January 22, 2018

Can You Start Homeschooling In The Middle Of The Year?

I typically hold a parents’ class in January and I lovingly call it my ‘deer-in-the-headlights’ class.  These January classes consist of two types of parents:  (1) those with 8th grade students who are getting an early jump on high school planning and (2) parents who have just pulled their high school students out of a public or private school and are just now homeschooling for the first time.  Either way – this is the class of parents who are just getting started and they aren’t even sure of which questions to ask – especially if they are brand-new to homeschooling. Can you start homeschooling in the middle of the year? For those of you considering pulling your high school student out of a classroom environment and bringing them home after Christmas – let me share some encouraging information with you today.

Can you start homeschooling in the middle of the year

At some point most of us who home educate are going to feel like a ‘deer in the headlights’!

First – it is definitely do-able, but you’re jumping in the deep end so be ready to start swimming.  You are going to need to determine where your student is academically so that you know where to pick up.  If you are pulling your student out because they are struggling academically, you may want to spend the rest of the year remediating and being sure that all the fundamentals are in place.  It is more important that your student learn the material than just check the box to say that a credit was completed.  This is especially critical in language arts and mathematics.

Take some time and look at your student’s current text books to determine what they have covered thus far this year.  If they are making good progress in a subject, you will want to get a similar textbook or academic program so that you can continue with what they have started.  If, however, they just aren’t getting it with their current curriculum, feel free to try another angle.

Math and language arts are the areas that require strong foundations and therefore fairly accurate placement into a curriculum.  Most math curricula provide placement tests so that you can know where to start your student.  A couple of the popular ones can be found here:

Math-U-See

Saxon Math middle grades

Saxon Math upper grades

As for language arts, you will want to be sure that your student has a strong foundation in grammar and spelling, then read lots of good books and have your student work on their writing skills.  You can choose to continue the English credit they have started as long as you know these foundational areas are strong.

If you’re ready to take on high school subjects at home, a good resource for obtaining curriculum is R.O.C.K. Solid. You can check out their website, or give them a call at 904-751-3569 to discuss your specific needs.  They can help you determine what will work well with your student.

If you’re looking for some outside assistance, consider using Florida Virtual School  for some of your subjects.  FLVS is a Florida public high school in which students take courses online.  There is a live teacher guiding the class, but students are responsible for logging on and getting the work done.  FLVS has a rolling enrollment, so you should be able to pick up the second semester of some of your student’s coursework here.

By working at home, you have the luxury of taking some courses online and working on others at home.  You also have the ability to work at your student’s pace to be sure that they truly are learning the material.  The key is to make a plan and be diligent about sticking with it.  See my post on Planning.

If you are newly homeschooling in the state of Florida, you will need to send your Letter of Intent to your local school district.  Find more information here on FPEA’s Free Resource page.

~to your success

Joanne

Image courtesy of Liz Noffsinger at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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