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.
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.
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!
I’m considering homeschooling my son this coming school year. He’ll be a junior, so the whole process seems really hard! When he applies to colleges what will we do? Since he is transferring in the middle of high school, how would transcripts work? I haven’t found many answers online, so all help is greatly appreciated!
I am a senior in my public high school and it is currently the first semester. I would like to be home schooled for personal reasons but could I be home schooled for my 2nd semester? It will be in the middle of the school year. My parents approve of this and wanted me to ask you this question.
As long as your school district allows it then yes, typically you’re free to switch to homeschool mid-year.
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Hi I need help I’m leaving in Canada I did my daughter homeschooling but nowe she changed her mind in her grade 12 and in October .can she go back to school are they going to accept her ?
My daughter is in the 8th grade and has been being bullied by some of her “ex-friends” over a situation she was actually trying to help out in. She also suffers from anxiety and depression which started even before the bullying at school. She has severe headaches and stomach aches every morning and begs me not to make her go to school. I truly believe these are brought on by the stress of having to deal with the bullying at school. I want to pull her out and home school her immediately, but we are already in February and the school year ends in June. She is also in 3 advance classes at school, so I would really hate for all her hard work to be discounted if I switch to teaching her at home. How do I switch her this late in the year without her grades suffering.
I would talk with the school district and see what they recommend. You can usually switch mid-year and be fine finishing at home. You may want to just keep doing the curriculum she’s used to if that’s been okay. But removing the stress from bullying etc. will help tremendously.
Hello, can someone please share with me if they know of any free home school programs I can enroll my children in at this point. It would most definitely be to their advantage.
You might check with your local school district. Sometimes they offer online programs for homeschoolers that are free. That said, they’re usually the programs the state funds, so they are secular and would be like what your student were doing if they were in public school. I also have a post on homeschooling on a budget here:
Please help?? My son is in 6th grade, he is the smallest and youngest kid in the grade. He brings home C’s, occasional D or B. We contacted the school to hold him back….they would not let us hold him in 6th grade. We feel and He feels that being held back will give his growth and maturity time to “catch up” with his peers, since he will be the same age and same size as his classmates. Since the school won’t hold him back, we thought of homeschooling and keeping in 6th grade. Is this legal? Also coming into play…right after the school year begins, we are moving to Florida from Pa. We are worried about this move as being a setback seeing that the educational curriculum in Florida is different. We really need to hold him back…for his sake in life!!! Any answers would be helpful…thank you!!
Hi Mike, Most states allow you to switch to homeschooling mid year, but you’ll need to check with whatever state you’re currently in to make sure that is okay. You can also check the http://www.hslda.org website as well, they have legal info on all states there. Also, from what I know Florida is one of the stricter states regarding homeschooling, so you may want to contact the local school district where you’ll be moving in FL to see what is required for you to homeschool.
I have 1 question that I really need answered fast. My daughter a junior high school student and I’m sick of public school and so is she. Would it be a bad idea to homeschool her this late in her life?
My son is a 10th grader in Griffin GA. We have been contemplating homeschool for a while now. I think it’s time. It is now the middle of a semester and mid-term progress reports are coming home very soon. I was thinking of waiting until Christmas break so that he can get full credit for his current courses. But do you think that mid-semester is an okay time to withdraw him?
You’ll want to check with your school to see if they have any specific requirements before pulling him out. It also depends on the circumstances. If it’s important to get him out of a bad situation now, then I would do it. If his situation isn’t horrible, then you may want to wait until Christmas. That said, if they just started a month ago like most schools, then I would go ahead and just do it now and start fresh, kind of depends on how long he’s been in.
Hi, After reading all the concerns of the parents here I feel more at peace about homeschooling my son. He is a sophomore in a private school and I would have loved for him to stay there, but he says is too much for him and He is always stressed and behind in his grades. He also goes through depression for all this situation and theres times where he just cries and doesn’t even want to eat. I just want him to be mentally healthy and I ask for your prayers please. I will definitely look into homeschooling more on depth since he wants to do the change ASAP. We live in California.