Whether you have homeschooled your child for a few years or since the beginning, if you are now considering the move to a public or private high school, you will want to do all you can to make the transition as smooth as possible. The more prepared your child is for the change, the more successful they will be in their new environment. Take full advantage of the resources in and out of the new school and be as organized as possible. You’ll also want to start to introduce the changes your child might encounter before they actually experience them.
Transitioning from Homeschool: Gather Your Records
When homeschooling is done well, there is an abundance of records that testify to your student’s academic preparedness, character, and maturity. In adherence to your state’s requirements, you likely created transcripts or reports to document your student’s success. This official record of performance should concisely document your student’s academic abilities and extracurricular activities. Additionally, if you have administered standardized tests, you may want to share those results with the new school. Before you apply to a new school, gather all the evidence to prove grades and grade level. Your student will want to be in school with their peers, so you’ll need to substantiate their ability to fit in and keep up at grade level.
Introduce a New Style of Learning
Regardless of the style of learning your child may have grown accustomed to as a homeschooled student, it’s time to conform to their new learning environment. If they are accustomed to loose deadlines and lots of time to play, explore, create, and read solely for pleasure, the shift to more concrete expectations and timeframes can be a bit jarring. But it doesn’t need to be. Start to provide them with assignments and projects with clear instructions, deadlines, and assessment criteria. This sort of window into how things might be done at another school will also give you a glimpse into how they may fare in their new school setting.
Consider an Online High School
Just because your child will no longer be schooled by you or your spouse doesn’t mean they can’t learn at home. A viable alternative to both homeschooling and in-person school is an online high school. Especially if you seek out one with an affiliation to a college preparatory school, you can be assured of the rigor that you’ve strived to provide your student thus far. Look for a school that offers both synchronous and asynchronous instruction, so your student has the benefit of real time instruction and flexibility. Online schools can provide your student with autonomy and significant control over their own schedule, while still affording them the opportunity to interact with peers of their own age.
Get Social with Peers
Your student may already have a wide range of acquaintances and activities. Or they may have only a couple of trusted friends and a sole passion. Since a big part of any high school experience will be interacting with fellow students, introducing your child to more students may help make the transition less awkward. If you have already chosen a school, consider reaching out to find if there are activities or clubs to join before stepping on campus.
Tap Your Resources
Because you homeschooled your child, you likely have resources and contacts you’ve used throughout their education. Many parents may be wrestling with the same decision you are: whether to continue to homeschool or transition into traditional schooling. Reach out to people you know and ask them how their journey is going. It can be particularly helpful to ask parents and students who’ve already made the transition. What did they do well during the process? What do they wish they’d done differently?
Gravitas is the online extension of The Stony Brook School, an elite private Christian school with a 100-year history of results. Our unique online format allows your student to get much of the benefit of homeschooling, while also experiencing social and extracurricular activities with other students. They will benefit from skilled faculty with years of experience and college counseling that can help them build a great admissions portfolio. Our team is also well-versed in transitioning homeschooled students into their new academic setting. Start your student’s application now.