In general, families tend to withdraw children from schools and start homeschooling in either (a) August/September, (b) December/January or (c) May/June. Those are certainly those times of year I receive the most inquiries about getting started. And though there isn’t a whole lot of data about it, some numbers, lots of experts, and 20+ years of hearsay confirms these peaks in homeschool registrations across the country.
But, despite peaks during certain times of the year, homeschooling a child can actually begin at any time. And though parents are sometimes advised that homeschooling must begin at the beginning of a year, in fact, parents can legally withdraw students from school and start homeschooling any time they want.
Sometimes, parents are misinformed — led to believe it is not in a child’s best interest to withdraw him/her during a school year.
Often, parents get bad advice — most often from districts and school-related personnel. Sometimes, from grandparents or other family members. too.
When considering homeschooling, it is very important to consult state homeschooling laws and to gather information from trusted sources (e.g., established homeschool organizations, veteran homeschool parents, or legal associations aimed at helping homeschool families).
When considering withdrawing a student from school, it is critical that parents make contact with the people and groups that can accurately explain the procedures and protocols followed in an area.
[Contact me for help getting started.]
Blind faith is never a good idea.
Guesswork isn’t a good idea either.
I never recommend winging it, only to realize later on that a child was under-served, or that things could have gone much more smoothly.
Plainly, school districts — as well-intentioned as yours might be – are not equipped to advise parents about homeschooling. They are unable to relay accurate or helpful homeschooling information to families considering making the switch. It’s just not what they do.
School teachers — no matter how wonderful your child’s teacher might be – do not usually understand homeschooling, either. They cannot offer worthwhile guidance. It’s not part of teacher training.
So, are you considering withdrawing a child from school? Is homeschooling something you are planning to do — but you’ve been waiting until the right time to begin?
Please don’t wait.
If you want to, start now.
No matter what you have been told, there is no law anywhere preventing parents from beginning to homeschool at any time. Families may legally start homeschooling any day of the year — whether in July, mid-November, end of April, or even on New Year’s Eve!
I frequently hear from parents who have been advised to “finish out the school year” before withdrawing a child to homeschool instead. Some parents are even told their child will lose credits, fall behind, or have trouble keeping a student on pace if they withdraw in the middle of a school year.
Legally and otherwise.
In my 20+ years of working with homeschoolers, I have never come across a situation where leaving a child in school (prior to homeschooling) was beneficial for any reason!
Why leave a child in a bad situation? Why leave a child in a program that isn’t working?
Surely, you’re homeschooling for a reason. If that reason is unlikely to change, or if you’ve decided homeschooling is right for some other reason, do it when the time is right for YOU.
How about today?
I’d be happy to help you get started. CLICK HERE to let me know if I can be of service.
You might also like:
Pulling kids out of school: 10 things to do right now
Lisa Brinker says
I’m wanting to withdrawal my child out of public school and it’s at the end of the year. What is my steps? Don’t know where to start.
Hi Lisa, This isn’t something we can responsibly answer here in a blog format. Would you like to use the CONTACT button and talk privately? Thanks! Dr. Marie-Claire
Amy Watson says
Need to homeschool to finish 8th grade. In Alabama. Who do I turn to for information?
This book may help:
“Suddenly Homeschooling: A Quick-Start Guide to Legally Homeschool in 2 Weeks”
you can find it on Amazon.
Good luck. Dr M
Liz Massing says
Hi! Our family is moving to Illinois from Florida and we are wanting to finish out our Kindergarteners school year at home until we get settled in the new place. We aren’t sure if he’ll be doing first grade in public school or not, depends on how this goes. I have no idea where to start or what to do. Can you help?
Yes absolutely, and you’re more than welcome to submit an online request if I can be of assistance. Looking forward to hearing from you – please use the tabs at the top of your screen to request an appointment.
Thank you ~ Dr. M