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rainbowmama
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If I know that I don't want to homeschool for high school, when would be the best time to move a child to school? I fret about putting a kid in high school with no school experience: if the adjustment is rough, I worry it will affect college admission. However, we are enjoying homeschooling and middle school is such a rough time that I feel reluctant to send her to middle school.

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Im thinking like you. One mom I know, homeschooled simce K and her first son went for 7th or 8th and her second went for 6 th and they have both adapted wonderfully. She used bju for la and acsi or whatever its called for math and unit studies for the extras and they have had no problems adapting. I plan on following her plan and doing traditional school for 6 th grade.

 

Clearly Im not there yet, but my friend is a great person to take advice from. She has great kiddos

Edited by Elizabeth86
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My dd started in 9th grade and transitioned well. She had some experience in an elementary school classroom but I don't think that helped with high school. I refused to send her to middle school because I heard so many bad stories of kids that age. Going to high school was her idea though. I homeschooled my older two using an accredited online high school.

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What are your reasons for not wanting to homeschool high school?

 

Many of us homeschooled K-12 and our kids were admitted to a variety of schools and have adjusted fine and continue to receive awards and academic scholarships.

 

But it isn't for everyone, so if your fear is that homeschooling high school would put your student at a disadvantage, please understand that this isn't always true.

 

If I planned to not homeschool high school, I probably would stick my students in public school in 8th grade. Yes, it would be tough, but it would allow them time to make friends and get used to how things are done in school and allow me time to make sure I was comfortable with public school.

 

Edited by Bambam
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8th grade might work best but there is no way to know for sure ahead of time. Different schools, different kids/teachers, are going to provide different experiences for your child (and you).

 

That being said, with 8th grade, if you and she decide school is a bad fit after all, you haven't entered into the High School transcript phase with zeal even if she takes a couple of courses in 8th at High School level so it might be the best option. She gets a year to adjust and you both get a year to see if this will work as you hoped.

 

Of course, if you are both really enjoying Homeschooling a lot, you would be giving up your last year to do so. In that case, unless she does poorly adapting to change, I'd just wait until 9th grade and make 8th grade about having one last great homeschooling year while also actively prepping for the transition.

Edited by OneStepAtATime
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Here, if there were no other elements, I think I would choose 10th, which is when the kids start high school here.  If they started in 9th I'd do it then.

 

I don't feel like a year of practice middle school is going to be much easier to adapt to - in fact middle school is kind of awful in many cases.

 

I did give my dd12 a year in grade 6 before starting jr high in grade 7, and it worked out well - it was in a way a fluke but I think I'd do it that way again.  But that is mostly because she will be in immersion and I think it was good to be in the same program as the other kids without language being such a factor, particularly for math.

Edited by Bluegoat
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I would like to homeschool high school but my rising 7th grader is currently thinking he wants to go to public high school. (Thankfully, we have excellent high schools in our area.) If that continues to be his desire, I plan to send him to the middle school for one class next fall (in 8th grade) to "get his feet wet" in a classroom environment. 

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DS18 attended public kindergarten and first grade and then we homeschooled through eighth grade. He enrolled in an early college public high school beginning in ninth grade and had very little trouble adjusting. DS21 was homeschooled from fifth through eighth grade and returned to our local public high school in ninth grade. He also had little to no trouble.

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I think middle school is such a rotten time for everything it's best avoided. I know several people who started in ninth grade without problems.

 

1. It helps to take outside classes before going so student is familiar with class structure and being accountable to someone else.

 

2. Enforce organization even within homeschool. Work on executive function skills (calendars, planning, prioritization) upper elementary through middle school. Plan to be involved in organizational activities either assisting or monitoring in high school.

 

3. Check with your district about accepting homeschool credits. If your DC is taking algebra and foreign language before high school, will the district accept those credits, will your DC need to take a placement test, will your DC need to take state exit exams for those subjects. My district accepted 5 language credits (French 1-3, Latin 1-2) and 3 math credits (alg1, geometry, alg 2), but ds had to take exit exams for graduation for the three math classes his first year of high school).

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I allow my kids to choose in eighth grade and they both chose to go to public school. This has been a good transition for both of them (though Oldest decided to come back home, but this wasn't an issue with public school, but an issue with her own mental health). Going to school in eighth grade meant that they had a year to adjust before high school hit and since they were the oldest in the Jr High, they didn't encounter bullying issues with older kids treating younger kids badly. This also might have been a product of the school they attended which is a K-8 campus, and keeps the middle school grades very separate. All the eighth graders had their classes in a particular hall and only left that hall to have PE or lunch, with only the other eighth graders.

 

They were both able to form friend groups which they took into high school with them. They got in the habit of dealing with homework, teachers, assignments, group projects (the bane of my freaking existence), packing lunches, dressing out for PE, the long schedule, joining clubs, etc. Middle says that at the beginning of last year, she was much more shy and had a harder time making friends, but she is much more confident and able to approach people easily. On only the second day of school, she had started to put together her group of people to sit with at lunch (this is a Big Deal, especially because all the friends she already had don't have the same lunch as her).

 

One thing I did was always have my kids in a co-op. They had teachers outside of just me and homework and assignments. They were confused at times and had to contact teachers and ask questions. They had to complete assignments they didn't like and found pointless. If you're going to go to public school, not everything you do is going to be meaningful. There's going to be a bunch of jumping through hoops. There's going to be wasted time and unclear expectations.

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One I've homeschooled all the way & he's applying to colleges now.

 

The next one is starting 8th grade at public school next week, rather than starting in 9th. She needs to go to ps for our own reasons, but I wanted her to have a year there before it "counts" & to get her IEP supports & correct special Ed placement straightened out before high school.

 

She's old for her grade so will likely avoid a lot of the middle school drama (shes over that) & already has friends there from dance ( who share her lunch period even!)

 

They've switched to project based learning for the middle school, so it's more exciting than plain old textbook learning.

 

She's very excited about going.

 

Eta- here the jr high & high school are in the same building, no "middle school" building. So 8th is just a grade lower than 9th, same teachers, gym, locker rooms, etc. All the same kids.

Edited by Hilltopmom
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Unless your school district has policies to keep home schoolers from going in to 9th grade, then I would just wait until 9th grade. High school is very different from middle school. There is often not much benefit to starting in 8th unless there are district policies requiring it. Here, at least previously, the public school would not allow home schoolers to go straight in to 9th. They had to finish 8th grade first. So, if you presented a 14 yr old to register for 9th, he would be sent back to 8th grade. Plus, no credits toward high school earned at home would be used, unless you used something like Texas Tech for the class.

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I have homeschooled two to college and one is almost there (senior this year). My fourth wanted to go to public hs and she started in 9th. She absolutely had no trouble, either with classes or socially. The best thing about starting in 9th is that everyone is new to the high school. Social groups from middle school are shaken up and most people are trying to find their footing in a very new experience. My last kid is going to go to ps high school as well, starting in 9th next year.

 

Personally, I would never start a kid in ps middle school in 8th grade. Socially, I think it is very, very hard. We know quite a few people who have moved to the area and they put their new 8th graders in a very small private school and then plan to move them to public high school.

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I have homeschooled two to college and one is almost there (senior this year). My fourth wanted to go to public hs and she started in 9th. She absolutely had no trouble, either with classes or socially. The best thing about starting in 9th is that everyone is new to the high school. Social groups from middle school are shaken up and most people are trying to find their footing in a very new experience. My last kid is going to go to ps high school as well, starting in 9th next year.

 

Personally, I would never start a kid in ps middle school in 8th grade. Socially, I think it is very, very hard. We know quite a few people who have moved to the area and they put their new 8th graders in a very small private school and then plan to move them to public high school.

Yes, Im thinking this might be our option too. Private school fir middle school and ps for high school. Private school here has like a 5:1 student teacher ratio.

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DS is starting this year as a freshman (our high school is 9-12).

 

I spent much of last year fretting about whether he should have done his transition year in 8th, but I'm more at peace with it now. Over this summer, it's become totally clear that this is the right step for him now; I have to say it really feels right, both for him and for the family. We are really excited and looking forward to new challenges.

 

I don't think there's a right or wrong time to make that leap. You know your daughter and family dynamics best. What does SHE want to do? My DS knew he wanted to be home for middle school (I don't know why) but that high school would be a possibility. As it grew closer it seemed like the natural choice.

 

I will say he is going in knowing quite a lot of kids. He's on the cross country team (which is already practicing and having meets) so he already has a social network. If that wasn't the case, starting a year earlier might have been more important, but it's hard to say. For a more social kid, that would have been a definite consideration.

 

Eta: we only have one elementary, middle and high school, so the students remain the same other than if someone new moves into the community.

Edited by MEmama
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I used to teach in a private school, and there were several kids who started in 8th so they could adjust to school before high school. It worked well. I remember one boy who had never learned to read or write cursive who had a steep learning curve in that respect, since the teacher always used cursive, but otherwise they all adjusted well and went on to HS with some friends.

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Dd went in the second semester of 9th and transitioned beautifully. She a junior in college and was very prepared and is doing well. I think 7th or 8th would have been easier. Around here, the kids somehow knock out high school volunteer hours in middle school. Middle school language classes count for high school (provided you do week in the follow-up classes). Also, sports try outs and theatre and choral auditions happen before high school starts or during the first few days. Even if you don't meet them in middle school, I imagine it's nice to know someone to eat lunch with before your first day of HS. Also, we had to give her a quick lesson in opening a combination lock the week before school. I almost forgot about that.

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DS is starting this year as a freshman (our high school is 9-12).

 

I spent much of last year fretting about whether he should have done his transition year in 8th, but I'm more at peace with it now. Over this summer, it's become totally clear that this is the right step for him now; I have to say it really feels right, both for him and for the family. We are really excited and looking forward to new challenges.

 

I don't think there's a right or wrong time to make that leap. You know your daughter and family dynamics best. What does SHE want to do? My DS knew he wanted to be home for middle school (I don't know why) but that high school would be a possibility. As it grew closer it seemed like the natural choice.

 

I will say he is going in knowing quite a lot of kids. He's on the cross country team (which is already practicing and having meets) so he already has a social network. If that wasn't the case, starting a year earlier might have been more important, but it's hard to say. For a more social kid, that would have been a definite consideration.

 

Eta: we only have one elementary, middle and high school, so the students remain the same other than if someone new moves into the community.

 

She wants to attend part-time to attend a couple classes that would fall in the middle of the day, which means I'd have to drive her there and back every day: it's not close and would really be less than ideal for her three other siblings' school days. 

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I sent my kids in 8th grade for manynof the reasons people have brought up here. I wanted to give them a chance to get used to school before it mattered, to make friends before they went to the 3400 kid high school, and for sports. My 9th grader (he started today) has been practicing XC for two weeks and they have a meet this weekend. It would have been difficult to get the info on that without school. Plus they picked their classes in April, inhink, and this way he had a much higher chance of getting electives he wanted.

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I'm not sure what I'm doing yet for high school (mine are going into 7th), but I will wait until 9th if we decide on PS.  Our middle school has a lot of different elementary schools that feed into it.  After middle school, all the kids will be split up into different high schools -- either due to boundaries or applying to different programs within the county.  I would rather them start fresh with all the other 9th grade kids.  They do know a bunch of PS kids through summer and winter swim and baseball.

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My oldest wants to go back for B&M high school. Our middle schools are rough in terms of bullying and the surrounding area our assigned school is in (not residential, more commercial/manufacturing).

 

So he goes to academics based full day summer camps and he knows how to go from class to class as well as have lunch and all that. He is used to outsourced teachers scibbling homework on the white board and him having to copy them down.

 

His outsourced B&M classes are harder in terms of organization skills than online classes. Everything is there for online classes, the syllabus, homework assignment, lectures can be played back if he miss something. B&M classes are harder in that there are no recorded lectures and homework is not online, so you have to ask a classmate or the teacher if you forgot to copy something.

 

My younger kid's organization skills are lower than his brother and if he wants B&M high school, we will probably put him in an affordable private middle school for 8th grade just for practice. Either that or lots of outsourced B&M classes. This kid forgets to copy down or submit homework many times.

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I think if you want to transition at 9th, do some more out sourcing in middle school - online classes, co-ops, tutorials, etc as prep.  Do standardized testing every year to make sure that's not out of left field.  Teach the kid how to use a planner and organize their own paper work.  Check with high schools about placement. 

 

The problem with middle schools is everyone is going through puberty and it can be a cesspool of bad attitude, lashing out, and academic mediocrity.  If I could ONLY homeschool 3 years,  I think it would be 6th-8th grade.  I would look at options carefully for placement into a middle school.

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I put my son in ps 1/4 into 8th grade. That worked out well for us because he had the opportunity to earn a few high school credits that year (science, health) and helped cement his placement (honors/AP) for 9th-12th. In retrospect, 7th would have been better for him because that would have given him the opportunity to do math and English for high school credit also. Hindsight and all that.

 

Socially it was a big adjustment, and he came out very well in the end.

 

He would have done better with sports if we had started in 7th, but math would have suffered, since the middle school is subpar at math instruction.

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I think if you want to transition at 9th, do some more out sourcing in middle school - online classes, co-ops, tutorials, etc as prep. Do standardized testing every year to make sure that's not out of left field. Teach the kid how to use a planner and organize their own paper work. Check with high schools about placement.

 

The problem with middle schools is everyone is going through puberty and it can be a cesspool of bad attitude, lashing out, and academic mediocrity. If I could ONLY homeschool 3 years, I think it would be 6th-8th grade. I would look at options carefully for placement into a middle school.

I agree. We did a lot of practicing in 8th--standardised testing, using a planner and the like--and a LOT of talking about what to expect. Lots of conversations about being flexible, of how to move past stupid test questions and figure out what they are really looking for, about not getting hung up on things when it doesn't matter. Also about the awesomeness of always asking questions (and navigating how to question a teacher respectfully) and continuing to think outside the box.

 

I guess in a couple weeks we'll find out how well our preparations worked. Lol

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My oldest went to PS for 6th grade last year.  The transition went smoothly.  She did great academically.  We were about 3/4 of yr ahead in math so could focus on adjusting to "school" way instead of learning new material, language arts was all reading comprehension which we had to adjust since the method was very different from what we did, science/history new and fine, band super fun, PE annoying.  Because we did not do the standardized testing that the 5th graders did, I had to do some convincing to start her in the upper level classes.  Thankfully, I insisted, they relented, and all was well.

 

The tentative plan when we started homeschooling was to go to PS for 9th (9-12 high school).  BUT that is not the way the system works here for advance class tracking.  When I looked into the class-tracking closely, it turns out that the advance math track and some high school credit classes start in 7th grade (6-8 middle school).  Because all the elementary kids transition to a "new" system for middle school in 6th grade and friend-groups from 5th get diluted by the new system, etc, it seemed best to launch in 6th grade.  I also wanted to have a "transition" year before the classes started going on the transcript.  DD is very academic and wants to be on the advance track from the start.  Now she has the opportunity to get early high school credits, etc as needed.  Had we waited for 7th or 8th, she would have had to test into those advance classes/summer school (and we didn't focus on test-taking skills or requirements in our homeschool), miss opportunity for early high school credits, and her peers would have already gotten over the "transition" jitters.  It would have been extremely difficult to start PS in 9th for ensuring the rigorous schedule she wants.  We are in a huge, competitive district/school.  Having said that I think socially 6th or 9th are the better transition years.  It just happens that both socially and academically, 6th was better for us.

 

All in all, middle school for us has not been the horror others warn against.  There was some very light drama, but nothing that doesn't show up with the kids on the block already.  DD does not have a dramatic personality and can be very independent in her approach to academics.  She has the right temperament for it.

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I used to teach in a private school, and there were several kids who started in 8th so they could adjust to school before high school. It worked well. I remember one boy who had never learned to read or write cursive who had a steep learning curve in that respect, since the teacher always used cursive, but otherwise they all adjusted well and went on to HS with some friends.

I had to laugh. Mine were specifically asked not to use cursive. These things are so arbitrary [emoji12]

 

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Tapatalk

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My ds just started 7th grade a few weeks ago. (Here K-6 is elementary, middle is 7/8, and high school is 9-12.)

His entire reason for wanting to go to school was for a larger social group. Despite being involved with several homeschool groups and classes over the years he had never really found a group of kids he clicked with very well within the homeschool community. He found "his group" on the very first day and has already made good friends. Every weekend since school has started he's had plans with his new classmates and several days a week he asks to walk with his friends to the public library for a couple of hours. 

Academically it's a little harder to say because I don't think they've started doing too much work yet, although I suspect that will change starting this week. (First couple of weeks were more team and community building exercises, a class camping trip, etc.) He did get a week's worth of math homework last week that isn't due until the end of this week, but he was insistent on getting it all done on the first night so he wouldn't have to worry about it. 

I miss having him home, but I can see now that my earlier worries about starting him starting school in middle school was for naught. He's going to be just fine. 

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Around here, it makes no sense to put your kid in 8th grade so they can "make friends". Unless you're going to a combined middle+high school - and if you can get into one of those in the 8th grade then it's probably a really crappy one - it is likely you won't encounter any of those same kids again in high school. I wouldn't put your kid in 8th unless you really, really think they need extra practice. And even then, I might just put them in for the second half of the year or something.

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Here the PS's give ZERO credit for homeschooled high school courses. Additionally, they require testing in the middle school for grade placement even if you have a portfolio of work to show where your child's placement should be, and if you don't do that before the freshman year, then if your student had say Spanish 1, Physical Science, and Algebra 1 in your 8th grade homeschool year, they will have to take them again, no exceptions. Zero. There is no avenue for receiving credit for homeschooled work at the high school level.

 

Additionally, for DE and AP in the junior and senior year, one must be in the "college prep" track and that track means entering the freshman year with geometry, biology, and being in the top 25% of the student body because due to funding cuts, they only offer a few classes and only one section per class for those DE and AP classes. If you entered high school straight from homeschooling, not only do you have to potentially repeat coursework you may have already completed, but you are automatically ineligible for DE and AP or Honors Band, Honors Choir, and the third year of foreign language because they demand that one our of each year be devoted to "study hall" since their assumption is that homeschooled students have no study skills and will have a hard time getting their work done. That hour for four straight years generally overrides the honors music classes.

 

They really punish people for homeschooling all the way to high school. So if one does not want to do those last four, then the best plan is enrolling in the 7th grade. That gives the student a year to prove their academic mettle, help the school conveniently forget that the student was homeschooled - something they do like to do if the student is likely to have good standardized test scores which of course helps their school average - and get into the rotation for the better classes if the student is college bound, or at least keeps the door to that open if you aren't certain what your student will need.

 

Math and science placement, no matter what the test scores, also determine English and history placement so it is a real double whammy to wait until the freshman year to enroll because your student will be automatically put into remedial English for that year. Sometimes a teacher will get a former homeschooler whom they see is really needing to be put into a more advanced class and raise cain with the administration until someone caves, but more likely than not, your child is stuck because it is a pain for the teachers to cross the principal and superintendent on matters of homeschool policy.

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I wish we had moved at 8th.  But that is with my perfect (haha) hindsight (which is not perfect...because you still don't know what would have happened...). But getting a year of "school rhythm" going is not a bad thing before the grades start showing up on the transcript.

 

We made our move too late and it was a disaster.

 

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I wish we had moved at 8th.  But that is with my perfect (haha) hindsight (which is not perfect...because you still don't know what would have happened...). But getting a year of "school rhythm" going is not a bad thing before the grades start showing up on the transcript.

 

We made our move too late and it was a disaster.

 

Would you mind elaborating?

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Here we have the option to take electives in the public school system, so our kids did a few classes in middle school. Doing band gave my older dd her social group for high school and it would have been worth it for that alone--she does no sports and wouldn't have had an automatic group otherwise. They both did science and band and youngest also did Spanish last year because she did after school cross country and track and she was able to just have all afternoon classes. I did not want them going to the middle school full time as I'm not crazy about their philosophy. I love our high school, but the middle school gives kids no freedom--they have to be in specified areas for lunch, use the school issued binders (which were cheap and didn't fit in backpacks), etc. They also teach to "close the performance gap" meaning anyone in the upper half is doing fine and isn't pushed to learn more. I preferred to teach our core subjects myself. The biggest disadvantage of part time is of course the driving. I'm glad that is over frankly. But I think my girls got good things out of part time public school in middle school.

 

Older dd transitioned to high school beautifully in 9th grade and I expect the same of youngest this year.

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Our experience FWIW...

 

Planned on B&M high school. Decided starting in 9th bad - just the adjustment to schedules, multiple teachers/expectations, prioritizing, etc., so decided to start in 8th. Unhappy with meeting at middle school, so visited local private school. Fell in love. The teachers and kids made the transition super easy. Unfortunately, stayed in love, so we are now continuing high school there. I tell the DC they are using their inheritance :)

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Would you mind elaborating?

 

He went to this fantastic school at grade 11.  This introduced all the things that schools do for classroom management, paperwork, homework past mastery, AND oh by the way, driver's ed, SAT prep, PSAT, college exploration and visits, and long days that he was not used to on a schedule that NONE of us was used to.  

 

I am good with paper management.  I couldn't even figure out how to help him with the paper storm that came his way...but the rest of the kids were used to it, and so he was really an outlier.  

 

Giving him a year in 8th to find his way in a time which wasn't as "game critical", to make mistakes that he could learn from without its causing a nervous breakdown, to give him time to learn all the unspoken (and unacknowledged) patterns, structures, routines...that would have helped a lot.

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I have done it all.

 

Oldest homeschooled through 12th grade.

Middle went to public high school in 10th grade and adjusted well.

Youngest went to PS in 7th grade and adjusted well too.

 

Kids are usually quite adaptable.

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I sent one to public high school in 10th grade (can't do that anymore because school district no longer gives any credit for homeschool courses). Two went to public school in 8th grade and four went to public high school in 9th grade. All did just fine with the transition. Those who started in 8th grade had a smoother transition into high school as far as getting into classes because they were able to choose classes the semester before. The ones that started in 9th grade came in as new students in the fall and some of the electives they wanted were full.

 

Susan in TX

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I sent one to public high school in 10th grade (can't do that anymore because school district no longer gives any credit for homeschool courses). Two went to public school in 8th grade and four went to public high school in 9th grade. All did just fine with the transition. Those who started in 8th grade had a smoother transition into high school as far as getting into classes because they were able to choose classes the semester before. The ones that started in 9th grade came in as new students in the fall and some of the electives they wanted were full.

 

Susan in TX

 

You did this in Texas? Another poster said that in Texas, they are required to go back to 8th grade, that they don't allow them to start in 9th grade and will automatically be placed back in 8th. See Janeway's post above to see what I'm talking about.

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