Can I Pull My Child Out of School to Homeschool?
Can I pull my child out of school to homeschool? As long as you follow the legal requirements in your home state, you can withdraw your child from public or private school and homeschool any time you choose. This is all completely legal. You DO NOT have to ask the school’s advice or permission.
Can I Pull My Child Out of School to Homeschool?
In short, yes, absolutely, you can.
I was open and honest from the first week of school with my daughter’s school councelor and the school principal that my daughter was struggling with the transition from a home school environment to a tradition private school. The principal was actually quite helpful from the very beginning to assist my daughter with changes to her schedule to make the adjustment as smooth as possible. So, speaking with the school principal or guidance counceler can help alleviate any misunderstandings if you do choose to pull your child out of school to homeschool.
I have home educated my daughter since grade 1. One of the reasons I opted to homeschool so many years ago was even though our children attended a Christian school, the behavior of the teachers and aides was not the type of adults I wanted influencing my children for the next eight years. My children were coming home with bits of information that I felt were inappropriate for their young ages.
The ultimate deciding factor for me to remove my daughter from a formal school and bring her home was that she was miserable at school. She cried everyday and it broke my heart to watch this. She didn't make friends and in fact the little girls in her class were quite horrid to her. I was already supplementing my children’s education because I didn't feel the private schools did enough. I started homeschooling at mid-year through first grade for my amazing daughter who didn't quite fit in at a conventional school. I home educated her through Grade 8.
I always told her she would attend a formal high school because I never really wanted to homeschool high school. In my mind, I felt she “needed” to be in a formal high school, to foster friendships and boy was I wrong. The academics were easy for her. In fact, it was really quite easy for her. The actual school assignments were very easy for her and she didn’t feel challenged or inspired.
She was very frustrated with the fact that the new high school she was attending was ‘forcing’ her to take Algebra I again. This new high school only offered Algebra I or Honors Geometry for incoming freshman students. I was not going to force her to have to complete MORE(extra) work/homework by taking a Honors Geometry since Math is her least favorite subject. So she was stuck taking Algebra I again.
She was also forced to take Physical Science again as this is the the science offered to 9th graders at her new school. She completed Physical Science in 8th grade and for some reason the school would not allow her to take Biology, which I found really odd.
She also had to take English at the 9th grade level when she isreally quite acclerated in this particular subject. She is at an 11th grade English level and was basically set back two years, so this was very frustrating to her as well. She did really enjoy the Honors 9th grade English teacher, so that was a plus.
After the first couple of weeks of attending a private high school, the newness wore off and my duaghter was sick and tired of getting up really early to get to school on time. She hated getting up early! She was sick and tired of quite a few things to be quite honest. And I was sick of her complaining, every-single-day.
She didn’t understand why she learned (and was taught) basically nothing (her words) in the classrooms at school and then had to come home and read and learn it all again (OR be taught by me because she couldn’t understand what the teachers were teaching her). She really just didn’t understand how she could attend school all day and still have hours of homework to complete at night. And it was hours because I had to sit with her to build up her spirit and to help her navigate some of the silly instructions. It felt counter productive and she didn’t feel like she was fitting in with her classmates.
She also felt like a fish out of water because she didn’t have all the prejucies in place the other students held. All her new friends called her pure and innocent. The boys in her class made fun of her because she was smart and told her she was really weird. She cried at least once a week over how miserable she was. But I did felt it was really important to for her to complete a full semester. I was really hoping at the end of one full semester, she would feel differently, but she never changed her mind that she wanted to home educate.
So, I made the decision to pull her out of high school and bring her home to finish the rest of her freshman year in high school at home. So, we are back to home educating her and she couldn’t be happier!
Steps to Take to Begin Homeschooling Mid-Year
Essentially I began homeschooled for pedagogical reasons and I was more academically focused. I was quite intentional with curriculum and ensured my children were receiving a well-rounded education. Other families may decide to home educate due to problems with their children’s behavior, academic concerns, or even illness. But, that was never our course of action.
If your child is experiencing any of these issues during a school year or you just simply want to home educate your children for persons reasons; the semester break is a perfect time to make the change to home educate your children. However, you really can withdraw your child from school at any time.
Notify the School / Letter of Intent
The action of transitioning a child from a traditional school system to a homeschool is totally doable and really pretty simple. Each state in the US differ with requirements and specific state laws as some states require an affidavit to be submitted, which is bascially the intention to withdraw, to the school your child attends.
If you are planning to take your child out of public or private school during the school year, make sure that you understand your state's homeschooling laws and requirements first. We reside in Illinois and do not have any restrictions from the state to home educate our children.
If you are unsure if you will be home educating for only the remainder of the school year and returning to a public or private school, make the most of the homeschooling experience. Deciding to home educate short-term or making the decision to transition permanently is never an easy decision. Your children have worked hard through their primary education and high school is the culmination of the fruit of their labor.
What are the course requirements for 9th grade?
The state of Illinois offers my family quite a bit of latitude about the requirements of a high school education. I am free to decide the manner, time and materials which best suit the learning needs of my children. I get to determine what type of home-schooling curriculum is best for my chidlren, what materials to use, how much homework to assign, how homework is to be assessed, and what records of should be kept. Testing is not required in the state of Illinois for homeschoolers either.
I am only obligated to educate my children: “…the branches of education taught to children of corresponding age and grade in the public schools”. I am also obligated to offer instruction in core courses that “include language arts; mathematics; biological and physical sciences; social sciences; fine arts; and physical development and health”.
Additional Courses of Study for 9th – 12th Grade
In addition to the core classes, high school students alsol need to take some elective required courses. In the state of Illinois, my daughter will need to take Health, Economics and Civics. She took Economics the first semester at the private high school, so she is all set iwth this requirement. Once we decided to home educate for the remainder of the year, I selected Health for the 2nd semester since Economics is only 1 semester.
Other required classes may include:
Foreign Language (typically two years of the same language)
Electives are just taht, an elective course. These are great for your child’s passions such as art or music. My teen is currently taking an art course and would love to take more art courses. We found a veterinary course for high school students that she can take next year and she is very excited about this class. There are other options such as photography, computer programming, drama, speech, writing, and home economics that are available in my area. We have quite a large homeschool community that offers numerous enrichement courses.
Finding a Curriculum Mid-Year
This was an easy choice for us. I didn’t want to switch up many of her courses and I really want to stick with the same curriculum — if I could. But, as I stated early, she didn;t need to continue with Algebra I or Physical Science as she completed these classes in 8th grade. I moved her immediately into Biology and we stuck with Apologia because we really like this curriculum.
The great aspect about curriculum choices are that they are numerous, plentiful even. Curriculum choices today are varied and really individualized to your children’s needs. There is a curriculum out there for every student. The hard part is finding the best curriculum to fit your child (ren).
I do think homeschooling is often greatly misunderstood by the general population. My own extended family do not really support my decision to home educate my children. My brother and I have agreed to not discuss it any longer becuase he simply thinks it is just wrong for children to be schooled at home. My in-laws are not against the academic portion, but more concerned about the socialization aspect. Other extended family members simple think I am incapable of teaching my kids (IE: I am not a degree-holding or liscensed teacher).
My response to everyone who ever says to me: “what about socialization”: This great big world of ours is a pretty social place . . . It’s really hard to be antisocial these days!
My response to those who tell me I am incapable since I do not hold a degree in education: “I may not be specifically trained to teach my children, but I am over qualified to teach my children.” A large portion of moms in our homeschool community are specifically trained as educators and we all trade expertise.
Beginning your homeschool journey mid-year may not always be easy, but it certainly may be the best choice for your family depending on the circumstances.