8 Things I Wish I Had Known When Transitioning from Public School to Homeschool

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This post was written by my sweet friend, Elizabeth. She is a local homeschooling mom who transitioned her kids from public school to homeschool and learned a great deal along the way.

Not everyone has the benefit of “growing up” with their homeschoolers. Some of us are late to the game and for whatever reason, don’t realize the need for homeschooling until well into middle school or even high school.  Because of that, we have to take a giant leap into the world of homeschooling. Let me share with you some of the things I wish I had known during my first year of homeschooling.

8 Things I Wish I Had Known When Transitioning From Public School to Homeschool
1. Relationships come first. Learning will naturally happen as a result of that relationship. Maslow’s  hierarchy of needs lists safety as the second tier on the pyramid of motivational needs.  After food and shelter,  the need to feel safe is the next step for healthy development. Creating an environment  where your homeschoolers are free to explore and fail is key to that safety.

2. It’s homeschool, not school at home. Resist the urge to recreate the public school day in your home. I would suggest some time researching unschooling. This may be completely outside your comfort zone and not your first choice in schooling,  but it will go a long way in helping you find a happy medium.

3. The first year is a transition year. Go into that year with the expectation that by the end of the year, you will have a great foundation for the rest of your homeschool experience. You will be amazed at the learning gaps you will discover as you begin homeschooling. Your anxiety level will be much more manageable if this doesn’t come as a surprise to you.

4. Make a point to find out your child’s individual learning style before investing in curriculum.  Trust me, your pocketbook will thank you.

5. They will not remember every detail you teach them. Each year is a building block for the moment in life when it all finally “clicks”. Don’t panic if the summer after a year of American History, your child asks why you celebrate the 4th of July (yes, that happened….with my 8th grader!!!). The “Rule of Seven” in marketing teaches that someone must hear a message 7 times before they are prompted to buy from you. The same rings true for our homeschoolers.

6. Get dressed each morning as if you have somewhere you need to go. The temptation to stay in your pj’s all day is huge, which is a wonderful perk of homeschooling, but the learning process goes much better when your homeschooler is fresh and ready to approach work. Some of our worst days of “school” have been when we’re all still sitting around with bedhead at 2:30 in the afternoon.

7. You are unique and so is your homeschooler. Let Pinterest and Instagram serve as inspiration but do not get caught in the comparison trap. You know your child better than anyone else. What works for someone else may be terrible for your family. That’s ok. There are no failures, just opportunities for growth.

8. Have fun. Our lives have become so much better as we have traveled this journey. We truly enjoy most of our time together. We are making memories that will last a lifetime, and I am the primary influence in my child’s life not their peers.  They cannot take prayer out of my school and for goodness sake there are just too many days when we really need it.

I hope these eight things will go a long way in making your transition from public school to home a complete success.

Elizabeth Pait is new to the blogging world. A registered nurse turned homeschool mom of 3 kids, I began the homeschool journey to meet the needs of a special learner and fell in love with the homeschool world. I have a special love for the mental health community and desire to point others to a Christ-centered simple life. You can find her blogging at Live, Laugh, Love Simplified.

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This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Thank you for this post! This is our second year home schooling (3kids also) and it’s still unbelievably hard. This has helped put some fears to rest. You have a unique way of conveying to others…look forward to your new blog and the posts there!

  2. A couple things…didn’t mention deschooling, which is the number one thing people seem to not want to do and then end up regretting they didn’t do it. And number 3 – the transition and finding your groove often takes over a year and can often be as long as three years. And I disagree with #6 some of our best learning happens in our pj’s. Some of our best discussions and conversations happen curled up on the couch in pjs and drinking hot cocoa! Never underestimate the learning power of a great conversation 🙂

    I also recommend not just researching unschooling (and we’ve done a lot of unschooling over the last 12 years) but look at many of the educational philosophies and styles. Most people end up with a combination of several different styles. And always suggest looking for homeschooling groups in their area. The in person support helps a lot!

    1. So true, Katie! Thanks for posting! I am brand new to homeschool ~ beginning a trial run with my 2nd & 5th graders next week. There are SO MANY styles, philosophies, and materials out there…I am researching and cramming now for the absolute best methodology for me and my kiddos! So far, I really like how organized Easy Peasy is and plan to use that as a base! Any further advice from experienced homeschoolers is always GREATLY appreciated!?

    2. I totally agree with your comments. My son loves to be in his pjs in the morning. I, however, find that I get grumpy if I stay in mine and don’t do my hair (haha!).

      We also try not to call school time “school.” we believe in life learning. There are so many great websites and blogs like this one with great ideas and printable games and other non printable games that are fun. Our library has lots of great programs for homeschoolers too. We also have a homeschool academy which is a one day a week learning and social time sponsored for free by a local school district. Tou can do the curriculum you want. I have also just found a local church that has a co-op where parents either teach classes or help.

      I think homeschooling is a constant adjustment because life and people change. make sure you get trained help and support for learning disabilities. I found an awesome lady who is making our lives and learning experience great!

      Also, there are lots of great books at the library. It is not always necessary to have a curriculum program. In fact, for me most curriculum is too confining. Just make sure you are tracking their learning so you hit the important things. I love the book The Brainy Bunch. It gave me lots of great ideas!

  3. Thank you for sharing. We stumbled into homeschooling much in the same way. I have been homeschooling my special needs son the past 2 years and his sisters will be joining him in the fall.

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Hi, there! I’m Heather Bowen, and I am so glad you’re here.

My passion lies in helping homeschool moms balance marriage, motherhood, homemaking, and homeschooling all while remaining sane!

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