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Divorce and Homeschooling: Seven Tips for Survival

Posted on in Child Custody

If you are going through a divorce, maintaining a homeschooling program might seem like an impossible mission, but you do not need a grappling hook or a jet black bodysuit to stay nimble. Resolve to make it work with a lot of planning and a high dose of creativity.

While there are no specific statutes that govern private homeschools, the Illinois School Code (105 ILCS 5/26-1) requires that children of school age are taught with educational elements comparable to Illinois public schools, at a minimum. Those elements are referred to as "branches of education" in the code and include language arts, math, biology, physics, social science, arts, physical development and health.

The Illinois State Board of Education provides access to resources to help homeschool leaders guide student instruction. The following tips may be useful in achieving education goals even in the midst of a divorce.

  1. Budgeting - Look for areas where you can save money and take advantage of rebates, coupons and sales for school supplies.
  2. Temporary cutbacks - Trade paid extracurricular activities for low cost or free options.
  3. Creativity - Think of new ways to give your students what they need; hold brainstorming sessions to come up with innovative ideas.
  4. Research - Find groups and foundations that support the sustainment of home schools.
  5. Networking - Connect with other homeschooling parents who may also be divorced and learn from them.
  6. Homeschool "pooling" - If possible, share teaching responsibilities with other local homeschool leaders.
  7. Downsizing - Reduce the number of students you have or move to a more affordable residence.

These tips are intended to help you think about proactively adjusting your approach to homeschooling.

If you are planning to divorce, an experienced family lawyer can help you understand the impact it could have on your homeschooling program and discuss strategies for minimizing financial challenges. If you are already divorced and need a post decree modification to accommodate the transition, contact a family law firm with multiple locations serving clients throughout Chicago, Illinois and beyond.

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