How to Start Homeschooling Mid-Year

The decision to homeschool can be a tricky one, it takes great courage and comes with great responsibility, however, are often times harder on ourselves than we should be. When deciding to homeschool mid-year it is usually for reasons, maybe your child is having a difficult time navigating the public school system. Or your family needs more freedom with education or the public school system isn’t meeting the needs of your child. Whatever the case may be, switching gears mid-year does not need to be stressful. Here are some general guidelines to help ease the transition.

  1. Find out the legal requirements for your state.
    Every state has a different set of laws and legal guidelines that need to be adhered to when it comes to homeschooling. It is always wise to look into these legalities before making the transition to ensure your family can commit to upholding what is legally required in your state. Check your state laws on our Unschool Portfolio site. If you will have a high schooler and need to know your state graduation requirements you can find more information on our Unschool High School site.

2. Have a plan.
Having a plan, even a simple one is vital to setting the tone as you transition into homeschooling. It doesn’t necessarily need to be a plan that is rock solid, just a starting point, more of a plan to grown in to.
It is important to decide what type of homeschooling method works best for your family. Keeping in mind that as you get more comfortable in your homeschooling adventure that this can change, sometimes multiple times.

3. Deschool.
Deschooling is an important step for both parents and kids and helps families move past the traditional public school mentality. Some families choose to step away from any formal learning for an entire semester, some a year and others only a few weeks, the amount of time your family takes to deschool is entirely up to you. Some parents might panic at the thought of no formal education for any amount of time. The most common fear we hear about is the fear that their child will fall behind. Rest assured, when a child is coming from a public school setting it is important for them (and you) to find your rhythm and very unlikely that they will fall behind. As a matter of fact you are likely to experience quite the opposite effect. There is a misconception that removing formal learning ceases all learning, rather it gives the parent and child time to figure out the child’s interests and learning styles. This is a good time to read together, visit local homeschool resources and groups and really get to know what is best for your family.

4. Leap.
Once you have walked through all the preparation for homeschooling it’s time to take the leap. A bit of advice when you have reached this step, breathe. Be flexible. No amount of preparation will prepare you for the reality of homeschooling. It is an ever changing experience that you will learn to grow with. As your child matures and changes so will they way that you homeschool. There will be times when you are fearful as to whether you made the right choice, you will question your sanity and your ability. My advice is when those times come, take a break. You are homeschooling. You get to decide when to take a breather, what time of day you learn and for how long. Just know that as you embark on this journey that there is not a one size fits all approach to education.

If you are looking for other homeschoolers to connect with consider joining one of our Facebook groups. Homeschooling Through High School or Unschooling.

Corrina Spelts

Mother of 2, lover of technology and experienced homeschooler. I have a love for graphic design, business, and blogging. Our family uses an unschooling approach to education with the firm belief that if you cultivate an environment that is geared towards passion and interests then you can't help but ignite a love for learning.

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