Homeschooling 101: Switching to Homeschool Mid-Year

Hi everyone! I’m back today with another Homeschooling 101 post.  Today we’re talking about switching from a public or charter school situation to homeschooling mid-year.

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One of the most frequently asked questions I receive is how to go about switching from public school to homeschool mid-year. It’s more common than you think to pull students out mid-year and begin the homeschooling journey. And there are several factors that can contribute to your need to switch your schooling choice. Whatever they are, just know that you’re doing the best for your child and it may or not be a challenging switch. But if it benefits your family, then it will be worth it in the long run.

As a homeschooler you have the flexibility to start at any time of the year. Most families choose to switch from public to homeschool at the semester break, but you can really make the change anytime you feel it is necessary for your family.

Here are a few tips for making the switch to help you get started, and hopefully make the transition much smoother for your entire family!

 

Know your state law

If you are considering removing your student from public or private school during the school year, you’ll want to check with your state laws regarding this process. In most states you will be required to send in a withdrawal form to your school district, and then submit either a Notice of Intent to homeschool, or enrollment in an umbrella or independent school that allows work to be done at home.

 

Discuss the withdrawal

Along with discussing the timing of the withdrawal with your spouse (if possible), you’ll also want to discuss it with your student so that the decision isn’t unexpected. Help pick a date that works best for your family and proceed from there.

 

Get records from the school

Make sure to get whatever records you need from your school. That may include transcripts, attendance records, as well as immunization reports and anything else they may have on file for your student.

 

Set up a daily schedule

You’ll want to create a basic schedule for your new homeschool day. Having a basic plan in writing will aid in the transition process. It will also help you stay on track and feel like you are getting necessary things accomplished. Even if you don’t stick to your schedule like glue, having something basic in writing will greatly aid in the organization of your school. You’ll also want to discuss your new homeschooling plan with your student so they know what will be expected of them when they make the transition from school to home.

 

Get involved

Take a little time to research the local homeschooling groups and co-ops in your area. While it is not a requirement to participate in a homeschooling group, it can be very helpful when first starting out. Getting to know other homeschoolers helps you feel like you are not alone in this journey. They can also help you with questions, concerns, and general support and encouragement.

 

Allow time to adjust

You can expect a period of adjustment whenever bringing a child out of a school setting into your home. You might need to begin slowly to give your student time to get used to the new schedule. If your student was behind previously, you might also need to spend some time getting caught up on basic skills that slipped through the cracks in the school system. Don’t be afraid to go back a grade level, or at least to a skill that they missed and start over so you can be sure they understand before moving forward.

 

Keep it simple

Since you are starting mid-year, you probably have not had adequate time to plan an entire curriculum. I suggest keeping things manageable at first until everyone gets used to the change. Make sure to focus on core subjects. If your student had something that was working well for them in the school, consider using that curriculum for the rest of the year to make the transition a little smoother for them.

 

Sign up for extracurricular activities

If your student was participating in extracurricular activities sponsored by the school, you may want to take some time to research how to continue with these. Some school districts will allow homeschool students to continue to participate in a sport. Depending on the reason you are withdrawing from school, you may not want to continue with the school district you were previously associated with. In that case there are usually several other options for homeschoolers including local competitive and recreational leagues for most sports and extracurricular activities.

 

For more information on this and many other homeschooling questions check out my Homeschooling 101: A guide to getting started!

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44 Comments

  • Teri October 28, 2014 at 10:45 am

    We found your blog a year ago and love it, so encouraging! We pulled our 1st grader from a public charter school, and we did have him repeat grade 1 this year vs promoting him to grade 2. I’m so happy we did!! The new Common Core was failing him, frustrating him, and he was stuck academically:( now we are using BJU, AAR/AAS, and we can move slowly and methodically through his homeschool books. He is advancing quickly, but more importantly, HE NOW HAS CONFIDENCE!!! The adjustment was tough though, it took him a while to understand I am mom and now his teacher too! But with a schedule and taking the pressure off of us, Gods grace is shining through!

    Reply
  • Stephanie Olmsted October 29, 2014 at 8:34 pm

    Glad to have found this article today. We are planning on switching to homeschooling within a month or so. Our children, kindergarten and 6th grade are still currently in public school in the state we currently live in and we will be moving to Michigan with in the next month. I am feel like it is the best choice for our children and family. My husband and I have talked about the decision to homeschool and agree it is best for our family. We have talked with our children and they like the idea too. We have explained that it might be a little crazy as we get used to it since it will be new and also with a move. I have actually already looked into curriculum and pretty much have that figured out. (Do I need to have a written plan for everyday from the day I start to the end of the year? Like exactly what worksheet or story, actives we will be working on?)
    The only think holding me back and giving me a little fear is the laws….
    quoting your article:
    “If you are considering removing your student from public or private school during the school year, you’ll want to check with your state laws regarding this process. In most states you will be required to send in a withdrawal form to your school district, and then submit either a Notice of Intent to homeschool, or enrollment in an umbrella or independent school that allows work to be done at home.”
    I have looked at the laws and don’t see anything about switching in the school year. The whole legal thing is stressing me out. Any idea what to do about this situation?
    We are praying we can get the answers we are looking for & to make the best choices for our children. Thank you.

    Reply
    • erica October 30, 2014 at 2:41 pm

      HI Stephanie,
      I would contact http://www.hslda.org regarding your state laws, they can be very helpful in determining what is legal in your area. You can also contact your school district as well and they should be able to help you as well.

      As far as planning, you don’t have to plan from day 1 to the end, I just like to do it that way. But I know a lot of people who play half a year, then do the other half mid-year. I also know people who plan weekly. I just don’t like to feel forced into planning on weekends, or over the Christmas break, so I do it all over the summer.

      Since you’re switching mid-year, you might have time over your winter break to plan what you can before starting. I have a couple of chapters on switching school and curriculum mid-year in my Homeschooling 101 book that has more information.

      Reply
    • Daniel November 28, 2016 at 11:02 am

      Actually Michigan is particularly lenient about homeschooling. It shouldn’t be hard to apply for it at all

      Reply
  • Renee January 31, 2016 at 1:20 pm

    I’m preparing to pull my child on moday because the principal at her school, Rita Throckmorton, threatened her with calling the police because she dropped pastels all over the classroom carpet. Do I only need to file a withdrawal notice with the school or will I still be contacted by a truancy officer?

    Reply
  • georgette maavich February 4, 2016 at 5:08 pm

    We live in Ohio and my child will be entering school this fall in our hometown. We have been traveling half the year to Florida for many years due to our business which is seasonal. Can we legally have our child attend public school for half the school year and finish it by homeschooling the other half? We don’t have an established residence in Florida but we’re planning of renting housing during those months in Florida.

    Reply
    • erica February 16, 2016 at 11:39 am

      Hi, you’ll need to check with your state requirements for homeschooling to see if they allow that. You’ll also want to check with Florida since that will be where you’re homeschooling. I think they have stricter homeschooling laws. I know here you can have them in public school, then pull them out mid-year to homeschool, but I’m not sure about going back and forth like that. It might be more beneficial to homeschool full time so you don’t have to worry about educational gaps going back and forth. http://www.hslda.org is also another good place to check.

      Reply
  • Tiffany April 12, 2016 at 3:59 pm

    Hi! So glad I found your blog. We just relocated for my husband’s job from northern CA to souther CA. My son is in Kindergarten and was at a very good school. Now we moved into an area with a very poorly rated school and I am concerned. With only two months of school left, do you know if we would be able to switch him to homeschool? We have been wanting to give homeschooling a shot and I feel like know would be a great time for that given the school reviews and ratings. I don’t know where to start and feel like I keep going in circles trying to figure out what to do and how to go about starting the process so he isn’t missing too many days of school and we are legally going through all the necessary steps. Any tips you can give me would be so very appreciated. Thank you for your time!

    Reply
  • Andie Ortiz June 13, 2016 at 8:40 pm

    Hello, please help our family. My young 7th grade daughter is getting in fights in her friends. They have gotten physical and started to fist fight. I went to the school counselor A.S.A.P. All she could do was blame my daughter for her actions. I understand that she did wrong and shouldn’t have resorted to hitting. But she was tired of her fake friends cutting her down every day. She is also hoping to become home schooled. I really think that this is a great way to approach the situation. We live in Fort Collins Co. It’s December and I just pray that the district will slow this. All am asking for are some tips

    Reply
    • erica June 15, 2016 at 10:47 am

      Hi Andie,
      If you’re daughter is having troubles at school and the staff there isn’t responsive, homeschooling may be an option for you. I would definitely pray about it before making your decision. As far as I know CO schools will allow you to pull her out to homeschool even if it is mid-year. I will be posting our 7th grade top curriculum picks next week so you can check those out. I also have a Homeschooling 101 book (link on sidebar) to help you get started as well 🙂

      Reply
  • Amber October 4, 2016 at 10:09 pm

    Hi! My daughter has missed a few days at a public school because she’s been getting really sick and I wanted to homeschool her to take way her stress and insecuritys at school. Do you think she would be able to be homeschooled even tho her attendance was off

    Reply
  • Maritza Sanchez October 14, 2016 at 10:28 am

    I would like to homeschool my son who has ADHD i live in Florida how can i register him if they say that k-12 homeschooling is closed

    Reply
    • erica October 17, 2016 at 9:46 am

      Hi Maritza,
      You’re probably going to have to contact your local school district to find out what you need to do. Each state has different requirements.

      Reply
  • Samantha Masters October 29, 2016 at 4:31 pm

    After months of consideration I have decided to start homeschooling my sophomore on Monday. I have purchaesed the curriculum and I am excited about getting started. My question is my son was just starting is second nine week term and as I was setting up his assignments on Monarch I realized I have no idea where he should start. It doesn’t seem like a good idea to have him start his sophomore year all over again, he has very good grades. Being new to this there is probably a simple solution but I don’t know what it is lol. Thank You!

    Reply
    • erica November 1, 2016 at 10:19 pm

      I would probably sit down with him and go through the lessons to see where he’s left off, and try and start there. If you can’t determine a good spot, you can also try and go through the lessons at a faster pace until he gets caught up to a point where he’s learning new material. Since I don’t know what he’s learned so far, or what the Monarch scope and sequence are it would be difficult for me to tell you in detail where to start. You might also contact Monarch and see what the recommend as well.

      Reply
    • Arnold Eberecht August 4, 2017 at 12:22 pm

      Hi Samantha,
      I’m considering doing the same thing with my son! How did you group the transcripts? Anything else to know? Thanks!

      Reply
  • Melanie December 4, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    My daughter is a junior in high school. She was in a very bad wreck recently and has been diagnosed with a TBI. Unfortunately, “the evaluation” process will not be completed until after the semester has ended. She has lettered academically every semester in high school and her grades in her most difficult classes (those classes trigger her symptoms daily: severe headaches, dizziness, nausea, etc) are suffering. I would like to pull her out now and do a 50/50 approach with the high school where I homeschool her for 50% of her classes. My question is do her grades from her classes HAVE to follow her since we are so close to the end of the semester.

    Reply
    • erica December 5, 2016 at 9:31 am

      Hi Melanie,
      I’m sorry to hear about her health, will be praying for her and your family as well. As far as grades, that is something you’ll need to check with your local school district to see what your state requires. Each state can be different with their requirements.

      Reply
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