Most of the parents and students who visit LetsHomeschoolHighschool.com are here because they’ve decided to make the plunge out of the public school system and into homeschooling. But what if you are a long-time homeschooler and are actually realizing that homeschooling all the way through high school isn’t for you? Or maybe you homeschooled for a year because of illness or difficult circumstances, and now you need to know the best way to transition back into the school system. There are a few things that will help smooth the shift.
It’s already paramount for homeschooling high schoolers to keep track of what they’re learning, but for those who are planning to move back into the school system, it’s even more vital. And a simple transcript may not be adequate. While most schools aren’t going to go as far as to ask for your daily lesson plans when registering a homeschooled student, it’s a good idea to share with them a portfolio of all previous homeschool high school work which includes courses taken, a detailed description of those courses (including curriculum used), the grades received (if you used a grading system), any standardized tests taken, and a written evaluation by the parent of how the student is generally faring with his or her studies. The more information provided the better, as this helps school personnel place the student in the proper courses for the coming year. For more information on record-keeping in homeschool, check out our full archive of articles on homeschool planning tools.
Almost all schools offer new students opportunities to tour the school, get acquainted with school policies, and get an opportunity to meet teachers and staff. It’s important to take advantage of any of these orientation activities as they can go a long way toward making a long-time homeschooler feel more comfortable about the transition to the classroom. If the school offers a peer-support program, this can be invaluable as well, because getting to hear about the school from a current student’s perspective is often more informative than multiple scheduled orientations!
When is “crashing” okay? When it means a chance to observe your future school and future classmates! While most schools don’t allow non-students to wander the halls during school hours, there are often events and activities that are perfect for potential students to attend so they can get a better feel of the atmosphere and peer group they’ll soon be a part of. Organized athletic events are a perfect choice, because anyone can attend, and even the shyest homeschooler can “disappear into the crowd” while still gaining a strong sense of the student body and the school environment. The school’s website will usually host a calendar or newsletter of other upcoming events held at the school which are open to the public and offer additional chances for you to explore the school in a low-key, not stressful setting.
Whether you just want to “try out” the public high school experience, or want to finish out your high school years in the classroom, the transition will go most smoothly for you if you keep good homeschooling records, take advantage of orientation opportunities offered by the school, and look for ways to get more comfortable with the campus and the students. We at LetsHsHs.com wish you the absolute best with your new school, and would love it if you’d drop in on our student forum and let us know how the school experience compares with your time homeschooling.