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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76 Comments

  1. Hi I am a junior in high school, and I just looking to know if when you are taken out of school, will it seriously hurt you chances of getting into college. My mom and I have been going back and forth trying to decide if it is the best option.

    Gabriella Green
    1. No, you’ll just need to check out the colleges you are interested in and make sure whatever you are doing at home meets their requirements. But in today’s age, most colleges look for homeschoolers.

      erica
  2. My daughter is in the 8th grade and currently enrolled in public school in Florida. We moved here over the summer from MD. In MD she struggled tremendously with depression and anxiety and was bullied at school. I worked with the BOE to decide on a resolution and they ultimately transferred schools for her in April. She started a new school year here in FL and the bullying has began here. Her depression got the best of her and she was hospitalized. I have spoken to the school and my child isn’t instigating things. For some reason she’s an easy target. After much prayer and consideration we’ve decided to finish this year with homeschooling and let her take it from there. I have no idea how to pick and start a curriculum since she’s mid year. I did find a coop and enrolled her in a foreign language and computer science class but she’s not taking these now. I don’t know how to start something mid year and what curriculum to use.

    Stephanie Grzybowski
    1. Hi Stephanie, I’nm sorry to hear you had issues. I have a video explaining how I recommend doing this process coming up soon. But I would keep it simple to make the transition easier. If she’s using a specific math curriculum and it’s working, order that if possible and just have her finish out the year with it. If it’s not working you’ll want to look for something else. I have a video on how to choose curriculum here:
      http://www.confessionsofahomeschooler.com/blog/2016/06/homeschooling-101-how-to-choose-curriculum.html
      And I also have a ton of information in my Homeschooling 101 book (http://amzn.to/2jbSjWj ) on starting school mid-year, choosing curriculum, creating lesson plans for it etc. You might also consider something like an online program just to finish out the year as well. That might be a little easier of a transition for you.

      erica
  3. Hello! I have a question… I am new to the homeschooling process but I have wanted to for a while. Due to lack of knowledge in homeschooling, I’ve hesitated. My daughter is a kindergartener in Ohio. We are planning on moving to Pennsylvania, closer to my family and I want to start homeschooling. How do I start? Do I have to put her in a particular program or can I chose my own curriculum? Please help lol

    Stephanie Hartman
  4. Hi there,

    I am planning on taking all 3 of my kids out of school because we are moving out of the district and rather than putting them into a new school just a couple months before Summer break I thought I would finish out the year homeschooling them. My main questions is do a I need to buy full sets of curriculum for each (Kinder, 3rd and 7th)? I’ve been looking on websites where people resell books but it is looking like the cost is still around $200 each.. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.

    Kari
    1. Hi Kari,
      No, not necessarily. You’ll want to figure out what you plan to do for each subject for each child and then go from there. You may be able to do some things as a group, but since your kids are so far apart they’ll mostly have to do individual grades for some of the subjects as well. Here’s a post I did on teaching multiple grades:
      http://www.confessionsofahomeschooler.com/blog/2016/10/how-to-teach-multiple-grade-levels.html

      Also I have a post on homeschooling on a budget:
      http://www.confessionsofahomeschooler.com/blog/2014/08/homeschooling-101-homeschooling-on-a-budget.html

      My advice would be to make a list of what you’re going to do for each, and then search homeschool classifieds, eBay, and my Buy/Sell/Trade section to see what you can get used. Also make use of your local Library as well to save $$.
      http://www.confessionsofahomeschooler.com/blog/2014/08/homeschooling-101-homeschooling-on-a-budget.html

      erica
    2. We are in Michigan and in this same situation. We are considering homeschool for grade 5 the last 6 weeks of school w/ enrollment in private school,most likely, though husband likes public, beginning again in Fall 2017. Do you know how this works for enrollment in the fall as far as records and grades when completing the last quarter homeschooling? Is there a grade completion exam that can be taken or ???? Any advice, pearls of wisdom are greatly appreciated.

      Kate
  5. My daughter is a senior and her anxiety is making it impossible to get her to school (in Ohio). Can I homeschool the last three months and keep her graduating on time? I’m a certified teacher so in that aspect it should be simple. Thanks!

    Amy
  6. Hi. I have made the decision to homeschool my 2nd grader mid-year. I’ve already sent the letter of intent to our County’s superintendent. There is a 30-day processing….. time. My question is, will I have to wait 30 days until I am able to withdraw my student?

    Althea
  7. Hi, i am a current sophomore in high school. i am not happy with the school aspects of my life and am wondering if homeschooling or online schooling is the right path for me to take. I’m nervous about how a non traditional school environment will be for me and how it will affect my chances of getting into college as i do not really participate in any extra curricular activities.

    hanna
    1. Hi Hanna,
      Most schools will still allow homeschoolers to participate in their sports. Or you can join a competitive sports league outside of shcool as well which is what our kids are currently doing. As far as credits, I suggest looking at the colleges you are interested in attending and then finding out what they require for admissions. At that point you can tailor your homeschool classes to make sure you are meeting their credit requirements. Most colleges are happy to have homeschoolers, but you’ll want to check with the ones you are interested in to see what they require.

      erica
  8. Due to getting bullied at school, I removed my son from 7th grade with the intention to transfer to a neighboring school district that was willing to take him (this late in the year) Current school dragged their feet, had trouble getting them to sign off on records but superintendent finally did which wasted more time. My question is this: Can I homeschool him for the last 6 weeks of this school year? He’s a good student, good grades. At this point since it’s already April 17th he’d rather start fresh at the new school in the fall. I like this idea, too. How do I go about this, if it even can be done? We’re in Michigan.

    Louise
  9. We plan to let my son finish out the year because there are only a few weeks left. We will start homeschooling for 8th grade in August. Will I still need to withdraw him in FL? Or is the notice if intent mailed this summer enough? I would much prefer NOT to go to the school if I can avoid that route. Thanks for any insight

    Amy
    1. Hi Amy,
      I would suggest checking out http://www.hslda.org they have a ton of legal info on homeschooling for each state. We have to send in a Notice of Intent to homeschool for each year, and so I’m guessing you may need to send in another one. We just have to mail them in to our local school district, but I’m not sure what Florida requires, so you’ll need to verify with your school district on what they need you to do.

      erica

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