About To Withdraw Your Child From School? 5 Things To Know

withdraw children from school to homeschool

When our members decide to begin homeschooling in Kansas or Missouri, many will withdraw their children from an existing school. Something about the school’s environment concerned them enough to pull their children out formally.

This reflects a national trend, where 91 percent of parents said a reason they homeschool is from a concern about the environment of other schools (via HSLDA).

In fact, the single most important reason for homeschooling for 25 percent of parents was from this concern about the environment of other schools. Another 74 percent of parents cited their dissatisfaction with academic instruction in other schools.

Because this is such an important decision, it helps to know the steps involved in a school withdrawal. Here’s a quick list:

withdraw children from schoolIf in Kansas, register your school before you withdraw.

The state of Kansas considers homeschools to be non-accredited private schools, so you must register with the Kansas Department of Education. Make sure you do this step before you officially withdraw from the school.

(You will have to give your homeschool a name to register it. See some great homeschool name suggestions here!)

Fortunately, you only have to register your homeschool once. If another child “enters” your homeschool or graduates, you don’t have to change or update your registration in any way.

If you want to change the homeschool name, or if you’re moving to a different address, you will need to update your school registration. See other FAQs about homeschool names here.

NOTE: The Kansas Department of Education suggests that you make copies of your registration for your records and “for the school from which your student is withdrawn.” Making a copy for the school is not required under state law. If the school pressures you for a copy, you can politely decline (and maybe call HSLDA as a backup).

Write and submit a school withdrawal letter.

We have a step-by-step process to create your own withdrawal letter, complete with templates. They will be different, depending on whether you live in Kansas or Missouri.

While Kansas requires a school withdrawal letter (so that your homeschool is not charged with truancy) and Missouri does not, we still recommend an official withdrawal letter for Missouri homeschoolers. The school will appreciate the courtesy of knowing why their student is not coming back!

NOTE: We’ve heard of some schools that want parents to sign a withdrawal letter that the school has already written. Sometimes these letters contain statements or intrusive documentation that you are not required to give (such as what curriculum you intend to use). As a result, we strongly recommend that you do not sign any pre-formulated withdrawal letters, but come up with your own.

Choose your method of record-keeping.

Missouri law requires homeschoolers to keep a record of at least 1,000 hours of instruction during the school term that you set. Most people use a daily log to accomplish this by notebook, form, spreadsheet, or notepad.

See more about record-keeping and other FAQs about homeschool laws in Missouri here.

homeschool record-keepingAlthough Kansas does not require documentation, it’s still good practice to keep records of your children’s academic progress and achievements.

We have a whole session dedicated to record-keeping in our How to Homeschool Workshop.

Help prepare your children for the transition.

Your children may love the idea of withdrawing from school. Alternatively, they may think it’s the worst decision you’ve ever made. We know – we’ve seen both sides of the spectrum!

Fortunately, you can find many resources and strategies to help ease them into homeschooling. Play up the benefits such as:

(See more suggestions in this blog post: 9 tips to help with the transition from public school to homeschool.)

Maybe you’re not having trouble with the children, but with your other family members accepting the change! If so, we have some tips for you on winning relatives over to homeschooling.

Find support within your community.

homeschool momsThe first year is often the hardest in homeschooling, especially after you withdraw your kids from the only “school” they’ve known!

That’s why it’s so important to have support from fellow homeschoolers around you. Start with these easy steps:

  • Find a “mentor mom.” Our group of volunteer moms love to give advice and encouragement to beginning homeschoolers, and it’s all confidential.
  • Come to our annual conference for practical workshops, curriculum options and networking.
  • Enjoy our Encouragement Day in the middle of the school year.

We have updated this blog post for timeliness and detail (originally published in July 2016).


  1.   July 18, 2016 at 7:26 AM

    Great article! I would also suggest joining HSLDA before beginning the process.

    1.   July 27, 2016 at 2:28 PM

      Thanks, Traci! We’re big fans of HSLDA’s work. In fact, we give all our members a discount code to take $20 off the cost of their HSLDA membership (once they sign up for membership).

  2. Val
      January 26, 2018 at 9:10 AM


    How do I get started? So far I understand that I have to let my school district know and I’m not required to check in with DESE. How do I get materials, books, work books and curriculum’s?

    1.   January 27, 2018 at 10:40 AM

      Great question! Go here for a crash course on homeschooling basics.

      Materials, books, workbooks and curriculum vary from homeschool to homeschool. For example, if you join an area co-op or homeschool enrichment program (some are listed here), they may already choose curriculum for you.

      Another question for you is, what’s your child’s learning style? We recommend Cathy Duffy’s “102 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum” that helps you break down options based on the way your child learns.

      Finally, we’d love to see you at our annual homeschool conference (this year is April 6-7 at the KCI Expo Center). It’s a great way to get all your questions answered quickly and check out our vendor hall to browse curriculum and other options.

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