Ready to ditch public school and begin homeschooling? Here's how you do it.
Want to homeschool but don't know how to start? Read on...
“A wise man makes his own decisions. An ignorant man follows public opinion” - A Chinese Proverb, Google
If you're stuck doing something that makes you or your family unhappy then it's time to mom up and make a change no matter how scary it seems. I'll let you in on a little secret, the hardest part is making the decision.
#Homeschooling has been both the best and scariest decision I've made as a mom. It was scary because I wasn't well informed and I didn't know anyone in the world that even knew about homeschooling themselves. Once I made the decision, looking back, I realize that was the simple task. When you decide to #homeschool your life will change, for the better if you let it, but it will change. What made various seasons of homeschooling seem frustrating and scary was the lack of support honestly, the lack of community and just positivity surrounding my decision to homeschool. So that's what I'm here to offer you!
Give homeschool a try, worst case scenario, you can always put your child(children) back into public school, then take a deep breath and be calm knowing that there really isn't a way to mess this up.
Assuming you've done your due diligence and have brushed up on your state's laws and requirements, because they're different in every state, then we can safely move on to step 1
**NOTE** If you are NOT in Texas these steps may NOT apply to you, so please check your state homeschool laws here.
Step 1: The Letter
“Write a letter or email to your child's school notifying them of your intent to homeschool”
Step 1 is writing a letter to notify the school that you're withdrawing your child and that you plan to homeschool. It's called a "Letter of Intent" and it needs to have the following information:
Your child's name, date of birth and grade level
Your name, contact phone number and email address
Withdrawal date, homeschool subjects you plan to teach and when you plan to start.
You can find a copy of this letter at HSLDA.org after you become a member, which yes, I recommend. I've been a member since I began homeschooling 6+ years ago.
I recommend you email the school principal and copy the assistant principal, attendance office, child's teachers and front desk.
Writing an email vs doing this in person will serve 2 purposes;
One: It will give you confidence. Listen, making the decision to homeschool and battling our self doubt and fear has been hard enough, the last thing you want is to show up to school to withdraw your kids and have to see the judgment written all over someone's face regarding your decision to homeschool.
Even worse, to be bullied out of your decision. Not everyone will experience this nor will every school administrator care enough to talk you our of your decision but it does happen, I've heard it so many times, so why risk it?
Two: Paper trail. When you email the school district and copy those other people then you are leaving almost no room for miscommunication. Everything will be time stamped and in black and white for all to see. Make sure you print a copy of all the correspondence emails and then save them online as well.
Step 2: The Fun Part
So many moms make the mistake of starting homeschool immediately after withdrawing their children from school, myself included, so trust me when I tell you that this is NOT very productive.
Instead I advice you take a 1 month vacation. I advice this because looking back, had I done this one simple step, I would've saved myself so much overwhelm and frustration. Like with any new venture or big change in life, things may get a little rough before it's smooth sailing, so take a load off.
During this time work together with your kids to UNLEARN everything you know about education. Coming from a public school background, we must unlearn or at least be okay with letting go of all we've been taught education is.
Take advantage of this time to establish goals and learn all you need to about your children so that all the other decisions heading your way don't turn into overwhelming and frustrating moments. Here's what you need to look out for during this time off.
Pay attention to how your day naturally flows now that everyone will be home all day.
Who is a morning person and who isn't?
Is you child a visual learner or auditory? maybe text book is their thing, pay attention to their learning style
Who works better independently and who needs group activities or interaction?
Figure out your child's attention span, that's the time you will have to deliver information to your child before you can gradually increase this attention span.
See all of this matters when creating a homeschool routine & when shopping for homeschool curriculum.
I can almost guarantee you that buying curricula or memberships before figuring out all of the above, will result in wasted time, effort and money. Additionally, use this time off to scout and attend several homeschool groups in your area and see where you and your child fit in best, it's always good to establish some connections by the time you get started.
You're ready to begin your homeschool journey, best of luck! I'm rooting for you!