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Parents opt to homeschool amid pandemic

Many parents choose to homeschool their kids this year instead of sending them back to the classroom.
Published: Aug. 17, 2020 at 8:48 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - The upcoming school year will be unlike any other.

With all of the questions and uncertainties surrounding the return to the classrooms, many parents are choosing to homeschool their children for the first time instead.

Nikki Cleasby of Durand plans to homeschool her daughter London, who is entering third grade. She says she was not willing to risk sending her back to the classroom during the pandemic, and her family struggled with virtual learning in the spring.

“It was not fun at all. She is not used to being on a computer so typing was a big struggle for us and just sitting at the computer for all of it was not something she was used to,” Cleasby says.

Molly Sanders of Hudson also plans to homeschool two of her three children, with one entering kindergarten and the other entering second grade.

“I have a daughter who is hearing impaired so everyone in masks is very challenging for her,” Sanders says. “It felt so uncertain and I know they are going to cancel school again so it felt more stable and steady to have this plan in place and know it is not going to change.”

Though homeschooling is new for many parents this year, Christy Langman of Bloomer has been homeschooling her two sons for the last two years.

“We really try to make it fit into our lives instead of making our lives fit around it. Everything we do in a day is learning,” Langman says.

Langman, a former educator herself, teaches her sons Brady who will be in 5th grade and Mason who is entering 8th grade.

“We do as much as we can do together but then they each kind of go their own way so we do some math together and I also like to mix subject areas,” Langman says. “I kind of create my own stuff where we are doing science and social studies all together.”

For parents taking on this role for the first time, Langman says patience and flexibility are key.

“They pick what they want to learn,” Langman says. “Our first year of homeschooling we did all subject areas but we also built an American ninja warrior course and they figured out all of the cost and what we needed to buy and where it would go and all of that stuff.”

She says rather than following a strict routine, she lets her kids help create their own schedules.

“I am a big believer in following a rhythm rather than a routine because when I follow a routine I feel like I set myself up for failure,” Langman says it is also essential that homeschooling parents make time for themselves.

As for a social life, Langman says homeschooling hasn’t stopped her kids from seeing their friends and playing with their neighbors.

Even though this school year will be unlike they anticipated, Cleasby and Sanders say they are both excited and nervous for what the year will bring.

For more homeschooling tips from Langman, click here.

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