Being a parent during a global pandemic is really difficult. We are making sure everyone is safe, healthy, happy, semi entertained (has a mask!) and is fed. We are also making some pretty hard decisions with not a lot of information or guidance. One of those major decisions involves sending-or not sending-the kids back to school this fall.
Several years ago, our family chose to pull our immune compromised oldest daughter, Daisy, out of public school. She did public school at home through the school for 2 years. Then, last year we withdrew her from public school altogether and started her on a private online curriculum. In the state of Louisiana, it’s pretty easy to completely withdraw from the school system and homeschool.
How to Withdraw From Public School in Louisiana
If your child is already enrolled in a Louisiana Public School you will have to withdraw them from that school. Doing so is relatively easy. This website has a form letter you can copy with your own information. You may also have to fill out a “drop form” at your child’s school. You do not have to sign anything else or have proof that you have registered with the state.
What are the Options for Homeschooling Your Child in Louisiana?
There are two options for homeschooling your child in the state of Louisiana. One is the home study option. The other is registering as a non-public school (often called the private school option).
With the home study option your curriculum is expected to be on par with that of the school district. Each year you will have to submit paperwork showing that you are doing work that aligns with the public school standards. This can be done with a standardized test, with a letter from a certified teacher, or by submitting a portfolio. Here is a link to everything you need to know about the home study option.
With the non-public option you are not required to turn in anything. You are essentially running your own private school and may choose what to teach your children when. It is not necessary to register your private school each year but many do. Here is a link to everything you need to know about the non-public option.
Please note that to qualify for TOPS a child must be enrolled in the home study option for 11th and 12th grade.
Choosing a Curriculum for Your Homeschooler
If you choose to keep your children at home, there are several options in continuing their education. There are a few online pubic schools in the state such as K12, Connections Academy, and University View Academy. These programs are considered public schooling at home and may be preferable if you plan to send your child(ren) back to in person school after this year. You have a lot of freedom, however, and you can choose to create your own curriculum, buy one online, or do any number of different things.
I highly recommend joining the Facebook group Louisiana Homeschool Support to help you. They have curriculum reviews, tons of information, and other resources for anyone considering homeschooling in Louisiana.
Last year, when Daisy was in 4th grade, we chose the online curriculum Power Homeschool. It’s $25/month a student for 6 classes. She took Math, ELA, Science, Social Studies, Spanish & Ecology with the last two classes being electives. She loves science so much that she’s finishing 5th grade Science this summer so she can take another more specialized class in the Fall. I like using the parent app where I can manage her classes, monitor her progress and see her grades. She logs on, watches instructional videos, takes notes and completes lessons. There are quizzes and exams, too. She can go at whatever pace she and I choose.
Our family never set out to homeschool but it’s ended up being the best thing for Daisy. Our youngest daughter, Selene, is entering Kindergarten and as of now, we still aren’t sure if she will attend school in person. What helps me is just thinking of the “now” and not worrying about passed this. For now, we are homeschooling Daisy but I don’t know about middle school or high school. For this year, we may have to homeschool Selene and her Kindergarten year will be a lot different than we imagined. It’s important to remember that we are in a global pandemic during unprecedented times but it won’t be this way forever.
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