Home schooling is usually a very different education experience when compared with receiving an education in a mainstream school. A home schooled child will usually receive much more individual attention, and the pace of work will be tailored for his or her personal needs. If parents and children decide to return to a school based education, this process needs to be prepared for in order to ensure as easy a transition as possible. This article discusses ways parents can prepare for their child to return to a school, or starting a new school, as well as some of the hurdles that might need to be crossed for registration at a new school and/or with a new Local Education Authority (LEA).
Preparing a Child for School Level
When a parent of a home school child approaches a school about returning, or starting, in a class, the school may evaluate the academic standard of the home schooled child who is entering or re-entering the school. This evaluation could be used for schools to decide the best class for a child to enter. Although usually this will be determined by age, testing is more likely to be offered for the younger years of primary school and most secondary school students, as well as children with Special Educational Needs.
For a child to give their optimum performance in these tests, (or, even if they are not offered, for a child to most smoothly adapt to school learning) it is important for parents to bring the child up to scratch on the subjects that school based learning will involve. If families are not already following a curriculum based approach, it’s important to do so in the months approaching the time that a child will start school. Organise a meeting with the child’s prospective class teacher (in primary school, or subject teachers at secondary school) to discuss the level of the rest of the class’ attainment so that your home schooling can be tailored in the same direction
Practical Steps for a Child Who is Going Back to SchoolIndividual schools, as well as LEAs, will have slightly different procedures for a child who is returning to school, or starting school at a non-traditional time. It is best for parents to contact the relevant authorities as soon as possible before they want their child to return to school. In the instance where a child has already attended a school, then had a home school education, and is now returning to school, he or she will usually attend the same school as previously. Exceptions to this may include where the child was home schooled because of incidences of bullying, in which case sometimes the child will prefer to change schools.
If a child has been home schooled throughout their education, and is now intending to begin a school, there will be other steps to be taken and in this instance parents should contact their LEA to discuss the options and what schools have available places for a child. Parents who want their child to attend a private school should still contact the LEA as well as the independent school(s), because the child may need to be registered as attending a school.