• I Tried Homeschoooling and I Like It!


    Just a few short weeks ago, you headed off to work, kids were in public school, life was normal. COVID-19 hits and overnight our world changes. You are now working from home, the kids are distance learning and while you expected to hate it…. You are kind of loving this homeschooling gig.

    Loving it enough that maybe you want to continue after our world returns to the “new normal.” Secular homeschool is here to help you understand how to transition from public school to homeschool. The process may seem daunting, but it really isn’t.

    Becoming a Full-Fledged Homeschooler

    • First, decide if this is 100% for you. That may mean talking with your spouse or partner. Sit down with the kids. If they are not on board, it may be difficult to continue.
    • Read up on your state laws. Every state is different and while you have been “homeschooling” the last few weeks, it is considered schooling at home via public school and therefore NOT homeschooling under the eyes of your local school district.
    • If required, file your letter of intent with your district. Be forewarned, many districts are stating that they are not accepting letters of intent for the current school year (2019-2020). Normally, you may become a homeschooler at any point in the year.
    • Start a file folder, keep all your required papers pertaining to homeschooling together. Even if your state has little requirements, I highly recommend this. Laws change, it is better to be prepared. Plus, if you move while homeschooling, you have proof to present to your new school district.
    • Do the happy dance, you are now a homeschooler! Congrats!

    Wait, what did you do? Deep breath. Breathe in, breathe out. You got this. The Secular Homeschool team has your back. I have been exactly where you are. Really. We pulled my son over issues at public school, made the knee-jerk decision to homeschool, informed the school, filed our letter of intent and then I had a panic attack. Guess what? I survived. My kids survived. And in reality, they didn’t just survive, they thrived. We loved homeschooling. Best decision ever.

    Now what happens?

    Decide what you would like to do from here. Do you want to jump in with both feet and start homeschooling immediately? Do you want to take a break on the transition from public school to homeschool? Deschool? Unschool? We took a short 2 week break. I wanted to make sure switching from public school to homeschool went smoothly for us. I needed to figure out our curriculum, are we book learners or online learners? I needed to create a homeschool zone. What kind of schedule works for us? Understand that you don’t have to become a homeschooler overnight. You have time. The best part of homeschooling is that you can take your time.

    • Deschooling: You are taking a 100% break from any type of schooling. You want to remove the idea of public school from their system. Rule of thumb among homeschoolers is 1-4 weeks of deschooling per each year of public school attended. This may seem a little much to some. It did to me. I know my son, if we had taken 7 months (pulled him in 6th grade) off of any type of school, I would have lost him to electronics and it would have been a battle to get him back on track. We did 2 weeks. It worked for us.
    • Unschooling: You school around your child and their interests. This can mean ALL of their school can be based around their interest or part of it. Example: They are into dinosaurs.

      • read up on dinosaurs = reading, language arts
      • write a report on dinosaurs = writing, language arts
      • measuring dinosaurs = math, and so on.

    • Book Learning: Create your own curriculum from assorted choices or you can purchase a textbook based complete curriculum. Electronics are used sparingly, sometimes not at all.
    • Online Learning: The use of the internet to find classes, online curriculum, research or even participate in live classes.
    • Public School Schedule: Choose to follow the same schedule as your public school in terms of attendance, breaks, and school closures. This can be helpful if your child still has a sibling or friends in public school. We tried this our first year, and it worked, but we decided we wanted more flexibility.
    • Year-Round Schooling: Flexibility of homeschooling at its finest. You can homeschool all year, taking breaks when they suit you. Many people choose to homeschool inside during the heat of summer and cold of winter but take off spring and fall. You can homeschool on weekends because of extra activities during the week. We choose to homeschool Monday-Thursday with Friday being our out-of-the-house day for extra curriculars; park days with friends, PE class, airsoft meet-ups, museum trips, etc.

    Return to Public School

    You tried it, you liked it but life changes have occurred and you need to re-enroll the kids in public school. Don’t be upset, this happens more often than you think. Check with your district to see what is required.

    • Your kids may be required to test to be placed in appropriate grade levels.
    • You may be required to present samples of their work (remember that file folder I mentioned earlier).
    • It also may be as simple as signing them up. Every state is different and every district within that state can have specific requirements.

    Transitioning from homeschool back to public school may take some adjustment for everyone but it is possible. Remember the transition from public school to homeschooling didn’t happen overnight. Whatever decision you make, it is for your kids' benefit. You know them best and Secular Homeschool is here to assist you in any way possible.

    If you have any questions, need to chat, vent, or whatever…. You can always email me at [email protected]
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