew existed. They might learn some new things about you, as well.
  • Don’t be surprised if your child continues to do the things that they’ve become accustomed to doing. Some new homeschoolers will raise their hand if they have a question or when they need to use the restroom. It may take some time to do, but those habits will need to be broken.
  • Keep some of the better habits they’ve gained. If your child has been used to having spelling tests on a particular day of the week, continue to keep that schedule. If you allow them to stop doing everything they did in public school, you may have a situation that is worse than they left.
  • Take the time to enjoy the process with your child. Choosing to homeschool, while primarily for the student, should also be enjoyable for you as well. Cut loose and have fun. Don’t take yourselves too seriously, and remember that you were a parent first. Most of all, remember why you chose to homeschool . . . to enjoy the freedom homeschooling affords.

Routines For Homeschooling

When one decides to homeschool, there is so much to consider, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Along with being overwhelmed, you may feel confused about what to expect. How will homeschooling affect your daily lives? The homeschool family may choose to create a schedule for everyone to follow, or they may choose a routine that will be effective for their families.

For some people, a set schedule is the best way to run their lives. For others, however, having everything planned out in fifteen minute increments doesn’t sound like fun. Where structure might be desired, it isn’t always practical. Conversely, while being relaxed might be great, some routines are needed to be effective as homeschoolers.

Schedules and routines for homeschooling are as varied as the families that homeschool. Here are a couple of routine types that a family can follow:

1. School at home would have the children keeping a similar schedule as those in public school. This would include getting up at a specific time every day and then starting their day with either breakfast or chores as the first order of the day. Following that, the children would be given 45 minutes per subject, just like if they were in public school, and they would have a printed schedule to go by for their day.

2. If you’re not enthused by this approach, a more relaxed routine might be more what you’re looking for. If this is the case, you may start your day whenever one of the children gets out of bed. You can work with that one child, undisturbed, until the other children make their presence known. This type of routine would be more staggered, with mom giving special attention to each child as they rise.

3. Some homeschoolers don’t really have a set schedule or routine for actual schoolwork. They may allow the children to choose which subject they want to do first, and continue in that way until all subjects are covered. This type of routine is great for those students who are self-starters and can work without supervision.

4. While these routines might be helpful, there are the people that completely against anything planned and live life by the seats of their pants. This is the type of person that allows the day to happen to them, taking each moment as it comes and living their life to the fullest. They often have more fun, but may have a little bit of a problem finishing projects and school work.

Whichever routine or schedule you choose to follow, just remember that all work and no play make Jack a very dull boy. Take some time out of your scheduled day to enjoy your children. Plan some free time on your calendar to allow them to just relish in being a child. After all, part of the reason you chose to homeschool was so you could spend quality time with your children. Let the schedules and routines slip every now and then. You’ll be glad you did, and your children will thank you for it.

I Didn’t Do Well in School — Can I Still Homeschool My Kids?

If you are considering homeschooling your children, you might be apprehensive if you didn’t do well in school yourself. Thankfully your success, or lack thereof, in school does not have to be an issue in choosing to homeschool. In fact, you can take advantage of the time you’re teaching your child to brush up on some of the things you didn’t do so well with when you were in school.

Math is one subject that parents stress over when they choose to homeschool, especially if they struggled when they went to school. Your struggles shouldn’t be a factor in choosing to homeschool. If you weren’t good in math, remember you’ll have the teacher’s manual with the answers. However, you may have to spend a little bit of time relearning, or learning anew, the concepts prior to trying to teach your child. And remember, you can always turn to other homeschooling families to help you if you need it.

Another subject parents might not look forward to teaching is English. Maybe you hated English and writing. If you haven’t found a planned curriculum to use for English, you can find helpful books at the local library. You can also find materials online, including worksheets and tests.
Besides Math and English, another subject that parents worry about teaching is Science. There are a number of good science curriculums available, some with all of the materials for experiments. You’d be surprised just what you can find to use for free on the Internet. In fact, you can even dissect a virtual frog instead of having to smell formaldehyde if that turned you off when you took Biology.

Reading should be one of the easiest subjects. Your children will learn to love reading if they see you and your spouse read, no matter the book. Read books aloud with your child and then have them re-tell you the story in their own words. If they are just learning how to read, one resource that is popular with homeschoolers is “Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons” by Siegfried Englemann, Phyllis Haddox, and Elaine Bruner.

It doesn’t really matter if you did well in school or not. You don’t have to let how well you did keep you from teaching your children. You can learn along with them to fill in the gaps in your own education. If you come across something that you don’t understand, search out your homeschooling friends, they can probably help you. Another option would be to see if you can find a local homeschool co-op. In either case, you can make homeschooling a positive experience for yourself as well as your children.

Is it too Late to Homeschool?

People choose to homeschool for any number of reasons. Some of those reasons include homeschooling for religious reasons, not subjecting their children to many new schools if they move a lot, or having a child with health issues that could be made worse by attending public school. For whatever the reason, homeschooling is a great option. Homeschooling does not have to begin when a child first starts school, you can start a child on their homeschool journey at any point in their school career.

Many people think that homeschooling must start at kindergarten. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, you can begin to homeschool your child at any age or in any grade. When you begin homeschooling depends on when you’ve decided to take your child out of the public school system and bring them home to teach them.

While it may be easier to begin homeschooling right from the start, it isn’t unheard of for parents to pull their children out of school in any grade. Depending on the student, parents may decide to teach when they’re starting high school. It’s not unheard of in homeschooling communities to choose to homeschool as their child’s educational career is nearing a close.

One reason parents may choose to bring home a student starting high school is that the parents don’t feel their local school is safe. With the possibility of being introduced to drugs and alcohol, parents may choose to keep their children from those influences. They may also bring their child home because of the threat of violence on campus. These and other issues may cause a parent to pull their high school student out of school to homeschool.

If unhealthy influences aren’t an issue, some parents decide that high school is the right time to homeschool because of opportunities that arise. Some high school students are already in advanced classes, however if they homeschool, they may be able to attend some beginning college courses while still in high school.

Another possible reason for bringing a child home while they’re in high school is so they can participate in a work-study program. Whether they are interested in a work-study program, or an apprenticeship, public high school students may not be able to work these programs into their schedule. As a homeschool student, however, they have the ability to work ahead and therefore may be finished with high school courses which will free them to pursue an apprenticeship position.

Homeschooling is an awesome opportunity for students, no matter what grade they begin. Things may be easier on both the parent and the student if they begin homeschooling when the student is younger. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t bring your child home as they near graduation. Listen to your child, understand what they want to accomplish, and then let them spread their wings and fly.