Help! What if My Homeschooler Needs to Go to Public School?


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How does a homeschooler go to public school if he or she needs to? The details may vary based on your school district and your state’s homeschooling laws, but these guidelines can help.

How do you enroll a homeschooled student in public school? I never know what to say when someone asks this question because I’ve never done it.

When we started homeschooling, my daughter wanted to go back to public school for a while. After talking about it, we decided to continue homeschooling and have never looked back.

Since I can’t answer the question based on my experience, I asked some friends whose homeschooled kids did go to public or private school.

When writing this article, I asked families I know to share their experiences. If it’s likely that you’ll enroll your kids in public or private school or having the option is crucial to you, investigate for yourself to see what your situation requires.

Why would a homeschool family send their kids to public or private school?

There are many reasons a family might decide that homeschooling is no longer working for them. The families I know who enrolled their children in public or private school did so for reasons such as:

  • Giving their kids the opportunity to compete for sports or academic scholarships
  • The parents no longer felt that they could fully commit to homeschooling
  • Financial needs
  • The children gave sound reasons for wanting to attend a traditional school

I also know families who didn’t choose to put their kids in public or private school. They had no alternatives due to the death of the primary teaching parent or the primary income earner or divorce.

Many potential homeschooling families are afraid to try homeschooling. They worry that their kids couldn’t go back to school if it isn’t a good fit for their family. These families need to know their options.

Will I have trouble putting my homeschooled kids in public school?

I’m sure that some parents experience difficulty enrolling their homeschooled kids in public (or private) school. But none of the parents I talked to had trouble. I interviewed parents who enrolled kids in 1st grade all the way through 10th about their experience.

All the parents said that it’s easier to register kids before high school. While enrolling a student in a traditional school after 9th grade proves more complicated, it’s not impossible. Waiting doesn’t necessarily mean that your student will be behind or have to repeat classes. Although a common fear, it wasn’t a problem for the teens I know who went to public high school after 9th grade.

How do you put a homeschooled child in public school?

Only one parent stated that she didn’t have to supply the school with anything. All of the others indicated they had to provide records such as:

A few parents said guidance counselors worked with them on placing their students in the appropriate grade levels and classes. Some allowed credit for high school level courses the kids took in 8th grade. Others were allowed to skip typical grade level classes already completed.

The biggest takeaway I got from talking to former homeschool parents is that if public or private school might be in your child’s future, make sure they’re taking standardized tests yearly. (Or as often as required by your state’s homeschool laws.)

Without standardized test scores, it’s likely that your student will have to take placement tests to determine his or her grade level, but this depends on the school. The parent who didn’t have to provide test scores said the schools (elementary and high school) placed her kids in the grades levels she said they were in.

Are homeschooled kids academically prepared for public school?

Education gaps or worries that our homeschooled kids will struggle are two concerns for parents considering a traditional school. One friend I talked to worried that her student would struggle with math. A high school freshman signed up for all honors classes except English. He worried that his writing skills were weak.

Without fail, every parent discovered that their formerly-homeschooled kids were not only prepared but often excelled academically. (The high school freshman regretted not taking the honors English course.)

One parent told me about a friend whose unschooled teen went to public school. The mom worried about how he would adjust since they hadn’t done much formal learning. He made straight A’s

Another formerly-homeschooled elementary student soon found herself in the position of classroom helper. She helped (at the teacher’s request) other students complete their work when she finished hers.

All the parents I spoke with assured me that most homeschooling parents don’t need to worry about academically unprepared students.

Are homeschooled kids socially prepared for public school?

The other big fear about going from homeschool to public school (or private) is the social aspect. All of the parents that I talked to said their kids adjusted well socially. They made friends quickly and jumped into sports and other activities without any trouble.

Some parents of teens said their kids lost a bit of their naivety simply from leaving a more controlled environment for one less so. However, all adjusted without incident.

Will my homeschooled kid regret homeschooling?

That’s impossible to answer because it depends on the child and the situation. None of the parents I spoke to said that their kids regretted homeschooling. Some students thrived in a traditional school setting. Others chose to return to homeschool.

Those who returned to homeschool did so primarily for the academic freedom. They wanted to pursue their interests without so much wasted time during the day. The classroom helper wanted to homeschool again. She liked the freedom to move on when she finished instead of waiting for the rest of the class.

Another formerly-homeschooled teen graduated from public high school. He fared well both academically and socially but cautioned his parents against sending his younger siblings. He told them it had changed (negatively) so much in just the four years he attended.

A traditional school setting was the right choice for several of the families that I interviewed. However, one mom emphatically stated that if fear that your kid isn’t getting a quality education at home is the only reason you’re considering public school, don’t do it. She said your kids are probably doing much better than you think.

I know this can be a controversial topic among homeschoolers, but it shouldn’t be. We all – public, private, and homeschool parents – need to have the freedom and support to do what is best for our kids.

If you’re considering homeschooling, in most cases your child should be able to return to a traditional school setting without too much hassle. You may want to talk to someone in your local school or homeschool support group (or umbrella school) before withdrawing your student if it’s a big concern. Generally speaking, your local support group will probably be more knowledgeable on the subject.

NOTE: This article was written by Kris Bales, the former owner of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. 

If your kids have gone to public or private school, what was your experience? What advice would you offer?

(All respectful comments are welcome.)

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46 Comments

  1. Hello Kris

    Just popping in from the UK to commend you on this article. As usual, an excellent job: you make always make it entertaining as well as informative. I have no useful personal experience to add, I just wanted to tell you that this was such an edifying read.

  2. Several years ago I burned out and sent my kids back to school (I started homeschooling again after 2 years). The principal of the elementary school just asked to look through their portfolios, and that was enough for her. At the high school, they just asked to see his evaluation letter, and they placed him from there. The only thing I disagreed with was that they put him back in biology even though he had a credit for that.

    My kids all did well academically once back at school. My daughter ended up winning more awards at the 5th grade graduation than any other kids in the school, including an award that they don’t even give out every year because every single teacher has to agree on the recipient. She also was chosen to be the narrator of an Air Products video on recycling, done in collaboration with the school. She was also placed on the student leadership committee and got a free laptop, also from Air Products.

    The main reasons I took my kids back out of school were because the academics weren’t challenging enough, there was too much school violence, and I did not like relinquishing my rights as a parent over to the schools. Above all else, though, I really missed them. That’s just me personally. I’m sure there are parents who put their kids in school and never looked back.

  3. We just put our kids back in school this year after homeschooling for two years (they’re 9 and 11). The 9 year old had chosen to work ahead while homeschooling (and the fact that she NEEDED to work faster was a lot of the reason I chose to homeschool initially). The 11 year old had no issue with transitioning back. The 9 year old, however… We thought we’d do public school, but they said she had to be in 4th grade because she’s 9 – wouldn’t consider anything else, wouldn’t look at her portfolio, nothing. She had finished all 4th grade work last year and was halfway through Saxon 6/5 at this point. They had no option for accelerated work and said she could “do more difficult problems and help her peers for math”. Um, no. That’s not what I’m going to do to her. So we put her into a private school (the one I wanted initially but thought we couldn’t afford – I guess you can figure out a way to afford what you need to!) – AND she tested into 5th grade just fine there (even though the level of work is higher at that school). So, it wasn’t simple, but I think that it was a blessing that got us to a wonderful private school. And they really have transitioned back just fine, after a breaking in period.

    1. Yeah, I’m sure your 9yo wanted to become the classroom math tutor. {sigh} It’s great that you were able to find options that worked for both of your kids.

      1. Not to negate Hilarie’s choice.. but being an unofficial classroom math tutor is actually an excellent opportunity for a kid. I was one for most of my school years before going college. That grew my academic depth (teaching really does this), leadership, and empathy. I think it built an important foundation for my PhD. Going faster, getting higher score is not the only academic measure.

  4. Since my kids have done the backwards approach, going to traditional school up until 4th, 6th and 10th grade, once they got home the thought of transitioning back was not realistic because the 6th and 10th grader were already taking college courses. Therefore, both opted each year to just continue with Dual Enrollment instead of being stunted by traditional school. My youngest has pondered it every year but his challenges with staying still, and adhering to structure made him change his mind every year about going back. However, if I kept them on grade level it would be an easy transition because they all know what to expect. High School is the most tricky transition because they usually will try to make the student start at the beginning of Math, English and Science courses since they want the ‘pre-reqs’ made. Especially, if they don’t make the child do the testing.

  5. What a thoughtful way to approach an important subject. Those of us planning to homeschool long term need to know what our options are as things don’t always go according to plan. This article gives us a starting place. Thank you!

  6. This is the most detailed analysis I’ve ever seen from a blog! Good work!

    I know several homeschoolers who returned to homeschool for the academic freedom. One of them wrote a novel, and the other was a talented athlete. There truly are just so many more opportunities.

  7. This couldn’t have been a more timely article. I am considering putting one of my children into public school Kindergarten or 1st (for the first time with this child) and keeping the older one at home still (who had been in public school for Kindergarten). I have been struggling with the decision. I think God just dropped this right into my inbox. Now I just have to figure out what it means for us…lol. Thanks for writing this!

  8. I’m considering homeschooling my 7 year old over the summer as he has been board and therefore getting in trouble at school. He says he just gets so frustrated when all the I kids take “forever” to learn something new. I had him tested for gifted which he qualified by IQ but because of “behavioral problems” he was not placed. My normal work schedule won’t work around home school during the school year, but maybe working ahead a year anx having him go into 3rd grade instead of 2nd in the fall will give him more of the academic challenge he’s wanting…. any thoughts? Tips or advice very welcome and appreciated.

  9. Thank you for posting this article. This can be such a difficult issue on so many levels. I’m currently homeschooling my 4th and last child. I homeschooled 2 of her older siblings through 8th grade – they switched to a local Charter High School to play sports (in full disclosure, that was my husband’s wish and not mine). My 3rd child went into public school for Junior High (this time, it was God’s will and I had to come to terms with that – it was life-changing).

    Here in CA, I had no problems putting my kids in school at the 7th and 9th grade levels. Administrators were mainly interested in their health/immunization records. That said, I have friends who considered putting their kids in school at the 10th or 11th grade levels but the schools refused to accept most of their high school coursework, especially when it came to science.

    My kids adjusted fine. There was a period of “learning to play the game” but they got through it quickly. I do feel like the “honeymoon” period wore off after the first 2 years, but they still did not wish to come home. Even though they felt a lot of the rules and assignments were pointless, at that point, they had a circle of friends they didn’t want to leave.

    I still hope to have one stay home through high school and, so far, she says that’s her plan. But I’ve certainly learned through all of this that God has a different plan for each one of us that may or may not involve homeschooling. I am a strong supporter of independent homeschooling for many, many reasons. But, what matters is what God wants for our children – only he knows the future He’s preparing them for.

  10. This article was a great read… However, I am in a bit of a different situation. My daughter is 13 yrs old and just finished 7th grade at our local public middle school. She had never been home schooled. From the start of 7th grade I began getting calls from the school nurse that she was sick and needed to be picked up. this continued so much that we ended up having to pull her out and put her on Home & Hospital, which is where a teacher comes to the home 3 days a week for 2 hours and does the school work with the student. She was on home hospital shortly after Christmas break, through the end of 7th grade. after many many doctors visits and tests, we found that her “illness” was anxiety induced migraines stemming from severe bullying that she hadn’t told anyone about while it was happening. we found an amazing counselor for her and she has made great progress however, just the thought of having to go back there for 8th grade is making her anxious and sick. I am considering homeschooling for the 8th grade year and then trying to transition her back to public school for 9th grade since she will move to the high school, where her older brother is. She has tested “Above Average” since 2nd grade. her MSA scores were always higher than the school, district and state averages. and now that they have switched to PARCC testing, I see that she is still testing higher than her peers in school, district and state. but the public school will not offer her any advanced classes, she was significantly bored in school.. ANY advice would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Hi, Jessica. I’m so sorry that your daughter has dealt with this. Bullying is horrible. I’m so glad you were able to get her out of that situation.

      I confess that I’m not sure what kind of advice you’re looking for. Are you looking for tips on homeschooling for this year or advice on whether or not to homeschool at all? If it were me, I would definitely homeschool for at least the one year rather than return my child to such a toxic situation. Middle school can be brutal, unfortunately.

      Your daughter sounds like a bright girl. You may find that she thrives in a homeschool environment where she can work at her own pace. I wish you the best as you make your decision. I know how hard it is to watch your kids suffer. (((hugs)))

    2. If she’s getting this anxious over the thought of going back to school, it may take her more than a year to fully recover. Bullying takes a long time to heal from. I’m speaking as someone who suffers from anxiety. You want her out of that situation for as long as she feels she needs.

      I don’t know much about high school, but maybe there is a way to put her back in later than 9th grade if you need to? Are there any private or charter schools that would be willing to be a little more flexible?

  11. I came upon this article hoping for some encouragement or advice about sending a homeschooled student back to a traditional school. I homeschooled my son for seven years and he returned to traditional school this year as a freshman at a private school.

    He is settling in well, making friends, is involved in the drama club and his grades are fantastic. The only thing we’re struggling with is adjusting his schedule (he loved staying up until midnight and then sleeping in to 930 or 10 am and the 6:30 am wakeups are a shock to his system.) I hope that will improve with time.

    We’ve also found that the added stress plus lack of exposure to germs means he is catching everything going around now. He came down with a virus on his first day and he’s not been fully well since that day. He is only allowed 10 excused absences per year and he’s already used four in the first three weeks of school. If he keeps up like this, there is a chance he could have his grades lowered or lose credit for classes (this is infuriating because he’s a 4.0 student even with the absences but it’s part of the bureaucracy of a school). Again, I can only hope this improves with time but I am not looking forward to noro season.

    I miss homeschooling so much. I miss having him around the house, I miss our long conversations and impromptu trips on beautiful days. I worry about him all day long. I wonder if he is feeling tired or overwhelmed or if he’s getting enough to eat or if teachers and fellow students are being kind. If it were up to me, we’d be homeschooling. But he’s old enough to have a say in his own education and while he admits there are things that are tough, he’s enjoying himself and is determined to make a go of this. I’m torn. I’m waiting in the wings, fully prepared to pull him out and homeschool again if he wishes but I’d also like to see him succeed at something that is so important to him.

    1. Hello Ginny! Your words are exactly all my thoughts and feelings in looking forward toward my daughter’s future. I have one child who is three, and I constantly think about having to send her away, not knowing what is happening to her all day and how she is being treated. I have stayed home with her since birth, and she and I have a very strong connection. As I think about next year, I don’t know what to do for preschool. And I am a complete norophobe 😂. Like everyone else on here, I want my child to feel safe, happy, loved, accepted, challenged, and able to engage in real experiences in the world, and I am afraid the beaurocracy and “schedule” of public school will impede her from really learning about the world. Sorry I don’t have much to contribute here, but your words resonated with me, and felt compelled to engage with you and the others here! Take care, and let me know if there is any new info or opinions on your situation!

    2. Hi Ginny; how is your sons back to traditional school going? I feel like you do; and thinking about schooling my 2nd and 4th grader. Just very afraid that I might not be able to teacher her and her falling behind. She hates the school environment since she doesn’t like the teachers yelling at students and being with so many people she doesn’t know.

      1. Hi Karin! Thanks for asking. He’s in his junior year at the same highschool where he started as a freshman. He’s still doing very well, not without some rough spots, especially in the transition from summer to the school year. I shared your same worries, believe me! But we homeschooled through his eighth grade year and despite my fears, he was able to jump right into a traditional curriculum. He is taking mostly Honors/AP courses this year and is keeping his grades up. His school is a private college prep school and it’s a mixed bag; the smaller class sizes and individual attention have been a tremendous help but the majority of the student body is very sporty so he struggled for a bit until he found his group who are unsporty nerds like him! But he has a great circle of friends now, is very involved in the student news program and Cyberpatriots and his teachers adore him!

        I have zero regrets about homeschooling. It was absolutely the right thing for him at the time (he had dyspraxia all along and it wasn’t diagnosed until he was 13). I also have no regrets about sending him back to school. He was ready to spread his wings, he’s had experiences I couldn’t duplicate in a home environment (working in a fully-functioning television studio, total immersion language classes, engaging laboratory classes, etc.). The best advice I could give is to trust your mom instincts. Easy for me to say now because boy, did I do my share of hand wringing and worrying back in the day. But now I can see that we made the right decisions. So trust yourself to know what is right for your kids and it will work out great.

  12. After 10 years of homeschooling, my husband told me that he thinks I’ve never really been cut out for homeschooling. He says I yell too much and I’m too stressed about school. Our oldest (9th grade) had traumatic health issues last year, but with some adaptations, he’s making great improvements every day. I’m thankful that he was able to continue to learn at home while healing. Sadly, I now question my abilities, feel like a failure and feel that I’ve ruined my kids academic and social growth. He hasn’t forced to put them in school, but I’m constantly worried. I don’t want them to go and neither do they. Any advice?

    1. (((Miss))) I can only imagine how disheartening and stressful this must be. I’ve been thinking about how to answer you because I didn’t want to just rattle off an answer. My response got long and it occurred to me that you’re probably not the only homeschool mom who’s ever experienced this. So, I decided to publish my response as a blog post. It will publish tomorrow. In the meantime, please know that I’m praying for you.

          1. Thank you very much for your quick reply! I really enjoy your blog and appreciate all the helpful insight and support you provide.

  13. Thank you for this. I homeschool my kids (ages 8, 6, and 5) This year our first with all three school age, and I’m so burnt out. Our whole family dynamic feels like it’s off. Everyone’s learning, but miserable. We have the kids in soccer, and tried scouts but their troop disbanded, and they have no friends. We can’t afford much else. So we are almost always home. My oldest is in therapy for anxiety and says she is sad she has no kids to invite over for birthdays or to play. Plus, financially it is a little difficult. We make ends meet, live pay to pay. If we send the kids to school, I will get a part time job and hopefully someday go back to school. I feel kinda heartbroken, when I think of not being with them all day I feel short of breathe. But despite our list of reasons for homeschooling, right now we are in a place we never thought we’d be… Finding so many pros to sending them to school. Most importantly, the kids all want to go. Other than missing mommy, they like the idea. It’s scary, yet I suppose one reason why school choice is so important is for each family to do what’s best for them. Which isn’t always what we originally hope it will be.

    1. RYN, your story sounds so much like mine! My kids are 9,7,5 (and a 2 yr old). We just had our tipping point to there being more pro’s than con’s after we took a hard look at the big financial picture of me not returning to work more hours than I do now from home. It was gut-wrenching to face this reality. But things were already so tight we couldn’t really afford extras and I was realizing that all these cool things I wanted them to experience were actually being offered by the schools around us. So, I’m taking care of my kids in a way that will allow us to actually help them with college expenses if needed and provide more fun learning experiences than they get now (ironic, right?). It’s going to be a rough drop off day, for sure, but I’m keeping it all in prayer! I’ll add you to my prayer list as well. Hope it all goes smoothly! I think one blessing is that we are doing this while they are young. Our allergist homeschooled a bunch of kids and said transition to school was a piece of cake for the younger ones. I have other friends who said their kids did well when they started school in 9th grade too, though.

      1. Thanks so much! I hope very much the transition goes smoothly for you! We are wrapping up our last school year together and we all seem to be much more at peace with the changes coming in the fall. My oldest was invited to a birthday party this weekend by a kid on her soccer team and she is no longer upset about the idea of school. I am finding it is not all bad, getting to think about what I want to do outside of the home. I am glad we are doing this now, while they are young and making friends and fitting in isn’t quite as difficult as it is sometimes during the teen years. I need to call the school and get them registered soon. It’s May. The guidance counselor I talked to back in Feb. told me to call back sometime in May. Honestly, I’ll likely wait until we wrap up lessons mid month.

  14. I’m a 16 year old in the state of New York who was looking to finish my senior year in a public high school instead of graduating with only a home school experience. Going to register in a high school, i was sent to the department of education to be placed in the correct high school. When I handed the nice lady my home school documents including my transcript of the classes I had taken throughout my home schooled years, she looked at me in disapproval, telling me that the credits i had earned were invalid. After searching on her computer for some minutes, she told me that I had 0 credits, 0 grades, and it looked like i had been a 9th grade drop out. Now, in the fall of 2018, Instead of being a 17 year old senior, I will be a 17 year old freshman. I will be graduating at 20 years old, instead of graduating at 17 the way i had anticipated. Being home schooled truly ruined my future. The exams I had taken every year of high school, the California achievement test now had nothing to do with New York and all of my college and career plans came crashing down in front of me. If you wish your children success in life and 0 frustration, please do not take them out of public school so this will not happen to them as well. If your children are struggling or need advanced classes, there are after schools and online schools available, as well as placement exams that can put your child towards graduating early and skipping a grade or two. Do not homeschool your children.

    1. I’m sorry that this happened to you. I would strongly encourage you to contact Homeschool Legal Defense to see if they can help. You might also seek out alternatives to graduating other than through public school, such as a private school or an umbrella school. Best wishes.

    2. How frustrating! It was silly of her to say you were a dropout…that shows that she is uneducated about homeschooling. There is no reason to enroll in the public school as a freshman if they won’t accept your credits. You can continue at home as you have been and make your own transcripts for applying to colleges. Many homeschoolers also do concurrent enrollment at a college to earn both high school and college credit before they graduate. That could be an option for finishing high school as well.

    3. My daughter is 13 and should be a Sophomore. She skipped 2nd grade AND 6th grade IN public school, and when we moved to Alabama had to fight to get her into public school (and it was a failing school at that) she jumped through their hoops and now it seems that they are going to try and make her retake her Freshman year. They also flipped their curriculum to make it so she MAY have to retake Algebra (they are trying to make her retake Geometry right now, even though her standardized testing shows her working above 11th grade, and far ahead of her state and national peers. It isn’t homeschooling that is the problem, it is the public school system holding gifted children back, because they don’t want to lost funding or face or both. Skipping grades in public school was not easy- they fought me for a year the first time, and she ended up having emotional stress until I pulled her out of school. Every family is different and every child is different. I hope that you can withdrawal from school and find a program that works for you, I would look into taking your ACT and doing dual enrollment. She already took her ACT and got a 19. So I am sure you will do fine!

  15. Hi I just need some encouragement and advice so I’ve been homeschooling my kids since kindergarten but last year I sent my 3rd grader in school and he did wonderful and exceeded but then I put my 7yr old in the 1st grade and she was struggling and being harassed by the boys in her school so I took her out. We’ve been struggling with her reading and she is in kindergarten level with reading and this year I have to put her back in school because it will help my family financially she refuses to go back but right now it is my only option until my husband and I can catch up on a few things. I have been so worried I wanted to enroll her in the 1st grade again but don’t believe I’m allowed to hold her back a grade. I’m just in need of some advice and encouragement I plan on homeschooling later but right now my options are limited.

    1. Hi, Rosanna. That’s a tough situation to be in. I’m sorry that you and your family are having to go through this. I wish I had some advice for you, but that’s not something I’ve ever experienced. If it were me, I would probably talk to the school to see where they think you should place her. For what it’s worth, my oldest with reading in public school first grade. We homeschooled starting in 2nd, but the school wasn’t going to hold her back. They said most kids catch up in 2nd grade. You might also try the free dyslexia screener on Lexercise.com and make sure something like that isn’t going on. Best wishes!

      1. Thank you so much I will definitely check it out she does get her numbers and letters mixed up. I have more peace today it took a whole lot of prayer and reading God’s word so I wouldn’t be so anxious. Thank you I appreciate it.

  16. Hi, I’m a freshman and I would like to return to public school. I was in public school from K-5th and have been homeschooled from 6th-9th so far. I would like to return for my 10-12th school years, but my mom told me a while back that they would probably test me and she says that since their math is different than homeschools that they will probably bump me back a few grades. I would like to return to public this next school year and continue on starting with 10th grade. I’m afraid I won’t understand the schools ways in the test and be held back a few grades. Is the test required? Do you know some of the math that’s on the test so I can prepare? I’m really hesitant and afraid of this decision, but homeschool just isn’t really the best for me. Can you help please?

    1. I wish I could help but I don’t know anything about placement tests for public school. All of my kids have homeschooled through high school. The decision to use placement tests can vary between states and school districts. My understanding is that, in most cases, if you enroll in public school from homeschool after 9th grade, you’ll need to take a placement test. I think the worst that can happen is that you’ll have to take a remedial math class if your math skills aren’t on grade level, and some of your 9th-grade credits may not transfer. That might mean repeating some 9th-grade courses but shouldn’t result in you being held back any further. Based on the experiences I’ve heard from homeschoolers who’ve returned to public high school, you’ll likely do better on the tests than you think you will. I wouldn’t worry too much about it. Just do your best. You’ll probably surprise yourself. Good luck!

  17. I would advise parents to advocate for their child.

    I homeschooled my daughter for Kindergarten. Because of various circumstances, she went to public school for 1st grade. At home, she was working way above grade level — 3rd to 5th depending on the subject. When I enrolled her, I asked about skipping at least 1st grade since she had completed 2nd and most of 3rd grade work already. I was told that they would enroll her in 1st because of her age then reassess and make a determination from there. She went to public school for 2 1/2 years and in spite of her test scores showing her way above grade level, she was never moved up. By the time I pulled her out half-way through 3rd grade, she was struggling to be “at grade level”. I actually began considering options (work through the summer so she could complete 3rd grade, stop where we were at summer break and resume in the fall, or have her completely repeat 3rd grade) but by the end of the year, she had pulled back ahead of grade level, enough so to go into 5th grade level work in the fall. And it wasn’t due to me pushing her ahead. I actually had my hands full trying to keep up with her when she set her pace.

    If I ever have to put her back in public school and she is working above her age-grade, I will be a lot more assertive about her being placed in a grade that matches her ability level.

  18. Hi
    My son did complete subjects in O level exams conducted by Cambridge International Examination, University of Cambridge, UK, but he passed all subjects as private student without attending a formal school. He has just moved to the USA (Texas). We wish to enroll him in Public school, His subjects included Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, English Language and Physics. Is there any chance he will be accepted in a high school grade 12 ?

    1. I wish I could help but I honestly have no idea. I would suggest checking with the local school district.

  19. Hi Kris! Long time no see!!! I was so happy to see your name pop up today when I was googling! Anyway, the part about schools needing standardized tests and stuff terrified me! I actually put my kids in school a few years ago and all they needed was birth certificates and shot records! We live in SC. I guess it could be different everywhere. Anywho, good seeing your site!

  20. Hi! My daughter is 9 and is severely dyslexic and struggles emotionally as well. She attended a private school for kindergarten and then we have homeschooled 1st-3rd grade. She’s extremely well spoken and intelligent, but her working memory is an issue as well as attention. She has asked me if she could try to go back to school but I have so many concerns. We live in Arkansas and really have no guidelines for homeschooling, so she has not been tested, except for her yearly Speech evaluations to renew services. Also, because of her disability, most of her work has been verbal or done on a dry erase board with me and her SLP. I’m extremely nervous about sending her back because she is still not able to read independently and I feel like I’m lacking any proof of what we’ve worked on the past 3 years. We have a local specialty school for dyslexia, but it costs over $10k per year. She could get a School Choice scholarship to cover the cost but she would have to have an IEP in place and since she’s not attended a school since being diagnosed, we do not have anything in place. We have been advised to go public long enough to establish the IEP and do the scholarship, however, I am afraid to put her through so many transitions. She does not respond well to change, but I also want to make sure she has every opportunity to succeed! We love homeschooling for every reason, but I do feel that as she gets older, I am not equipped to help her overcome dyslexia. Do any of you have experience with this? Thanks in advance! ❤️

  21. Ive done homeschooling and online school and also did the flip flop to public schools. It was easier to transition from online school because it’s basically a regular school (accredited) just done online so It was a basic school transfer. When I did home school it was harder to transition to public school because they didn’t want to give the kids credit for classes they took at home. The counselor wouldn’t even look at my child’s portfolio that contained everything she’d done and grades and tests. We lost time and they had to redo completed courses, but unfortunately it was a necessary evil at the time as our situation at the time didn’t allow homeschooling.
    The day the school called to inform me of a bomb threat was the day I pulled them out of school. That day was the worst day so far. I went to the school to get my child, and although they had already evacuated the school and placed everyone in the church next door, they wouldn’t allow me to take my child home. By the end of that situation there were cops being rude and threatening to arrest me! All I wanted was my child, I didn’t yell, I didn’t push or for e myself into the church, I just asked to take my child home. I could see her through a window and she was so upset and I never felt so helpless. Public schools are necessary because not everyone can be home to teach their kids, some single parents have to work multiple jobs and the school serves as free daycare for many. I believe that if you keep track of all the work and grades and attendance like a public school would, it may be easier to transition to a public school should you ever find yourself with the need to. Unfortunately the way things are today (shootings, bullying, social media, pedophile teachers), it’s a hard choice to make when considering who’s going to educate your children.

  22. Thank you so much for this. It felt so encouraging and hope-filled for a mom who’s considering private or charter school for her kids after homeschooling the last four years. I really appreciate it!!

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