How to transition from public school to homeschool

How to transition from public school to homeschool

Ready to transition from public school to homeschool? We made the leap 5 years ago and it was the best decision we ever made.

My oldest son was in the 5th grade when we jumped into homeschool. We had no clear path in sight at the time. I just knew I couldn’t throw him into middle school when he needed extra help. Help that the public school system wasn’t giving him. So I took it on myself and never looked back!

Over the years I have a learned a few things about homeschool and I am happy to share with you my tips on how to transition from public school to homeschool. You must know first though that your child will be different from mine and your family is different from any other family. However, these tips are a good guide to get you started with your transition. I am excited that you are taking on this journey with your kids, if you have any questions please feel free to reach out to me, I would love to help!

10 TIPS HOW TO TRANSITION FROM PUBLIC SCHOOL TO HOMESCHOOL

1. Talk to your child about your decision to homeschool

If your child is able to communicate with you, talk to them about your decision as their parent to homeschool. While having this conversation with your child, remember that you are the parent and the final choice to homeschool is yours. You can explain to them why you want to homeschool and how you feel it will benefit them and your family. Don’t be surprised if your child says they don’t really want to homeschool. This could happen, but remember to explain that you are the parent and you believe this is what’s best. Tell them that you value their opinion and will let them help with the process.

2. Take a few months off to get rid of the public school mindset

The term for this is called de-schooling. Take a few weeks or months off before you officially start homeschooling. This will help get your mind off of public school. Remember your life will be different. Homeschool isn’t like public school and it shouldn’t be. Your routine will be different, your schedule will be different. A few ways to deschool and keep your child learning at the same time are:

  • Play educational board games
  • Visit Museums
  • Read your favorite childhood books with your kids
  • Watch free educational videos. You can find lots of them online!
  • Play and explore the outdoors.

3. Complete a placement test to see where your child’s weaknesses and strengths are

This is not something you have to do, but it could help you when picking out the curriculum. If your not sure what areas your child needs the most help in, a placement test can help. Here is a good list of a free placement test. Remember when taking the test that the outcome is not wrong or right. Homeschool is all about helping your child succeed. Don’t focus on kids in public school and where they are academically. Every child is different, just focus on your child and his or her needs alone.

4. Start easy and work your way up to more subjects

Don’t overwhelm yourself or your child by trying to do every subject. Start off with the basics and work in other subjects as you go. To me the most important subjects are Math and English. You can work the others in. For example, you can do Math and Grammer the first month and add Science in one – two days a week the 2nd month. Remember, it’s your homeschool you can set your schedule the way that fits your family best. Just make sure you cover the required subjects at some point during the school year. You can check here to see what your state requires you to do.

5. Let them help pick the curriculum

Get your kids excited about the transition to homeschool by letting them help pick out their curriculum. Let them decided what they want to learn about for Science. Are they interested in bugs? Then study bugs. Would they like to learn about our amazing Solar System, then pick out a curriculum about the Solar System. Get there opinion and explore the different curriculums together. If your child seems undecided, come up with 3 different topics for science and have them choose one. You can do this for History too!

6. Stock the homeschool world, find out where everybody’s hanging out

Yes, one of the best ways to transition into homeschool is by having friends who also homeschool. You will need the support from other moms and your kids will benefit from having playmates who also homeschool. Your homeschool family/friends will be the people who understand your choice to homeschool the most, they will be the rock you lean on when times get tough. They will understand exactly what you’re going through every day. I am not saying your kids can’t have friends who are in public school, that would just be silly, I am just saying its always nice to have someone who understands you!

7. Explain the rules and expectations

Before you officially start homeschooling, it would be wise to lay out your rules and expectations for your kids. Do you want them to wake up at a certain time? Will you expect school work to be done before video games can be played? Do you want them to get dressed before school or is laying around in PJs ok? (we stay in our PJ’s a lot) Remember its’ your homeschool so you make the rules. There is no right or wrong way to do this, just whatever you think is best!

8. Don’t feel like you have to have the Pinterest perfect homeschool room

Trust me, this is unnecessary stress that you will put on yourself. Yes, it is nice to have a homeschool room but it really doesn’t have to be perfect. Make it work for you and your family. We do have a playroom/homeschool room, but honestly, we hardly ever do school there! Have a place to store materials and give your child the freedom to do school in any room they want. You can adjust this as you transition.

9. Remember that your opinion about homeschooling is the only one that really matters

When you’re transitioning to homeschool, you may get a lot of negative comments. This may be frustrating for you, but its normal. Some people just don’t understand why we do it, and that’s ok. Always remember at the end of the day, your the parent and your opinion is the only one that matters. It is important to have your husband on board, but other family and friends will eventually get over it.

10. If you haven’t yet, pulling your child from public school in the middle of the year is perfectly acceptable

If your planning on homeschooling and getting ready for the transition, there is honestly no reason I can think of that you should wait. (Unless your child REALLY REALLY wants to finish out the school year.) Especially if you’re pulling your child because of bullying or because they need extra help their not getting. Go ahead and pull them now. You can start the deschooling approach right away and eliminate the stress of sending your child to public school. Waiting until summer is not always the best answer, summer break is pretty short, you may need extra time to transition.

Transitioning from public school to homeschool is not difficult. In fact, I think you will find it quite simple. Talk with your kids, figure out where they stand and involve them in the process. Give them a good foundation by figure out what areas that truly need extra help in and lay out some ground rules. Homeschooling can be a joyful journey. Enjoy the freedom and the time you have with your children! It will go by so fast!

Table of Contents

How do I transition from public school to homeschool?

Here are nine tips to ease the transition from public school to homeschool:

  1. Bring your kids into the conversation.
  2. Make it legal.
  3. Don’t recreate school at home.
  4. Give time to adjust and de-school.
  5. Enter relationship boot camp.
  6. Find a support network.
  7. Plan social times with both old and new friends.
  8. Tweak as you go.

Can you homeschool for one semester?

Whatever your reason for choosing it, temporary homeschooling is a way to take more control over your child’s academic instruction. You may homeschool for only a semester or a year, or you may find you want to continue for longer.

Can you get a degree from Khan Academy?

Khan Academy is not an accredited school and work done on the site does not count towards a diploma or degree program. The only certificates available on Khan Academy are: Teacher training certificates.

Is Khan Academy really free?

Created by experts, Khan Academy’s library of trusted, standards-aligned practice and lessons covers math K-12 through early college, grammar, science, history, AP®, SAT®, and more. It’s all free for learners and teachers.

How accurate is Khan Academy?

No one had taken the real exam yet. Since then, The College Board has released Practice Tests 5-8 on Khan Academy. Because the Khan Academy tests are actually released by The College Board, they are generally regarded as official and accurate material.

Is Khan Academy good for college students?

No matter what you’re majoring in, or which gen-ed course is tripping you up, Khan Academy is a valuable asset to learners everywhere. With thousands of tutorials on countless subjects, help is literally only a few clicks of the mouse away. The best part? You can get a ton of help from anywhere, anytime, for FREE!

What is the highest level of math in college?

There is no “highest” level. In addition to undergraduate courses there are also courses for graduate students. That includes those working on their PhD’s.

How many years of math are required in college?

Both the UC and California State University require three years of high school math but recommend four as part of the A-G courses that students must take to be eligible for admission. Historically, that typically includes Algebra 1, Geometry and Algebra 2, which often leads to Calculus.

How to transition from public school to homeschool

Thanks for sharing!

So, you’ve made the decision. The hardest decision of your life, but you’ve made it. You’ve decided to homeschool. Now that the big decision is made, though, there are of course new questions without answers! Ah, so is life. Always a new problem, always a new question. One of those questions is: how are you going to transition your kids from 6.5 hours in a public-school classroom to your new homeschool routine? The answer (If I may be so bold) is de-schooling. Not to be mistaken with unschooling. I’m talking about de-schooling.

What is De-Schooling

De-schooling is giving your kids a break. No “school” at all. Nada. Zip. Zilch. No matter how flexible your kids may or may-not be, adjusting from “regular school” to homeschool is a big deal.

They’re leaving a place where they sat in a room with at least 20 other kids the same age. They’ve likely been conditioned to think that school is the only place to learn. They also may think home is only a place for fun. And snacks. Why? Why so many snacks? I digress.

How to transition from public school to homeschool

Unfortunately for the homeschool parent, your child might believe their school-teacher knows absolutely everything. Also, as far as they’re concerned, you’re just a good hugger that bakes good cupcakes. And while I know you do more than bake good cupcakes (which is more than I can say for myself), your child will have to grow to learn that you are so much more than that. And they will, I promise.

They just need time to realize that Mom (or Dad) is more than the person that loves them, feeds them, and tucks them into bed at night. Through homeschool, they’ll soon see that you’re an individual with passions, knowledge and a desire to learn (just like them).

When we decided to homeschool, a friend of mine (4 years my veteran in homeschooling) suggested some time to de-school. After she suggested that, I didn’t really think we’d need it. My younger son had only been in Kindergarten for a couple weeks (so he wasn’t really in much of a school routine) and my oldest is super easy-going. I figured he would go from regular school to homeschool without much of a blink.

When Pokemon Ruined all my plans.

But, as it turns out, a few days before their last day at “regular school,” some kids introduced my oldest son to Pokemon. POKEMON. My son was hooked. Pretty sure he has no clue what Pokemon actually is… but someone lent him a few cards to start trading, and the rest is history.

Because of Pokemon, my oldest son informed me he no longer wanted to be homeschooled. Because he wouldn’t be able to trade cards with his friends at school. WHAT IS HAPPENING. That is all I could think. My plans to blissfully slide into homeschooling had been de-railed by a few kids and their Pokemon cards. I knew I now had an uphill battle to climb to get him excited about homeschool again. So, I decided at least a week of de-schooling was in order.

Our De-Schooling Activities

What that looked like for us is this: I baked (which I hate, but they love), I planned hikes, I planned a trip to the zoo with some homeschool families, and most important of all, I logged onto Amazon Prime and ordered some hockey and basketball cards. While I’m not a fan of Pokemon cards, I have no problem with trading cards in general. Apparently, I also have no problem bribing my children when necessary.

For you, it may not be Pokemon causing a difficult transition. In fact, it’s probably not, because that’s weirdly specific. Perhaps it’s that your kid loved his teacher. Or has a solid group of friends. Or perhaps the transition will be hard because they hate everything about school, and can’t see yet how homeschool might be different. Perhaps they’re having trouble adjusting to the fact that their “teacher” will no longer be a paid professional, but their parent.

Give them opportunities to see you in a different light. Allow them opportunities to see themselves in a different light. Give them a chance to start thinking about school in a different light. Depending on your kids, take a week (or 2, or 3, or more) to just have some fun together. Ask them what they’d like to do during these weeks off.

How to transition from public school to homeschool

Discover What They Love

What they’re excited about may surprise you. Maybe they want to go to the zoo because they’re fascinated by flamingos. Maybe they want to go to the planetarium because the beauty of stars intrigues them. Perhaps they want to make a trip to the ocean to examine sea shells and play in the sand. Or maybe…. They just want to stay home. After all, home is the place where they’re happiest and can be themselves. Kids have to be so “on” when they’re at school, so it might feel good for them to just be.

The point of de-schooling is to go from that place of hyper-structure, to leaning into a more relaxed schedule. De-schooling is about giving their little brains a rest so that when it’s time to start homeschooling, they’re ready to go. And for you, as the parent, it’s the time to really look at what your kids are interested in. Then the trick is to figure out how you can use that in your homeschool to get them passionate about learning.

Now go! De-School!

If you’re looking for fun ways to fill up your de-schooling time and to embrace the transition from public school to homeschool, try some of the things I suggested. Also, check out the attractions that are local to you. I find there’s so much available in my area that I never take advantage of! Homeschooling and de-schooling gives you a chance to be a tourist in your own town.

Also, check out group-on! They constantly have great deals to super fun places that your kids will love!

If you’re already homeschooling, did you go through a “de-schooling” period? If so, how did it go and what sort of things did you do? And if you plan to start homeschooling soon, what will you do to de-school? Let me know in the comments! Remember- the transition to homeschool doesn’t have to be scary… In fact… It can be pretty awesome!

Home > From Public School To Homeschool: 9 Tips To Transition

Only 2 months in and I don’t know if I’m cut out for this. I am struggling with the constant complaining or annoyance of having to “do school”. I have a 1st grader and I don’t want to spend all day schooling, but with his habits of lollygagging and complaints, it takes him forever to complete a simple task simply because of his negative attitude. Please help!! I don’t want to throw in the towel, but I’m sooo close!

Sound familiar? Here’s a little secret from homeschool mamas: Most, if not all, of us have thought at least once about quitting homeschool!

The task can be even more challenging if your children are coming from public school and are used to “doing school” a certain way. But take heart – you’re not alone!

Many moms have found ways to overcome these obstacles and build a thriving homeschool. Here’s a roundup of their best tips:

Remember the first year is usually the hardest.

Your kids aren’t the only ones adjusting to a transition. You’re making a transition, too – from “mom” to “mom as teacher.”

Many homeschool moms say it took them 6 months to a year to get comfortable in their new roles. During that time, work on gaining your kids’ respect. You can also surprise them by implementing the next tip …

Try “deschooling” or approaching school differently.

As one mom writes, “Find a way to accomplish what you want in a different, more interactive way. Don’t just “do school at home”. Encourage an atmosphere of learning and he will do just fine…. And so will you.”

As one mom writes, which is especially relevant during the preschool years, “Play is still the largest way they’ll learn.”

  1. Visit a park or coffee shop as a homeschool treat (hot chocolate and other goodies can work wonders!).
  2. Play games that develop educational skills. Board games, counting M&Ms, Legos, scavenger hunts, etc. can all be part of your curriculum.
  3. Work on life skills. Cook something that involves fractions and portions; explain the intricacies of lawn mowing and centrifugal forces; etc.

While that’s going on, it also helps to:

Adjust your expectations on parental involvement.

Perhaps you didn’t expect your kids to need this much time in staying focused! It seems like you’re at their side 24/7 just to get pencils moving over paper.

Many homeschoolers have found parental involvement will shift naturally, depending on grade level.

For example, 1st- and 2nd-graders usually need a lot more time going over lessons with you by their side.

By grades 5 and 6, most children have made the adjustment to be independent learners. Even then, however, parents may still need to go over lessons to check everything has been learned and memorized correctly.

Is there also a specific area that your child is struggling in? Once you see the places where your child is dawdling or hanging back in, you can invest more of your time in those areas. Once they improve, they will probably need less time in that area.

Decrease the time spent in “official” school.

As one mom writes, “I’ve said to my second grader that public school is 6-8 hrs of schooling. While at home if he focuses, school is 2-3 hours and he gets to play much more. That did it for him.”

Increase the breaks in-between subjects.

Who says school has to take place in 8 hours like public school?

A lot of homeschoolers have found shorter study times, interspersed by frequent breaks, can boost productivity. One mom says she uses the break times to run errands around the house while her kids play – a win-win for all!

A general guideline is 15-minute breaks for every 1.5 or 2 hours, depending on grade level. Some kids like even shorter schedules, like 5-minute breaks after 15 or 20 minutes. Find whatever works best for you.

Re-evaluate your approach, based on your child’s learning style.

If you’ve never heard the term “learning style,” we recommend HSLDA’s introduction. Several moms have found that curriculum can be part of the problem if it doesn’t fit with your child’s natural way of learning and processing information.

Other moms have found creating an educational philosophy can also help them shape their homeschool in constructive ways that help both student and teacher.

Keep room for positive mom time!

Ironically we can get so caught up in “school” that we forget the reason we do it – to share life and learn together!

Take a moment just to cuddle, read and chit-chat without set agendas. For boys, it can be a time of playful wrestling. Even if they resist at first, who wouldn’t want some positive time with mom?

Act the part (aka “Channel your inner Ma Ingalls”).

One wise mom writes, “Whatever you do, don’t let a little one provoke you to exasperation. Remain firm and gentle, cool, and unruffled. Smile, give high fives, celebrate small victories.”

She cringes whenever parents say, within their children’s hearing, “I don’t know what to do with them!” From her perspective, children need to feel confident that their parents know exactly what to do (even if they don’t). Make sense, in a weird sort of way? ?

Bonus tip: Use your last name as a weapon, to encourage or discourage certain behaviors. Example: “We are Lanesmiths, and we don’t do that.” Or “Oh my! You will need to finish this page, because we are Rhodesons, and we always finish our homework.”

The younger your kids are (and the more unusual your last name is), the likelier they will accept such statements!

Don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself.

We’ve all been there – setting expectations too high, transferring those expectations to our kids, then picking up the pieces after the inevitable failure.

Take time to invest in the important things – and even enjoy the ride.

“Looking back,” says one more mom, “I realize that I was trying to be too rigid. Homeschooling was new for me, too, and I had something to prove. If I could go back and talk to myself in those early days, I would tell myself to relax and above all try to make most of their school time fun. Sure, they will have to accomplish things that they don’t enjoy, but, even if it takes more time, enjoy what you can. … You are shaping them in ways that no other person can.”

This post was originally published in March 2015. It has been updated for timeliness and detail.

Shanxi Omoniyi

Shanxi Omoniyi (@ShanxiO on Twitter) is MPE’s online content director. A homeschool alumna, Shanxi graduated from the University of Kansas with degrees in journalism and English. Her company, Wordspire Media, helps businesses and nonprofits share their stories through content marketing, social media management, and email marketing.

If you are thinking about moving your children from the public school system to homeschooling, you are not alone. With the COVID-19 pandemic upending life all around the world, many parents have found themselves considering keeping their children out of the classroom for the rest of the school year, and some have even decided to entirely switch over to homeschooling. Homeschooling, although quite beneficial, may present some challenges. Every family’s experience will be different and may present unique obstacles to be overcome. One of the biggest challenges that you will have to deal with is in making that transition from the traditional school setup to homeschooling. And it is completely normal especially since most of us have only ever been a part of the public school system.

Here are a few tips that can help ease the transition process:

1. Determine the laws regarding homeschooling in your State

The Homeschool Legal Defense Association (consider joining them!) has excellent resources at https://hslda.org/legal/ to guide you in making sure you proceed properly and with correct documentation but aren’t doing more than required by law. If your local school district tries to require more than the law you can rely on your membership in HLSDA to come to your defense.

2. Determine the learning style of your children

Public school is mostly one-size-fits-all with some exceptions for gifted or challenged students. Homeschool should be about matching the material to your child’s unique learning style. https://bereanbuilders.com/ecomm/what-is-my-childs-learning-style/ can help you determine what you should be looking for in the curriculum you choose.

3. Don’t try to recreate the public school experience at home

During the initial homeschooling days, it can be quite easy to fall into the trap of trying to recreate the public school experience. You could make that mistake while juggling your role as a parent and teacher and even in your approach to teaching. You should, instead, customize your child’s education by integrating it with your personal relationship and everyday lifestyle.

4. Understand the daily schedule

Homeschool does not follow the public school schedule since you are no longer in penal colony mode with head counts and inmate tracking. It won’t take as long to get through your school day. You’ll also be in an immersive experience where a trip to the grocery store incorporates math, grammar, and history. Making lunch can incorporate these same skills. Transit time for your daily schedule is a perfect time to do reading assignments and other schoolwork. Don’t compel yourself to spend one hour on each subject for six or seven hours a day.

5. Remember that it will take time for you and your children to adjust to the new system

Give your new system some time. It will naturally take a while before you and your children are able to adjust to the new normal. It could take anything between a few days to a few months, and there is nothing wrong with that. Start with one or two subjects and then gradually progress to a heavier workload.

6. Keep the plan flexible

One of the most crucial things that you need to do when transitioning from public school to homeschooling is making a plan. But your plan needs to be flexible. Tweak it as you go. You can do all the research you want into creating what seems like the perfect curriculum, but it may not always turn out to be the right fit for your family. Having a flexible plan will allow you to make the necessary changes.

For teaching and learning resources like homeschool science books, check out our online store. We offer a wide variety of books and other resources, including a comprehensive homeschool Physics course, for senior high students.

How to transition from public school to homeschool

Thanks for sharing!

So, you’ve made the decision. The hardest decision of your life, but you’ve made it. You’ve decided to homeschool. Now that the big decision is made, though, there are of course new questions without answers! Ah, so is life. Always a new problem, always a new question. One of those questions is: how are you going to transition your kids from 6.5 hours in a public-school classroom to your new homeschool routine? The answer (If I may be so bold) is de-schooling. Not to be mistaken with unschooling. I’m talking about de-schooling.

What is De-Schooling

De-schooling is giving your kids a break. No “school” at all. Nada. Zip. Zilch. No matter how flexible your kids may or may-not be, adjusting from “regular school” to homeschool is a big deal.

They’re leaving a place where they sat in a room with at least 20 other kids the same age. They’ve likely been conditioned to think that school is the only place to learn. They also may think home is only a place for fun. And snacks. Why? Why so many snacks? I digress.

How to transition from public school to homeschool

Unfortunately for the homeschool parent, your child might believe their school-teacher knows absolutely everything. Also, as far as they’re concerned, you’re just a good hugger that bakes good cupcakes. And while I know you do more than bake good cupcakes (which is more than I can say for myself), your child will have to grow to learn that you are so much more than that. And they will, I promise.

They just need time to realize that Mom (or Dad) is more than the person that loves them, feeds them, and tucks them into bed at night. Through homeschool, they’ll soon see that you’re an individual with passions, knowledge and a desire to learn (just like them).

When we decided to homeschool, a friend of mine (4 years my veteran in homeschooling) suggested some time to de-school. After she suggested that, I didn’t really think we’d need it. My younger son had only been in Kindergarten for a couple weeks (so he wasn’t really in much of a school routine) and my oldest is super easy-going. I figured he would go from regular school to homeschool without much of a blink.

When Pokemon Ruined all my plans.

But, as it turns out, a few days before their last day at “regular school,” some kids introduced my oldest son to Pokemon. POKEMON. My son was hooked. Pretty sure he has no clue what Pokemon actually is… but someone lent him a few cards to start trading, and the rest is history.

Because of Pokemon, my oldest son informed me he no longer wanted to be homeschooled. Because he wouldn’t be able to trade cards with his friends at school. WHAT IS HAPPENING. That is all I could think. My plans to blissfully slide into homeschooling had been de-railed by a few kids and their Pokemon cards. I knew I now had an uphill battle to climb to get him excited about homeschool again. So, I decided at least a week of de-schooling was in order.

Our De-Schooling Activities

What that looked like for us is this: I baked (which I hate, but they love), I planned hikes, I planned a trip to the zoo with some homeschool families, and most important of all, I logged onto Amazon Prime and ordered some hockey and basketball cards. While I’m not a fan of Pokemon cards, I have no problem with trading cards in general. Apparently, I also have no problem bribing my children when necessary.

For you, it may not be Pokemon causing a difficult transition. In fact, it’s probably not, because that’s weirdly specific. Perhaps it’s that your kid loved his teacher. Or has a solid group of friends. Or perhaps the transition will be hard because they hate everything about school, and can’t see yet how homeschool might be different. Perhaps they’re having trouble adjusting to the fact that their “teacher” will no longer be a paid professional, but their parent.

Give them opportunities to see you in a different light. Allow them opportunities to see themselves in a different light. Give them a chance to start thinking about school in a different light. Depending on your kids, take a week (or 2, or 3, or more) to just have some fun together. Ask them what they’d like to do during these weeks off.

How to transition from public school to homeschool

Discover What They Love

What they’re excited about may surprise you. Maybe they want to go to the zoo because they’re fascinated by flamingos. Maybe they want to go to the planetarium because the beauty of stars intrigues them. Perhaps they want to make a trip to the ocean to examine sea shells and play in the sand. Or maybe…. They just want to stay home. After all, home is the place where they’re happiest and can be themselves. Kids have to be so “on” when they’re at school, so it might feel good for them to just be.

The point of de-schooling is to go from that place of hyper-structure, to leaning into a more relaxed schedule. De-schooling is about giving their little brains a rest so that when it’s time to start homeschooling, they’re ready to go. And for you, as the parent, it’s the time to really look at what your kids are interested in. Then the trick is to figure out how you can use that in your homeschool to get them passionate about learning.

Now go! De-School!

If you’re looking for fun ways to fill up your de-schooling time and to embrace the transition from public school to homeschool, try some of the things I suggested. Also, check out the attractions that are local to you. I find there’s so much available in my area that I never take advantage of! Homeschooling and de-schooling gives you a chance to be a tourist in your own town.

Also, check out group-on! They constantly have great deals to super fun places that your kids will love!

If you’re already homeschooling, did you go through a “de-schooling” period? If so, how did it go and what sort of things did you do? And if you plan to start homeschooling soon, what will you do to de-school? Let me know in the comments! Remember- the transition to homeschool doesn’t have to be scary… In fact… It can be pretty awesome!

How to transition from public school to homeschool

Change is not a favorite among children. One may argue that adults don’t often love change much either. As such, parents need to prepare to transition their children from public to homeschooling. Part of that preparation will be for the parent and part of it for the child. This will be a big change for both of you. However, it can be a very exciting one.

1. Be clear about why you’ve decided to homeschool

There are undoubtedly legitimate reasons you’ve decided to homeschool your child. You may feel uncomfortable with the public school curriculum, you may notice your child loosing their love of learning, and you may notice your child is falling behind in school, despite being very capable of academic success. Perhaps you want to give your child an education that is more satisfying to their curiosity of the world, with a less rigid schedule. You could simply believe homeschooling is a better form of education. Whatever the reason is, write it down, say it out loud, or talk to loved ones, so that you can solidify your intentions. That way if things become difficult during the transition, you can feel firm in your decision to homeschool, and refer back to your very clearly defined goal.

2. Research

The beneficial research for homeschool spans many different areas.

First, read about and have conversations with other parents who have decided to homeschool. You can find numerous conversations via forum posts. Websites like welltrainedmind.com offer countless threads about why you should or should not homeschool.

Investigate community resources.
You may find activities or programs for homeschool children offered at your public library or recreation center. Some school districts offer free curriculum and support if you enroll in their school district. There are numerous states that offer these kind of programs. BookShark can confirm that California, Hawaii, Alaska, Washington, Colorado, Wisconsin and Idaho all offer publicly funded support and curriculum.

Find local homeschooling cooperatives and support groups.
You may be surprised at how willing your local homeschool community will be to share activities, ideas and lessons. One mother in your community may have been a biology major and want to host weekly labs at her house. Another community member may have been in theater and want to start a theater group for the homeschool (and perhaps public school) students. You’ll never know until you investigate. What might you be able to offer as a community class?

Take a look at the various types of curriculum available for homeschooling.
BookShark’s program is literature-based. Many families find it to be an effective and enjoyable way for their children to learn, as well as a way to build deeper relationships within the family dynamic. Read more about the benefits of a literature-based curriculum here.

3. Become familiar with the learning style of your child

There are seven defined learning styles of human beings. They are visual, aural, verbal, physical, logical, social and solitary. If you are having a difficult time identifying your child or children’s learning style, they can take an assessment test online. A good public school educator will incorporate all seven learning styles into lesson plans. However, it can be difficult for a traditional school educator with a classroom of 20+ children to cater to every child’s individual style. Understanding how your child learns, and focusing your lessons in such a way to accommodate their style, will provide your child with a tremendous opportunity to learn more, and learn better.

How to transition from public school to homeschool4. Set goals

Unless you have a background in education, schooling can end up being whirlwind that takes on a life of its own. It’s helpful to create a list of goals for the semester in advance. What specific skills do you want to focus on to create a base level for all further education? What parts of history do you want your child to know by the end of the semester? How many books do you want him or her to have read? There are many different goals that can be set in addition to the goals set forth with your chosen curriculum. Write them down and keep them handy. This will help focus you, and orient your curriculum and activates in the most productive way possible. Fortunately, the BookShark Curriculum in full-grade packages offers you everything you need to educate your child or children for a full academic year.

5. Set up a home work area

You don’t want your entire house to feel like a school. That will make it more difficult for you and your child to ever feel like you are truly taking a break. Create a schooling area in your house. Get supplies you will need—like paper, pens, notebooks, index cards, markers, craft supplies—and organize them. Place all of the books you will be using in one convenient bookshelf. It would be ideal for this space to be comfortable and have natural lighting, so that it feels positive and inviting.

6. Prepare to spend time de-schooling

Public school has a clear schedule, certain expected behavior and a set amount of activities. Children are around other children all day long, and they are also able to slip into the cracks. Homeschooling provides the opportunity for an entirely different approach to learning. Schedules can be more relaxed, lessons can be focused on things your child is already interested in, and the one on one attention is a complete turn-around. While these things are positive, they are also an adjustment for your child. You may hear questions like, “I don’t even understand what I am supposed to be doing.” When learning starts to look and feel differently, a child may think something is wrong.

It is just a matter of time and adjustment. Don’t try to recreate a public school in your home. Remember that the amount of hours a child is at public school is not equal to the amount of hours they are actually learning something. Keep learning sessions reasonable and ease into things. Eventually, your new schedule will become normal to the child and they will be fully immersed in their new way of learning.

The six steps above are an excellent start to preparing for the adventure of homeschooling. The more prepared you are, the more confident you will feel as you transition into being more responsible for the education of your child.

How to transition from public school to homeschool

You may be wondering how to switch from public school to homeschool… if that’s the case, let us help!

Many parents make this choice for starting homeschool mid-year, often during the winter break. In fact, in a recent survey conducted at Homeschool.com, we found that nearly 40% of all homeschoolers started homeschooling in the middle of the year! It’s certainly a big decision and one that you’ve probably been mulling over for a while. And now that you’ve started, challenges that you may or may not have anticipated are popping up. After all, homeschool and public school are vastly different.

Almost every parent goes through this experience regardless of when they start homeschooling, so it’s not unique if you are making the transition mid-year. And don’t be surprised if, during this transition period, you wonder if this was a mistake and second-guess your decision. That’s just the anxiety talking. You can do this, and with a little help, you’ll overcome your fears and succeed! Knowing what you’re up against can help you overcome the challenges for how to transfer from public school to homeschool, so here is a list of what you may encounter and some ideas for getting through it.

Understand Your Child’s Learning Pace

Every child learns at a different pace. Some learn faster than others. If your child is moving slowly, it may be a result of them not fully understanding some of the subjects they were studying in public school. Remember, the teacher was instructing a classroom of students and likely couldn’t provide one-on-one instruction.

Homeschooling gives you the flexibility to review previous lessons so your child gets a better grip on the subject matter. Try not to focus on how long it takes to go through lessons. What matters most is that you and your child are focusing on the main concepts and skills required for each subject. Let your child set their own pace.

If your child is breezing through their lessons quickly, don’t rush to push them up a grade. You could add different components to make it more challenging, such as journaling or educational videos. Getting through the textbook is not the goal–learning and understanding the subject matter is.

Determine Your Student’s Grade Level

If you believe your child is below their grade level, you have choices. If you haven’t already reached out to their teacher, set up a meeting. You can discuss your child’s performance in the classroom and use it as a starting point. With your help and guidance, your child will find their way learning in an environment that encourages nurturing and one-on-one communication without the distractions inherent in a public school setting. There are also some homeschooling curriculum options that allow you to start subjects at your student’s current grade level and shift up or down as needed. Grades are a different dynamic entirely between homeschool and public school.

Find A Support Group

Homeschooling does not have to be a lonely process. Millions of other parents homeschool their children, but finding a support group can be tough. Seek out companionship by becoming involved in homeschool groups, co-ops, or church activities if you’re religious. There are even online parent forums for connecting with homeschoolers in your area, participate in discussions, ask questions and swap ideas. Homeschool and public school feel very different, so the support group will help provide answers to the questions and struggles that are inevitably going to arise.

Once you find parents who share your values, make plans for trips to the park, play dates, and other activities. Your children will also meet new friends and then understand that homeschooling is not so unusual — children just like them learn from home, too! That can help ease the anxiety you and your children may feel when beginning to homeschool mid-year.

Choose a Curriculum

If you’ve already looked into your curriculum options, your head is probably spinning. There is no shortage of options. They include online books, workbooks, CD-ROMs, DVDs, audio files, interactive TV, lap-books, standard textbooks and more. There’s also no shortage of type when choosing the types of learning tools you’ll be investing in. The keyword is “types.” Homeschoolers don’t always find one single curriculum that fits entire needs. Many families use a blend of curricula and types.

For example, an online learning system has the ability to combine interactive lessons, multimedia reinforcement activities, printable worksheets, and learning games. Online homeschool curricula encourage student-paced learning, which helps children ramp up as they start this new adventure. And when they finish their lessons, many parents have them write in journals or work through a reading list. Once you’ve become acquainted with various tools, you can pick and choose the ones that best work for your student.

Take a Deep Breath

Once parents start homeschooling, they may feel anxious about keeping up with the public school system. They may also be excited, nervous, and a bit overstimulated. You may feel the same way. Just take a deep breath. Try to remember that it’s not a race. Starting to homeschool mid-year can be overwhelming, but it’s okay. Homeschooling is a journey with its own peaks and valleys. It takes time to establish a routine that works for everyone. So, try to give yourself a break. You’ll get there, and so will your student.

This is the perfect time to experiment with a homeschool curriculum, find your child’s learning style, and create a homeschooling space that is functional, fun, and inspirational. Talk with other homeschoolers, sit down with your children and find out what’s on their minds. Consider starting your own homeschooling journal so you remember everything you’re learning, too.

Soon, you’ll have your own routine that your child feels comfortable with on a daily basis. Until then, enjoy the journey.

Latest Articles

Questions About Homeschooling

Do you have questions about how to start homeschooling? Not sure what the first step as a new homeschooler might be? Well, you’ve come to the…

How to Start Homeschooling

How to Homeschool and Start Today! Did you know that nearly 40% of homeschoolers started homeschooling in the middle of a school year? Hello!…

10th Annual Back to Homeschool Awards WINNERS!

Are you planning your homeschool year? Not sure if what’s on your “to buy” list is really an “A list” curriculum? You’re not alone! The…

Register: Back to Homeschool Virtual Conference!