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Rising 9th grader wants to try public school

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I can see his pros:



Live classes

Swim team

More free time -for me!



He has ADHD

We might need IEP


Less overall choices

Less advancement

Less sleep - so important around here!


But also, I feel like he has a better chance of getting into a good college as a homeschooler? That way he can be different, not just another public schooler with the same basic transcript.


It's not going to be a big deal if it doesn't work out, right? Maybe I'm over thinking it. He's my first highschooler.

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Is there some halfway plan that would give him some of his pros, without taking away that desire for independence and more opportunity?  Such as DE, early graduation and community college, Part time private school (we have a few around here where you go two days per week)


Also, what are his times in swim?  Unless he's getting consistent A times he won't make the team anyway.  So before making Swim Team part of your decision process he may want to go in person, show up at practice and try to speak to the coach or email the coach asking about the try out thresholds....I know at the schools around here they need A times in at least one event, plus B's pretty much across the board in the events he's less talented in- and that was absolute minimum and wouldn't guarantee you a spot.  Most of the kids are consistently attending JOs.  Also, if he IS a JO swimmer, then he could be looking at swimming for college in which case it's almost impossible to do unless he goes to a school.  Colleges generally recruit from the schools...


In many states/schools, students cannot play sports but they CAN attend after school clubs at the public school.  NCAA requirements make it so homeschoolers doing sports can be very tricky and depends on the state legislature passing laws protecting and including homeschoolers.  But for clubs, it's not really "a thang" and many schools will be glad to have an enthusiastic student join in.  If Band meets after school, it is very likely they would gladly include him.  If it meets during school hours, it's different.  


Just throwing out some thoughts and ideas :)





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My dd is planning to go to school next year for 9th grade as well. She wants the experience and the live classes and the swim team (which she can do as a homeschooler, but she would be the only homeschooler on the team.) Her current plan is to only go to school for 9th and 10th and then homeschool (but remain on the swim team) 11th and 12th. She sees that as the best of both worlds.  :001_rolleyes:  We'll see how it works out.

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Honestly, ninth grade is the year to try it out. If it is a bad experience you can always pull him out, but it could be much harder to start after 9th grade depending on your state's rules.

In some areas the high schools absolutely, 100% will NOT accept homeschool credit for high school work. So, if a child wants to go to public high school in 11th grade, the school system WILL put them in 9th grade. Full stop.


Find out if your school does that and if so, then 9th grade is your time to jump in to public school because he might not be able to afterwards, without have to start over again at 9th.

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My oldest is a 9th grader. Homeschooling high school is hard. Fun and rewarding, but hard. I wouldn’t try to do it with a kid who didn’t want to homeschool. It sounds like he has good reasons for wanting to try public school. 



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We do a 2 day a week school for High School.  It is a lifesaver and we love it.  It is true that we give up freedom to choose curriculum and they do use one text in one subject that I would never use, but the teacher is excellent and uses other material for the most part.  It was an expense we had to work in at first, but now we have rearranged the budget and it's fine. 

I also know plenty of people who have sent their homeschooled kids to public school  for hs and it has been totally fine.  

I agree with PP that 9th grade is the year to try this.



Edited by Mbelle
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Start the IEP process now to get a plan in place for appropriate courses and any special help he might need. That way you'll get a feel for how supportive or not the school will be with the ADHD. Some high schools might let your son shadow a student for a day to get a feel for what it's like.


I know more homeschoolers that tried public school and hated it than loved it and stuck it out. Homeschooling often spoils a kid as far as public education is concerned. I'm sure a part of that is the schools around here being pretty inflexible with their course placements and requirements. If you talk to the school now rather than waiting until fall, you'll have a sense of that as well.

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My son wants to try public school next year too. He's always been on the line between grades with his bday on the local cut-off but going to public school I'm putting him into 8 instead of 9. When I read your post I think, no big deal, let him try it but with my own I hate the thought, HATE it and hope he changes his mind. Sigh. It could be a good thing or a horrible thing. I tried convincing ds of just doing a few classes but he is not interested. Mine has ADHD too but has had an easier time lately, I don't know what if any accommodations he would need, I shudder to think of dealing with that. I think mine wants the social time and to have had the experience, he's never been in school and wants to see what it's like. I really have no clue how he will find it, we are so much different. I think he will be annoyed by the lose of freedom, because he doesn't even grasp how controlling schools can be. I hate the schedule, it is too damn early, I generally don't ever wake him up unless I have to, sleep is too important. From what I've heard the education will be subpar compared to homeschool. UGH, I feel your pain.

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I think we're going to go for it next year! I'm feeling SO overwhelmed with all the things we need to do: tutor/private lessons for trumpet to get ready for band audition (he didn't start playing trumpet until 7th grade), prepping for Algebra and maybe Physics test if they will let us get credit, maybe a psychological eval and then band camp 4 weeks this summer. And, choosing classes! I think the hardest part is giving up our flexibility. But, I'll still have a 10 yr old and 4yr old at home, and a 8 yr old who already attends public school.

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I agree with JanetC's advice to request for the public school to evaluate your son now, while you are still homeschooling. Under federal law, they are required to, if a learning issue is suspected. Unless you have a very unusual school, they will not provide accommodations for ADHD until the evaluation process and his individual plan (IEP if special education is needed; 504 if needs can be addressed by accommodations without modifying the curriculum or working with an intervention specialist) are written.


The school legally has 120 days from receiving your written request to having an IEP in place. That is four months! And some schools find loopholes that allow them to stall. So he would be without an extra support for all of that time while also adjusting to a new school environment. If you place your request for evaluations now, he should be able to have the documentation in place before classes begin in the fall. That can make a big difference in whether he finds school a success or a frustration.


Here is the federal timeline. (You can find this information online, if you haven't researched it yet, and there are also some excellent books you can read about the evaluation process.)

* 30 days from the date the school receives your WRITTEN request to decide if there is enough evidence of a possible learning issue to warrant evaluations.

* 60 days after agreeing to evaluate to complete the testing and present the report to the evaluation team (which includes the parents).

* 30 days after finding a learning issue to write an IEP.

Total -- four months.


If they find that an IEP is not needed and a 504 will do, it may be done more quickly. Schools generally do not accept private psych evaluations as complete evidence of a learning issue that needs to be addressed; the law says the issue must affect performance in the classroom, so schools want teachers to agree. Right now, while homeschooling YOU are his teacher. Once he is enrolled in school, they will want opinions from their teachers before agreeing to help.


You may know all of this already, but I thought it was worth mentioning. When my kids entered school, I walked into our first meeting with a pile of documentation about my kids' learning disabilities, and it still took months for their IEPs to be in place.


School has been very good for my children, by the way. Most of them began school before ninth grade (DD16 started in 9th), and we had some adjustments to a new way of doing things, as you might expect. Overall, our decision to enter school has been positive, and I hope it is that way for your son, as well.


ETA: Just to be clear, schools are required to factor in private evaluations as part of the process. But they don't have to believe everything in the reports will be an issue in their classrooms, just because it is written on the papers. They want to do the testing and see for themselves.

Edited by Storygirl
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My dd(14) is a 9th grader who attends two classes (Choir & Spanish 3) at our local high school. She was needing more peer social interactions than I could create from our homeschool community and home.  


My dd loves her choir teacher and classmates however Spanish has been a lot of busy work. My dd has complained on many occasions that the teacher frequently changes the course syllabus and has a strange grading system.  She says he doesn't "teach enough Spanish" but rather assigns worksheets.  She is way ahead of the kids with regards to speaking Spanish (says her teacher), the other kids are too embarrassed and out of practice. The school doesn't offer Spanish 4 so she will be going elsewhere else after this year.


I wasn't really prepared for how much peer relationships where going to mean for my dd. She has made several friends and is much happier however she is more into her phone texting and social media. She also brings home varying ideas and experiences which affect her attitude. some for the better and others, not so good. I also wasn't prepared for how much I would miss her. She spends more time in school and studies more, so I see less of her. 


OP- Best wishes to you and your family. 


Edited by Jewels
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