It's Traumatic for Parents to Switch Their Kids From Being Home-Schooled to Attending Public Schools

Who suffers more when a kid stops home-schooling and starts going to a regular school – the kids or the parents? According to a new “Today Show” report, the transition’s especially difficult for the parents. This year, more than a million North American families will make the switch from home-schooling to traditional schooling. Experts say the reasons are often financial, especially these days. For example: Parents who once home-schooled may have to go back to work full-time.

What’s surprising about this trend is how easy it is for kids to make that switch, and how traumatic it is for their parents! Consider what happened to Jillian Blackwell, a Michigan mom who stopped home-schooling her son this fall. The night before he started public school, she admits she was wide awake worrying. Then she cried after dropping him off in the morning, and wound up sneaking back during recess, to “spy” on him. Experts say those are all classic signs of separation anxiety. It comes from the fact that parents who give up home-schooling are also giving up control. You’re basically going from calling all the shots at home, to suddenly following all the rules set by schools. Rules that include dress codes, lunch restrictions, and requirements for homework.

The good news is that while parents struggle with those changes, research has shown that most home-schooled kids quickly adapt to them, and usually go on to outperform their classmates on tests. Why are kids okay with it? It’s simple, really: Experts say home-schooled kids feel instantly accepted by teachers, who love their harder work ethic. Plus, kids love the fact that they finally get to meet and hang out with more friends their own age.

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