COAH Community

Anyone homeschooling one while the other child is in a traditional public school?

I am wondering if anyone out there is homeschooling one child while the other child attends school outside of the home. I have a 9, 6, and 2 year old. My 9 yr is in 3rd graded and was diagnosed this year with a non-verbal learning disability, ADHD and anxiety. We are in OT, speech therapy, and cognitive behavior therapy each week. As you can imagine, this school year has been a nightmare and I have decided to pull him out of school and homeschool him myself. My 6yr old is finishing his kindergarten year at a public school. While I am not thrilled about the horrible bad habits of teasing, the potty language he has been exposed to and all the other questionable “behavior” issues that come along with school, he is doing quite well academically and really loves school. I really want to pull them both. I cannot imagine homeschooling AND having to keep up with the demands of public school. However, I am scared to death. I am already nervous about being able to meet my oldest son’s special needs but I figure, I can do better than what he is getting now. I am concerned that if I pull them both, I will have bitten off more than I can chew. I have thought about letting the 6yr stay in school one more year, then pull him after I get a year of homeschooling under my belt, but I am a “rip the band-aid off” type of person and really want to make a decision for both of them and stick with it. I’d love to hear about your experiences with homeschooling a special needs child and whether you ever had one child home and one in school.

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I haven’t been in your situation. But I know if you look through Erica’s blog, you will see lots of examples of her schooling her kids, sometimes together, even with the different ages. We have a few moms in my homeschool groups who have a kid at school and one at home. The biggest struggle I see from the outside is the timing factor. If we have a park day, or field trip, they have to be aware of the time limit to get their public school kid. I’ve also heard the public school kid jealous of the homeschool activities.

I pulled my K out in December. I was scared, but I felt it was the right thing to do. When I was debating on it, DH told me: If it’s (homeschool) isn’t working, we can always put him back in. While not the ideal thought process, I realized it was true. So, I went with that. And it has worked out.

Trust your mom instinct. You have the summer to decide right? So, maybe practice. Try a schedule where you work with one kid on a project (maybe making slime?) while the other works independently on something else. That might help you build confidence.


I replied to your post about curriculum choices, but wanted to offer more “encouragement” after seeing this post. First, I would highly suggest not setting your bar too high in the first year. No matter if you homeschool one or two. I did not see the ADHD and anxiety plus the therapies in your other post.
The first year may not look like “school” and that is OK!!! You have plenty on your plate. And you have plenty of time to get it figured out. Next year will be our 4th year and I do not have it figured out, but my kids are doing just fine.
First, what are your state’s requirements? Have a list or jot them down so you know what must be done.
Since your son has an IEP you have quite a bit of latitude to work within. My kids are several years apart and the oldest has an IEP. I combine them in subjects like bible and history. You may find that if you pull both kids out that combining cuts down on some of the work for you.
Honestly, I would probably not worry so much about academics with the 4th grader and focus on getting him the therapy he needs. I would read aloud a lot and try to implement things as I could.
There are some seasoned moms on this site that always have great suggestions, I’m sure they will chime in and give better advice. I just want to let you know that you can do it. It is a process that takes some adjustment. Every day is different, but you know your kids and make the best choices for them. like @bestcee said “Trust your mom instinct”.

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I have two in public school and one homeschooled. I had never planned to homeschool, and my older two did wonderfully in public school, but Kindergarten hit my third like a brick wall, he cried his way through (in spite of liking his classmates and teachers) and was going to have to repeat , so I decided to homeschool him. We’ve been homeschooling for 3 years.

We do not know that he’s special needs, but I suspect dyslexia (plan to have him tested this summer…probably should have done it a while ago but really needed to deal with the fear of learning and confidence issues that grew that first year before we could tell what was underneath that).

My homeschooled son just turned 9 and his brothers are 12 and 14. It’s not a big challenge having them in school and him at home. I can’t be as involved in their school as I might if he was in school too (can’t be a room mom or whatever because he can’t tag along, because of liability rules and such). But that’s really no different than when he was a preschooler and they were in school (I didn’t send any of them to preschool…didn’t think of it as homeschooling just seemed like an unnecessary expense).

It does allow me to focus more on him. I tried homeschooling my 12 year old for a little at the beginning of this year (we did a trial month in summer). But it would have just been one year for him (there are programs in the middle school he wanted to take part in, so it would have just been for 6th). There was some things I really liked about it. Doing science experiments with both of them together was fun. My oldest got involved (even though he planned to stay in public school) by helping them with PE. But, because I was trying to mimic the schools curriculum and not let him fall behind, and because we would only have a year, it stressed me out too much, which lead to worry and trouble sleeping which was keeping me from getting what I needed to done. If I had not had that “just one year” mindset, and if I had been starting earlier and not jumping from doing early elementary from jumping into 6th grade material, I don’t think I would have had as much problems though. Also, my husband was skeptical of me homeschooling our middler, because he does so well in public school, and I think I put too much presure on myself to get everything perfect right way. I needed more wiggle room to get used to teaching two. If you planned on homeschooling long term you wouldn’t be under that same pressure.

Also, a six year old wouldn’t have as much work (we got our work done at that age in an hour…and I’ve heard a lot of others say the same. Neither would a 9 year old (at 8 most days have been 1-3 hours). And since your oldest is the struggling one, you wouldn’t have as much of a gap between their levels as I did (with a struggling 9 year old and an advanced 11 year old).

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My situation is a little different, but we have some at home and some in public school. To make a long story short, we are a blended family. We have 6 boys total from ages 14-10 (9th grader down to 5th grader). We have all 6 for school. My 3 step sons still go to public school (their mothers wishes), and the other 3 have been at home. It is hard to keep up with both, but manageable with Jesus, patience, lots of communication and prayer. :slight_smile: Please reach out if I can encourage you in any way. This is not our choice as we would love to have all 6 at home, but looking into next year I will only have 2 of the 6 home. And it’s the path God is leading us down, so I’m learning to trust him, since he knows more than me!! Our oldest son, who has special needs, is actually going back into the public school system. Our school’s special needs program in high school seems perfect (I’ll determine that once we see it in action come aug.). I’m anxious to send him back, but after lots of prayer, visits to the school, etc. we feel good about where he will be. We hate middle school, where all 3 of my step sons will be next year, but we’ve survived the last two terrible years and know it’s not forever. Pray and send them out has been our motto, with lots of encouragement! I love having any of my guys home to teach. In our situation it does make for a lot more work and learning different systems for each kid and what they need either at home or at school or both. But we’ve fallen into a routine each year, so be encouraged in that. I do think either way you fall, everyone will be great. I have to remind myself of that sometimes. That weather at home or at school, they are learning, being taken care of and loved on. Leave the negative at the feet of Jesus and trust that he’s got it all in his hands!


I am new to COAH community. I just came across this post and wanted to add my 2 cents in for what it’s worth. I too have homeschooled one child while sending my other to public school. I felt the need to pull my daughter out of public school in her 2nd grade year. She kept falling further and further behind. We did discover that she was dyslexic since pulling her out. My son is 2 yrs older and has always done great in school. I left him in school so I could concentrate on my daughter’s needs. It helped me to get / stay on schedule by having my son school. As mentioned in other post you do have be aware of time when on field trips and such. There were times that I did let my son miss school to go with us on our homeschool field trips. We have decided to homeschool my son this upcoming school year. I am very nervous about it! I really want him home with us. I want the same opportunity to be with everyday.
Wish us luck! I wish good things for you whichever you decide.


I’m in a similar situation. I have a high functioning autistic child that was originally diagnosed a having a mixed delay disorder. Speech, OT, and a few concerned teachers later… After YEARS of voicing MY concerns, we got a diagnosis of autism outside of school, and ADHD type 2 within the school, we’ve got an established IEP that pulls him from class to help in the key areas he needs help in. Also hes dyslexic.

But now my 7 yo is showing very clear signs of ADHD as well. She is extremely smart, taught herself to read at age four, creative… But she is already struggling this year, and her teacher is struggling with her.

I also have a kindergartener who would be heartbroken if his sister got to stay home, and he didn’t, even though he LOVES school and thrives on that environment.

And I have a 16 mo at home, so I absolutely could not handle taking them all on. I’m thinking just my daughter, since she’s the one who needs it. I dont want her beautiful spirit crushed by an overwhelmed (but otherwise sweet, and experienced) teacher.