Amid coronavirus lock-downs, many families are finding that homeschooling is better for their children

By MARISSA GASTON  | 
May 12, 2020
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Confronted with nationwide school closures under COVID, families are facing the growing possibility of homeschooling their own children. While some parents are struggling to keep their children learning at home, other parents are finding homeschooling is actually better suited to their children, their families, and their lives. They say their children are happier and healthier, and enjoying the process of learning at their own pace.        

In North Carolina, a mom of two described her older daughter, who is autistic, as less emotionally overwhelmed since switching to homeschooling. She says this has happened because the whole family now eats three unrushed and healthy meals together every day, and her children get more sleep. She says having less structure has led to her children to getting bored, and that her children are now motivated to find their own creative solutions. 

Leanne Ahearn, mom of school-aged children, says:  “I love having my kids at home. The online curriculum is not hard at all to navigate and I love how much more I understand about what they are learning and where they are struggling.” Ahearn is now considering a permanent move to homeschooling.

Seagal Hagege, a mom of three children all under age nine from Irvine, California, was skeptical about the switch to learning from home – that is, until she watched them all “become better behaved, kinder to one another and more independent.” She says her kids are now more engaged and more inventive.

"It's been really eye-opening,” said Hagege. “I don't want it to go back to the way things were."

For years parents have complained about cuts to recess, art lessons and music programs in the schools. Now with COVID, the sudden influx of unstructured time at home is encouraging more creativity, independence and personal initiative in kids.

Many teachers agree. They say some students are doing better under COVID than they did before. Montenique Woodard says her seventh grade science class was often distracted by the antics of one boy, the “class clown.” She now reports this boy is thriving at home, learning remotely.  Many teachers report shy kids, hyperactive kids, and highly creative kids do better at home, where they can learn free from the restrictions and rigid expectations of the public schools.    

High school teacher Mark Gardner in Camas, Washington, attributes much of the improvement in his students’ work to a dramatic reduction in their “total workload in order to make tasks accessible rather than overwhelming.”

Many families have learned to appreciate the benefits and joys of homeschooling. Their children are not going back to the rushed schedules and one-size-fits-all regimentation of the classroom. They are turning the trying experience of COVID into something positive. Their children are joining the ranks of happy homeschoolers.