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When I started homeschooling, it wasn’t actually because I wanted to avoid sending my kids to public school. In fact, I loved my school growing up. My teachers were, and still are, some of my closest friends. I could not wait for the first day of school pictures, packing lunches, being the room mom and so much more.

But life had other plans for me.

See, my oldest son is gifted, and our local school’s gifted program didn’t start until third grade.

So my options were either to send my son to a traditional kindergarten classroom where they’d learn to read (even though he was reading 3rd and 4th-grade level chapter books) or keep him home until third grade when the gifted program started.

5 Benefits to Homeschooling With the Public School

We decided to keep him home, and we have spent the last several years homeschooling and letting him learn at his own pace. Then, we moved about 6 hours across the state to a brand new district, and after living here a few months, my son sat me down for an honest conversation.

“Mom? I need friends, and you don’t really make friends…” 

Ouch. I mean, he’s right… I am a total homebody who homeschools and works from home. I can barely name three people who live in our city…

And around that same time, one of those people that I can name introduced me to our local Parent Partnership Program, which we call Home Works! I was hesitant, but I met with one of the teachers to discuss if it would be a good fit. It’s been a full school year now, and let me tell you we are sold!

5 Perks of Homeschooling in Partnership with a Public School

Now, I’ll admit that homeschooling with the public school isn’t right for everyone or every family. In fact, only my oldest attended this year, and only two of my kids are attending next year. But there are a few solid benefits to homeschooling with the public school that we’ve enjoyed over the last year that I want to highlight in this post!

#1 The Public School Offers Electives I Can’t Teach at Home

When I first met with the teacher at our Parent Partnership Program, I was SHOCKED by the classes they were offering the elementary students. Through the year my son has been able to take classes like ballet, gymnastics, and “yo volcano!” which he has loved. Now, could I have provided those experiences outside of homeschooling with the public school? Yes. But it would have cost me a lot more time and money!

#2 The Public School Helps My Son Make Friends

This was the main reason that we decided to homeschool with the public school. See, I’m autistic and have some pretty significant social anxiety. Plus I have a LOT of kids, and taking them all out to events can be a major hassle.So while “homeschoolers need socialization” is totally a myth, it is true that the kids in my house spend 99% of their time with their siblings… It’s just what works for us. But my oldest wanted to make some new friends in our new city, and homeschooling with the public school gave us that opportunity in the easiest way.

#3 The Public School Covers the Cost of Curriculum

This was a side-benefit that I wasn’t really expecting, and I love it. Our Parent Partnership Program has a massive curriculum library, and you get to access it all for free! I got to try out new curriculum I hadn’t heard of before and find the best options for my son, plus I had access to the school’s library to find more books for our unit studies. And if there was ever a curriculum I LOVED but the school didn’t already have, like WriteShop (affiliate link), I just filled out a form and they got it for me. It was so easy, and saved me a lot of money this year!

#4 My Son Gets a School Experience

This is a benefit that made me happy as someone who loved school so much. My son is getting a school experience alongside all the benefits of homeschooling. He gets to hang out with his friends at lunch and recess, and he gets to have recitals at the end of the semester. He’s getting to experience all of the parts of school that I loved, that I just can’t replicate in my homeschool.

#5 The Public School Takes the Place of Co-Ops or Clubs

Okay, now you may have read this and thought: “Well I get all of that through co-ops or clubs!” I totally hear you. But probably my very favorite part about homeschooling with the public school is that we get access to all of these benefits without being in a co-op or club. Now, don’t get me wrong. Co-ops and clubs are great for some people, they just don’t work great for our family. We have one car, I’m due with baby #6 in a few months, several of my kids are disabled

All of that means it’s difficult for us to make co-ops and clubs work for us. With the Parent Partnership Program, I only had to get my oldest to school once a week. They did everything and I picked him up at three. I didn’t even have to get myself or the littles out of the car. It’s a win-win for our family!

So I’m curious… Would you ever consider homeschooling with the public school?

About Kaylene

Kaylene George is an autistic self-advocate, author, and mother of five, including one autistic child. She realized her own autism as an adult shortly after her son received his initial diagnosis. Suddenly the parts of her that seemed so “weird” to society had an answer. Since then, Kaylene has passionately shared about her experiences with autism from both sides of the great divide between parents and autistic self-advocates.

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