We’ve looked at lots of things on our Considering Homeschool journey: legal aspects, methods, curriculum, and budgeting to name a few.
But what does all of this mean if you’re not homeschooling from the beginning? How do you transition from public or private school into homeschool life? Overall, the to-do list doesn’t change much from my previous suggestions, but the emphasis changes a bit.
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My first post in this Considering Homeschool series referred to research, reflection and reading. If a transition to homeschool is in your future, all three of those things are still critical. You’ve got to do some reading to figure out what homeschooling actually is and how it works with different family dynamics. I still recommend Lisa Whelchel’s So You’re Thinking About Homeschooling for a starting place.
Secondly, reflection is still needed in order to proceed with planning for your homeschool. Consider the core reasons you’re considering this transition.
If the reasons for considering homeschool are related to the public/private school learning environment, please be sure to consider which homeschool method (or style) would likely meet your child’s needs. You don’t have to get it right instantly, but if workbooks and textbooks aren’t helping your child thrive, then placing some workbooks on the table and calling it “school” probably isn’t going to bring out the best in your child either.
If you’re transitioning mid-semester, it’s okay to take time and do this research then. Don’t rush into a method or purchasing supplies and curriculum just for the sake of doing “school.” It’s okay to allow some adjustment time; in fact, it’s recommended.
Lastly, aside from the same legal research for any homeschool family, I would suggest contacting your child’s teacher or school board for a scope and sequence of his current or most recent grade level. Regardless of the homeschool method and curriculum you choose, you’ll need a scope and sequence to let you know what was covered previously.
You may choose to review topics and subjects that caused problems for your child; then again, you may simply need it for your future lesson planning or curriculum decisions. Either way, having the information available will make your transition much smoother.
I also recommend buying a copy of Home Learning Year by Year. This book and your child’s most recent scope and sequence will give you a great foundation for your homeschool transition. The scope and sequence will show what’s been covered, but Home Learning Year by Year can give you suggestions on what to cover for each subject and grade.
It’s not a curriculum, but it’s a wonderful resource for navigating your way in homeschooling, especially if you’re not locked in on a method yet. Of all my homeschool-related books, this is the one I use the most; I imagine that a family transitioning to homeschool would find it all the more helpful.
While I’ve never experienced a transition from public/private school to homeschool, I do know that homeschool has been such a blessing for our family. I could go on and on about how much we love it, but there’s laundry to fold. I can guarantee that it will be an adjustment for you and your kids and I can guarantee that you’ll consume more coffee than you ever dreamed.
I can also promise that you’re getting an unbelievable chance to speak life into your children all day long.
One last thing before moving on to our last Considering Homeschool stop is just to remember that homeschool isn’t just school at home. It took me time to realize that.
Homeschool is a learning lifestyle. Sure, there are methods in place, lesson plans, and curriculum purchases on Black Friday (at least in our house!), but the goal isn’t to mimic the public or private school your kids just left. Embrace the difference, Mama! It’s a good thing.