Homeschooling And Public School Trickery
When you finally make the decision to homeschool, you’ll need to drop your kids from public school. IF they let you. Yeah, some of them want to try and talk you into staying, or make it really difficult for you to withdraw your kids to homeschool.
I know because it happened to me today.
The laws and rules are different for each state. Some states don’t require much of anything, while others want to know everything you do. We live in a state that is pretty lenient. To begin homeschooling, I had to fill out the online form stating we wanted the private, non-public option. Easy, since I filled it out in two minutes and got the approval email 30 seconds later. Step 1 = done.
The next thing I had to do was formally withdraw my kids from their public schools. Should have been easy, since you just go in the office and ask for a drop slip. This is the same thing you’d ask for if you were moving and had to transfer to another school. My daughter’s school was great. Walked in, filled out the drop slip and was on my way with a “Good luck, y’all have a great summer.”
My son’s school…not so much. I walked in and asked for a drop slip. The secretary asked where we were moving to. I told her we aren’t, we are going to homeschool from now on and I need to fill out a drop slip for him. She looked at me and said, “no.” I looked at her for a minute, not sure I heard her correctly since everyone at this school has always been pretty great to deal with. My look then turned into a crazy stare so she said to give her a minute. She then walked around and did 10 other things. When she came back to me, she had a drop slip (that asked for more information than they legally need) and another form.
Now I don’t do things half-way. When I decide to take a major step in life, I research the snot out of it. I knew before I went to the school that they only needed a completed drop slip stating a few things and legally, that’s all I need to do. So I know the form she gave me wasn’t right. Nope. It was a Home Study application.
***Side note – in my state, you have two options when homeschooling: Home Study or registered non-public. Home Study requires you to send in yearly records and transcripts and a few other rules you have to follow. For registered non-public, all you have to do is get online and fill out the non-public form each year stating how many students you have in your homeschool, what the name of the school is and your address. We chose the registered non-public option.***
I looked at her and told her I don’t need to fill that one out because I’ve already filed online. She said, “Did the paper you fill out look EXACTLY like this one? Because if it didn’t, you’ll have to come back and fill this out.” To avoid more conflict, I just said, “Yep, sure did” because I avoid conflict like the plague. She asked if I’d forward her my letter I got so she could put it in his file with the drop slip.
I finished the drop form and left. No “have a great summer” from that one. Maybe she was having a bad day, although it was the last day of school so I figured she’d be in a pretty good mood.
So I forward the state approved registered non-public letter to her. I get a quick email response telling me this is not what she needs and that I need to come back and fill out the Home Study form, or she won’t file my son’s drop slip. I politely explained the difference between Home Study and registered non-public, the law on what I had to provide to the school, and told her I’d just send in our drop slip and withdrawal information to the school board.
I then copied the principal in the email and sent her a nice note explaining the situation. I didn’t tell her about the office situation, I just explained that I will be sending our withdrawal form to the school certified/return receipt so everyone is covered. I should have done that in the first place. I also haven’t heard back from the principal, who in the past, is very quick to pleasantly respond. I guess when you’re out, you’re all the way out.
I’ve heard many, many horror stories about schools wanting parents to jump through hoops in order to withdraw from a public school. Some even have threatened to call police and truancy officers when homeschoolers “don’t show up” for school, even though they have done everything required by law.
That’s why I explained things to the principal, even though I didn’t have to. The schools need to know the laws and rules because I have a feeling there will be many more dropping public school in order to homeschool in the next few years. Know your state laws and what is legally required of you. Do not trust the school to know what to do when it comes to homeschooling.
So why would public schools not want you to homeschool your kids? That’s a whole other post! And it’s motivated by money (surprise surprise) I’ll put that post together later and add a link here.