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Can I Begin Homeschooling Mid-year?

Tips to begin homeschooling during the school year

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Yes, you can! Homeschooling is legal in all 50 states, and you can begin homeschooling at any time. Many families choose to begin homeschooling mid-year due to problems at the school, kids falling behind, illnesses, or just feeling that it's time. The semester break is a perfect time to make the change; however, you can take them out at any time.

If you are considering taking your child out of public or private school during the school year, be sure to do your homework and follow the laws and requirements of your state.

Steps to take:

  • Check out your state laws. It is important to follow the laws and take the appropriate steps required by your state.
  • Your statewide homeschooling association can offer advice on the steps to take to remove your child from school.
  • Your local homeschool support group can also help with the specifics and can usually assist with the procedure by providing forms, requesting the school records, helping with curriculum advice, etc.
  • You'll need to make curriculum decisions and purchases. Sometimes, it is possible to use the school books that the children were using in school, but don't count on it.
Other concerns:

  • Socialization - Your child might miss his friends and feel lonely. You can help him through this period by inviting his friends over and getting involved in outside activities. Homeschool support groups offer many opportunities for kids to get together for field trips, park days, and homeschool coop classes. There are many opportunities for field trips in your own community - go as a family or invite a friend.
  • Deschooling - you might need to begin slowly and give your child time to heal and adjust to the change. You might want to spend a couple of weeks just keeping up with math and reading some quality books. Spend some time doing hands-on projects and letting him pursue topics that interest him through unit studies.
  • Course of Study - If you are using graded curriculum, you can pretty well trust that everything is being covered. If you are going to put your own curriculum together, you can refer to the Typical Course of Study for guidance.
  • Organization and Record Keeping - This series of articles can help give you ideas on organization and record keeping.
  • For online support, visit the homeschooling forum.
Homeschooling is a big step and takes teamwork. It is a good time to get to know your child again. Talk with him and be sensitive and understanding to his feelings. Be enthusiastic, start slow, have patience, but most of all - relax and have fun!

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