The big question everyone is asking, especially families that plan to homeschool only until the COVID threat passes, is “Will my child be ready to go back into the public/private school system?”
Let me answer that with a resounding YES!
We began homeschooling like many of you – it was our only good option.
When my eldest was school age, we were living in the lowest educational ranking parish (county) in the state of Louisiana (which ranks consistently in the bottom of the nation).
My son attended the local morning PreK program at the private school. He was reading at 4 and correcting his preK teacher’s grammar.
Our only options for schools were the private schools which would mean me driving him and that would take a full 2 hours of my day every day. (One hour to go and come both mornings and afternoons)
I was perplexed trying to figure out what I would do. That’s when a friend said, “Just homeschool.”
Well, I owned my own veterinary clinic, and I’d never even considered homeschooling. But after doing research, I realized I could “order in” teachers on video.
We set up a school room with a screen and a desk and his books.
Each day I set out his work, and he followed his schedule. Too easy.
When he got older, he begged to go to “real school”. I was pregnant with my 3rd child and a veterinary clinic owner plus homeschooling plus emergencies plus a husband working out of town. This load was wearing me down.
We decided to sell my clinic and move to an area with “good schools”. He entered 3rd grade. He had been tested the year prior (at my request) by our local schools. He tested into the gifted program but our local school had no way to provide a proper advanced education for him.
The new school where we enrolled him accepted his paperwork, administered a grade level exam, and put him in a class.
A few weeks in, his teacher wanted to see me. Here’s our conversation:
Teacher: “You know he already knows everything I’m teaching?”
Me: “Yes, he just wants to ride the bus, eat in the cafeteria, and go to PE.”
My 2nd entered K at the same time.
Basically the same scenario. He was way ahead of the other children. Not because I had done anything special with him. Simply because he had been read to since birth. His vocabulary was extremely ahead of his peers. He could focus on any task assignment and complete it because he knew how to concentrate without 20 other kids running around and a teacher constantly interrupting.
He learned his letters by painting with finger paints and drawing with sidewalk chalk under the carport.
I tell you this story to assure you that unless you do nothing and totally ignore your children, they will be extremely well prepared to re-enter to school system.
Schools speak of an individualized education plan, but your child still must stay with the class.
In the homeschooling environment, you do not need to move on when the majority masters the concepts. You can park on a difficult topic until you find a way that allows your child mastery in that area.
Have an area that your child excels in? Don’t spend a lot of time there, simply move on.
Find an interest like horses or weather or trains or electrical? Stay their for a bit. Go on a field trip, research the topic, find a mentor that can help you dig deep.
All of my children consistently win animal science contests because we live on a small farm. They all could teach a college level animal science course. And that’s no exaggeration. My son’s college professor actually said that to him.
So please don’t stress over your child falling behind unless you park them in front of a video game all day.
Your child will be ahead, relaxed, and refreshed from a year of homeschooling.
PS – Whichever curriculum you pick is perfect. And if it isn’t, you can switch at any point in time!