by Dave Dentel, HSLDA
As the nation’s schools grapple with how to reopen this fall amid an ongoing pandemic, an overarching theme regarding the future of education is emerging: more and more parents intend to invoke their prerogative to choose for themselves what’s best for their children.
In polls and in media interviews, these parents are affirming plans to work outside of institutional venues to craft innovative, custom programs to keep their kids safe and learning. In other words, they mean to homeschool.
As Sara Elahi, a consultant in the Baltimore area, told NBC News: “Education is the most important thing to our family. My kids need to have in-person instruction to really learn and absorb material, and, by no fault of their own, I can’t rely on the school to provide that.”
Elahi was alluding to the fact that several of the nation’s largest public school districts have announced that, for the foreseeable future, they will not be opening their classrooms. Instead they will rely primarily on online learning.
For some parents, this is simply not acceptable.
After their school district in Silver Spring, Maryland, switched to distance learning in the spring, Rosemary Murrian told CNN how her family eventually abandoned the method. Not only did her children struggle with the technology, but she and her husband also felt the public school’s schedule did not mesh well with their family’s needs.
“At the end of the second week we just said, ‘forget it, it’s not worth it,’ and stopped,” Rosemary said. “It wasn’t really a tough decision because we just couldn’t do it.”
Then there is the question of safety.
In districts that will be accepting students back on campus, many parents are asking whether the proposed social distancing and health measures will be more disruptive than effective.
© 2020 Home School Legal Defense Association