This year, you are likely making the choice between jumping into homeschooling, distance learning through your school district, or maybe even a hybrid of distance and classroom learning. Only you can make the decision on which of these options is best for you and your children, and here are some things to consider:
The options in your school district
My local school district is offering the option for either 100% distance learning or the normal 5-days-a-week classroom learning for elementary students. Older students are given the option of 100% distance learning, or a hybrid of distance and classroom learning where they alternate days. Other school districts may have different options available. Take a look at what options your school district is offering for the 2020-2021 year as your starting point.
Your state’s homeschool laws
For those who haven’t already learned the ins and outs of homeschooling in your state, I highly suggest reading about the homeschool state laws on HSLDA. Every state has different laws, some being very lax, and some states being much more regulated. Ensure that homeschooling is an option for you before making your decision. You may need to notify your school district if you choose to go the homeschool route, to avoid visits from truancy officers.
Depending upon your state’s laws, there are many acredited homeschool programs available online to assist you with curriculum, or you can take the approach and plan out everything yourself. My family personally enjoys using Accelus’ Power Homeschool, but there are many others out there.
Understand there are different homeschool methods as well. Some may work better for your family and comply with your state’s laws than others. You may also find local homeschool support groups for specific homeschool methods that can help guide you. School districts and faculty do not always understand the ins and outs of the homeschool laws so please educate yourself on your rights.
As a parent, both homeschooling and distance learning can be taxing. If you are working from home, you will want to consider your availability. Homeschooling may take more time to prepare, but will have more flexibility as far as the timing. Distance learning will likely have scheduled meetings with the teacher and classmates, but will have lessons already prepared for your child. Your child may need you for tech set up, and other questions when the teacher isn’t available.
If you choose to homeschool, stay tuned for more homeschool resources!