There is no denying the fact that choosing to homeschool your children is not an easy decision. Parents homeschooling their children right from the beginning find the process relatively easy because they don’t have to get the child to adapt to a new learning environment. On the other hand, it gets pretty challenging for those parents who move their kids from public schooling to homeschooling.
If you embrace homeschooling when your child is in a public school, continue reading this post. Here, we will discuss how you can make this transition as smooth and successful as possible.
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Discuss the Decision with the Children
When you decide to move your child from public schooling to homeschooling, don’t keep this decision exclusive to yourself and your spouse. It would help if you took your child into confidence as well. Many parents don’t consider making the child a part of this critical decision about their academic journey.
Don’t just inform the child that you are moving them to homeschool. Discuss with them what they think of this prospect. Don’t dismiss this debate because your child is too small for that discussion. Even if the child is at the infant or junior school level, you need to make them part of this discussion.
These tips can help you fulfil this prerequisite of making the public schooling to homeschooling transition with success.
- Make homeschooling part of your general conversations way before taking the final step. This will help children make up their minds subconsciously.
- Highlight the benefits of homeschooling that you think will appeal to the child (e.g. freedom, flexibility). However, avoid portraying public schooling in a bad light.
- Don’t shoot down the questions and queries by the child no matter how ridiculous they sound. You should be able to satisfy the kid for their concerns regarding homeschooling with detailed answers.
- Don’t try to enforce your decision on the child. If you notice that the child has reacted very strongly to the idea of homeschooling, delay your plan for the time being until they are ready.
Don’t Rush Into Making a Quick Transition
Making the transition quick will not help the child adjust to the new settings— many parents make this mistake when they move their kids from public schooling to homeschooling. Rushing into things is less likely to make that transition smooth. In actuality, it can backfire. Like an adult, a child also needs to process things to get accustomed to them.
Going from picking them daily from a school one week to having homeschooling sessions from the next will only overwhelm them. A wrong first impression of homeschooling can spoil the entire concept of this practical learning approach for a child for good. In short, an attempt to make a quick transition can derail your long-term plans regarding your child’s homeschooling.
Therefore, make this transition slow and as natural as possible. Instead of rushing into new classes, you should practice these things when moving your child from public schooling to homeschooling.
- Spend a couple of weeks together with your child. If possible, arrange a travel trip.
- Celebrate the transition. Convey it to the child that the transition to homeschooling is a moment to rejoice.
- Gradually pick up the steam. Start with one or two subjects in the beginning and then slowly turn into a full-time schedule.
Don’t Try to Emulate the School Environment in the House
This is another mistake many parents make while moving their child from public schooling to homeschooling. They believe that by creating a school-like environment in the house, they can keep the transition smooth. Having a school-like climate can help you in the beginning. However, it is not the right approach in the long run.
First, you can’t enjoy the flexibility and freedom of homeschooling by recreating the school environment. As a working parent, you can find sticking to a rigid timetable after a while quite tricky. Also, a kid can get confused when they see their parents trying to act all formal while playing a school teacher’s role. Moreover, this trick can’t work for long because you can’t put up that performance all the time.
Instead, stick to homeschooling principles and be honest with your child. Keep in mind that homeschooling is different from traditional schooling, and there is no harm and shame in accepting it and letting your child know about its uniqueness.
Make Sure Your Child Gets to Meet their School Friends
If your child is old enough to make school friends, make sure your homeschooling shift doesn’t break them off from their social circle. Before starting homeschooling, identify your child’s close friends, meet their parents, and inform them about your decision and how you want to stay in touch with them. You can arrange playdates in the evenings or at weekends. You can also invite your child’s school friends and their parents for your co-opt sessions.
This activity will reassure the child that they won’t lose their friends even if they move to the homeschool. This thought will play an integral role in making the public-school-to-homeschooling transition smooth.
Join Homeschooling Networks and Communities
It would help if you made your kids realise that they are not alone in moving to a new learning space and environment. This is only possible if you join local homeschooling communities and networks. When your child sees other homeschooling families and meets fellow homeschoolers, they will be more comfortable and less anxious about the transition.
Also, meeting other homeschooling families will help them make new friends, which is necessary for any homeschooled child.
For any guidance or teaching resources for your homeschooling activity, feel free to contact the Home Education Shop. We provide digital information and resources for parents or guardians who are either home educators or are thinking of educating their children at home.