27 answers

Advice Needed for Transitioning from Homeschool Back to Public School

I have been homeschooling my 8 year old son for the past two years.
After kindergarden, I brought him home for 1st and 2nd grade. I feel
that it is time to have him transition back to the public school this
coming fall, however, he does not want to. I am looking for suggestions
or advice from anyone who has had a child return to public school after
homeschooling. Personally, I feel that he only wants to stay at home
because he knows he's got a good thing going here. I on the other hand
am feeling that our relationship has become strained from
homeschooling, and that I am left not really feeling like I have the
energy left to do the things that I want to be doing with him. I feel
that since I have taken over the school's job of teaching him reading,
writing, and arithmetic, that I have little interst or time left to
teach the things I really want to like values, morals, service, etc. I
hope that doesn't sound like a cop-out to those of you who manage to
homeschool and balance being a great mom as well. Any way, any
suggestions and advice would be greatly apprectiated!


What can I do next?

More Answers

Hi D.,

My story mirrors yours - My daughter did public school for K-3. I then pulled her out for 4-6. First I will say I believe "fear of the unknown" was a big part of Morgan's statements of not wanting to go back to public school...that and feeling she had a great thing going being at home! In my opinion, there are pros and cons to both public and homeschooling. If it were a perfect world...but, since it is not, I had to decide what was best for our situation at the time. The best thing I did for the both of us was to admit to myself and be okay with feeling EXACTLY as you are!! I felt too I had nothing left at the end of the day to do the things I truly felt suited for or wanted to do. Owning how I felt and being okay with who I am and what I am capable of was the best thing I could have done for our family. I don't believe not being able to do what others are capable of makes us any less of a good person, mother or wife - God did not design us all the same!
I never respond to forums like this, but I read your letter and felt I was reading my own story. I hope you find that inner peace once again that we have when we are on the "right path" ;-) Good luck and I would love to hear what you decide to do whatever that may be.

2 moms found this helpful

Don't do it!!!!! First off it isn't the school's job to teach him, that is what we are taught to believe. As you teach him all the ABC's of school you are teaching him morals. Just being out of the public school system you are teaching him morals! Now he will go to public school and learn their morals and you will get a couple hours in the evening to undo what he has been taught. I don't mean to come down hard on you but you are doing what is best for him. Giving him over to someone else all day won't accomplish your goal instilling values, it flies in the face of it. Take a break from schooling and work on your relationship. That's the beauty of being the teacher, you know what he needs. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Do you have a YMCA in your area? If so, I'd recommend that you sign him up for lessons (swimming, tumbling, art, etc.) and the summer camps (half day, short term camps like sports, ponies, etc. - not the all day, five day per week day care camps). I think this would be a good way to get him used to learning from other adults and learning with other children without him even realizing what you're doing. (Hey. All you're doing is signing him up for fun things to do over the summer! No ulterior motives going on here!) When he starts school, he'll probably know a bunch of the kids through the Y activities and it won't be quite as much of a shock to the system!

1 mom found this helpful

You are teaching him better values,morals, and service by keeping him out of public school! The examples that I could site could go on and on. I took my daughter out in first grade becuase I couldn't stand the sex education she was getting from other children.

I homeschool. I know I could do a better job at it. I don't feel that I am the greatest Mom. The ideal I hold onto is letting my kids be kids for as long as possible, because they have plenty of time to learn about the adult things in life.
I would rather have them learn from my example than from someone I do not know.

My two cents. I am glad there are some public school that are better than others. I just do not live near any of them.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi D., I have not homeschooled my children but was both homeschooled and in public and private schools. I applaud you for realizing that you are not cut out to homeschool. I already know I am not cut out for the job and my children are not school aged.

My mother was not cut out for it either. She was working part-time and honestly was not very organized with the whole process. I am not syaing this is your situation! I finally begged her to go back to school.

Since you son is really enjoying it maybe you could call some local public and private schools and see if there are some classes he could take there as well as continue homescholling through the duration of this school year. That may ease him back into school and hopefully he would make some friends that by next year he would want to see everyday!

Good luck to you and your son!

1 mom found this helpful


I am in your exact situation, only a few month further down the line! I homeschooled my son until November of this year (he is 10). We tried unschooling, scrap together curriculum, purchased curriculum and an online school. All methods were a bust for us. He was (is)a diffucult student. Too smart for his own good, and a little lacking in the try hard department. We fought all the time and then I never wanted to do anything fun or cuddly together. His personality and mine are not a good fit for homeschooling and I am sad about that. But as it was we fought a lot, I cried alot, he cried a lot, and it took a toll on my self-esteem not being able to pull it off. I was depressed and exhausted.
He initially was reluctant to go to school, but after a particulary hellish day, I suggested he should really give it a try and he said yes. We actually started him right before Thanksgiving of this year. I had to put him in 3rd grade even though he was of 4th grade age because he was pretty behind in spelling and math and I didn't want him to fail miserably. That turned out to be a good move.

My advice, if you are going to put him in school do it at the beginning of the year. Visit the school in the summer and play on the playground once a week. Visit the school now and sit in on the class he may be in. Hang out in the school library. Be honest with him about how you see your relationship with him and how you both might be better served to try something different.

My son liked school more than either of us imagined. He is bored at times and would rather be home some days, and that saddens me. But we get along great now. We cuddle, read, talk, and relate way more than we did before.

Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

I feel for you because homeschooling is a very energy intensive undertaking and can really take over your homelife. Why did you start homeschooling in the first place? Has it been successful with your son? What needs of yours are not being filled now and are there other alternatives to quitting the homeschooling to meet those needs? As for managing time, you can use a more structured program tha does not require that you come up with all the material each and every day from scratch. You could use a program like WAVA, Washington Virtual Academy to make sure that you get all the academic bases covered in 3-4 hours and you will have plenty of day left to have fun, teach those other values, etc. Your son may want to continue homeschooling because he values that time with YOU, the most important person in his world, much more than being stuck as a number in a 30+ kid classroom. What is the quality of your neighborhood school or the place you would be sending him? I ask because it is best to be informed BEFORE you end up trying to solve a minor problem only to get into major ones.

Finally, public schooling could actually take up MORE of your time and add to your stress immeasurably. The time to wake him up, make sure he gets ready for school at a certain time, track the progress of his homework, counsel him on getting along in that group setting, keep in touch with the teacher, volunteer for PTA, classroom projects, etc. would be the tip of the iceberg for an IDEAL situation. That time would pale in comparison to the effort you would have to spend if and when your son had academic difficulties, suffered bullying, abuse, or other behavioral problems, or even had a less than stellar teacher that year and ended up with academic, or emotional deficits.

I homeschool an 8 almost 9 year old girl and a 3.5 year old girl. To lessen my own stress, I set aside an hour for ME to exercise, we share household chores with my daughters doing some of them, my husband helps when he can with academic and parenting work, and we use WAVA, a structured program that we get for free and can tailor to our needs which provides all the materials, directions, lessons, etc. in an easy to follow format that has really kept my daughters interest and encouraged her to become a more self motivated and guided learner.

If your relationship has become strained because of discipline issues, like not doing the work, etc. then public school may not solve the issue. Instead of straining to have him do your homeschooling work, you will be struggling with him to do his homework and succeed at school.

I don't mean to say that your situation is a cop out in any way but am trying to give you other alternatives that may work and give BOTH you and your son what you want.

Good Luck,


1 mom found this helpful

Hey There D.,

Your post resonated with me SO deeply! We are in our third year of homeschooling both our kids, and our daughter is also eight. If there's ONE thing I've picked up in the whole journey (and what a ride it's been!) is that my NUMBER ONE job is to teach morals, values and character development. That's it. Parenting is the most important discipleship relationship I'll ever have. I was most of the way through our first year before I BEGAN to understand that.

Everyday I learn more about HOW to teach those things. And my daughter's not an "easy" child. She has autism and she is wired very differently from neuro-typical kids, but she's also VERY, VERY smart so I very much want to pour all the math, science, grammar and spelling into her that I can. I just try to do it within the parameters of character development.

I hope this helps and doesn't offend! I'd love to talk with you more anytime!

All The Best,


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