You might be in a situation where you only need to homeschool for a semester. There are some considerations, but is it ok to do?
You may homeschool your child for one semester in the United States and the UK. Just contact the school and inform them of your plans to withdraw your child. Then you can begin with homeschooling. Keep good records of the progress and the evaluations in case you need to re-enter public school.
There are some considerations for you to review about homeschooling for a semester. However, with the right planning and attention you can homeschool your child successfully. Let’s show you how.
Before you consider homeschooling your child you must first check with your local school district to find out what the laws and regulations are. This first step is critical and may impact the chances for you to re-enter the public or private school system at a later date. Once you have confirmed the procedure, then you can prepare a letter of intent to withdraw the student. Once this is done and acknowledged by the school system you are all set. You are now ready for the next stage.
Once you have your child home you can begin to homeschool them for the semester. If you already planned out the curriculum, that’s ideal. If not, no problem as it can be handled very quickly. Firstly, let us also check about why you wanted to homeschool your child? Was the intention because you felt they were falling behind or are having trouble at school? Or maybe you are planning to move or some other reason? Either way is fine. Homeschooling is becoming more popular and there are numerous resources to assist you educate your child by yourself.
How old is your child?
If your child has never been in public school or kindergarten you will have to check the regulations for this situation. If they are 4 to 6 years old and your state requires them to attend kindergarten you will have to follow those procedures and inform the school your plans to homeschool. And if you plan to re-enter at first grade, you will have to check the regulations for your school.
Some school systems like in Florida require you to provide proof of being in an accredited kindergarten and it may be up to the principal to evaluate your child. That means you will have to provide your homeschooling records to the school and provide adequate proof your child is at the first grade level. This is the case in my hometown for example in Pinellas county. See the details here.
Do you plan to re-enter public school after the semester is finished?
My daughter was enrolled in high school at the 9th grade but then she chose to search for another school. She felt the particular school did not meet her expectations. And the school she was transferring to already was closed for new students. She had to wait a semester so we chose homeschooling. She planned to just re-enter school at the ninth grade level. She was ok to learn some subjects she felt interested in during homeschool and then do 9th grade in her new school. She did plan to re-enter public school but just to essentially redo the 9th grade.
Now if your child is in a similar situation or wants to go back at the next level you will need to confirm what the process is. The school should be able to provide you with the details on how to do this. You will have to submit your plan for the semester and then you will need to keep records of the child’s daily work and their test results or evaluations. Please be aware that your school may require to retest your child to see if they are able to pass on to the next grade. Please confirm this procedure before you plan the curriculum for homeschooling.
How many subjects do you plan for your child this semester?
My daughter chose to focus on reading, history and a 2nd language because she felt these were the most interesting for her. All the other subjects she would be getting anyways in the 9th grade. She wanted to supplement her courses with something she felt she might not get next semester. But you can choose the subjects based on your target for the next semester. We show you a typical homeschool schedule for reference below.
Semester Schedule, 4.5hrs/Day (Adjust as needed)
|12:00-1:00||Lunch time! Then recess|
|2:45-3:30||Electives-2nd Language, PE|
In our case, my daughter did most of this as self-study and we are ok with this since she will be doing a more comprehensive set of courses next semester. She is also very disciplined and was on the track team. Team sports have helped her focus and she is able to progress at her own pace but is very thorough. She also likes to read and go to the library to check out some books her mother recommends or her friends tell her about. This is a good habit and we encourage more reading for pleasure.
If you plan to focus on the material from your child’s school then that is fine. Just make sure the materials and textbooks are all available and that you have access to any tests and evaluations from the school. You will have to confirm with the teachers about this yourself. If you will need to provide your own curriculum or you need assistance you can try a few resources. I highly suggest checking locally for a Co-op or there are many local Facebook groups for this. You can also choose an online curriculum like Khan Academy or Time4learning.com. Both are a good start and charge by the month.
What if you want to continue with homeschooling, is that ok?
If you and your family feel that homeschooling is a great way to educate your child then stick with it. You can continue and all you would need to do is plan early for the next semester. You would also need to consider the local school regulations. This would most likely be similar to before. Inform them of your intentions and follow up record keeping and possibly evaluations. Some school districts require some form of evaluation by a certified teacher. In Florida this is the case. It would require an annual evaluation. Check it out here.
One further piece of advice would be to make sure your child has good opportunities for socialization. That means find some local families that are also homeschooling and meet up regularly so your kids can interact and have fun and learn together. Make sure to go on field trips and visit the library often. If there is family in town go visit regularly and let your children interact with people of all ages. This is a great way to build character and ensure they have good social skills. Also schedule extracurricular activities and team sports if this can fit in your schedule. We can’t stress enough the benefits of team sports for discipline and a good competitive spirit! See this research article about physical fitness and the importance.
I want to transition my child back into public school
Now the semester is coming to a close and you are getting ready to transition back to public school. Please make sure all your records are up to date and clearly organized for the school to review. They will see an organized parent and child ready to go back to school. Some schools may see any disorganization in a poor light. And also make sure to clearly arrange the evaluations and test results to show proficiency in the subjects studied. And if there is any interview required you can practice with your child to make them feel less stressed out.
Also please review the school district’s information page about how to re-enter school. Make sure you have all the forms filled out and ready to file on time. Don’t miss a deadline that could jeopardize the whole process. And that is how you can homeschool for a semester, it’s all possible!