What a great question. If you’re just starting homeschool, especially if you’re leaving a public/private school situation, you have that question. Do you keep your student in the grade they were already in? Do you advance them? Do you possible move them back a grade?
I think there are two things to consider.
Test your student. You can do this in a variety of ways. Google it, look online, talk to homeschooling families in the area. There are nationalized tests that are consistent, but you really just want to test their grade level. Chances are your community provides this sort of help, but you do want to test them in some capacity. I would recommend that you so start low. Maybe your student tests a certain grade level, but I wouldn’t be afraid of backing them up.
The reason for that relates to my second suggestion: I think you should consider schooling all year-round. It’s what we did with our students. We took breaks too, and maybe slowed down a little bit in the summertime. But schooling year-round is useful because if you start your new homeschooler back a grade, you can get those fundamental basics of schooling down first, and then they’ll advance at their own pace. Just about all of our kids finished school way ahead of “senior year.”
In summary, start your kid where you test them, but maybe back up a little bit. Consider going longer or further in your school year, rather than just mimicking the public school system.
-Dr. Fred Ray Lybrand
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