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Choosing Homeschooling Over Retention
Q: My soon to be seven-year-old will be repeating the first grade next year. I am considering homeschooling him, and would like to know how to get the ball rolling. Also, how do I go about getting financial help if it is available? I would send him back to the public school that he now attends, but they will start him at the level where he will finish at the end of this year. I think he needs to go back and get some of the basics that he missed the first time around. Do you have any suggestions?
A: Your first step is to do some reading about homeschooling. A good place to start is our How to Homeschool information center. Be sure to read Leaving School and Learning at Home and How to Homeschool. If you read just one book about homeschooling, I would choose The First Year Homeschooling Your Child: Your Complete Guide to Getting Off to the Right Start by Linda Dobson.
As far as financial aid, I'm sorry to report that there is no financial aid available to families who homeschool. Several states may offer financial aid if you participate in a program of homeschool and school, but in these situations your homeschooling rights are severely curtailed and you must answer to your local board of education. Most families find the small financial incentive is not worth the loss of educational freedom. Good luck!
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Isabel Shaw is a freelance writer and homeschooling mom of 15 years. She and her husband Ray homeschool their two daughters, Jessica and Amanda. Besides being a contributor to FamilyEducation.com, Shaw has written for Home Education Magazine, The Link, Homeschooling Horizons Magazine, The Homeschool Gazette, and other publications.