COVID-19 pandemic causing increased homeschool shift

CHICO, Calif. – Some families are choosing to switch to homeschooling instead of in-person learning.

Nicole Scoubes made the decision to put her middle school children into homeschooling for the health and safety of the entire family.

Chico Unified School District said it has seen a significant increase in students transitioning to homeschool as 81 students switched.

“Being homeschooled is on their own terms,” Nicole said. “They have a little bit more freedom.”

Nicole said the pandemic hit a hard spot in their life as she is at high risk for cancer, and her daughter, Mia Scoubes, is a Type 1 Diabetic.

Although homeschooling is the safer option, it has not been easy.

“Their desire to research things maybe is not quite there as much,” Nicole said.

Mia added that learning at home is a very different style than what she got at public school.

“It’s not the way that I learn,” Mia said. “So it is just hard.”

Nicole has had to relearn seventh and eighth-grade math and science, to make sure her daughters are getting the education they need.

“It’s been kind of fun for me to go back and relearn things or learn things with them,” Nicole said.

They have found some positives to homeschooling, with the best part being family time.

“It’s been good to connect more with my family because we would go to school or work and then come home and eat dinner as a family,” Macie Scoubes told Action News Now. “Now that we’re home all the time, we get to do everything together”

More time spent at home with family means less time for middle school drama.

“Bullying and stuff was really hard for me,” Mia explained. “It’s really good that I am homeschooled now because there is just none of that now.”

Nicole plans to homeschool her kids through a charter next school year, so they can have more opportunities to connect with students and explore different passions, but she is enjoying the moments together for now.

“When are we ever going to have this opportunity again to spend this quality time in a weird time, but spending it together as a family,” Nicole said.

Chico Unified School District also said 81 students have transitioned into homeschooling, which is a significant increase compared to other years.

There are not homeschooling options through the district, but they do offer independent study through the Oakbridge Academy.

This allows students to still have access to Chico Unified teachers while working in a hybrid format.

Chico Unified School District said this option has grown to over 500 kids enrolled this year, and they usually see less than 100 students.

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