Does anyone know what would happen if I tried to enroll him in public school come this school year with all the issues I've had with his schooling this past year?
In your situation I would approach the school's counselor as a starting point.
ETA: In the meantime, pull together samples of his work. Go forward as if he had been enrolled properly as a homeschooler.
"Let me see you stripped down to the bone. Let me hear you speaking just for me."
It sounds to me like you're viewing homeschooling fairly simplistically: as time logged doing desk work. I doubt the authorities will need to view it so narrowly. If you consider your homeschooling to include experiences and conversations and activities that have come up in the course of your daily life, you'll likely see that he's had a lot more education than you think. You might, partly for your own peace of mind and perhaps also partly for the authorities, start jotting down a more unschooling-like list of the things he has done and learned. If you jot things down in educational terms, they can look very impressive. For instance, if he was interested in the winter Olympics, call that a unit study and put some points beneath it:
- recognizing national flags
- interest in country locations as pertaining to climate
- discussion of shared national languages and multi-lingual nations
- mental math practice comparing medal counts and points
- mental math practice comparing lap times
- converting minutes to seconds
- discussing of timing accuracy
- orientation to the decimal system from observing hundredths of seconds
- discussion of objectivity in judging
- comparing objective and subjective measurements of success
- awareness of cyrillic alphabet as an alternative set of phonetic symbols
See? Just from things that come up while watching the winter olympics on TV! Life is like that. I'd be willing to bet that even experiences like moving from one apartment to another could generate impressive lists: labelling boxes, developing organizational systems, knowing what an invoice is as opposed to an estimate, understanding square footage, legal agreements like leases etc..
And just a bit of reassurance: it is considered completely normal to for a grade-levelled classroom to have children whose actual academic level is up to a year ahead or a year behind. That's a normal public school mixture of abilities and developmental trajectories.
Mountain mama to three great kids and one great grown-up
here is the florida pdf
Mom to J and never-ending , 0/2014 items decluttered, 0/52 crafts crafts completed
Seeking zen in 2014. Working on journaling and finding peace this year. Spending my free time taking J to swimteam
Schools have better things to do than attempt to enforce homeschool laws. They are busy enough trying to follow all the laws related to schooling! They are also NOT required by law to report parents for past homeschool law violations.
Call the school and ask for information about how to enroll your sons. Say that he was homeschooling *but do not offer more information on how it went* just let them know that there isn't a previous school to get records from. (Unless the on-line service you are using is a legal, virtual school, its not a school).
They are more concerned about things like vaccination records and eye checks than previous school records. Both of my kids were informally tested by the school before they started, but the point of that testing was to help determine if they would need special services, not to decide if they got to attend school. Your kids have a legal right to attend school, and the school wants them to succeed there.
I agree with Miranda that schools have children with a wide variety of levels. They are set up for it and not at all shocked by it.
The only subjects that really matter when starting school (or switching to a different school) are reading, writing, and math. If you son is behind in one of more of these subjects, they will most likely give him extra instruction through a program called "response to intervention." This teaching model works with children in small groups who are behind or struggling for whatever reason. The children are not labeled or anything, they just get extra help from a teacher who has more advanced training.
You sound like a loving and involved mom. I found it very scary to enroll my children in school after we homeschooled, but we had such a positive experience! For me, it went from feeling like I was alone to feeling like I was part of a team. I hope it all goes well for you, too.
I was surprised at the total amount of paper work involved in enrolling them the first time, but none of it was about our homeschooling experience. It was all medical stuff, proving our address, etc.
but everything has pros and cons