Even if you have chosen to send your child to school, you can at ANY TIME decide to pull them out and homeschool. You do not have to wait until the end of a year.
Let’s make a checklist for things to think about once you’ve committed to homeschooling your child.
Choose your path
There are two options for homeschool: Home Study and Registered Non-Public (Not Seeking State Approval). The graphic below sums up the basics of each.
The remaining information is for Registered Non-Public (Not seeking state approval)
Choose a curriculum.
In a school system, parents do not have to choose a curriculum because it’s already decided for them. When choosing a curriculum there are a few things to consider.
Online vs. Workbooks
Some parents are more comfortable with papers to grade and keep, while others are much more comfortable with technology and prefer a mostly online experience.
Personally, we started with workbooks and are transitioning to online this year. My kids are old enough to do self-guided activities with minimal oversight from me so online is a better choice. Good news! You can choose and it’s OKAY to change your path as you feel necessary.
Religious vs. Non-religious
Just as there are different formats for curriculum, there are choices for the type of curriculum you use. There are both religious and non-religious options when searching for a curriculum.
There are tons of curriculums and finding the right one(s) is completely up to you and your child. Be creative, mix and match for what works for you, and if something isn’t working, don’t be afraid to switch it up.
Decide how many hours a day you will school.
Below is a handy chart from Popsugar on how many hours a day a child should be engaged.
This chart is surprising to parents because we are so used to our kids being in physical school for over 8 hours a day. We have to remember that a school day consists of changing classes, activities, recess, lunch, etc. The active learning time each day for your child is much closer to what the above chart represents.
So take a deep breath, your burden just got a little lighter!
Withdraw from school.
Go into the school to withdraw your child by filling out their drop slip (this may be an online process during the pandemic). Please note that there is NO other paperwork to fill out at this time. Some schools will insist you need to opt-in for Home Study immediately but that is not the truth. A great source for knowing your rights as a parent in regard to homeschool is Louisiana Believes.
There are also many communities on Facebook for homeschool information, co-op’s, field trips, and curriculum.
Make a schedule
A schedule for both you and your child(ren) will keep you sane. Kids thrive in controlled environments. Making a schedule sets and expectation. Here is an example:
Obviously, subjects and breaks will differ but I really appreciate that chores, free time, and reflecting are a part of this particular chart.
HAVE FUN! Our children feed off of our energy. If we seem frustrated or unhappy with the process they will be too. Homeschooling is freeing, go outside, explore and turn anything into a lesson!
A homeschool group field trip from last year!
New Orleans Aquarium
More information on the law in regard to home study vs. non-public homeschool:
Louisiana State Law on Registering to Homeschool
Home Study Option: Home School Statute. La. Rev. Stat.Ann. § 17:236. “[A] child who participates in a home study program approved by the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education” is exempt from the compulsory attendance law. To qualify, homeschool parents must comply with the following: 1. Parents must apply to the Board of Education for approval of the home study program “within fifteen days after commencement of the program.” La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 17:236.1(A).
A homeschool can operate as a private school in lieu of the above: Such home-based private schools which receive no local, state, or federal funds must “report to the state Department of Education their total attendance as of the thirtieth day of their school term…” La. Rev. Stat.Ann. § 17:232(C).
When using the private school option (Nonpublic): A student who is withdrawn from public school during the school year, or who attended public school the year before enrolling in a private school, must provide written notification of enrollment to the public school he attended within 10 days of enrollment. This notification must include the student’s: legal name; date of birth; gender; and race. In addition, the
notification may include a request for the student’s transcript. La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 17:221.3(B)(1)(2).