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Why You Should Start Homeschooling Midyear Part I

by Jessica Parnell | Jan 13, 2017 | 3 min read

This is why you should begin homeschooling mid-year.
Before a friend of mine began homeschooling more than 15 years ago, she spent almost a full year considering curriculum, schedules, planners and socialization. She wanted to do good research and make sure homeschooling was going to work for her family. During that time, the oldest daughter was struggling in school and began to lose her desire to learn, especially struggling with reading. Her daughter still doesn’t enjoy reading and struggles with confidence. In hindsight, my friend now realizes that she waited too long to begin homeschooling.

Understandably, my friend was fearful of beginning homeschooling mid-year. That fear is no different than the normal fear parents face even if they begin homeschooling at the beginning of a school year.
Regardless of why you choose to homeschool, when you do finally take the plunge, you’ll be so happy you did! Though it will take time to adjust, I bet you’ll immediately notice the freedom and flexibility you have over your child’s learning and schedule. No more rushing out the door, getting home late and tackling more homework, or worries about bullying or unrealistic expectations of curriculum or teachers. What a relief, right?

You may not expect the joy and closeness you receive through increased family time. Your child will begin to experience the delight that learning can be. They will see you, their teacher, focusing on their needs, not the needs of an entire classroom. And you can allow them to explore what interests them! But, if you’re going to start homeschooling mid-year (and you should!) you need to make sure you do it the right way.
Here’s what you should do when you take that leap of faith and begin homeschooling mid-year.

Getting Started Homeschooling Midyear Guide

  1. Withdraw from your current school properly. It’s important that you inform your school of your intention to withdraw, and that you meet with the necessary teachers and administration. Get your child’s records and speak with the teachers about the struggles and strengths your child experienced. This will help you as you transition into becoming your child’s homeschool teacher. Pick a date that makes sense for the last day of traditional school so that your child can say their goodbyes. Be sure to gather information about friends for playdates so that the relationships can continue.
  2. Get to know your state laws. It’s really important that you start off your homeschooling journey by knowing what will be required of you by your state. Some states are more homeschool-friendly than others. Find out what your state requires here.
  3. Decide what type of courses and credits your middle or high schooler will need. If you have a younger student, you’ll simply choose grade-level curriculum or online courses that match your child’s needs and interests. It’s not so simple with older students. Your child most likely has received some credits this year. Don’t let those go to waste! Start with the courses that your student was taking, and then find courses and curriculum that will finish out those credits.
  4. Choose your homeschool method and curriculum type. One of the keys to homeschooling well is to choose the type of curriculum that works for your family. Do you want paper-based curriculum or online learning? Are you interested in blended learning, a hybrid of both? If you don’t know the answers to these questions, don’t panic! Take this quiz to know your child’s learning style and discover what type of curriculum will work best.
  5. Find friends and outside support. While this journey will be beneficial and successful, you’ll still need support. Do some research into the types of socializing and homeschooling support you will need. Find online support through homeschool blogs and chat groups. For active, real-life homeschooling support, research local homeschool co-ops in your area or join the YMCA and take advantage of their homeschooling programs. You don’t have to homeschool on your own either! Consider working with a supporting homeschooling expert that can guide you each step of the way from curriculum choice to credit tracking to live online classes. You’ll stay in the driver’s seat with an expert partner at your side.

Don’t wait too long to start. Doing nothing or waiting, like my friend found out too late, is still a decision. Don’t make a decision you might regret in the future. With so many websites, books and resources at your fingertips today, take the time to research and find expert advice. Find the courage to start your homeschooling journey today. It will bring healing and health to your family. What are you waiting for?

If you’re looking for more homeschooling support, consider the experts from Bridgeway Academy. You’re never alone with a homeschooling expert at your side!

Jessica Parnell
Hello everyone! I’m Jessica Parnell — mom, homeschool evaluator, teacher, and CEO of Bridgeway Academy. In my 20+ years of experience as a homeschool mom and evaluator, I have had the privilege of meeting homeschoolers that take a variety of approaches to their education. It is their many stories and successes that inspire me in my own homeschooling and I love to pass on the knowledge that I have gained from them to other homeschooling families. The one constant that always remains true is that there’s no such thing as a “cookie cutter child.” Each child is fearfully and wonderfully made and as a result, learns and functions differently. It’s our job to ensure that we’re raising each child to fulfill their individual purpose and when we can teach in a way that inspires them, we are on our way to homeschool success. When I’m not writing or teaching my children, I like to ski, write and participate in triathlons. I graduated from Kutztown University with a Bachelor of Science in Education and a Masters in English and I am currently pursuing a degree in Neuroleadership.
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