Can I homeschool to catch up a grade?

catch up homeschooling

Some parents wonder if they can homeschool their child to catch up a grade. Maybe you are struggling during the semester or the semester is already over. What to do?

You can homeschool your child to catch up a grade with the right preparation and timing. It is legal in all 50 states to homeschool your child. The first step is to confirm the process with your school if it is acceptable and then withdraw them from school. Then choose a curriculum and subjects to makeup for your child. 

Let me take you through the processes and give you some insight on this touchy subject. But rest assured that homeschooling can help you and your family to effectively catch up a grade.

In order to catch up a grade you and your child will have to focus and work hard to zoom in on the subjects that are causing the most trouble. Then you will need to contact your school and learn about the laws and regulations related to homeschooling and retaining your child. Once you have confirmed that there is a path to catching up, you can then select the right program. Your child can then strengthen their skills and become more proficient. Staying focused at home without any distractions will help with this. Finally, you will need to review their progress and follow up with the school to get your child back into school at the right grade.   

This process is best done over the summer and even better would be to know well in advance if your son or daughter is not on track to pass. If you could start the process before summer that would be ideal because you would have more than 3 months to catch up. Ideally you would have 5 months to do this. And as a homeschooler, you would be able to concentrate and focus on the course work more efficiently. You might even find that homeschooling is more appealing than the traditional school and continue.  Here is the info in the my hometown of Pinellas County, Florida and the school district’s forms to get started. Check it here.   

How to deal with the school to learn about the regulations?

Dealing with your school should be very simple. All you have to do is contact the office and explain to them what you would like to do.  The school system is more than happy for you to homeschool your child. They are there to make sure your child is educated the best they can be. Tell them your plans and the situation and that you would like to homeschool your child to help them catch up. Most school systems across the country have a provision for this situation. You will need to find out how to withdraw your student and inform them that you are homeschooling. The next step would be to find out what you need to do in order for your child to be able to re-enter the school in the following semester. Many schools require that you have your child tested before they can enter the grade you are studying for.

In the event you choose to enter a home school program and in the future your child reenters a public school; it will be the responsibility of Pinellas County Schools to determine placement and credits accepted according to Policy 5.12. 

Pinellas County Schools

Once you’re clear about the guidelines and all of the records that you will need to keep, you can begin the process. Make sure that you keep good records according to their requirements. The school will likely need to see your plan, the curriculum you will use along with a list of all the resources that you will use. Then you will probably also need a daily record of the progress for your child. And this you can keep in a log book like composition book. It’s best to keep a record of your tests and evaluations to show that your child has a proficiency in the subjects you’re studying. This is essentially all you need to do to satisfy your school district regulations.

Retaining your child is the last thing the school wants to do

The School District does not intentionally want to retain or hold back your child. Of course they have your child’s welfare in their best interests. Sometimes they do recommend holding your child back a grade because their performance doesn’t meet their standards. However, the research shows that retaining a child is not in the best interest of the kids future performance. So most schools will usually refrain from retaining students. So with this in mind, we believe your school should be more than happy to assist and support you to homeschool your child to catch up. You can see the National Association of School Psychologists position statement about their recommendations and that it is not in the best interest of the student to hold them back. 

Catch up by using the time before summer!

If you have been contacted by your child’s teacher about his progress then you need to review how many months you have before the summer. To complete one grade’s worth of material is a very big task. It is best to find out from your child’s teachers which subjects are giving your child the most problems. The subjects that your child is doing well in you should take note of this to find out how to complete those courses. Because those subjects will require less attention. Once you find out the subjects in question, for example, if it is math, this is a key part of the process. 

Communicate with the teacher to find out the major problems your child is having with math. And then you can review the school’s material to see if you can simply follow that material. If you cannot, then search for a comparable curriculum to follow for the subject. You can create your own unit studies for the subject matter. Or you can search for an online curriculum that is comparable to the subject matter in question. Either way is fine. Then you will simply need to estimate the time needed for completing subjects. Once you know this you can plan out the time day, by day on the calendar to ensure there is enough time to finish.

Since you are homeschooling you can utilize more of your time effectively and you can also use weekends if needed. This is the reality if you would like to catch up a grade. The three months of summer will be a very short period of time to complete one years worth of material. So you will need to keep this in mind. Plan accordingly to concentrate the material to get it done on time. You might find that it will be a very big challenge but you can still communicate with the school to get their feedback. And then work on your schedule to stay on task.

How many hours to spend per day to catch up?

The usual homeschooling schedule can be from 2-4 hours per day. This is in a normal situation. Since your situation is you want to catch up then you may adjust it to add more time. You can certainly schedule a full day’s worth of studies in a more efficient manner. As mentioned earlier, most of the time will need to be spent on the subjects your child is having the most difficulty with. But since you need to cover the material in a shorter period of time you will need to increase this time as seen below. 

Catch Up Schedule (You may adjust as needed)

8:30-9:15 Math*
9:30-10:15Language Arts & Reading
12:00-1:00Lunch time! Then recess
2:00-2:45History/Social Studies
2:45-3:30Electives-Music, 2nd Language, art
3:30-4:30PE or exercise time
6:30-7:30Math review*
Catch Up Schedule

You can see from the above schedule, the focus is Math, and you might need to schedule 2- 3 sessions per day. Also since you are homeschooling you can also use hours into the evening and also you can add time on the weekends. Although this may seem drastic it might be necessary depending on how many subjects your child really needs to spend more time on. You can schedule in some free time and some fun time. And you can certainly schedule in some time for chores and some time off for you. Because this can be a very tough process. But remember this is for the benefit of the child and your family, so it will be worth it. Remember than retaining your child is not recommend as you can see in the following research.

Contact Co-Ops for a good resource and help

If you find yourself stuck or needing assistance during the summer, you can reach out to a local co-op or online homeschooling group. Review the data on your local school board’s website to see some resources you may use. But you will easily find there are many homeschooling resources in your neighborhood or community. Contact them and let them know the situation and we are sure they will have some valuable advice for you. Remember that you are not the only one with this situation and that there are others who have had to go through this before.

And as a last piece of advice, please remember to breath and relax when it seems like you are at the breaking point. It will require you have patience and faith that you are on the right path. Please also realize that the school and you only mean the best for your child. And you can succeed in helping your child catch up a grade! You may also see the Florida Parent-Educators Association information for reference as well. Just click above on the highlighted link.

Robert Dad

I'm Robert "Daddy" Macias the father of 3 wonderful kids. I am embarking on a new journey of homeschooling and green living. I realized my wife and mothers all over the world were doing this all by themselves. So I realized as a dad, I must jump into action!

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