How can I help my child transition from public school to homeschool?
Transitioning from a school environment to homeschooling is a big leap, and it may take your child some time to adjust to their new “homeschool schedule.”
No matter what educational method you choose to use in your homeschool, there are major differences in the environment and learning style of homeschooling versus school. One of the common benefits of homeschooling is that older children can develop independent study skills earlier (note that some curricula and educational methods lend themselves more to independent study than others). However, developing these skills may take some time as the child adjusts to the shift away from a lecture-style classroom learning environment.
Connecting with other homeschooling families and a homeschool support group is another important step in transitioning from school. Homeschool support groups vary tremendously in interests and focus, and offer a wide range of supports from a specific schedule of extracurricular activities (such as a homeschool skiing meetup during the winter, field hockey league all summer, or a theater group with an end-of-year-production) to school-year-long weekly meetups with group classes taught by parents or teachers hired by the group. Some groups have Facebook pages where members can share news, activities, and plan events. Be sure to connect with your provincial homeschooling association and the Canadian Centre for Home Education (CCHE) for information about homeschooling support groups in your area.
The flexibility of the homeschooling schedule offers unique opportunities for making new friends, socializing on a more open schedule, volunteering, going on field trips with your family or homeschool group, and participating in community activities. You’ll also find you have more time to work with your child on taking an active role in household responsibilities and keeping the household routine on track.
During the early days of homeschooling, parents are often amazed at what they learn about their children’s personality, social skills, strengths, and learning style. Enjoy this time as you develop your new routine and set out on this exciting learning journey with your child!