Pandemic pushes some to find steady learning in homeschooling

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) – School officials have had to be flexible during the pandemic.

Many districts are offering virtual and in-person options, but some schools are still having to make transitions to remote learning.

And some governors like Henry McMaster of South Carolina are calling for in-person classes five days a week. This all has caused some parents to look for a permanent learning solution: homeschooling.

Parents have been weighing and re-weighing their school options for the past year.

“She eventually was actually sick for over a month. So, I pulled my daughter out of public school in January, and she’s never been back,” Parent Ebony Patterson-Harvey said.

At DeKel mPact Services, parents can supply their own curriculum and school plan and the staff just offers support.

“Parents have all rights over their child’s curriculum. And we’re just here as a support system to help carry out curriculum with the parent,” Saundra Kelly, co-owner DeKel mPact Services, said.

The Georgia Department of Education says there’s been close to a 27 percent spike in Georgia students being homeschooled since 2014, despite the overall population only increasing by about 5 percent.

But the owners at this homeschool service say they’ve seen a flood of parents new to the homeschooling gig since the pandemic began.

“95 percent of our students are first-year homeschooling,” Kelly said.

We found more than 1,700 Columbia County students and about 1,100 Richmond County students are being homeschooled right now.

Columbia County Parent Daniela Torres gave traditional homeschooling a try last semester with her son.

“He just really didn’t like homeschooling. He didn’t like it. He wasn’t really… he was kind of falling behind, and was getting lazy, was getting bored. He didn’t like it,” she said.

Now, her son is back in public school and — “He’s doing a lot better. He is doing great,” Torres said.

Each student has different needs, and the pandemic is highlighting that.

“It’s amazing, I just can’t explain it, it’s amazing. She’s well above her grade level where she was when she first started,” Patterson-Harvey said.

And that is the goal: to find the right fit for each student.

Copyright 2021 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.

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