Mom-to-Mom Support/Transitioning from Public School to Homeschool

Transitioning from Public School to Homeschool

Happy Asian kids sitting at playground together in the park

Are you considering transitioning from public school or parish school to begin homeschooling? There are several ways to make the change easier for your children. 

What if my kids don’t want to homeschool?

If you and your spouse have decided that you are called to homeschool, but your children are reluctant, it is time for a family caucus. Draw the children together and let them know that you are going to be homeschooling—no ifs, ands, or buts. Many times when children sense our trepidation, they feed on that, which can confuse many issues of discipline.

You or your husband might start the meeting by saying something like this: “We have decided to homeschool because we believe we are called by the Lord to do so. If Jesus tells us differently, then we will change our plan. But for right now, we are homeschooling.”

This may sound harsh or too one-sided, but remember, children need to know who leads, so that they can follow. If you were taking a journey into Africa and you hired a guide to lead you across the Congo, how would you feel if your guide seemed unsure of himself? You would not be eager to follow his advice when challenges came along.

Listen to your kids

The next step in your family meeting is to get opinions, suggestions, and comments from the “floor.” Give your children the opportunity to express their challenges as they see them. Listen carefully to what they are saying. Not just the words but the message behind the words. “I don’t want to homeschool” may actually mean “I am an adolescent, and I would like to be around kids my own age who are in the same situation that I am.”

Listen to the message and work to meet the needs and challenges of the message. Don’t jump ship or abandon the crew just because they do not like the journey. Find out what they think would be a suitable solution to their challenges. You have already established that you are homeschooling, don’t re-plow ground you have already worked through. When the children want to do that, merely remind them that this meeting is about finding solutions to challenges, not about debating the decision to homeschool.

Find solutions

Homeschooling co-ops, support groups, 4-H, sports, and other extracurricular activities can help to ease the transition for children and teens who desire to spend time with their peers. Congratulate your children when they offer doable, workable solutions to challenges. This approach teaches them so much. In the world, there are always people who get bogged down in challenges because they refuse to meet the challenge head-on and work to solutions. If Jesus is calling your family to the homeschooling lifestyle, then trust that He will give you the skills necessary to meet each and every challenge.

Tips to ease the transition

Every homeschooling family was in your shoes once. You are not alone. Here are a few tips to help make the transition from public school or parish school to homeschooling easier for your entire family.

Show your children the materials that they will be using

Let your children be part of the process, whether by showing them the books and materials that you will be ordering or giving them some say in what time the school day begins. Children, like adults, like to know how their day will look in advance. Involving your children in the process of planning will make them more comfortable when they begin homeschooling.

Find your students’ level

Does your student need to move up or down one level in a particular subject? With CHC’s flexibility, this is easy to do. Knowing that they won’t be bored with too easy a level or frustrated by a level beyond their capabilities can help with the transition.

Include a range of subjects

While traditional schooling provides structure and familiarity, homeschooling allows you to tailor your children’s education to your family’s values and beliefs. It also allows you to adapt your education to your children’s interests. Let your children know that their education can now include more topics that interest them. This might mean helping to select essay topics or picking library books related to their science or history lessons.

Locate other homeschooling families

Homeschool groups can provide a new source of supportive friends for your children. Having other children that are in the same environment is helpful as they can relate to each other. It also opens up your circle to more friends with similar interests.

Plan ways to stay in touch with current friends

If your children are good friends with classmates at their current school, brainstorm ways that you can help them continue to see these friends. For instance, sleepovers or park days. Find ways that ensure your children are not losing their current friends because of homeschooling.

Final thoughts

Transitioning from a public school or parish school to homeschooling can be a major change for both parents and children. To make this transition smoother, it is important to address concerns and communicate openly with your children about the decision to homeschool.

To find solutions, you can explore homeschooling co-ops, support groups, extracurricular activities, and sports to provide opportunities for social interaction with peers. Acknowledging and congratulating children when they offer workable solutions helps them develop problem-solving skills and adapt to new challenges.

Remember, the transition from traditional schooling to homeschooling may present challenges, but with patience and open communication, you can create a positive and enriching homeschooling experience for your family. To learn more about how to transition to homeschooling, check out the article “Detoxing from Public School.”

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