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Integrating Homeschooling and Other Schooling

Homeschooling can be enriched by integration with other types of schooling. This article provides information on combining homeschool with public school, private school, and higher education curricula through various means. 

There are certain subject areas in which you may find that the number of students, equipment demands, or subject area expertise required for you, as instructor, to make another setting desirable for students to have the maximal benefits. You may find this with areas like athletics, foreign language, laboratory sciences, and specialized fine arts, from pottery to instrumental music.

If this is the case, there are several interesting options available-at least in certain areas-which you may wish to consider. The options include part-time public or private school attendance and university programs for homeschoolers.

Homeschool and Public School

As with other state information, you may or may not be able to easily locate information about homeschoolers attending public school on the state education web site. Key words to search for are:

  • Compulsory Attendance 
  • Part-time Public School Enrollment 
  • Part-time Attendance

Here are some samples to give you an idea of what the parameters are and to help you formulate some ideas and questions when you seek information about your own state: 

  • Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
  • Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Some elements of the rules that you may wish to check are the number and type of courses allowed, residency requirements and other restrictions, and specific rules regarding extra curricular activities, clubs, or other groups.

An article about this topic from Home School Legal Defense Association may also prove instructive.

Homeschool and Private Schools

While the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reports that in both 1999 and 2003, 18% of homeschooled students were enrolled in public or private schools part time, this being defined as less than 25 hours per week. Despite this statistic, you may find it more difficult to find information about homeschoolers attending private school because, on one level, it is a matter of individual school policy, rather than a state law. Therefore, your best avenue of information may be to contact with the private school itself.

The Missouri law says explicitly that there is no limit on how many different schools a student may enroll in and attend during a single day, so it is possible that-at least in Missouri-a child might attend a home school, a private school, and a public school for his or her education.

Homeschool and Institutions of Higher Education

Some institutions of higher education (IHE’s) offer courses that may be of interest. They include, on-line, on-site, and correspondence courses, and this may be particularly helpful for a gifted student who is ready for advance courses earlier than he or she is ready to attend college, although courses for younger students are also offered by some institutions. Here are a few to give you an idea of what’s available.

  • National Science Foundation Materials Research Science and Engineering Center-Homeschool 
  • Oregon State University Precollege Programs 
  • University of Wisconsin Learning Innovations•High School

In searching for these, besides calling your state department of education and local IHE’s another idea is to do a Google search on the keywords: university homeschool program - and then add your state in, too.

Written by Mary Elizabeth