A transition from public school to homeschool may seem like a daunting task for you and your children to face, but not when you are prepared with a few simple tricks up your sleeve. While there are big differences between a public school environment and a homeschool environment, you can make the transition with few problems. Our tips will help you to make this transition easier to manage while not feeling overwhelmed.
How To Transition From Public School To Homeschool With Ease
Making the first few days, weeks, and months of homeschooling easier for both you and your children is the goal. The transition from public school to homeschool can be culture shock to some, and can be an easy transition to others. Depending on your individual family dynamic and the needs of your children, these tips can ease a lot of the struggle and make it easy to manage this new adventure in education.
Evaluate what was working for your child in public school. There is always a reason behind your desire to homeschool. For many, this reason is poor education in a public school, religious reasons, or a child with special needs. Whatever your reason for the change is, you will need to understand what was actually working for your child in the public schooling system so you can make sure to incorporate that in your homeschool program.
This mostly will center around the teaching methods that were allowing your child to learn easily. If your child was struggling in all subjects, then this may not be something to consider. For most kids however, there are certain structures and method that really seem to help them to grasp a concept. If you have the chance to talk to their teachers and get this information, or have observed in your home with them, it will help make your early days of homeschooling easier to manage. Having a direction to begin with takes a lot of stress off your shoulders.
Start strong with a schedule. Many kids will think going from public school to homeschool means they can sleep in every day, have no real schedule, and will spend more time playing or watching TV. Start your homeschool classes strong with a schedule that works for them and your family. Many choose a lax environment, but there should still be some standards and rules in place so everyone knows what is expected of them.
Don’t get discouraged if it takes a few weeks to establish a functional routine, just don’t give up. It is vital to you and your children to continue trying until you find a schedule and system that keeps everyone on track easily and comfortably to accomplish the tasks required.
Setting up a homeschool classroom is a great idea, but if you don’t have space for that, at the least you need some standards and rules. We love using a dry erase or chalkboard calendar to show what work should be completed each day independently so if the parent is busy tending something around the house, the child can easily step up and get to work. Designated times, work stations, and even setting alarms for breaks can make a huge difference.
Keep your kids in contact with their friends. Some of the biggest public school to homeschool transition issues are the changes in seeing friends as often. Just because your kids won’t be seeing their friends every day doesn’t mean that they can’ stay in contact with them. If you are still in the same city or neighborhood, make regular play dates, sleepovers, and even joint homework time a must.
Unless there have been bullying issues or other behavioral problems that have occurred as result of friendships, there is no need to cut ties to your kids friends that still attend public school. They need to feel a bit of balance, and continuing to cultivate these friendships is vital to their emotional and educational development.
Get involved in a homeschool group. One of the best investments in the public school to homeschool transition is to locate and join a local homeschool group. These groups provide kids with a chance to make new friends, check out different subjects and topics you may not be covering in you classroom, and to work on those social skills so many worry about.
There are many locations that offer a homeschool co-op that allows you to drop your kids off weekly for special classes like music, art, chemistry, and other homeschool needs that many parents don’t have the desire to cover by themselves. Some co-ops and groups require a monthly fee to participate, and others only require you to volunteer a few hours a year.
Homeschool groups are also a great place for you to meet other homeschool families, make friends, swap tips, and even do book and curriculum sales and exchanges. They have a ton of great tips and help that you may not find from online sources.
Incorporate fun advantages not available in public school. One great way to make kids feel more comfortable about the transition from public school to homeschool is to show them some of the fun advantages of homeschooling. This could include things like going on road trips and vacations at odd times of the year and homeschooling on the road. For others, it may be having a weekly lunch or play date in the middle of the day. Some kids just love the fact that they can do school work in their pajamas or that their parents let them sleep late and start school later in the day. Showing your kids advantages to homeschooling can help them look forward to the transition even more.
While a change from public school to homeschool may be something you’ve been planning for some time, it can still be a tough transition for many families. As you adapt, you’ll learn the things that work for your family and child best. These tips are just a few that have been useful in the past for those who are now long-term homeschoolers, and hopefully they will help you and your children make the adjustment also with ease.