Returning to the Fold: A study of Homeschoolers who return to the Public School




Dennis, Carl Michael

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Parents have a variety of choices for educating their children. One option is homeschooling, which is a growing movement. As the number of families choosing this option increases, so does the number of children from those families who transition their homeschooled child back to a public school. The literature investigating the process involving homeschool transition is limited. The current study used a qualitative methodology and interviewed families and school leaders in an effort to investigate why families send their children back to a public school, the unique challenges associated with this transition, and school programs and policies used for these transitions. The data, gathered from a large, suburban, mid-Atlantic school district was analyzed by thematic analysis. The results showed that parents had a variety of reasons for transitioning their children and that these transitions produced several challenges for both families and school leaders. Further, it was found that although the enrollment process was fairly straightforward, no unique transition programs or policies exist specifically for the homeschooled population. Despite the general transition programs in place that are used for all students, more can be done to ameliorate the unique challenges experienced by families during this process. Also, the complete lack of training among school leaders on the topic of homeschooler transitions should be addressed so that appropriate strategies can be crafted and used rather than base administrative decisions on stereotypes generated from limited experience in working with this unique population.



Educational leadership, Challenges, Guidance counselor, Homeschoolers, Principal, Transition