LOVE IT: “There’s no turning back for us now. The pandemic has been a blessing — an opportunity to take ownership of our children’s education.”
Parents realized public education is a fraud during the COVID-19 pandemic. Childen suffered as governments and officials virtue signaled while unions and teachers whined.
Parents opted to send their children to private schools or homeschool so their children did not lose a year of education.
A lot of those parents decided not to look back. Homeschooling remains popular even though most schools will open this fall:
The specific reasons vary widely. Some families who spoke with The Associated Press have children with special educational needs; others seek a faith-based curriculum or say their local schools are flawed. The common denominator: They tried homeschooling on what they thought was a temporary basis and found it beneficial to their children.
“That’s one of the silver linings of the pandemic — I don’t think we would have chosen to homeschool otherwise,” said Danielle King of Randolph, Vermont, whose 7-year-old daughter Zoë thrived with the flexible, one-on-one instruction. Her curriculum has included literature, anatomy, even archaeology, enlivened by outdoor excursions to search for fossils.
By September 2020, homeschooling sat at 11%. It was only 5.4% in March 2020. Black households had a 16.1% rate in September 2020 while only 3.3% in the spring of 2020.
Angela Valentine’s son Dorian attended schools in the Chicago public school system. The union in the city made the most news in 2020 due to their determination to stay at home instead of putting the kids first:
Angela Valentine said Dorian was often the only Black student in his classes at a suburban Chicago public school, was sometimes treated unfairly by administrators, and was dismayed as other children stopped playing with him.
As the pandemic eased, the family decided to keep Dorian at home and teach him there, using a curriculum provided by National Black Home Educators that provides content for each academic subject pertaining to African American history and culture.
“I felt the burden of making the shift, making sure we’re making the right choices,” Valentine said. “But until we’re really comfortable with his learning environment, we’ll stay on this homeschool journey.”
Charmaine Williams and her husband chose to homeschool their two children. The St. Louis school they attended complained about their son’s behavior.
Homeschooling allowed them to craft a curriculum to help both succeed, especially their son:
“At school, children have to follow a certain pattern, and there’s bullying, belittling — compared to being home where they’re free to be themselves,” Williams said.
“There’s no turning back for us now,” she added. “The pandemic has been a blessing — an opportunity to take ownership of our children’s education.”
Homeschooling became a blessing for some parents with children with disabilities:
For some families, the switch to homeschooling was influenced by their children’s special needs. That’s the case for Jennifer Osgood of Fairfax, Vermont, whose 7-year-old daughter Lily has Down syndrome.
Having observed Lily’s progress with reading and arithmetic while at home during the pandemic, Osgood is convinced homeschooling is the best option for her going forward.
She has made the same decision for her 12-year-old son Noah, who didn’t like the remote classes offered by his public school in the spring of 2020, and did homeschooling throughout the 2020-21 school year. It went so well that they want to continue for at least a few more years.
“He told me he was learning so much more at home than he ever did in school,’’ Osgood recalled. “He said, ‘School is just so chaotic — we don’t get very much done in any particular class. Here, I sit down, you tell me what to do, and minutes later I’m done.’”
Heather Pray of Phoenix, Maryland, says homeschooling has been a major success for her 7-year-old son, Jackson, who has autism. The family made the switch because Jackson was struggling with the virtual learning that his school provided during the pandemic.
“My son did great (with homeschooling), even with just two hours of schoolwork a day,” Pray said. “I got him into piano lessons, taught him to read.”
North Carolina’s Department of Administration found 19,000 new homeschool families in the 2020-21 school year. The state only had 9,000 in the 2019-20 year.
Homeschool applications doubled in California during the pandemic. The state received 34,715 affidavits to homeschool their children last school year. Only 14,548 sent in affidavits in the 2018-19 school year.DONATE
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