DC region parents fed up with virtual learning opt for homeschooling while others grapple with the idea

With just a little over three weeks into the start of the new virtual school year, dozens of parents are already pulling their kids out of Montgomery County Public Schools. 

Many of them told FOX 5 Tuesday, that they are homeschooling them or are strongly thinking about it.

The county board of education was also scheduled to meet Tuesday afternoon to discuss their recovery plans and the possibility of reopening schools.

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“I don’t know what to do, they are not getting anything out of it,” said Emily Block about virtual learning.

Block is a mother of five children, three of whom she said have special needs and are in elementary school. 

Block said that she might give virtual learning another month before she homeschool’s the three out of the five kids, which she knows won’t be a cheap route but probably a better route. 

“My third grader, he gets some like social stuff out of it but even then it’s all virtual so it’s just hard, it’s impossible to make that decision. I can sit with him and do this stuff but if I’m going to sit with him anyway then may as well do homeschooling, so I’m looking into but I don’t know what my decision is going to be," she said.

“We are trying to figure out if it makes sense to go fully homeschool or continue what we are doing,” said Jason Makstein, who has three kids, one of whom is in Kindergarten. “At this point, I really feel like my wife is doing most of the homeschooling, she is also doing the majority of the learning and the social experience of the class is a net positive.”

FOX 5’s Ayesha Khan checked in with MCPS officials about what parents need to do if they choose homeschooling.

Gboyinde Onijala, a spokeswoman for the district said that parents have to inform the school system if they plan to homeschool their kids.

A parent or guardian who chooses to teach his or her child at home must provide regular and thorough instruction during the school year in the studies usually taught in the public schools to children of the same age.

The supervision or oversight of this instruction may be done in one of two ways. That includes option A–under the supervision of the Montgomery County Public School System; or, option B–under the supervision of a nonpublic entity registered with the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE)

Onijala said that MCPS received 1,400 new home school instruction applications this summer from parents wanting to homeschool their kids.

In Fairfax County Public Schools, spokeswoman Lucy Caldwell explained that the school system encourages parents to share their intention to withdraw their kids before the school year.

The school system projected a little more than 189,000 students for this school year but fewer than 182,000 students are actually enrolled, which is a 4.4 percent decrease

In Prince George’s County Public Schools, parents must submit notices of intent to homeschool 15 days prior to the start of home schooling.