Public School Vs Home School: Preparing Children For The Differences

A guide to the challenges of re-entering public school after home schooling.

Homeschooling is a challenge, taking hours of preparation and planning. But it's not often you hear about homeschoolers returning to public school. As difficult as it is to prepare children and their parent-teachers for homeschooling, it is sometimes even a greater challenge to prepare a homeschooled child for re-entry to public school life.

There are about as many reasons why homeschoolers return to public school, as there are reasons why people choose homeschooling to begin with. But some of the tips and ideas that work in preparing for and deciding to homeschool also work for preparing for a return to public school. And there are considerations more specific for after-homeschooling, as well.

Here are some things to think about for helping a child's transition into public school after homeschooling:

· Prepare as far ahead of time as possible, so you'll have time to plan and take any necessary preparations before the child's first day of public school.

· Talk openly with your child about fears and expectations. Help the child build confidence and enthusiasm. If a parent talks about the return to public school in a tone or words that convey nervousness, anger or resentment, rest assured, the child will pick this up and begin to demonstrate the same emotions.

· Contact the school your child will attend, and find out what will be needed well before the first day of school. Make sure you have everything the child will need, as well as having all requirements taken care of. Don't let the first day of school bring you any unnecessary surprises. The first day will be harrowing enough, for both the child and for you.

· Get catalogs and other materials from the school, to familiarize yourself with this new environment, and also to help you make sure this is the move you want to make for your child.

· Tour the school campus and buildings, and try to meet some of the school personnel. Let your child start to become familiar and hopefully comfortable and more at ease with the new school. If you can, visit other students who will also be in school with your child, or find a way for your child to join a club or organization composed of other kids his own age, where there is a chance your child can make some new friends before school starts. Having a friend or two, and seeing a few familiar faces, will help ease the transition into school life.

· As far ahead of time as possible, let your child take the accepted standardized test used by the school for the grade the child is to enter. Pay careful attention to any areas in which the child may be below average. Then increase study efforts and concentrate on deficit areas, so that the child can enter school at the age and grade level equal to that of the child.

· Finally, support and encourage your child. Whatever the reasons for entry or re-entry to public school, listen to your child. Understand any fears and apprehensions, and find ways to support and encourage, from the inner spirit to the outer child. Hear what your child is not saying, as much as you listen to the words said. Comfort and reassure, but allow yourself some space, in order to bolster the child's own sense of self-confidence and own reassurances.

Entry or re-entry to public school can be as seamless a process as facing a new school year for any homeschooled or publicly educated child. All it takes is the proper amount of work ahead of time, combined with the right attitudes. The new school year can be one of excitement, joy and fun, not to mention fulfilling for your child. Make the experience one of learning and fun, something your child can be proud of in the years ahead.

© High Speed Ventures 2011