Although homeschooling is becoming more and more popular, not everyone starts off their child’s education in a homeschool environment. This was the case for me. After several years of teaching in the public school system, I made the decision to homeschool as my oldest was finishing the second grade.
Many families find themselves making the decision to withdraw their child from public school to pursue home education. The reasons vary greatly. For some, the child was having a negative experience in public school. Others may feel as though the direction that public education in their area is moving will not be beneficial to their child. Sometimes the parent initiates the move and sometimes the child requests the the change.
Whatever the reason for the change, the transition from public school to homeschool is not always easy. In fact, it can be downright difficult. Sometimes parents and kids end up wondering if making the switch is worth the trouble. Hopefully the following tips will help you make the transition from public school to homeschool go as smoothly as possible.
Transition from Public School to Homeschool
Tip #1: Keep Your Child in the Loop
When you realize that you are seriously considering withdrawing your child from public school, it is a good idea to discuss it with them – especially if they are not aware that you have been thinking about it. Even if you feel like it is the best decision for them, it is important that they have some warning about the changes that are about to take place so that they can mentally and emotionally prepare themselves. This also opens up the floor for an honest dialogue about why you feel that homeschool is best for them and how they feel about it. Best case scenario is that they are on the same page with you and are eager to get the proverbial ball rolling. However, if they have some misgivings or negative feelings about homeschool, it is better for those to be discussed and addressed now rather than later.
Tip #2: Do Your Research
Before you make the transition to homeschool, it is a great idea to do as much research as possible into learning styles and teaching methods. That information will be tremendously helpful in helping you to decide on a curriculum, presenting the information to your child, and helping them to digest that information. Besides, the more prepared you are to fulfill the education aspect of home education, the better.
Tip #3: Reach Out to Other Homeschoolers
Another thing you should do is to reach out to other homeschoolers in your community. You might be surprised at how many there are and how active and helpful they can be. When it comes to your homeschool journey (or any new journey, for that matter), it is important that you know who you can turn to for advice when you need it. After all, those people are likely to have been where you are at some point and dealt with some of the questions, challenges, and maybe even doubts/fears that you may face. Having people on your side who can not only empathize with you, but provide you with emotional support and guidance can be invaluable. Besides, they will know all about the cool things that your homeschool family can do – such as joining co-ops, participating in homeschool activities, and even receiving discounts on a variety of products and services.
Tip #4: Have a Plan
As I mentioned before, it is recommended that you go into this journey with a plan. Even if you don’t have a really detailed plan, it will be easier to navigate if you have some goals that you are working towards and some action steps for those goals. Having even an outline of a plan can help you to know where you are headed and how you can get there.
Tip #5: Be Flexible
My final tip is to be flexible. Things may not go exactly as you had planned or envisioned. It’s okay. By being flexible, you will be less stressed out than if you had a rigid plan and felt like everything must happen perfectly. It is expected that there will be some bumps in the road. When those bumps happen, step back and assess the situation, reach out to your new homeschool friends, and figure out a new plan.
Did you start out homeschooling? Or did you decide after your children had already started school?
This post is part of my ABC’s of Homeschooling series! To read the entire series, visit my ABCs of Homeschooling page. I’ll add to this page each day as the posts go live.