How to Transition to Homeschooling
The transition to homeschooling, from public or private school, can take some time. Even when parents and children are eager to homeschool, the change in attitude may not happen immediately. If you are you ready to take the plunge and start homeschooling for the first time, read on for some helpful tips.
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Homeschooling high school can seem challenging, but it can feel completely overwhelming if you have made a transition to homeschooling away from public or private school. When you haven't been homeschooling all along, the change can be abrupt! Lots of parents ask me how to navigate this road. Here are some tips to ease the transition to homeschooling from public or private school.
- Know your child and trust yourself. You know your child better than anyone else, so trust your intuition. With some dedicated time for research, you can figure out what to do, and how to do it. Many parents have gone before you and it can be done!
- Consider if your child could benefit from "deschooling" in their transition. If your child seems to need to jump right into academics, provide that for them of course. But if you think they need some deschooling time in order to regain a love for learning, make that time for them and don't rush it. Whatever you do, don't try to "over school" all at once as soon as they come home, trying to compensate for what you think they've missed. That's a path to burnout and rebellion! I recommend this book: Deschooling Gently: A Step by Step Guide to Fearless Homeschooling. Another favorite of mine is The Relaxed Homeschooler Rides Again.
- Remember that attitudes can change. Sometimes teens come home after being in public school with a really rotten attitude, and it takes a little while for them to return to the cheerful, cooperative person they used to be. I have seen this sort of thing before, and usually when they find something that really interests them, they become easier to live with. Sometimes it's just a stage they're going through—a transition. Also, remember that you can always tweak things as you go. What works (or doesn't work) may or may not work down the road.
- Be sure you and your spouse are on the same page, and bring your kids into the conversation too. Come up with goals as a family. The more "buy in" your kids have, the easier your transition to homeschooling will be. You can try letting the student have more control over school (not less control, like with an accredited, online, or alternative education program). Ask your child their preferences. What would they want to study? Be sure to cover the core subjects, but still provide a lot of free time when finished with the core.
- Do your research. Knowing what your state requires for homeschooling is essential. Each state is different, and you need to know that homeschooling laws aren't the same as what the public schools will follow. Be sure to find your state laws in my article here.
- Find a support network. Whether that's in your community (many communities have a local homeschool organization) or online, having support is essential to your transition to homeschooling. There will be times that you need to vent to another homeschool mom, someone that understands and is in the trenches with you. Or, you might just want some advice about your next math curriculum. Trust me, you'll want this support for many reasons.
- Speaking of support, be sure to find support for your kids as well. Planning social times with new friends (as well as old!) will be important for their transition. You may wonder why it's important if they already have a good set of friends. It's important for the same reason you will need a homeschooling support system. Read How to Find Friends for Homeschool Socialization. Homeschool students will want someone in their corner who understands what their school day looks like and who can be social during the middle of the day. Many times, your local homeschool support group can provide those new friends for your children. Be sure to ask them if they have activities for teens!
- There is always expert help as you transition to homeschooling. I offer a monthly membership to my Gold Care Club. It's a way for you to get advice for struggles you might be facing in your homeschool and life! You can find out more about this service here.
Many families that transition to homeschooling have questions about curriculum. "What is best?" "Which will work best for my kids?" You can look at my post here
to help you find a starting place.
It can take some kids longer than others to "wash that school right outta their hair." Try not to allow yourself to become overwhelmed or discouraged as you make this change. There's a lot of information, but there's also a lot of help offered. You can find lots of help on my website (join my monthly newsletter here) and on my Pinterest page. I know you can do this! I'm here if you need help.