Our Family

Our Family

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Bringing Your Child Home From Public School

There are many, many different reasons families are deciding to bring their children home from Public School and start teaching them at home.  Problems with curriculum that is taught, children either being way ahead or behind the rest of the classroom, negative peer influence, illness, moving, are all some of the reasons people choose to remove their child from the public school system.  After the decision is made to bring your child home, what do you do next?

If you haven't already done so, you need to look into your state's homeschooling laws.  You need to know what you need to do to take your child out of school legally and also what the requirements are for homeschoolers in your state.  Do not expect your school or counselors to be a lot of help in this matter.  As a rule, the public school system is not "for" homeschooling and will probably try to discourage you.  They also do not know all of the laws and requirements for homeschooling and may steer you in the wrong direction.  I spoke recently to a lady who had been told by her school that the only way homeschooling classes "counted" is if they are accredited (wrong!)  Do your own research.   A good place to start looking for information would be the HSLDA (Homeschool Legal Defense Association.) They have a lot of information on homeschooling and a link to every state's laws.  If you are homeschooling here in Arkansas, visit The Education Alliance website. You will find out about Arkansas homeschool laws, support groups, and plenty of articles and information about homeschooling.

One of the hardest things to do is to decide on a curriculum.  I struggle when I am talking to new homeschoolers because they just want to know what "the best" is.  It is not that simple.  One of the best things about homeschooling is freedom to choose the best fit for your own child.  There are so many wonderful homeschooling products that are available.  What is best for my 14 year old daughter may not be best for yours.  You have to decide what you want for your homeschool.  Do you want to "school at home?" ( meaning doing a public school type curriculum in your home), or do you want to homeschool? (tailor your child's education to their individual wants and needs.)   Do you want your child to use an online program or physical books?  Do you want a creation based program?  Do you want to buy everything from one company, or pick and choose from different companies?  Do you have an idea of what you are able to spend?  What are your child's interests?  Is your child a hands on learner or do they learn better by reading?  What are your child's goals?  Those are some of the questions that may narrow down the kind of curriculum you are looking for. 

Use the internet when searching for curriculum.  Read reviews.  Don't pay attention to whether or not people liked about the product.  Instead, read why they did or did not like it.  Those reasons will help you decide if something will be a good fit for your family.

Talk to other homeschoolers about their experiences.  It is very helpful to talk to people that have already been through bringing their child home from public school.  They can share with you what they went through and how they made the transition and adjustments that come with big changes.  If you can't find any local people to talk to in person, look online.  The web is full of homeschoolers and homeschool blogs. 

Give yourself and your child some time to transition.  Going from public school to homeschool is a big change.  Give both of you time to adjust and get into a routine, especially if you are pulling them out in the middle of the school year.  Allow for flexibility in your schedule.  Sometimes our plans don't work as well when they are set into motion.  If its not working try something else.

Pray!  Ask for God's favor during the transition.  Ask for wisdom and direction for your homeschool.  He will give us what we need, all we have to do is ask.
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