As a homeschooling mom, I agonized over the decision to send my homeschooled kids to public school. I knew I was drowning as I tried to attend college, work, and homeschool my children, but I just couldn’t get myself to make the decision to do it. It took months of deliberation before I finally took the step of registering my three oldest children for school.
How to Prepare Your Homeschooled Kids for Public School
1. Take a look at your school district’s supply list at your school district’s supply list. Expect to spend a fair amount of money on school clothes, school supplies, and school events. In our case, I was unpleasantly surprised by how much it would cost us to send them, especially since we had been homeschooling them all for less than $250 a year. I ended up taking advantage of thrift stores and dollar stores to get what they needed, but I did not expect to have to buy so many things.
2. You’ll also have to help your kids prepare for the adjustments. Since our children had never been to public school (or even daycare), simply being away from home all day was a huge change. We toured the school with them so that they’d get a chance to see the classrooms, the cafeteria, and the bathrooms. If you’re enrolling your kids at the start of the school year, attend the school’s “Open Night” so they can meet their teachers and walk the hallways for themselves.
What to Expect When You Send Your Homeschooled Kids to Public School
1. They’ll be tired. Getting up at 6:15 a.m. was a brand new concept for our kids. Our oldest son, in particular, was constantly exhausted. So we had to adjust their bedtimes so that they could get enough sleep each night.
2. Your family will be busier than ever. By the time my kids got home, they had to do homework (and sometimes school projects). When homework was finished, it was time to make dinner. And then it was time to get them in the bed. Since we had been used to relaxing in the evenings as a family, this was totally unexpected.
3. You’ll feel guilty. As I watched my kids struggle with the increased workload of public school, I felt guilty nearly every single day. But I managed it by thinking of all the valuable life lessons they were learning – how to persevere through difficult times, how to be responsible for their own schoolwork, and how to react to the unkind behavior of other children.
Deciding to send your homeschooled kids to public school is definitely a difficult process. But if you’re prepared in advance, you and your kids can handle this adjustment much easier.