As the pandemic took hold across the United States in early 2020, it brought disruption and anxiety to most families.
Yet some parents are grateful for one consequence: they are now opting to homeschool their children even as schools plan to resume in-person classes.
The 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.
Nikki Warris is the owner of Elite Tutoring Specialists in Boca Raton, Florida.
As a former public school teacher she was very unhappy with the public school system.
She pulled her two daughters out of the public school system in March of 2020 and began homeschooling them.
Her daughters have not returned to brick and mortar school and will continue homeschooling until the foreseeable future.
Warris opened her private facility catered to homeschoolers in October of 2020. Her program offers homeschooling for students in group or “pod” setting.
In this unique facility the students are catered to for their individual learning needs. The students tend to their classwork in a group of about 10 as Warris makes sure they are progressing.
The facility is designed not just for learning but also to inspire creativity. While not doing online courses the students can draw, paint, learn an instrument, or anything else the student is interested in.
Warris says that she has seen students progress much quicker in this environment and hopes this becomes a more widely available option across the US.
The U.S. Census Bureau has confirmed the surge. It says the rate of households homeschooling their children rose to 11% by September 2020, doubling from 5.4% six months earlier.