How to Switch to HomeschoolDecember 5, 2023
With the new semester around the corner, many parents are deciding whether to make the mid-year switch from traditional schooling and start homeschooling.
There can be many benefits to homeschooling, including a desire for personalized education, a flexible schedule, and the opportunity to teach personal values; as well as the ability to strengthen relationships, promote critical thinking skills, and provide a comfortable, customized learning environment.
In this article, we’ll provide some tips and advice to make the transition as smooth as possible for your family.
Research Homeschooling Laws
Every state has its own rules and regulations for homeschoolers. For example, homeschooling laws in Florida require record-keeping of attendance, materials used, test results, and more. Texas doesn’t require any record-keeping for homeschoolers (although it’s still a good idea to keep a basic portfolio). To remain compliant, check out this list of homeschooling laws by state, and be sure to stay up to date with any changes in legislation.
Formally Withdraw and Submit Proper Notice
This is especially important for those making the mid-year switch! Some states require a notice of intent to homeschool, which may need to be sent before withdrawing your child. Even if you have never enrolled your child in school, you may still need to notify your district. Laws vary from state to state, so make sure to check with your local school district.
Find a Curriculum
A major benefit of homeschooling is the tailored approach to education. Homeschoolers are able to pursue special interests, learn at their own pace, and work on content that’s right for them, without the constraints of a grade level.
Many families of children with disabilities or other learning differences may feel that their public school lacks the necessary resources for their child. However, homeschooling can provide a quality education tailored to their specific needs. As a result, many children with learning differences can make great progress when homeschooled!
The good news is that there are more online homeschool programs available now than ever! At Miacademy, our accredited online homeschool curricula are perfect for multi-learner households. Your student can enjoy special features such as:
- Lessons designed by a team of accredited, experienced teachers
- Completely customizable learning paths
- Flexible scheduling and adjustable school calendar
- Unique worksheets, activities, videos, games, and more
- Moderated community features
Our platform serves grades K-12, with Miacademy for K-8 and MiaPrep for grades 9-12.
Involve Your Child
Talking to your child about homeschooling is a good way for them to feel involved in their education. Some children may have concerns about seeing their friends or feeling left out. Creating a pros and cons list with your child or making time for play dates outside of school can be a good way to help them be more receptive to the change.
Make Time for Enrichment
It’s important to add other areas of enrichment for your child when homeschooling. This way, children have more opportunities to create and maintain friendships outside of the home classroom. Fun activities in include can be:
- Field trips
- Parks, playgrounds, or nature trails
- Music lessons
- Community center events
- Team sports
Some public schools allow homeschooled children to participate in public school sports or after-school activities, so be sure to ask your local district!
Connect With Other Homeschoolers
Finding another homeschooling family or joining a co-op is another way for you and your child to find support among other homeschool parents. You could share materials, take group field trips, and get advice from more experienced homeschool parents.
Another benefit to connecting with other homeschoolers is the ability to outsource subjects to other parents, so everyone can showcase their unique strengths and interests. You could even take turns hosting group classes, so all the kids can benefit from your degree in physics, your neighbor’s perfect Spanish speaking, or even your best friend’s musical talents!
Set Goals and Stay Flexible
In the beginning, there can be a lot of challenges with homeschooling. While keeping a routine is important for consistency and time management, it may take a few weeks to find a good pace or system that works for your family.
Setting goals is a good way for you and your student to track progress and to determine what needs to be worked on. Some possible goals for your student could be:
- Scoring 80% or better on their next test
- Reading 100+ pages in a week
- Starting school at the same time each day
When students are excited about their progress and what they’re learning, it encourages them to continue exploring! Making the switch to homeschooling is a learning process for everyone, so being flexible with your goals is a great way to keep everyone motivated.
Try a New Approach
There are many different ways to homeschool, so if your first method isn’t a good fit, don’t stress! It may take time to find the method that’s best, or you might find a combination of methods most effective. The most important thing when choosing a homeschooling style is finding a balance between your child’s needs and your own.
Switching to homeschooling is a big change for everyone! It’s important to be patient and kind with one another as the whole family adjusts. Spending quality time together outside of school, communicating clearly, and finding support for both parents and kids can help everyone feel comfortable and confident on their new journey.
At Miacademy, we believe that all students deserve access to quality education. All of our courses follow the Universal Design for Learning for accessibility and inclusion, and all course content is developed by accredited professional educators with years of expertise. Our moderators and customer service representatives are dedicated to providing our homeschool families with the best experience possible!
To find out how Miacademy’s online homeschool curriculum can make a difference for your student, feel free to check out our website or chat with one of our live customer service representatives for more information. Happy learning!