It’s time to return to public school.
Whether you’ve been homeschooling or decided to take some classes at home before sending your kid back to the classroom, it’s essential to be clear on what will happen when your child walks through those doors next fall.
Preparing Your Child
The first step is ensuring your child is ready to return to school. That means talking with them about why he wants to go back to school (or if he or doesn’t), getting his homework assignments from teachers, and asking questions like “What do I need to bring?” and “Where should I sit?”
Once you know where your child will attend school, visit the school website to get an enrollment packet. This packet usually includes information on whether your child has already enrolled in the school, which grades he can expect to start, and other details regarding registration deadlines and procedures.
As part of the enrollment process, you might also ask the school administrator(s) how they handle students who have previously attended another school but now want to enroll again.
The most challenging aspect of transitioning back into school life is figuring out how to manage your child’s new schedule. It takes some planning to ensure everything runs smoothly during the day , especially since many parents work full-time jobs outside the home.
Here are four tips to help smooth things over:
- Set up a weekly checklist so you and your child can keep track of upcoming events.
- Use the calendar function built into your email program to send reminders to each other.
- Arrange your child’s schedule around yours whenever possible.
- Make sure your child knows what they should wear every single morning.
When your son or daughter gets used to waking up early to catch the bus, walking across campus to meet friends, and sitting down to study, he or she won’t feel quite as overwhelmed by the transition.
While there isn’t much you can do to control the weather or school closures, you can ensure that your child makes the best of the school year by setting goals together and encouraging one another throughout the year.
Here are three steps to follow:
- Talk regularly with your child about what he hopes to accomplish academically this year.
- Ask yourself these two questions: Is my child learning enough? Does he enjoy school?
- If you answer yes to either question, then you’re doing something right!
If you answered no to both questions, you may want to look into what is and is not working for your child’s public education. There are multiple ways to work with school administrators to create specialized learning plans, try alternative learning methods, or possibly look into homeschooling as a primary resource for one-on-one instruction.
What Are The Benefits?
Homeschooling offers several benefits over conventional schooling. Here are seven reasons why you might consider homeschooling rather than sending your child to public school:
- You can customize the curriculum to fit your child’s specific educational needs.
- Your child can learn social skills such as interacting with others, taking turns, and following directions just as quickly through co-ops, field trips, and inclusive lesson plans.
- They develop good organizational skills because they can often plan and organize lessons and projects themselves.
- They gain confidence in their ability to learn and excel in school.
- They acquire valuable interpersonal skills such as working well with others, communicating effectively, and handling conflict.
- They become familiar with the balance of a home and school culture and learn how to navigate its bureaucracy.
- They experience the joy of building lifelong skills and relationships with peers and family.
What Are The Drawbacks?
The benefits of homeschooling will often outweigh the drawbacks, but there are some to be aware of. The time needed to homeschool adequately can become a problem for parents and caregivers who must maintain a full-time work schedule outside the home.
Not joining a local homeschool co-op or finding ways to participate in social activities can cause isolation and loneliness. Relying on a tutor, parent, or caregiver for educational instruction and feedback can leave a child feeling limited in their resources.
Another drawback is that your child may spend too much time alone without adult supervision. Some experts argue that young teens benefit from spending time away from their families. Still, there are ways to mitigate this issue by scheduling activities with other homeschoolers or joining sports teams.
What Do You Need To Know About Homeschooling?
Before you decide to homeschool your child, it’s essential to educate yourself about the pros and cons of homeschooling so that you can make an informed decision. Here are six things you need to know:
- Homeschooling is legal everywhere in the United States except for New York City and Washington, DC.
- State laws vary greatly depending on where you live, but most states require parents to register their intent to homeschool within 30 days of starting the school year.
- Most school districts allow homeschooled children to participate in extracurricular activities such as sports, clubs, and band.
- Some states require homeschooled children to obtain minimum instruction from qualified professionals.
- All 50 states recognize homeschool diplomas.
- Homeschool graduates are eligible for financial aid, scholarships, grants, and loans.
What If My Parents Don’t Want Me Back In School?
Don’t panic if your parent hesitates to let you re-enroll in public high school. Many parents worry that allowing their child to return to public school will jeopardize their education or future relationships with the teacher, principal, or superintendent.
However, remember that parents aren’t trying to win a popularity contest here. Instead, they are simply trying to find a way to provide quality education for their child.
If you and your parent continue to disagree, talk to a mediator or counselor who specializes in helping families resolve conflicts.