YOUNGSVILLE, La. (KLFY) – Thousands of Louisiana parents are turning to homeschool for the first time this year. Some say the coronavirus pandemic gave them the extra motivation they needed to try something new.
The Small’s are one of those families in Youngsville. They loved the experience their daughter had in public school, but with all the changes coming to education this year, they decided it might be the best time for a change of their own.
“We’re brand new to this, and we’re going to probably learn more than our kids are going to learn in the next year,” admitted Josh Small.
He and his wife admit transitioning from parents to teachers can be a daunting task, but with at-home learning days being incorporated inside many school districts, they are questioning what’s the best approach.
“If we’re going to be doing that anyway, and we’re going to be at home anyway, I’d prefer to choose my own curriculum and be able to incorporate what we’d want to teach them,” explained Sarah Small.
At “It’s a Small World Academy” core math, science, and English classes will be present but also faith-based lessons and other topics that interest their kids.
Josh and Sarah Small think one-on-one teaching will have its advantages, and thousands of Louisiana parents agree.
The Facebook group Louisiana Homeschool Support has gone from 8,500 members to over 13,000 in the past two months.
Group admin Missy Pique said the largest reason they’ve heard for parents switching to homeschool is worrying about the amount of screen time their child will have when virtual learning.
Sarah Small admitted she felt her first-grade daughter wouldn’t learn as well virtually.
Pique warns first time homeschooling shouldn’t attempt it without support.
“In your local area, find other people who are homeschooling,” Pique said. “There will be a network there because it’s so widespread now.”
“If you’re interested in it, there’s so much. There are so many resources out there,” encouraged Josh Small.
Both parents admit being nervous and understand other parents choosing different options for their children this year, but with everything that’s happening outside their
new classroom, they think a trial run is this year is the right choice for them.
Sarah has gone from being opposed at the beginning of 2020 to now saying, “We’re going to take this opportunity and try to turn it into something really great for our family.”