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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68 Comments

    1. You’ll need to check with your local school district as state rules vary. However from what I understand you can count your credits from your first half of the year where you went to public school and then complete the remainder of the year at home without losing credits.

      erica
  1. Hi I have twin boys both in 3rd grade. We are having a miserable year with an awful teacher and I cannot get the school to move them to a different class. One of my children had dyslexia and is very far behind in reading and is failing other subjects as well and his teachers have stated they do not have the time for one on one help or know how to help him. They both hate going to school now. Do you have a program you would recommend that would work for both of them. Maybe a self paced reading program, Leveled literacy or guided reading? Thank you for your help. We are looking to start possibly at semester

    Amber
  2. Great article! I homeschooled for K, then allowed my daughter to go to public school (she begged to go nearly everyday and we do have some pretty decent schools). 1st & 2nd grade went OK. Though, I wasn’t entirely thrilled….my child started 1st grade at 4th grade level reading / 3rd grade math level….while she may have picked up random facts, she essentially learned nothing in 2 yrs as she was not given the opportunity to work at her level. 3rd has been a disaster. My child is being bullied, the school is not doing anything to address it, but when my daughter stands up for herself *she* gets in trouble. Christmas break begins Dec 22, so I’ve decided she will not be returning in Jan (except for part-time enrolment to attend music & computer classes).

    Jessica
  3. My student is in 11th grade and If i pull her out in the second semester, does her last semester’s credits still count? (there’s 2 semester per year) And can i put her back in the school for 12th grade?

    Mary Watson
    1. Hi Mary, yes whatever she has already completed in public school will still count for her transcripts when you pull her out. You’ll probably want to double check with your school district to make sure you’re completing whatever credits she’ll need to graduate. For example some classes are year long rather than one semester like English, Math, Science. If she’s completed one semester that will typically be .500 credits for that subject. Yyou may need to complete that subject for the second semester so she receives 1.00 full credit for that subject. And then yes, once she completes the 2nd semester of work for 11th grade you can put her in 12th grade.

      erica
  4. We want to switch kids as soon as possible to homeschooling as they are so exhausted. We live in Colorado which requires 14 day notice of intent before starting homeschool. My questions are:
    – Do you have to wait 14 days to withdraw kids after submitting intent?
    – We will give them an unschooling break so do we state the date of homeschool starting after the recovery period?

    Thank you for any advice

    Karey
    1. Hi Karey,
      You’ll want to talk with your school district they should be able to tell you what to do. That said I believe you can pull him out now and submit your form. Then start schooling when you’re ready after the break, and you can put that as your start date on your Notice of Intent to Homeschool. Christmas break is a common time to make the switch 🙂 But again check with your school district so they don’t mark him as truant.

      erica

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