Home Schooling

Homeschooling sees a resurgence as COVID-19 cases rise


LEE COUNTY

The changing pandemic is causing a homeschooling surge. Many parents are opting out of sending their kids to in-person classes this school year, as COVID-19 cases rise and schools return to full-capacity learning.

Stability and safety are two very important things to parents when it comes to the kids’ experience. That’s why we are seeing an increase in homeschooling nationwide. The classroom is changing.

“I was not a fan,” Cesali Garcia said. “Just too much time of them on the computer hours and hours.”

Mothers such as Cesali Garcia and Rachel Gagnon switched to homeschooling.

“The pandemic forced me to take that leap,” Garcia said.

“I was looking forward to him going to public school, but then, you know, having done it this year, we’re like, ‘Wow, there’s just so many benefits to home school that I didn’t even think about prior to this,’” Gagnon said.

These moms want to give their children a normal, hands-on experience.

“I want him to have the childhood that I had, not, you know, what’s going on now,” Gagnon said.

“My worry with the masks was she wasn’t going to be able to see the mouth or lips and phonics,” Garcia said.

Garcia loves it and plans to stick with homeschooling, but Gagnon will send her kids back wants to the classroom.

“It’s definitely a hard decision,” Gagnon said.

They aren’t the only parents homeschooling though.

The School District of Lee County’s home education department says the numbers are rising.

“We’ve had a big influx of students due to the pandemic,” said Dawn Robertson, the secretary of the home education department.

“Especially since there’s no home connect,” said Elizabeth Cioffi, a school counselor for the home education department. “So those parents that are still having concerns are thinking of other options right now, and homeschool is an option for them.”

Homeschooling camps such as at Camp Homeschool Rocks are seeing the rise too.

“People wanted stability and consistency,” said Allison Lund, the owner and president of Homeschool Rocks.

Parents say they’re happy to have options.

“Our plan is to take it year-by-year,” Garcia said.

The school district says by Aug. 10, it expects to have more than 2,000 students enrolled in home education with more joining each day.

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