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Public School at Last (jawn just in case)


mommybee
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I could use some support and encouragement. My husband left me over 3 years ago and I have tried to homeschool and work part time but it's been hard to do all alone. I need to get out of my current job and find a full time position somewhere cause I just need to start being able to support myself. We are just so broke.

 

The plan was to put my youngest in high school but that's still another year away and I just can't wait any longer. So I have decided he will need to go to middle school for his 8th grade this coming year.

 

I am having such a hard time with all of this. I have homeschooled for 15 years. It's all I know really so this will be new to me as well. But then again I am so burnt out I am looking forward to someone else teaching him. Then I feel guilt and selfishness.

 

How do I go about enrolling him when he has always been at home?

 

I know it's the right thing to do and the right time it's just tough. 

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:grouphug:

 

For my local district, we only need proof of residency (utilities bills, property tax bill), birth cert or baptism cert, and the immunization record to register for K-9th. No transcript required.

 

For accelerated track e.g geometry in 8th, there are required placement test which the assigned school will conduct. Otherwise the paperwork is really easy.

 

Immunization status and TB test results has to be current before the start of the school year so registration could be done first and immunization catchup and TB testing can be done later.

 

We just walk in to the walk in clinic for TB testing. Our insurance plan covers the full cost for us as it is a public school requirement.

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:grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:

 

Actually, I agree with up thread, you are a rock star... and also I have seen a lot of posters that found the transition into High School was easier if the student did 8th grade in a public school first.  They can get used to a public school format, find some friends, get used to the difference in schedule, etc., before the critical High School years.  In other words, 8th grade may not be a bad year to move him in. Maybe that would be comforting to you?

 

As for what to do, you need to contact the school he would be attending and see what their enrollment process is.  Find out if he will need to take placement tests.  As mentioned above, he will need current immunizations and a TB test.  Also, see if they can give you an idea of or even a chance to look at the curriculum for 7th and 8th grade at that school.  It might help you to better prepare him for the classes he will be taking.  How homeschool friendly is the area?  Or do you know?  

 

How is your son's sleep schedule?  Is he an early riser?  If not, I would start getting him geared up to rise much closer to a ps schedule well in advance (as in months) of starting school or exhaustion could wreak havoc on his ability to function in class.

 

Have you discussed this with him?  How is he feeling?   

 

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(Hugs)

 

I think people have mentioned 8th grade being an easier time to jump in than 9th.

 

Can anyone comment on this further?

 

I'm guessing it's better to have that one buffer year before the grades "count" toward transcripts? Are there other reasons?

 

(Don't mean to hijack the OP's thread, but we are also planning for my youngest's 8th grade year and public school is looking more and more likely.)

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Honestly, I think 8th grade is the perfect year to transition.

 

He will have a chance to get used to different classes/schedules/teachers before grades hit his high school transcript.

 

High school is a very hard time to break into social cliques.  By doing so in 8th grade, he will transition into high school knowing other kids and hopefully having a core group of kids to hang out with.  Even if it changes in high school, it will make the transition much easier.

 

By starting in 8th grade, he will be coming in to the school at the top of the social pecking order.  It is much easier to be a new person at the top of the pile, than the bottom. 

 

If you find that he doesn't like it, high school can be home schooled fairly independently. He may find that he would rather do that then be in public school....which again is easier on the transcript that trying to switch mid-year.

 

If he is interested in any sports or other activities, it may be easier to start in 8th grade than in high school.  If he wants to do any fall sports, you will need to find out now (in the spring) because many sports have summer practice schedules.  Football, cheer leading, cross country, swimming, etc.

 

In 8th grade he will likely just be enrolled in traditional 8th grade classes. If he is advanced in math or science, they may offer him the option to test into higher level classes, but you will want to ask about it, if it isn't offered. 

 

I had one child who hated public high school and one who absolutely loves it.  Both of my teens are happy they went to public high school, but for different reasons.

DS21 home schooled for 9th grade, public for 10th grade, dual enrolled (but only on the college campus) for 11/12 grade.  Ds is happy he has the experience, so he can relate to his teen students better (he is a youth pastor) but didn't learn much of anything the year was in public school. 

DD17 was in private for 1/2 of 9th grade, and public after that. She is very social and a cheerleader.  She is popular and loves school. 

 

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:grouphug:

 

For my local district, we only need proof of residency (utilities bills, property tax bill), birth cert or baptism cert, and the immunization record to register for K-9th. No transcript required.

 

For accelerated track e.g geometry in 8th, there are required placement test which the assigned school will conduct. Otherwise the paperwork is really easy.

 

Immunization status and TB test results has to be current before the start of the school year so registration could be done first and immunization catchup and TB testing can be done later.

 

We just walk in to the walk in clinic for TB testing. Our insurance plan covers the full cost for us as it is a public school requirement.

 

That was really helpful, thanks. He has all his shots so that's an easy one. TB shouldn't be too difficult. 

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High school is easier in some ways because it can be pursued as more self study and independent work for some students, but you're awesome for even trying as long as you did. Working part time and homeschooling is a huge juggle, especially if your schedule isn't particularly flexible. You're doing a great job and don't feel guilt over making the best choice for your family :)

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Can anyone comment on this further?

 

I'm guessing it's better to have that one buffer year before the grades "count" toward transcripts? Are there other reasons?

 

(Don't mean to hijack the OP's thread, but we are also planning for my youngest's 8th grade year and public school is looking more and more likely.)

Things I have seen people say regarding this:

 

1.  Chance to make friends before feeding into the big High School.

2.  Getting used to the longer academic day with more time having to sit and wait or rush.

3.  Adjusting the sleep schedule before those critical High School days.

4.  Finding any "gaps" that might make High School in that particular district challenging and addressing them before High School hits.

5.  Fewer requirements to get enrolled (not always but sometimes).

 

I'm sure there are others.  That is all I can think of off the top of my head.

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:grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:

 

Actually, I agree with up thread, you are a rock star... and also I have seen a lot of posters that found the transition into High School was easier if the student did 8th grade in a public school first.  They can get used to a public school format, find some friends, get used to the difference in schedule, etc., before the critical High School years.  In other words, 8th grade may not be a bad year to move him in. Maybe that would be comforting to you?

 

As for what to do, you need to contact the school he would be attending and see what their enrollment process is.  Find out if he will need to take placement tests.  As mentioned above, he will need current immunizations and a TB test.  Also, see if they can give you an idea of or even a chance to look at the curriculum for 7th and 8th grade at that school.  It might help you to better prepare him for the classes he will be taking.  How homeschool friendly is the area?  Or do you know?  

 

How is your son's sleep schedule?  Is he an early riser?  If not, I would start getting him geared up to rise much closer to a ps schedule well in advance (as in months) of starting school or exhaustion could wreak havoc on his ability to function in class.

 

Have you discussed this with him?  How is he feeling?   

 

It is a very friendly homeschool area so hopefully the school has experience with this.

 

He is pretty good at getting up early so that shouldn't be a problem. We do stay up late but I can transition. I work nights now so if I can get days I'll have to get up early as well.

 

I have discussed it with him. He is sad but can't quite explain why. I think it's just so new that he might be scared. But I am really feeling like now is the time. And I do think it might be easier to do it now right before he has to go to high school.

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Honestly, I think 8th grade is the perfect year to transition.

 

He will have a chance to get used to different classes/schedules/teachers before grades hit his high school transcript.

 

High school is a very hard time to break into social cliques.  By doing so in 8th grade, he will transition into high school knowing other kids and hopefully having a core group of kids to hang out with.  Even if it changes in high school, it will make the transition much easier.

 

By starting in 8th grade, he will be coming in to the school at the top of the social pecking order.  It is much easier to be a new person at the top of the pile, than the bottom. 

 

If you find that he doesn't like it, high school can be home schooled fairly independently. He may find that he would rather do that then be in public school....which again is easier on the transcript that trying to switch mid-year.

 

If he is interested in any sports or other activities, it may be easier to start in 8th grade than in high school.  If he wants to do any fall sports, you will need to find out now (in the spring) because many sports have summer practice schedules.  Football, cheer leading, cross country, swimming, etc.

 

In 8th grade he will likely just be enrolled in traditional 8th grade classes. If he is advanced in math or science, they may offer him the option to test into higher level classes, but you will want to ask about it, if it isn't offered. 

 

I had one child who hated public high school and one who absolutely loves it.  Both of my teens are happy they went to public high school, but for different reasons.

DS21 home schooled for 9th grade, public for 10th grade, dual enrolled (but only on the college campus) for 11/12 grade.  Ds is happy he has the experience, so he can relate to his teen students better (he is a youth pastor) but didn't learn much of anything the year was in public school. 

DD17 was in private for 1/2 of 9th grade, and public after that. She is very social and a cheerleader.  She is popular and loves school. 

 

Thank you! Those are a lot of the things I am thinking. Reminds me to make sure I talk to the school sooner rather than later so I can be up on sports and stuff.

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Thank you! Those are a lot of the things I am thinking. Reminds me to make sure I talk to the school sooner rather than later so I can be up on sports and stuff.

Actually, I would be calling now.  It may take time to get all the info and figure out what you need to do.  Also, as mentioned up thread, some sports and other extracurriculars actually have planning meetings and prep and practice early, and some of those meetings may happen even in April or May for the following year.

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Actually, I would be calling now.  It may take time to get all the info and figure out what you need to do.  Also, as mentioned up thread, some sports and other extracurriculars actually have planning meetings and prep and practice early, and some of those meetings may happen even in April or May for the following year.

 

I tried calling today but could only leave a message. School is out for the week so maybe that's why.

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I feel bad for him but such is life and really he will be fine.  I think 8th grade is a great year to transition....a lot of the petty jr high stuff is over with and the kids begin to get a little more serious about their grades.

 

Present it as an adventure.....a new and exciting life.  

 

And lots of hugs for you.

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:grouphug:   Our local districts require the birth certificate and proof of residency; they also allow for open enrollment through the end of February.  They all test the student in for high school, but simply enroll for earlier grades.  Check with your local school or schools and find out just what your options and requirements are.  (I also think of 8th grade being easier to transition into and then moving up to high school within the school system.)  Our local high schools are very big and would overwhelm many new students.

 

 

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It's been hard cause in order to afford to stay home I am still legally married and I really need to get out from under this man. I mean so far he is fair with money and sees the kids a ton. Literally lives down the street from me. But if I don't find full time work I will be stuck to him financially forever. I don't have any family close by to help me either. 

 

On to new things. I am trying to present it as an adventure. 

 

Unfortunately I am still depressed about being separated and it's just not really getting better. Something has to shake things up. I have to move on.

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My DS has always been in public school so I can't comment on that but he's going to be in 8th grade next year, so maybe this will be helpful:)

Yes, make contact with the school now. Ours is already starting to work on the schedules for next year. If you know anyone who has kids there try to talk to them to find the ins and outs. Hopefully yours has better communication than mine, but I've found mothers wth children just a few years older invaluable! Also middle schoolers don't always share info. It's nice to have some backup.

Try to get him involved. In addition to the sports, ask for a list of clubs and groups. Those are good places to find like minded friends.

Even if he's not accelerated per se, ask about placement or levels. Public school isn't known for its differentiation so you want to take advantage of anything they can offer.

My DS has always enjoyed public school and has so many nice friends. They are out there.

Good luck to you and your son! I hope it all works out great.

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:grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug: Knowing when to move on can be really difficult.

 

I have a dear friend who homeschooled for years and found herself divorcing.  Her ds was in 9th and her dd entered high school as a senior; oldest is now in college, finishing up this year and her youngest is a senior.   I just wanted to add this because she was so worried about her kids adjusting.  They did have their share of bumps in the road, but it has worked out very well overall.

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It's been hard cause in order to afford to stay home I am still legally married and I really need to get out from under this man. I mean so far he is fair with money and sees the kids a ton. Literally lives down the street from me. But if I don't find full time work I will be stuck to him financially forever. I don't have any family close by to help me either. 

 

On to new things. I am trying to present it as an adventure. 

 

Unfortunately I am still depressed about being separated and it's just not really getting better. Something has to shake things up. I have to move on.

 

:grouphug:

 

You sacrificed a lot to give your kids the world. It's an adventure all right.

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:grouphug:

 

Call both the middle school *and* the high school, and see if you can get meetings with the principals/guidance counselors for both you and your son.  See if they will allow a "shadow day" so son can get a better idea of how things work and what's expected.  I recommended including the high school now so that your son can see into the future a little bit - it may help him adjust if he knows where he's going, you know?

 

 

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Can anyone comment on this further?

 

I'm guessing it's better to have that one buffer year before the grades "count" toward transcripts? Are there other reasons?

 

(Don't mean to hijack the OP's thread, but we are also planning for my youngest's 8th grade year and public school is looking more and more likely.)

 

I've seen this a lot in our area. Since our state (WV) won't accept any homeschool credits/classes for high school transcripts, it's nice to go to public school (sometimes part time) for 8th to take Spanish 1 and Algebra. That way they have those two classes on their high school transcripts . . .

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:grouphug:

 

Call both the middle school *and* the high school, and see if you can get meetings with the principals/guidance counselors for both you and your son.  See if they will allow a "shadow day" so son can get a better idea of how things work and what's expected.  I recommended including the high school now so that your son can see into the future a little bit - it may help him adjust if he knows where he's going, you know?

This can be a great idea, but don't be surprised if they say no.  The school districts in our area have stricter rules now, than in the past, about extra people on campus.  The risk of the student being disruptive, and the liability of having this person on campus (as a non-attending student) are two concerns I encountered when we asked for a shadow day.

 

We asked for my son to shadow his cousin for a day, and after a bit of a battle, we got them to agree to 1/2 day of classes and he had to be off campus before lunch.  The cousin was an honor roll student and was a counsel member.  My son was an honor roll student, with a good reference from his hybrid school's principal. We asked at the school ourselves and were told 'no'. Our hybrid school's principal called their principal on our son's behalf and they finally agreed. 

 

We found out that their biggest concern, was if there was a problem on campus (fire, bomb threat, shooting etc) that he would be an 'unaccounted for minor' who they were liable to keep track of and keep safe. 

Edited by Tap
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I had both dc go in to school in 8th. We literally just filled out an application and that was it. But it was parochial not public. I don't think it will be too difficult. They did take a math placement test because they have two levels. Even though it was my plan to send them in 8th - was looking to disaster check before high school - I was very relieved that both fell right into place. They did (are doing) well and even better, they are both very happy. I really have no complaints.

 

I hope things turn out just as well for you. You have given them a wonderful foundation :)

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I tried calling today but could only leave a message. School is out for the week so maybe that's why.

 

Did you call the school, or the district enrollment center?  Our schools are out this week, but the district enrollment center is open.

 

If your district has an open choice period (if you want to request a different school than your assigned school), it's better to call sooner than later.  Here, if you want to enroll in your assigned school, you can do that any time.  But if you want to request a different school, there is a short window of time to do that, and it happens about six months before the start of the upcoming school year.

 

I think shadowing and open houses are this month too.  It might be similar where you live... or not.

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(Hugs)

 

I think people have mentioned 8th grade being an easier time to jump in than 9th.

Yes, I was going to say this as a word of encouragement. I did not do this, but I wish I had with DS16. The transition has been more difficult for him than his older sister and it would have been nice to have that learning-curve year before it "counts."

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Did you call the school, or the district enrollment center? Our schools are out this week, but the district enrollment center is open.

 

If your district has an open choice period (if you want to request a different school than your assigned school), it's better to call sooner than later. Here, if you want to enroll in your assigned school, you can do that any time. But if you want to request a different school, there is a short window of time to do that, and it happens about six months before the start of the upcoming school year.

 

I think shadowing and open houses are this month too. It might be similar where you live... or not.

I looked online and open enrollment is over already but we live right by the school I want him to go to anyway and it is where he would be assigned. I'll have to call this week. I printed off the forms already.

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(Hugs)

 

I think people have mentioned 8th grade being an easier time to jump in than 9th.

 

I agree with this. I started my dd in 9th and I wish I could have done 8th. It is hard to start when it "counts" (i.e. on your transcript).

 

It's going to be fine. You haven't failed! So very many people decide that a brick & mortar school is the right thing somewhere along the line. Relax, breathe, and enjoy the knowledge that your son's education is going to go on swimmingly. 

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(Hugs)

 

I think people have mentioned 8th grade being an easier time to jump in than 9th.

 

 

OP - I'm sorry this has been such a tough time for you, but as happi duck mentioned, getting that 8th grade year to adjust is really a blessing.  My DD returned to public school in 8th grade (and in a new district and town as we moved mid-year in 7th grade), and I am so glad she had time to make some new friends, adjust to changing classes, learn about PE lockers, etc.  It made the transition to high school very painless indeed. 

 

You are doing what is best for your family.  Hang in there, sister!

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It's been hard cause in order to afford to stay home I am still legally married and I really need to get out from under this man. I mean so far he is fair with money and sees the kids a ton. Literally lives down the street from me. But if I don't find full time work I will be stuck to him financially forever. I don't have any family close by to help me either.

 

On to new things. I am trying to present it as an adventure.

 

Unfortunately I am still depressed about being separated and it's just not really getting better. Something has to shake things up. I have to move on.

Good for you, Shannon. It sounds like a really tough change to make, but it also sounds like it might be the right one. I hope it all goes well for you and your ds.

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Ds enrolled for the first in PS part way into his 8th grade year. Sad as I was that homeschooling had come to an end for him, it turned out to be a very good choice to start in 8th grade, as opposed to 9th grade. It would have been even better to start off at the beginning of the 8th grade year.

 

Placement and tracking were the main concerns. He missed out on a few opportunities to take high school credit classes (math, English and Spanish) in 8th grade because he didn't start at the beginning of the year. On the flip side, I did manage to insist he get into the science for high school credit class, even though that meant he had to do some makeup computer-based learning which took him out of one class period a day. He ended up receiving the science student of the year award from his science teacher so it was definitely worth it. Math was a fiasco, as the school did not offer algebra to 8th graders(!) and he had already partially completed an algebra course before enrolling. So he sat through the rest of the year in a pre-algebra class (for the third time!!!) The highest performing students were taking AP Statistics, which was what he would have taken had he started at the beginning of the year. (What kind of school offers AP Stats but not algebra!!!)

 

Having been enrolled in 8th grade made the transition to high school much simpler. We knew how he would perform in a school setting, and had an idea how he compared to his peers academically in areas that I was confident in, as well as those I was not.

 

Ds is a junior this year, and we are right in the middle of decisions about dual enrollment, college choice, SAT and ACT testing. We see now the consequences of 8th grade choices. We see that as a bright but not highly gifted student, how he would have benefitted from taking more high school credit classes in 8th grade, how had we made different choices, he would have more than 3 AP classes under his belt by this point.

 

If at all possible, an appointment with a high school guidance counselor could help you navigate your choices. We were very fortunate to have a middle school counselor who was willing to completely change ds's schedule after the first few days in order to get him into more appropriate classes. If I had had a little bigger picture going in, I would have pushed harder in more areas to get him into advantageous placements. I wish that I had thought to consult the high school back then.

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This may very well be for the best. I started my 3 children in PS this year for the first time ever and they are doing WONDERFUL.  They love it and I love someone else taking over.  I feel like they really are getting a good education too.  And honestly, I would rather start my child in 8th grade vs. 9th grade.  He will be able to make some friends before starting high school and that will be a good thing.  He will have friends that can share the anticipation and excitement of starting high school together.

 

 

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There needs to be a support group for ex-homeschool moms. Honestly, "real school" has been a great change for our family.

I would join a support group here if one of you BTDT parents would lead it!

We're enrolling our children this fall after 9 years of homeschooling.

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Also, the school website should have all the forms you need to print off and have completed.  There was a checklist of things I needed to have done prior to enrollment.  

 

Some things I remember needing:

Copy of deed to our home

Vaccination records & physical

Transportation form

 

I can't really remember but I know there was more.  There are also fees that will be due when you enroll your child. I was a little surprised by the amount but I have 3 children.

 

 

 

 

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Also, the school website should have all the forms you need to print off and have completed.  There was a checklist of things I needed to have done prior to enrollment.  

 

Some things I remember needing:

Copy of deed to our home

Vaccination records & physical

Transportation form

 

I can't really remember but I know there was more.  There are also fees that will be due when you enroll your child. I was a little surprised by the amount but I have 3 children.

 

Fees?  Is this for U.S. public school?  I enrolled one of my kids last month (for the upcoming school year) and they didn't ask for any money.  I'm sure there will be costs for various school activities, but there was no enrollment charge.  Also no physical was required. 

 

I had to show proof of our address (current utility bills) and submit a vaccination record. 

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A friend of mine was considering putting her rising 8th grader in P.S. once she reached H.S. but I talked her into doing it this year, just in case.  It gives the student time to adjust and make friends also if there's a huge problem it gives them time to go back to HSing temporarily to work on the problem so they're ready for H.S.  My sister put her son in P.S. for 8th grade this year for the same reason.  Both kids are thriving.

 

ETA: as for fees, make sure you fill out the free/reduced lunch app to cover costs of books and other fees.

Edited by foxbridgeacademy
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Also, the school website should have all the forms you need to print off and have completed.  There was a checklist of things I needed to have done prior to enrollment.  

 

Some things I remember needing:

Copy of deed to our home

Vaccination records & physical

Transportation form

 

I can't really remember but I know there was more.  There are also fees that will be due when you enroll your child. I was a little surprised by the amount but I have 3 children.

 

I don't expect any fees but I did print off the application and have all the other stuff we need. Proof of residency and his birth certificate, and shot records. He doesn't need a tb test in our area they told me so I should be all set to go down next week and get the ball rolling.

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(((HUGS)))

 

Go to the school office. Start the process now, because you might have some documents to gather. 

 

I enrolled my eldest in PS in 8th. It was REALLY easy. They were totally chill about it. We will enroll ds13 for 8th grade as well. DD said that going in 8th grade was really helpful, because she was able to have a year to adjust that really didn't count in the long term. She encouraged me to plan on enrolling ds for 8th.  She was pretty well adjusted by about 2 months in.

 

My take away from dd's 8th grade year was that it affirmed our homeschool years, but it also affirmed our transition into ps. All around, we were happy with the decision to make the move in 8th grade.

 

I hope that's encouraging to you!

 

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It's been hard cause in order to afford to stay home I am still legally married and I really need to get out from under this man. I mean so far he is fair with money and sees the kids a ton. Literally lives down the street from me. But if I don't find full time work I will be stuck to him financially forever. I don't have any family close by to help me either. 

 

On to new things. I am trying to present it as an adventure. 

 

Unfortunately I am still depressed about being separated and it's just not really getting better. Something has to shake things up. I have to move on.

 

 

:grouphug:

 

I hope you are able to find a decent full time job.  

 

And just to add to the chorus above, you are a rock star.  You have gone above and beyond.  

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It will be okay.

 

This is my 2nd year teaching at ps. 

 

Most teachers really do care about the kids. It's hard with 25 or more kids in a class (fortunately all of my classes are 15-25 because my classes have a lot of Special Education students) to make sure that you make a personal connection with each and every one. But we all try.

 

Enrolling for 8th grade is no problem. Enrolling for 9th grade is generally not a problem either, but your student might not get the classes they'd prefer because those classes are already full. Starting in 8th grade gives them a better shot at getting into their top choice classes. This might not be a problem at all schools.

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(Hugs)

 

I think people have mentioned 8th grade being an easier time to jump in than 9th.

 

My brother returned to public school in eighth grade after spending all his previous years in intensive private-school remediation for severe dyslexia. The plan was actually to have him repeat that year (which I think he did although it's hard to recall), and it worked out terrifically for him. He got to work the kinks out, he got to get a little taller, and he ended up doing well enough to get into UCLA in his field of interest.

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Fees?  Is this for U.S. public school?  I enrolled one of my kids last month (for the upcoming school year) and they didn't ask for any money.  I'm sure there will be costs for various school activities, but there was no enrollment charge.  Also no physical was required. 

 

 

Yes.  There were some fees for elective classes and and maybe books.  I really can't remember what all the fees were for.  Mine are middle schoolers 
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:grouphug:

 

I hope you are able to find a decent full time job.  

 

And just to add to the chorus above, you are a rock star.  You have gone above and beyond.  

 

Thanks to all of you for your supportive words! There is no one in my life to give me that feedback. No matter what I've done I have always tried to do what was best for my boys. 

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I'm heading to the district office today to enroll him. I've got all my forms. The local school called me and left a message. Sounds like I have to get him enrolled before they will talk to me so first things first. Then hopefully when they have orientation I can get some help to make sure he gets a chance to see the school and talk about classes he should be in.

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