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Education

Homeschooling

Reentry: When Homeschool Students Enroll in Traditional Schools

Teen girl in school hallwayNot all homeschool families make a lifelong commitment to homeschooling; as family circumstances change or as children age (and approach calculus-level math) some choose to switch from home-based to in-school learning. But while the notion of a fresh-faced homeschool student entering the crowded halls of public high school and struggling to open his locker may sound like the premise of a John Hughes movie, the truth about homeschool students entering (or reentering) traditional schools is a bit more nuanced.

Jeffrey Koonce, a school superintendent in Miller County, Missouri, wrote his doctoral dissertation on the subject. His findings? While every student’s experience is different, the keys to academic and social success seem to lie with the parents. “Homeschooling means so many different things. … It all boils down to [parental] leadership,” he says.

Koonce’s research suggests that children of parents who opt to homeschool for pedagogical reasons—that is to say, because the parents want to try a different academic approach than might be available in a traditional school—tend to do better when they enter public schools than the children of parents who homeschool for ideological or moral reasons. Koonce theorizes that that’s because the former group tends to be more academically focused, while the latter tends toward a more “shoot-from-the-hip approach.” As he writes in his dissertation:

    Parents need to have a home school structure and curriculum solidly within their grasp before starting to home school. An unstructured, undisciplined approach will academically hurt their children, regardless of the nobility of one’s motives in home schooling.

But as any high school freshman can attest, getting along in school isn’t just a matter of academics. Kenneth Bernstein, a high school government and social studies teacher in Prince George’s County, Maryland, estimates that about half of his previously homeschooled students experience “some difficulties in adjusting,” though, he adds, “once they form networks of friends, these largely disappear.”

A larger issue than finding friends, says Bernstein, is the fact that some students who come from a homeschool setting have not been exposed to “diverse points of view,” and thus aren’t used to being in settings where their patterns of thinking get challenged by students or teachers whose ideas are very different. For these students, a high school government class can feel foreign—or even hostile. But, he adds, every homeschool experience is different; for every homeschooler who struggles in high school government class, there’s likely to be another who is excited by the exchange of ideas.

Aside from academic and social concerns, traditional school can also usher in some unexpected logistical challenges—including waking up early, catching the school bus and managing time during tests. Laura Brodie, an English professor who decided to homeschool her middle daughter for fifth grade in an effort to “give [her] a break from the usual routine,” made it a point to keep up with the fifth-grade math and science curricula, because she knew that her daughter would be returning to the classroom after a year. Still, upon her return, Brodie’s daughter Julia scored a D on her first math test.

“I was shocked,” remembers Brodie, who later wrote about her experiences in the memoir Love in a Time of Homeschooling, “because I knew we had thoroughly covered and exceeded the fifth-grade math requirements. So I asked her what happened, and she said that one of the word problems in the middle of the test was interesting, so she spent the rest of the period thinking about it and didn’t finish the second half of the test.”

Preparing homeschool students to enter traditional schools can be tricky—after all, what parent could anticipate their child being sucked in by an “interesting” word problem? Although each homeschool student is likely to experience a unique set of challenges, there are some basic guidelines that homeschooling parents can follow to help ease the transition to bricks-and-mortar-based schooling. Here are six tips:

  1. Follow an academic curriculum that corresponds roughly to that of your school district, and have your child take yearly standardized tests so that he’s familiar with the tests he will be faced with in school.
  2. Document your child’s academic progress as a homeschooler and be ready to share it with school officials if need be.
  3. Help your child form social networks by engaging her in community activities and sports teams well before the first day of school begins.
  4. Teach your child according to your own philosophical or moral beliefs, but try not to shelter him from opposing viewpoints.
  5. Arrange for your child to visit the school and sit in on a class or two before enrolling her.
  6. Send your child to school with a good attitude. “Public schools are not the big bad ugly monsters” people might think, says Koonce. “Go in with an open mind: these people are here to help [you]. That’s their job.”
  • Pingback: Rentering Schools . Education . PBS Parents | PBS

  • Justina Jones

    I have an older sister, Elizabeth. My older sister attended Arbor Station from grades K-5. My older sister attended Chestnut Log Middle School in 6th grade. She attended Chapel Hill Middle School for 7th and 8th grade. My cousin John has an older brother, Matthew. I wanted to do school at home instead of Arbor Station. Miss Holt was my second grade teacher. Mrs. Rigdon was my first grade teacher. Ms. Conforti was my third grade teacher. I was born in 1987. My older sister was born in 1985. My older sister got a 3.9 average in high school and graduated in 2003.

  • Wilma Warner

    I was born in 1987. My older sister, Elizabeth was born in 1985. Miss Holt was my second grade teacher. Mrs. Chaffin retired in 1995. My older sister attended Arbor Station Elementary  School from 1990 to 1996. I entered Kindergarten in 1993. My older sister attended Chapel Hill Middle School from 1997 to 1999. She attended Chestnut Log Middle School for 6th grade. My older sister attended Chapel Hill High School from 1999 to 2003. My older sister attended Berry College from 2003 to 2007. Mrs. Rigdon was my first grade teacher. Mrs. Jacquet was one of my Kindergarten teachers. Ms. Conforti was my third grade teacher.

    • SomeMum

      That is so incoherent, that my eyes are rolling back in my head. Ugh.

      • Alex

        Agreed.

        Good article. We are thinking about sending the kids back for jr high. I worry about the transition, but know jr high is an adjustment for everyone.

  • Dee

    I found the article patronizing. My daughter homeschooled K-12 and is a senior at our state college. She’s a top student and has many friends and a job. I am a product of public schools and was very disappointed in the one-size-fits-all education system. There is also nothing wrong with homeschooling because of moral beliefs. In this age of iPhones, Facebook, etc., it is impossible for students not to be exposed to multiple opposing viewpoints.

    • Orlando

      Hello Dee,

      Can you please tell me how do you go about enrolling in College when you homeschool your kid and therefore there are no transcripts or diplomas etc.. I really appreciate any info about this subject as I don’t know all the technical details.
      thanks
      Orlando

      • Lindsey

        I was homeschooled and now have a bachelors of science in biology. I first obtained my GED and then took the entrance (asset) test at the college. It was not a hard process. Though I obtained my GED you can get a state issued high school diploma for homeschooled kids in some states. This will suffice for college enrollment.

        • Laryssa Lynn Busby Krauss

          You do NOT have to do this. A GED is a wonderful thing for a high school drop out to obtain to CORRECT their poor decision of dropping out in the first place. I have mine! I hated public school. It bored me! I scored so high on my GED that I received a scholarship to college! My daughter is in college now. She did NOT take her GED. The college accepted her parent issued diploma & transcript! However, I AM a member of the Homeschool Legal Defense Association & didn’t worry about them NOT accepting it. I had the HSLDA in my corner if I needed legal help. ;-) You will find that most colleges now actively seek homeschooled grads. Some even have their own admissions officer who deal specifically with homeschooled grads. =) BTW, congratulations on your bachelors degree.

        • ellen

          i have a 15 year old who has social anxiety but is smart and is taking advanced classes. How am i to introduce her back into public school system when bulllying in school is what started the social anxiety?

          • DaveandCarol Woolley

            I would first try a big active home school coop where she goes to classes. my kids do this once a week. they go to 3 different classes and have lunch there. I would also put her in a team sport and/or have he do all stuff available with church youth group. a mission trip with peers would be great to.. the social anxiety is not a school issue it is a social anxiety issue. it will cripple her , her whole life. work at treatment and helping her so she can go to college with out it. I have a friend with social anxiety and she can do almost nothing.

      • http://www.thepottershandacademy.com/ Kristi

        Really, it depends on your state, and how you go about it. Most homeschoolers compile their own HS transcripts. Many issue their own diplomas. In our case, we’re enrolled in an umbrella school, that will issue a diploma for our children. Our oldest has already decided that she wants to go to college, but take a non-traditional route. We’re looking for colleges that fit her goals, and most of them are incredibly homeschool-friendly. In fact, most colleges and universities anymore are extremely homeschool-friendly. If you’re thinking of homeschooling, getting into college should not be a worry that keeps you from pursuing this amazing lifestyle choice.

      • Jason Mink

        Orlando, applying for college will not be that hard, but it is my understanding that qualifying for scholarships the first year is very difficult, so you may want to look at that aspect.

        • HS Mom for Fifteen Years

          There are many scholarship that homeschoolers can qualify for. Research “scholarships” online, and consider buying a specific book that lists most (Barnes & Noble has these). Fill out the FAFSA before your college’s deadline to qualify for need based aid and loans (and the grants/scholarships from the college itself).

      • CyberchaseLover

        Check out Lee Binz, The Homescholar. She has a lot of excellent resources relating college and high school.
        Also, If kids don’t have to go to school, why do they have to go to college again?
        I mean, I get it it, they have to go to college to get a job.
        But the book “College Unbound” by Jeffery J. Selingo is worth checking out, just to understand the other side’s point of view.
        It really made me think about whether I want to go to college. I might just be a small business person… Or I could be something else. I haven’t decided yet. I don’t have to just yet. I’m only 14!

      • Ellen

        Something that I’m seeing more homeschooled teenagers do is enroll in dual-credit classes at their local community college. They take their upper-level high school classes (calculus, biology, etc) at the 2-year college, and then transfer to a 4-year college or university when they finish all their high school requirements. Some even take so many classes that they earn their associate’s degree before moving on to a university. They enter as a sophomore or junior, and only need two more years to get their bachelor’s degree.

      • HS Mom for Fifteen Years

        There are MANY homeschooled kids who go to college. Colleges understand that for homeschoolers grades tend to carry less meaning because parents award them, so they look to SAT or ACT scores (makes sure your child takes these in 11th or early 12th grade) and other independent evidences of accomplishment. Being very involved in academic activities (and actually winning) makes your children more desirable to colleges. Consider something like debate (google homeschool debate to find a league and local group in your area), and entering competitions such as The National Peace Essay or the Ayn Rand Essay competitions. Research this online or at a bookstore. It can and is being done!

        • Laryssa Lynn Busby Krauss

          And some community colleges don’t require the ACT or SAT. Our local community college uses the Compass test.

      • Teresa Janelle

        I’m a homeschool alumna in Canada who never graduated highschool and am successfully completing my Master’s degree. My route was taking a few for-credit highschool courses and applying to a small university as a ‘mainstream’ student. Other routes include: enter as a mature student, take the GED, do online schooling to get a standard diploma, or find a school who understands homeschooling as some smaller schools will accommodate those with no transcripts (try The King’s University, in Edmonton, Alberta!)

      • Laryssa Lynn Busby Krauss

        NO GED!!! A GED gives the connotation of a high school drop out! Homeschool grads work VERY hard for their diplomas! For REAL information about homeschooling go to the Homeschool Legal Defense Association website at http://www.hslda.org and read the articles on parent-issued homeschool diplomas. Most homeschoolers DO have transcripts. Parents can make them just like public school teachers make them! It is recommended that a homeschooled student also have a portfolio with samples of their work. Colleges are no ACTIVELY seeking homeschooled grads because they are SELF LEARNERS!!! They’ve not been spoon fed to pad their grades & make the public school look good. Homeschooled kids are already used to college style learning of writing ESSAYS! ;-)

        • Denise W.

          I was homeschooled in the 80s and got my GED after graduating from college. In my area, hospitals are requiring some proof of high school equivalency, no matter how many other degrees you hold. It took a couple of Saturday mornings of testing and was ridiculously easy compared to the GED prep books I had gone through.

      • DaveandCarol Woolley

        homeschool parents keep records and provide transcripts for colleges. colleges don’t care about a diploma. or you can register your child with an umbrella school instead of the county and they will keep records hold you accountable and provide diploma.

    • Will blain

      Yes I agree the one size fits all education is difficult but again how she said it was true and rather kind.

      • Laryssa Lynn Busby Krauss

        I disagree. There were logical fallacies & downright propaganda in her article. It was meant to discourage for families who are thinking about homeschooling. Public schools are beginning to panic over the steady stream of students being ‘lost’ to them as the parents begin homeschooling. As the ‘stream’ gains momentum the loss will become a raging river of those leaving in mass exodus! It is hitting the schools pocket book. ;-) Empty seats = lost dollars.

        • Ali1661

          Homeschool is not for every kid. I am homeschooled and I hate it. If your child has to have someone there to show them exactly how to do it, then don’t do homeschool. I have to have someone there physically to show me how to do whatever I am suppose to be doing. Don’t be surprised, when your child goes from making straight A’s to making straight D’s. That is what happened to me. Before you homeschool, you should ask your child’s teacher how your child learns in class, that way you know if you should homeschool them.

        • eastcoast71

          I’m an educator and I can promise you that there is no “steady stream of students” being lost to any homeschooling trend. If anything, many classrooms are crowded and there aren’t enough teachers to fill positions. There is no panic. In fact, teachers and principals would be happy to lose some kids to homeschooling. This article isn’t propaganda from public schools. These are researched facts from a school superintendent’s doctoral dissertation, which he had to present and defend. I think there are parents who do a great job with homeschooling. But I have also seen the flip side: kids who return to school glaringly behind, including one set of twins who had to be held back a year because they were nowhere near their grade level (their mother ran a very organized but obviously not effective homeschool). I think the article makes valid points. Personally, with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education, it is hard for me to believe that most homeschooling parents have learned even a few of the countless research based teaching strategies that I have learned and practiced for years. Nor do they have access to all the resources and newest teaching methods. Like I said, some parents do homeschool very well. But others, not so much, especially those parents who rely on computer-based instruction to do all the teaching.

        • Joann

          OMG! Talking about biased! I see your passion about homeschooling and what you do, but I think the passion is not making you see clearly. By having been in “both” worlds I can tell you that In my case, my daughter worked very hard to get to the level of structure and rhythm of a school environment before entering the public High School she is in now. I am so proud of her hard work and accomplishments, but I’m also proud of the work my husband and I had to put in order for her to be successful in school too. To prepare her we pretty much did all the steps the article talks about, with the exception of the first one because, thanks to the “flexibility of homeschooling”, she already was beyond the 8th grade academic curriculum before entering 9th. Now, in her senior year, high ranked and with a lot of great colleges/universities prospects in her future, I have to say that there’s a lot of work that we have to be done when homeschooling or when when they are in a public school.
          Many homeschooling families hammered us down because we were doing too much… Mmmh?
          As the article states, people homeschool for different reasons, but the misconception that a lot of homeschooling parents have, is that “colleges and universities are extremely home-school friendly.”
          Well, they will be, as long as a homeschooled kids prove that they have something that difference them from the kids who go to a public school, not only academically; but also what they did with the time they had while the others were stuck in a classroom in a school. So, to say that is overstating it a quite bit… What they want is a well-rounded kid. Homeschooled or not. I personally know two homeschooled girls who went to one of the best colleges in the States, but again not only they did the work. The parents did it as well. So having stated that, I also have witnessed many homeschooled kids, and my heart goes to them, going to a public high schools and then back to be homeschooled again because they couldn’t keep up with the load. Now they feel intimidated and insecure. Hopefully, the parents and their kids get the guidance they need so they don’t end up getting a GED or go to a community college after high school because, they could do it before they graduate and then attend a 4 years college.
          That’s the beauty of homeschooling, you have the time!

  • krista fox

    This is so biased, I cannot even fathom how it is being published as truth. It’s completely out of line with what and why people decide to homeschool. One of the reasons that many people homeschool is because of the poor education being provided at their district, and to suggest to follow one that closely aligns with it seems ridiculous. There are so many more issues with this article that, for the sake of time and space, I will not go into. However, from the voice of this article it seems to be written by someone who has many opinions about the subject, yet lacks any real experience in it.

    • Will Blain

      I have experience and she is putting it nicely.

      • Chiffon Noelle Iva

        Another naive concept as always. She clearly has not been nor had a child that is homeschooled. If this was so, a different tone and approach would be used when discussing a transition. Probably a more supportive and encouraging voice would be used – not a concerned and almost doubtful touch. This said coming from an 8th grade homeschooler!

    • barbara

      The writer of this article has an opinion and is sharing it. All opinions are biased, including those of every commenter here. What is the “biased” thing you read in this article? Please elaborate. By the way, we are reading comments from home schooled people who are doing very well. What about those home-schooled people who had learning disabilities or never quite got to be good at reading or math? They are not commenting here, nor are those who went to public schools who are doing poorly with reading or math. Those people perhaps can’t read these comments. How many such people are there? Is every home schooling parent a brilliant teacher? Just askin’

  • Victoria

    I really believe that all of the negative comments below are not addressing the reason for the article. The purpose of the article (IMO) is to educate parents that may plan on only homeschooling their kids for one or two years and are worried about their reintroduction into the public school system.

    I have three kids that I am contemplating homeschooling and they are various ages with various needs. My intent of searching for information is to feel confident that my kids will not be hindered reintroducing them into public school.

    As far as a review of this article, I was hoping for logistics on reenrolling them rather than the emotional/social side of the question.

    • Laryssa Lynn Busby Krauss

      If you are planning on re-enrolling them in public school you wouldn’t have as much freedom as a parent who is planning on education their children through Jr. High or High School. In the case of sending them back to public school the only thing you would need to do is follow the public school’s sequence. You do NOT have to use their curriculum, but if you were going to only be homeschooling for one year due to an illness in the family or something of that nature, then you would need to do the same subjects as public school. You can still use your own curriculum, but same subject. For instance, if the public school for that grade level was doing Pre-Algebra, U.S. History, Physical Science, & British Literature, then you would want to do those classes at home. I would use Math-U-See because it would align with Common core. The Math-U-See publisher has left their lessons the same, but merely added a couple extra pages at the end of each weekly lesson to make it Common Core compliant. Now, most of us don’t do those lessons, but if you were going back to public school you may want to teach those. that was very difficult to type! I loathe Common Core, but at least you would have the whole weekend to help them with it. For U.S History I like “Mystery of History”, “The Story of the World”, or Sonlight (expensive). You would simply wnat to buy the book that matches the time period your public school was studying. For science…I LOVE Apologia! It is written from a Christian perspective, but is SO readable my daughter LOVED it! She retained so much more because of the author style of writing. Jay Wiles gives examples of evolution & creationist thinking, so even though homeschoolers may teach from a creation point of view our kids are STILL learning about what evolutionists believe. =) Even in both creationism & evolution circles there are many different theories in both sides. That’s one of the reasons I like Apologia. Plus, homeschoolers LOVE watching documentaries…which mostly contain old earth & evolutionist theories. We just expose our kids to other views as well. Netflix, Amazon, & our local public libraries are our go-to for supplements. =) For British Literature I think Sonlight wins hands down! It IS a bit pricey, but you can now find most curriculum used on various sites. Some homeschoolers I know buy the Instructor’s Guides used, then check out the books from their public library to save money. When my library didn’t have a book they would get it for me through the inter-library loan system. If you look for the Instructor’s Guides used they are often referred to simply as IG. Hope that helps to answer some of your questions. =) Homeschooling is an awesome choice for families going through an extended illness, terminal illness, death/loss of a loved one, job changes/moving, medically fragile children or even parent, etc., or even just pulling out of the public school to help the child get their love for learning back. =)

  • Julie Woods

    Yes, very biased, one sided. I like how the line is drawn, that you can either be “faith-based” or a “Scholar”… certainly not both. That’s ridiculous, the undeniable fact is – most Homeschoolers are both. Yes, we study theology, but also classical music and theory, Fine Art, Art history, dance, culture, language, geography… We visit historical sites as a matter of course, we frequent museums, nature parks, libraries, studios, and theaters. Not to mention the fact that there are countless online / software courses and curriculums available, as well as textbooks. Our children take all sorts of classes, many hire private tutors, they play on sports teams, take missions trips, go to camp, they attend all church functions and perform community service. Surely, you don’t believe that we lock our children in closets and teach them nothing but our faith until it is time to reenter “brick-and-mortar schools. Our children are out in the world more than most. I can’t for and instant believe that they would be shocked to see that others have different opinions. Ummmm, if you have a television, then they know. They may however be very shocked at how unnatural it is to the entire day with 30 people who are the exact same age as you and who only think about experiencing the real world, but never have experienced anything beyond the “bricks-and-mortar.” I was thinking about the possibility of entering public-school for high school, due to the pressures of questions people ask, like “What about transcripts?” ” What about playing on high school teams, in high school bands, acting in high school productions, going to the prom, graduation ceremonies” aren’t you denying your children those experiences?” Clearly, I need to pray and study our options further.

    • Chris_d_a

      I totally agree Julie Woods, we have homeschooled our children for 12 years and our oldest is in college, which was easy and no GED was necessary for his entrance. We have just decided to put the other 3, ds14, dd10 and ds7 in public school because I have decided to go back to school myself to finish my nursing degree and I want to eventually further my education and who knows where it will take me.
      BUT, while we homeschooled our children it has been a VERY FULL and exciting journey. All of our children have taken/are taking music lessons. Ds7 is currently taking piano, ds16 is taking drums and has taken violin for years, ds19 has taken guitar for years. We’ve lived in 5 states since 2008 due to work, and we visited every ruin, museum, mountain and cave near Tucson. We have been to almost every museum and art display in/near Chicago. We have been to the Kentucky Derby in Lexington, KY and did many other fun things while we lived there. We have hiked Camelback Mountain in Phoenix and Mt. Lemmon in Tucson. We have been to Balboa Park near San Diego and to almost every campground in the state of Georgia and Louisiana and Indiana. I would be glad for my kids to discuss American History or World History with anyone. They know everything there is to know about Egypt and how to mummify something. My two oldest boys have participated in a mock trial at the State bar in Atlanta Georgia and played key roles (I was very proud). My boys have both taken swing dancing and my ds16 and dd10 was in swing choir and can sing and dance at the same time. They have attended dances (average of 3) every year during middle and high school. They have volunteered for wrapping/sorting gifts for under-privileged children in our area. They go to camp through our church every year with hundreds of other teens. My oldest son teaches a small group of 6th grade boys at our church and is moving up with them to the 7th grade this next year and they LOVE him!!! We have attended political parties and they are very aware of who’s running for what. DS19 has had 3 jobs and has ONLY changed jobs because we have moved 3 times since 2011. At each job he has shown such leadership ability that they have told him they wanted to train him for asst. management positions. My ds16 participated last year in a homeschool First Robotics program where they placed for creativity and they were competing against the local public schools. We have been on vacation to so many places that I don’t have time to list them. I could go on and on but I would definitely say my kids have NO ISSUES with social situations!! lol

      • Chalet N

        Wow, your kids are just so much more advanced and experienced than any other kid could ever be, it’s obvious. Give yourself a big blue ribbon.

      • eastcoast71

        Did your kids actually do any schooling or just take field trips? Although I am a believer in life experiences, at some point kids need to know their math facts. My kids do all that kind of stuff as well (sports, music, volunteering, church, cultural experiences). AND they attend public school 7 hours a day AND they are all top students. The only issue I have with homeschooling parents is their absolute conviction that their kids are way more advanced than other kids – when they are just NOT.

        • Chiffon Noelle Iva

          Another naive concept. Many believe this because we are stricter than normal schools and parents are capable of watching over their children, monitoring their progression and behavior. Many public schools aren’t pushing students, and though they may excel in one region, a more advanced approach (homeschooling online) or another school may see your children as dunce and illiterate. -_- To say that homeschooled children are NOT is simply showing defensiveness and in no way helps your argument.

          • Joann

            I have to say that I don’t agree with you. I find funny your defensiveness of your comment. Do you have kids?
            I have two kids. One homeschooled and another at a public high school, who was also homeschooled before and I have to say that you can find both worlds very similar. I personally know many families whose kids are 12-14, homeschooled but for some reason are lacking of a lot of academic skills and just spend the days on field trips and parks consumed by their electronic gadgets… And won’t even know how to play board games that require reading a division or a multiplication.
            I also know a very few families, like me, who value academics and want and give our kids what they will need so they can opt for a better future.
            I also happen to know brilliant smart kids who are in public school and their parents are doing whatever they can to make sure their kids have what they need to have a better future. I know some families feel judge but defensiveness is not going to give Homeschooling a valid and credible education form.

      • Joann

        Thumbs Up for you. My husband and I are very involved in our kids education. Like I said before. As long as we, as parents do our job no matter where our kids will be successful. I feel like homeschooling became more political that an alternative education!

    • Kapapala Pali

      I notice you didn’t mention science.

      • Julie Woods

        Geology, Biology, Chemistry, Entomology, Botany, Physics… You name it, our Homeschooled kids study it…

  • Teresa Janelle

    I’m a homeschooler who had a self-initiated transition to part-time schooling in grade 10 (the start of highschool). I didn’t do any testing beforehand. We never following the official curriculum. I’m pretty academically inclined, but I had never been inside a school classroom for my own learning until age 15…and I jumped right on the honour roll and stayed there for all two years I attended. There’s so much repeating in school, don’t worry about content. The first year in school i didn’t learn nearly as much content as I learned “how to do school”. Some kids need help learning how to “do school”, depending on age. You can do that before entering school or you can just help them along as they come across challenges. A grade 5 student got a D on a test? Why were grade 5 students getting grades in the first place? And do you really CARE that she got a D on the test if she learned the material? For some I konw the answer will be yes, they do care. If so, why was this child not given test-taking skill instruction and reminders?

    • eastcoast71

      Because test-taking skills are taught way earlier than grade 5, which she missed. But maybe a good homeschooling parent could have covered that at home. And what planet do you live on?? Kids get grades starting in first/second grade and they have for many years.

      • Teresa Janelle

        I never said kids DON’T get grades at those ages, just that I think it’s crazy that they do. And actually, if we’re going to argue facts about grading, I have a couple friends who are elementary teachers, and they don’t issue “A-F” type grades, they just issue very broad-category grades like “satisfactory” and “needs improvement”.

        There’s actually no reason a homeschool parent would feel the need to cover test-taking skills at such a young age, unless they were explicitly trying to prepare the child to “do school”, because you can evaluate learning in many ways other than formalized testing as typical in schools.

  • Omie Dove

    We live in a rural low-income community and I find the school to be terribly close-minded. The teachers seem unprofessional, uneducated and lacking ambition.

  • Omie Dove

    My son completed 3rd and 4th grade in the same year while homeschooled, now he wants to go back to school, but they want him to repeat 4th grade so that he will be in the same age groupings as the other kids. I don’t think it’s fair for him to have to do 4th grade all over again though! I feel like he’s being penalized for his motivation rather than encouraged to grow.

    • Laryssa Lynn Busby Krauss

      Find out why he wants to go to public school. If it’s for music or art join a homeschool group or coop that will provide what he is wanting. Our homeschool coop also has gym for boys. That may be his interest. You can always put him in YMCA soccer, basketball, etc. Many churches offer Upwards Sports as well. Our church also offers archery. There are plenty of things to get them involved in if it’s social interaction he is wanting…I’d tread carefully in this area though. If the only reason he is wanting to go back to public school is for the ‘friends’ I’d stick to homeschooling & just get him involved with a group of GOOD kids. ;-) Good luck.

  • Will blain

    How I know several friends that have done home schooling and I know of only one that has had the same level of education as they should have. when they do get to high school they are bullied and get taken advantage because school has a complicated social structures and they are trying to fit in its way more likely then not they have challenges. Yes there are several children that do very well but more likely they do very poorly ether academically or socially sometimes both I have seen this several times at my work and also when I went to school. What is written above is very true even a little nice if you look at statistics and other pieces of information.

    • Jennifer

      I agree with you Will. I have a sister in law who is home schooling her 6 children and it is all faith based. She isn’t putting them in any extra cirricular activities, or introducing them to other children or other experiences. They don’t take field trips. They write for 2 hours a day, do busy work, and then are done. How are they ever going to exist in the real world? Sure, there are spectacular home schooling homes out there, but I think they are few and far between.

      • Laryssa Lynn Busby Krauss

        Perhaps the age of the children & added expense of extra curricular activities are preventing her from doing so at this time. Many families, as the youngest children get older, tend to venture out into extra curricular activities. Writing for 2 hours a day will make them well prepared for college! There are no multiple choice, fill in the blank, or True or False in college…it’s essays, essays, and more essays! lol The family dynamics of a large family is quite sufficient to prepare them to get along with others. So what if they don’t meet a lot of people very different from them? they will have PLENTY of time to do so when they become adults…AND they will be well grounded in their own beliefs, have ‘missed’ the drugs/alcohol/sex that are such a negative influence for public school kids, and be better socialized because they haven’t been poorly socialized from a group of sheeple all their own age. Nowhere in our society are we age segregated except for public school! As a tax payer, I think she is doing a wonderful thing. The average school spends almost $10,000 per student per year! She’s saving the taxpayers in her state a whopping $60,000 per year! Homeschoolers also produce better results for far less money. ;-) She may not be doing what you think she should, but after all, they’re your brother’s kids, not yours. He obviously agrees with it or they wouldn’t be homeschooling. I have also found that faith based curriculum is more thorough in covering a general knowledge.base; especially in history & science. See my comment above to Will.

    • Laryssa Lynn Busby Krauss

      Will, I have found that your ‘statement’ is NOT the norm. Your information is eschewed. Check out all the statistical information on homeschooling from the Homeschool Legal Defense Association website at http://www.hslda.org and peruse the articles on homeschool graduates, college, and the workforce. =) I would like for you to site your source for your so-called statistics? I have never read them, and, in fact, they are directly opposite of the statistics I have. You can also find statistics on NHERI website that corroborate these…

      There are over 2 million homeschoolers in the U.S., and that number is growing by a rate of approximately 7-15% per year depending upon which state you live in. It is interesting to note that our homeschool coop had an increase of
      FORTY THREE PERCENT this semester! (Thanks, Common Core proponents. lol) I’m looking forward to seeing the next studies on the growth of homeschooling. =D

      Homeschooling is legal in every state.

      Most colleges have their own homeschool admissions policies already in place & ACTIVELY seek homeschool grads.

      By the end of grade 4 homeschooled children out perform their public schooled counterparts by ONE FULL GRADE LEVEL! By the end of grade 8…they out perform them by TWO FULL GRADE LEVELS!

      Homeschool grads vote at a higher rate than public school grads.

      Homeschool grads are on public assistance at a much lower rate than public school grads.

      Homeschool grads volunteer in their communities at a higher rate than public school grads.

      The percentage of homeschool grads that go on to college is a higher rate than public school grads.

      There are so many more statistics that debunk what you’ve said. For instance, my daughter took a job at a local store while working her way through college. In a short period of time she made management. She would come home often complaining about the poor work ethic of most of the other workers. It was very disheartening at times. I encouraged her to do the best she could and remember she was NOT there permanently…that job was a means to an end for her college career. ;-) In contrast to your statement that homeschool kids that return to public school get bullied more often than public school kids…I challenge that statement. My daughter was in public school until the 9th grade…and was bullied often. She had grown up in public school. It makes no difference. I attended public school…and was bullied. I think you would be hard pressed to find anyone who wasn’t bullied at some time during public school. Unfortunately, mean kids are everywhere..

      I don’t mean to criticize because I have a child with dyslexia and spelling is not her best subject, but according to your statement you were a public school grad…however, your Grammar & punctuation are not the best either. Not ‘knowing’ everything and having the ‘same level of education’ as you put it may not have anything to do with homeschooling. that is an unfair generalization. Everybody makes spelling, grammar, or punctuation mistakes at one time or another while typing on posts though, so I’ll give you that one. I do that sometimes when typing on my phone…and God help me if autocorrect strikes. lol EVERY kid in public school feels like they have trouble fitting in at times. In fact, I’d dare say most do. Public school does not breed good socialization skills. =( You are displaying a very negative, unfounded, discriminatory attitude towards homeschoolers. Please read the articles on the websites I have mentioned to debunk the myths you’ve heard, & obviously believed, from Hollywood movies, TV shows, & public school officials who are losing students to the wonderful world of homeschooling! =)

    • eastcoast71

      I’m sure any homeschooling association cherry pick their statistics to say exactly what they want them to say. I would check a variety of reputable sources for statistics on homeschooling.

  • dc

    I am here because I have a question, what is the law on getting your kids tested back into public schools? I was told at the board of ed that you can’t, that it only applys to grade school, not high school.

    • M Ellis

      It totally depends on your state, and possibly even your local school. You need to check with your state homeschool association, they will be your best source of knowledge. (Sadly, many BOEs are woefully uneducated when it comes to the realities and/or legalities of homeschooling. Or, they purposefully give out false information in an effort to discourage homeschoolers.)

    • Laryssa Lynn Busby Krauss

      I would highly recommend the Homeschool Legal Defense Association. Many times even school officials don’t know the laws concerning homeschooling in their own states! =O HSLDA gets involved in cases like that often. It usually just takes a letter from one of the attorneys stating to the official in question that they are in error. ;-) http://www.hslda.org

  • Anne Gregor

    Do you have a question about how to homeschool or about which homeschool curriculum is best for you? They might help – http://HomeschoolingOption.com/

    Anne

  • Laryssa Lynn Busby Krauss

    One of the most biased articles I have read in a long time. lol The ‘shock’ that homeschooled kids feel is not the academics, but the behavior of the other kids! Yes, they don’t ‘fit in’, & that’s a WONDERFUL thing! Parents who choose homeschooling because of their moral belief system do not ‘shoot from the hip’. Where is the author getting her information for this conclusion? I see no sources cited. Her opinion, that’s all. Talk about ‘shooting from the hip’…Common Core? And yes…public school IS hostile to ANYONE from a Christian background. Even kids who have always been in public school and come from a Christian home feel the hostility toward their religious beliefs. So the ONE kid made a D on ONE test. Big deal. I’m sure her mother explained to her (if the child hadn’t already figured it out) that she can’t do that again because the test is timed. That point is laughable. Oh…and the points given from the so-called authority? Number 1 is a big reason we homeschool…we don’t WANT to do it like the failing public schools! Number 2 is pretty much the LAW in most states…documentation…so that’s nothing new to homeschooling parents. Number 3 is ridiculous…homeschooled kids already HAVE their own networks of good kids with even better socialization skills from their homeschool groups, homeschool coops, extra curricular activities (yes, homeschoolers do have them), and churches. What the author should have said is to prepare your kids for the shock of their life concerning appalling behavior. There ARE good kids in public schools; but many are bullied into silence & have long since lost their independence. They become sheeple (people acting like a herd of sheep) & go along with the flow. Sit down & shut up seems to be the motto. Number 4 is incredulous! Most homeschoolers actually DO teach their kids about other religions & viewpoints…it’s called Apologetics! The problem is that they will not cave in like the rest of the students who have long since been worn down by the indoctrination of public schools. Therefore, they seem intolerant when they stand firm in their convictions. I DO agree, however, that number 5 is an awesome point. Let the child see what they’re getting themselves into. Chances are…they’ll beg not to be forced into public school. lol Okay, maybe not all kids, but many will not want to be there. It’s a joke among homeschooled parents…having to go to public school is a threat we can use as potential punishment! lol Calm down! Just joking! We homeschooled parents do have a sense of humor. =) However, many PUBLIC SCHOOL kids wouldn’t want to be there if given a choice. ;-) As for number 6…yes, those people are being paid with tax payer dollars to be there & help the children. However, their hands are often tied. Teachers must teach to the ‘standardized’ test, as this author pointed out. I know some AWESOME public school teachers that I would let help teach my kids…if they weren’t in a public school environment. Kids don’t have the freedom to stop & think about a math problem as this author pointed out. Homeschooled kids have the choice to stop & think about what’s being taught & delve into a topic that interests them deeper…not hurry up & move on with the flow to pass a meaningless government test. THINK! Isn’t that a wonderful concept? To allow a child to explore their own curiosity about a subject that interests them is true learning! This author inadvertently just proved many homeschool parents’ point; homeschooling has so much more freedom than public school. Please, do not even try to respond if you haven’t experienced this freedom with a comment about one person you know who was homeschooled that you think didn’t fit in. There are oddballs in homeschooling just like public school or any other group. It doesn’t mean they’re the norm. Unless you have been to a homeschool group or homeschool coop & experienced a variety of homeschoolers you have no idea about real homeschoolers. I just tried to help 2 public high school students last month that couldn’t even multiply, didn’t know how to conjugate a verb, had no writing skills, and one of them was a SENIOR! I questioned a kid last night who was a teenager…and couldn’t even tell time without a digital watch; I’ve found that teens & young adults often have trouble with telling time. These are basic life skills that our wonderful public schools are lacking. Your kid might be doing fine, but MANY are not! Homeschooling IS the better option if parents are able to do it. However, I do realize that not everyone can homeschool. For this reason alone I think parents should have vouchers to help pay for private schools if they choose to do so. Even our own government bureaucrats in the public education field agree our public schools are a failing mess! That’s why they keep trying to change things. The machine has grown so large it has passed the ability of being fixable. It should be completely scrapped! Local control is what is desperately needed. For REAL information about homeschooling go to the Homeschool Legal Defense Association website at http://www.hslda.org and peruse their site.

    • eastcoast71

      Calm down. You are giving homeschoolers an even worse (and hysterically crazy) name.

      • Chiffon Noelle Iva

        crazy, really? Is that anyway to put it? You obviously have no experience.

  • Bucephalus

    My son recently started 6th grade at a public junior high school, after being home schooled for k-5. He wanted to go to public school to make friends and be around kids his age. I expected there to be an adjustment period. After 2.5 months at the public school, my pre- public school thought seem to be true. He is having difficulty making friends. Not because he is not socially adjusted, but because we instilled values that many public school kids do not share and he was raised to be kind to others, and have a positive attitude. Apparently, while at school these values are thrown out the door. Most boys play video games and this is pretty much what they talk about while at school. We do not allow our children to play video games that include violence, blood, and bad behavior. A friend of ours has a child who has always attended private schools and has moved frequently. It took him two school years at the same school until he started to make friends. If my son chooses to continue public schooI I expect it will take him about the same amount of time until he too, will find kids with similar interests and begin to make friends.

    • eastcoast71

      There are families with kids in public school who share your values. Be patient. Your son will find those friends who are like him – it just takes time.

      • Chiffon Noelle Iva

        Yes, true.

  • Tasha

    I homeschooled my daughter from K – half way through 8th grade. She wanted to stop homeschooling and attend public high school for 9-12. For a variety of reasons, we enrolled her in a brick and mortar public school after Christmas break of 8th grade, rather than wait until 9th grade.

    One week ago, she enrolled in school for the first time. Our experience? The adjustments are all minimal but do exist. She found a nice bunch of girls the first day and has a group that she eats lunch with and is developing friendships with. No issues there. Being talked down to by teachers? It exists and she’s making peace with it. She comes from a world where adults take you seriously and having her questions dismissed and brushed off is quite a different experience.

    Academics? We used a wide variety of educational materials over the years, focusing on quality literature, hands on experiments and art activities, living books rather than textbooks, and child-led interests. The only subject in which we followed a set curriculum was math. You do not need to follow the public school model. In anticipation of transitioning to high school textbooks, I switched entirely to public school textbooks at the beginning of 8th grade so that she would be used to the format, but prior to that we followed our own path.

    She is thriving academically in all subjects. She’s excelled on science quizzes that covered material taught before she entered the class. Material that wasn’t covered in our 4 months of standard 8th grade textbook use either, because not all textbooks cover the material in the same order. We’re having to cover a few holes at home in math because her previous public school textbook and her current one didn’t cover the same material in the same order, but that’s to be expected in any subject that follows a strict linear sequence that gets changed regularly (I’m looking at you Common Core and textbook committees over the years).

    My point is that you can have an interest-led, wholistic approach to homeschooling and still transition back to school just fine. Attempt to keep at grade level with math and everything else will fall into place. That’s it. It’s really that simple.

  • Aligrace1661

    I am currently in the 8th grade. I am homeschooled and my parents are thinking about putting me back in public school. Would I have to take a test to go back?

    • Chiffon Noelle Iva

      It depends on the school.

  • Chiffon Noelle Iva

    This article is certainly biased. I am an 8th grader who is homeschooled and entering a traditional high school, and I do not experience any of these challenges (I started at 6th grade). It is the ignorance of traditional-classroom parents to think that homeschooled children are not challenged and are socially challenged. Another ignorant idea many have is that the parents are the teachers – Have you ever heard of an online education?? Yes, we may not be sitting in a classroom, but we are learning and being taught the exact same way and even BETTER. The example with the child getting a D is purely her parent’s fault. They allowed her to do these things and thought it was no big deal during her homeschooling years. How dare you attempt to make up appear incompetent and unintelligent. NO homeschooled child is EVER like that, mainly because their parents enforce rules and standards that they must follow while under their supervision. C’mon – Homeschooling is pretty much exactly what happens in the classroom, JUST at home – Why make us look like aliens?

  • kodackblack

    ok so im homeschooled I have been since 6th grade now in 8th im planning on going back in to school in high school but I haven’t seemed to learn much ive been trying to look up what I need to do to be able to go back to public school but I cant find an anser I really need help because I cant take another year of homeschool someone please help me.

  • keepitreal

    Public schools are full of angels compared to some of the mean-church-girl BULLIES I’ve encountered in home-school circles! Sadly, homeschool kids have had their parents brainwash them with a cultish us vs. them mentality. So sad :(

  • iMom

    Homeschool is about character development then academics. For those who are not religious, then think of it as “social smarts” and prosocial behavioral training. Learning the golden rule, playing nicely, proper life choices and the capacity to evaluate information and make choices based on a personal moral compass. Homeschool children quickly weed out conversations about premarital sex, drugs, violence video games and atheism as public school garbage that will impede their educational/spiritual goals. Sex is for marriage, drugs are unhealthy, violence isn’t prosocial and atheism/other religions are spiritual choices.

    Upper school is about learning skills to feed yourself and your family. It is not about producing voters of a particular persuasion. Many of these conversations are never had in a corporate environment because it not related to the company mission and it throws a wrench in diversity.

    Politics, religion, and sex are not workplace topics and they really should not be discussed at school. How to get a job when you get out and pay your bills should be the sole purpose of public education.

  • Nico

    Im 16 and my education and social skills is pretty much out the door, i can feel I don’t fit in by groups of friends, can’t join sports, and lack knowledge since I’m stuck in my room with no-one ‘paid’ to teach me. working with Family asking questions trying to understand a sum or making sense of science is only frustrating since mom doesn’t always know all these things herself, so i’d stay stuck on a subject for a week or day. Other than that, I barely get out to friends(since i barely have any), where school kids can socialize everyday. Where me, I look into the same faces everyday. Homeschooling has only left me with unhealthy challenges such as depression… Was hoping I’d be able to get a idea of school for a homeschooler here before entering myself, but now I think even if I had the courage to go back, how would I fall into their friend groups and ways of learning? I keep hoping things get better after these “school” years. Having to hope to one day find a decent job, or a happy life. Parents take us out for how they feel about it at the moment, then when they get tired of it or things go out the back door, where am I left? I’m sure there’s successful homeschoolers out there, obviously all different circumstances, but this aint fit for just anyone. Thanks for the ariticle, I’ll be seeing if i’m going back to school or not, either way ‘damage’ is done….

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