STAFFORD, Va. (FOX 5 DC) - Interest in homeschooling is on the rise as school districts nationwide and across the Washington, D.C. area roll out their reopening plans amid the coronavirus pandemic.
In fact, more and more families are opting to homeschool amid the uncertainty surrounding distance learning and in-school instruction.
Some families are even transforming their homes into classrooms.
FOX 5’s Tisha Lewis spoke with a mother in a Stafford neighborhood who did just that after being dissatisfied with the school district’s distance learning experience and apprehensive about her children returning to school.
Phyllis Israel is a mother of five — three are still at home and in school and come fall she plans to home school them all. The families’ former craft room will now be a classroom for her kindergartener and two older middle school students.
Israel made the choice to shift to homeschool as school districts across the area began to unveil their reopening plans including in-person instruction, continued distance learning, or a mix of both.
The Virginia Department of Education’s data reflects families homeschooling is up but Virginia law does not require families state why they are homeschooling so there would be no way to know for sure if it’s due to the coronavirus pandemic but it’s safe to say it’s likely a factor plus how the district’s have handled distance learning.
Surprisingly, we’re told it’s an easy process.
The Home Educator’s Association of Virginia has all the forms on its website and it must be submitted to your school district’s superintendent.
In Virginia, families can opt to homeschool at any point during the year.
We’re also hearing about some families setting up home school co-ops where one parent teaches several students at home.
The Virginia Department of Education says its policy analyst who typically responds to calls from parents about Virginia's homeschooling requirements says that she has noticed an increase since early spring in the number of calls from members of the public requesting info about homeschooling requirements.