Anyone ever homeschool part time and public school part time?(x-posted in learning at home) - Mothering Forums

Anyone ever homeschool part time and public school part time?(x-posted in learning at home)

pranava's Avatar pranava (TS)
07:57 AM Liked: 127
#1 of 22
03-25-2011 | Posts: 944
Joined: Aug 2007

Just wondering if this is even an option.  I don't want DS to miss out on the social aspects of public school - he really has a desire to ride the school bus right now orngbiggrin.gif  I also want him to go to school with the kids in his neighborhood, experience the lunch room, recess, and all that kind of thing.   But, I don't want him to be bored for 8 hours a day, pushed ahead in areas he's not ready, or held back where he's excelling. 


Is part time public school an option?

whatsnextmom's Avatar whatsnextmom
08:43 AM Liked: 1581
#2 of 22
03-25-2011 | Posts: 1,971
Joined: Apr 2010

We have known a few who have done it but haven't done it personally. Not all schools are open to it but you might get lucky. You might consider a homeschooling charter. There are many in our area. The kids go in for certain classes 2 or 3 times a week and homeschool the rest. He might be more successful socially if ALL the kids are doing the same thing as opposed to be the only kid showing up for P.E. or something.

moominmamma's Avatar moominmamma
08:43 AM Liked: 3862
#3 of 22
03-25-2011 | Posts: 5,807
Joined: Jul 2003
Whether it's an option depends on what jurisdiction you live in and whether you have open-minded people at the particular school you're considering.

My eldest dd has attended school part-time for three years. She goes to make use of the academic resources and structure there in areas that she's not necessarily naturally drawn to... History and chemistry, for instance. Her areas of passion are learned entirely outside of school and she is far beyond the material they could offer. She appreciates having the course-like structure for subjects she isn't already well-versed in, the fact that she can do self-paced learning wittin that structure, finishing courses in as little as four weeks, and the school has been able to create an impressive and pretty mainstream-looking transcript for her which will vastly simplify university admissions. She has found that school has little from a social standpoint to recommend it.

For our school this really only works at the secondary level. The elementary classes are quite cross-curricular in their approach, meaning that just about everything they do integrates grade level academics. My kids have tried out a few days of elementary school here and there over the years but the dead-slow academic pace and the amount of time and energy spent on classroom and behavioral management got rid of any allure school might have held for them. Homeschooling has spoiled them: they are too used to being able to learn quickly and efficiently in the manner that best suits them.

ollyoxenfree's Avatar ollyoxenfree
08:49 AM Liked: 1453
#4 of 22
03-25-2011 | Posts: 4,895
Joined: Jun 2009


I think you need to check with the legislation of your area and the policies of your school board and the particular school. Some places have very strict rules about attendance and truancy, and may not be able to accommodate a part-time student. In some places, the school funding formula may be an obstacle. If a school is only funded for full time students, they may not want to accommodate part-time students. On the other hand, the school may want as many students on their rolls as possible so that they receive more funding. They may be happy to enrol someone who will get 100% funding but only use 50% of resources. 


At the classroom level, you'll have to consider how the scheduling would work. Would he attend half-days or alternate full days or some other schedule? Not all teachers have rigid schedules for teaching different subjects. If he attends for only some academic subjects, say social studies but not English and math, then you'll run into difficulty if the teacher likes to teach social studies in the mornings some days and in the afternoon on other days. If he is attending full days sometimes (so he can ride the bus and have lunch and recess etc.), you will have to figure out what he will do when the class is involved in instructional time for subjects that he isn't participating in. 


I also think you'll have to consider carefully how much you both are willing to hand over some of your educational autonomy to the school. If you elect to join a school, I think you have to agree generally with their approach to setting syllabus, assignments and tests etc. Obviously, if there are particular issues about inappropriate work, they should be addressed. You will also have to work out reporting and accountability, since the school will have an obligation to issue a report card for every student.   


Hmm - if you decide part-time school is a good idea, I wonder if an IEP could provide for part-time attendance. If he is formally identified as gifted and your area has some legislation or policy for IEPs for gifted students, that might be one avenue to explore. 


On the busing issue - will bus fees be an issue for you? In some places I've lived, free busing was only available to full time students who lived in the school's catchment area. If attendance was optional (usually because there was another public school closer to home), there was no free bus service. I can see a school board imposing something similar on a part-time student. In other places, there was a fee to ride the bus. Perhaps bus fees don't matter to you, but it would be something to consider if that's a major reason to try school. I'm not sure how the bus would work for a part-time student anyway. Would he ride in the morning and you would pick him up in the middle of the day?  


BTW, are there other opportunities to ride a school bus? Around here, some day camps and extra-curricular activities like language schools use school bus transportation.


I don't think it's impossible to have part-time attendance but there seems to be a lot to consider and work out ahead of time if it's going to be successful. 



physmom's Avatar physmom
09:44 AM Liked: 17
#5 of 22
03-25-2011 | Posts: 1,432
Joined: Jun 2009

Yep, definitely possible depending on your area and I swore I remember some people somewhere on here mentioning it?  I know, at least, my high school was incredibly flexible and you could do dual enrollment at different schools college/high school etc.  One reason I never chose this, though, was the driving.  You actually ended up missing a period or two because of the driving, which meant you had less class options available to you (and I was someone who had waaaayyy too many interests in high school and was already taking a lot of independent studies classes to get them all in!). 


Now, I could see this working out really well if things like music/PE/foreign languages (or whatever you're interested in) are in a block of time where your son could go once per day in the morning or something like that and the rest of the day he could be at home with you.  If they are, however, dispersed evenly throughout the day that really might be difficult logistically.

Linda on the move's Avatar Linda on the move
07:10 PM Liked: 4226
#6 of 22
03-25-2011 | Posts: 10,635
Joined: Jun 2005

School is 8 hours a day where you live and you are sure that all of it is boring? Except recess?  I think you need to do more research.


One of my DD's did a combination of school and independent study. Legally, kids either either enrolled in school or they are homeschoolers. Some schools allow homeschoolers to take classes like art and music. In our case, DD was officially a schooler, who took her core subjects at school and had a shortened day. She did PE as an independant study (which I documented, and the PE teacher evaluated and assigned her a grade for.) She did not take any electives. When you are involved in school, you play by their rules, which are determined by the state you live in.


For DD, it was the best option at the time as she has special needs and could not cope with full days at public middle school. We moved to a new city where she attends an alternative school and that is MUCH better all around.


There's a really good chance that the parts of school that you think sound fun aren't all bunched together. Most schools schedule things like PE and recess and such to break up the day so that instruction time isn't too tedious.


Honestly, in some ways, it's the worst of both worlds. I'd recommend either homeschooling whole heartedly and getting involved with a bunch of homeschooling stuff, or finding a school you like. Part time school means mommy's life revolved around driving the child back and forth from school, and the child isn't really a part of what is going on.

Peony's Avatar Peony
08:57 PM Liked: 1711
#7 of 22
03-25-2011 | Posts: 15,918
Joined: Nov 2003

Our district has a shared schooling option, only one elem school in the district does it so all these children go there. Part time schooling is not allowed at all the other elem schools, just the one, so most of the time it is not the elem school the child would normally go. Busing is not an option, these kids have to be driven by  parents. They go twice a week all day and do all the non-core subjects so library, computers, PE, music, etc... Reading, writing, math, etc... is all left up to the parents on the other days. The studetns are kept within their own group so they do not mingle with the regular elem students. We do not do the shared schooling but DD1 actually attends a tiny, private school and they are bused in for Thursday morning to do PE and library and placed with the shared schooling students. Once the kids are past elem age then shared schooling is still possible here but it is done differently with the correct school you  would be routed to and not such a large volume of students. 

ecoteat's Avatar ecoteat
12:11 AM Liked: 49
#8 of 22
03-27-2011 | Posts: 4,306
Joined: Mar 2006

The only way to find out is to ask the school. At the school I teach in we have had a few kids that do something like this. Our old principal was very open to including HSers and even reached out to them to get them involved in the greater school community. The new principal isn't as excited about it, so that culture has changed a bit. The way it works for us is that they are officially homeschooled. They are not on our public school roster. But they would join a specific class or two. They have always been specials, not the core academic subjects.


I think the reason the new principal hasn't embraced this as much is because it's kind of a pain in the butt. The whole class is together and has a class dynamic that they foster all day. But then there's that one class where there's that one extra kid, who isn't a part of anything else going on. Most schools that I know try to make connections between classes. Usually what the art classes in my school are doing are somehow connected to what's happening in science or some other subject, and there are expectations that the class is having those experiences simultaneously. There were also issues with who is responsible for the child when. This could easily be cleared up with direct communication, but if the kid is dropped off too early or picked up late, he's kind of in limbo. The art teacher is only responsible for him while he's in her class. So who is before or after class? Are the parents in charge up until the moment class starts or only until the kid is dropped off? What if there is an issue after the parent has left but before class has begun? We also had issues with a couple HS kids not understanding the whole school culture and expectations and not behaving the way the others are expected to. Not that they were MISbehaving, exactly, there was just a lack of understanding from being a part of the big picture.


I don't think my school would let a kid ride the school bus if he wasn't formally enrolled in the school. It gets back to that responsibility thing. We also wouldn't let someone join lunch and recess that wasn't a student. School really is a package deal. Obviously there are ways to participate in specific classes, but it's not a social drop-in kind of thing.

meemee's Avatar meemee
07:13 PM Liked: 1878
#9 of 22
03-28-2011 | Posts: 12,623
Joined: Mar 2005

i would ask your son how he feels.


dd told me she would rather go to school full time to be with her friends. she has made those choices from first grade onwards. so what we do is do a lot of absenses. to play with the system i take dd out of class after 9 am so her school does not lose any money. and we dont get any flak. once a week is good for dd. though nowadays its more like once a month.


we do both school and afterschool. life is interesting only because of afterschool. each day dd has something interesting going in school she does not want to miss. 



pigpokey's Avatar pigpokey
08:28 AM Liked: 56
#10 of 22
04-04-2011 | Posts: 3,067
Joined: Feb 2006

Should you choose to home school, you may be surprised at how many activities you can use to meet those needs.  As said before, when you buy the school ticket, you ride the school ride, so it depends on your state and / or your principal.


Here are some examples of things my kids do (age 6 and 7), or kids I know do:


Obviously we have ridden the city bus and the trains.

My children bike to choir with a neighborhood friend.

My son bikes to Montessori workshop once a week in the neighborhood.  They have recess.

My kids do gymnastics team 2-3 times a week.  Partway through they have a snack / meal break and they all sit together and eat and talk in the team area.

Home school friends do after-school care at a local church based program.



karne's Avatar karne
09:19 AM Liked: 100
#11 of 22
04-05-2011 | Posts: 3,558
Joined: Jul 2005

We thought a little about this when my youngest was ready to start school.  However, my child's point of view was different from what I was thinking.  I labled recess, PE, etc. as the social times.  My ds experiences ALL of school as social.  The kids work on projects together, they have sharing time, which is amazingly important to them, they learn songs associated with different units, etc.   It's not the cut and dried day that some who object to school present it as, at least not where my kids are.  It's certainly different than I remember elem school.  There's a culture and a life to the day that is very integrated.  I would think that high school would work well for part time schooling, but elem school seems challenging.


If the goal is to have time with kids to have lunch or play, are there not home school groups where this happens?  

meemee's Avatar meemee
04:15 PM Liked: 1878
#12 of 22
04-05-2011 | Posts: 12,623
Joined: Mar 2005

Originally Posted by karne View Post

My ds experiences ALL of school as social.  The kids work on projects together, they have sharing time, which is amazingly important to them, they learn songs associated with different units, etc.   It's not the cut and dried day that some who object to school present it as, at least not where my kids are.  It's certainly different than I remember elem school.  There's a culture and a life to the day that is very integrated. 

karne you bring up an important point. i hadnt thought about it that way. but yeah you are very right. dd experiences ALL of school as social. anytime she gets to work with kids which they do through all classes - even things like correcting the papers. dd does point out recesses but now that i look back i see how she has a great time through out the day.


karne's Avatar karne
04:35 PM Liked: 100
#13 of 22
04-05-2011 | Posts: 3,558
Joined: Jul 2005

Originally Posted by meemee View Post

karne you bring up an important point. i hadnt thought about it that way. but yeah you are very right. dd experiences ALL of school as social. anytime she gets to work with kids which they do through all classes - even things like correcting the papers. dd does point out recesses but now that i look back i see how she has a great time through out the day.


It's funny.  I don't think either of my kids would identify the typically thought of "social" times at school, as the most social parts of their day.  There is much about the school day that is far more collaborative than I ever recall from my school experiences.


OP, I hope you find a solution for your ds that meets everyone's needs.  


provocativa's Avatar provocativa
02:56 PM Liked: 7106
#14 of 22
04-09-2011 | Posts: 2,778
Joined: Jan 2005

We have a weekly homeschool challenge club that is good for socializing.  We used to do ballet, but will likely do summer camps this year.  Also we have thought of doing some after school care at the Y or the local boys and girls club.  My daughter went through the phase of wanting to ride the bus.... read Junie B and the Stinky Bus (not the exact title) and it helps with that.  I never rode the bus to school, and went to a private school so my experiences were different from my peers- and I turned out fine, and don't feel like I'm missing a piece of self or anything.  But meemee and some of the others are right- some kids have vibrant experiences in schools with engaged teachers.  Others are trapped in the fluorescent lights doing worksheets.  Kind of depends on the system where you live, unfortunately.

ameliabedelia's Avatar ameliabedelia
04:36 PM Liked: 67
#15 of 22
04-09-2011 | Posts: 2,202
Joined: Sep 2002

A couple of thoughts:


1) If you do choose to homeschool, social activities abound.  It might depend on your area, but I've homeschooled in two different states and in both places there was no dearth of opportunities for homeschoolers.   There were academic/fun coops, park days, things like bowling, ice skating, roller skating, lego club, boys club, girls club, nature classes, open gyms, field trips, art classes, field days, sports classes, etc.


2). I've only heard of attending school park-time working in something like high school, where each class is a totally separate entity (ie. chemistry, english,chorus, band etc.) taught be a separate teacher or in something like elementary school, for things like music, PE, art, drama, foreign language, again where each class is totally separate with a different teacher.   I have known other homeschools who did that (send their kids to school for music or art), although I would NEVER do that myself.  The scheduling and drop/off pick would be a logistical nightmare and I would HATE to miss out on cool homeschool field trips/park days/classes because the child had to go to school for music class from 11:10-12:00 on Mon.and 9:40-10:30 on Thurs .  I can't imagine it working for something like going 1/2 day as the teacher might do math in the morning on Mon, but the afternoon on Tues.  Just too confusing.  I have known one (private) school where K students have the option of going full-day or half-day but the K was set-up so they basically had the last lunch, then 1 hour of recess and only 40 minutes of classroom time (usually spent either hearing stories or watching a movie) until school was over. 

FarmerBeth's Avatar FarmerBeth
06:08 AM Liked: 105
#16 of 22
04-11-2011 | Posts: 803
Joined: Mar 2011

We only did either or in my family, but I have a friend who entirely homeschooled except for phys-ed classes.  But she lived close enough to the public school for this to make sense.  Otherwise you could homeschool and make sure that they get out socially and in sports otherwise.  As for public school, you may be surprised how much they can accommodate for children being ahead or behind the curve.  None of my three children fell in the "typical" spectrum.  I have a gifted middle child (a daughter) and two sons who both have (very different) learning disabilities (one of whom is gifted in other respects) which required lots of intervention.  I've been fortunate enough to have adjustments made by the school for all three, and nobody is bored or too stressed.  This depends a lot on the school, the teacher, and on how you communicate with them.  You don't know unless you research and talk!  Good luck!

lauren's Avatar lauren
02:42 PM Liked: 12070
#17 of 22
04-24-2011 | Posts: 6,780
Joined: Nov 2001

You suggested that you don't want him to be bored at school. Do you know that he will? All schools are different so it makes sense to know a lot about where you're sending him if he does go. Do other kids at the same school complain of being bored? It also might depend a bit on how many students are doing this kind of arrangement. In our school, there have been a couple of kids that have done part time HS, part time in school. They have had a hard time fitting in socially in the upper grades for many reasons, but among them, that they came and went so much.



flightgoddess's Avatar flightgoddess
12:26 PM Liked: 14
#18 of 22
04-29-2011 | Posts: 344
Joined: Mar 2009

No personal experience here, nor any idea how it would work in elem level. In middle and high school there were a handful of home school kids who came to our school for band, choir and sports teams/clubs. And in HS, things like chemistry, anatomy, etc for the labs and the AP/college in the schools type classes.

changes's Avatar changes
01:12 PM Liked: 12
#19 of 22
05-08-2011 | Posts: 37
Joined: Jun 2009

Our situation is a bit different, but actually we have been doing somnething similar as part-time public schooling and home schooling combined. And this from pre-school until first year of primary school so far. What makes this possible, is the public schooling system providing just 5 hours of school per day(either mornings or afternoons depending on the grade) . And this provides enough time for some home-schooling. The catch here is that ds attends school in one (the local) language and I teach him at home in another, and we mostly focussed on language achievement so far, and more particyular reading and writing for the past 1,5 years. He also does his school's home-work in the hours he spends at home, so that again limits the time we have to spend for 'schooling at home'. However, those ativities are not done on a very regular or daily basis, nor do we follow a strict curriculum or (time)schedule. This home-schooling happens when it suits us both and when we are both in the right mood for it. So far, this has worked very well for us, also practically, since both children's school hours are diferent, so there is enough one on one time with both of them for providing home-schooling activities measured to each child's personal ability. In addition, our dss also follow a course regarding the second language, where they have yet another social circle, and they do not really experience this as school, rather as a hobby.

tcgarber's Avatar tcgarber
12:46 PM Liked: 0
#20 of 22
02-26-2013 | Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2012

Dear Changes & anyone who can advise:

I would love some advise.  I would love to have my son go to public school half a day in English & then offer him the other half in Spanish - where I would hire a Spanish Educator to teach him in Spanish.  He is in Kindergarten now.  I chose a Project Based Charter school because my husband wanted my son to have the social experience of diversity of all cultures & persons to allow him to grow emotionally & socially.  My husband went to Public school & though he is a horrible speller (ha ha), he is an amazing people person & super successful business man.  I went to private school & though I am more well read - I could never hold a candle to his wonderful.  I have to admit my son "hates" going to school right now because he says it is boring.  I think it is a mixed bag, he hates leaving a warm cozy house with Mommy & at the school the Teacher puts a great deal of attention on the disobedient & special needs kids.  It is a project based school & they have a wonderful social & emotional program that has benefited my son.  But I have to admit he isn't inspired & I would have thought Kindergarten would be a time when kids LOVE school.  He loves his after school teacher that teaches in Spanish, but that lends for a LONG day.  I would like to make all his learning happen IN the school hours so that after school he can just be a kid.

mum4vr's Avatar mum4vr
01:37 PM Liked: 33
#21 of 22
02-26-2013 | Posts: 413
Joined: Jan 2007

My dc did ft hs with pt electives at a private school (where I also taught). It worked great for us, although I agree w pp that the "socialization" was not a plus & they were daily frustrated with how little time was spent on topic compared to how much time was spent dealing w student behavior & classroom management.


As far as I know, in the states, *ALL* children of compulsory age have a legal right to attend public school & to make use of the available funding & resources (I mean, it makes sense-- hs parents pay taxes that fund public schools, too, right?) It is hs that is legally restricted, not public school. So theoretically, it should be possible everywhere. Now, back to reality-- it really does depend on how cooperative the locals are; sorry.


I'd contact HSLDA-- they are awesome re answering HS legal questions. HTH.

Linda on the move's Avatar Linda on the move
03:35 PM Liked: 4226
#22 of 22
02-26-2013 | Posts: 10,635
Joined: Jun 2005
While all kids have a right to attend school, if you opt to attend school, you are required to follow the rules, including the hours and Attendence requirements.

The schools are required by law to make sure that students receive certain numbers of hours of instruction , a certain amount of recess , etc.

Having different hours is a big deal.
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