They quit the school system angrily-and they won’t go back

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Families share multiple forces that drive them away from public and private schools. Some people are exhausted by the chaos of distance learning. After other BFHES families overheard how the teacher was talking to their children, they took their children away from the school, admonishing those students who did not maintain eye contact or keep the camera.

For parents who are dissatisfied with education in the Covid era, homeschooling seems to be a respite from the troubled public and private schools, as well as an opportunity to re-engage in their children’s learning. Ali-Coleman pointed out that the pandemic is a catalyst for parents to seriously consider what education they really want their children to receive, the role they want to play as parents, and their choices beyond the default educational institution.

This is where online family school communities such as BFHES come in handy: virtual communities make it easier for more parents to access other forms of school education, such as family education and epidemic cabins. If researching how to start a home school is as easy as searching on Google, you can find a group of like-minded families for support and advice with just a few clicks.

Online communities based on cultural and ethnic groups have always been the key to attracting and informing families that do not conform to the stereotypes of white, isolationist family educators. BFHES holds free virtual skills sharing seminars, the topics include homeschooling for children with special needs or managing homeschooling while earning income. The story on the Facebook page turns the ambiguity of homeschooling into something more specific. If this family that looks like me can succeed, why can’t I?

If Covid-19 is the propagandist of homeschooling, then the Internet is the connecting force that connects long-term homeschooling students with a new generation of wired, inspired parents. If the stereotype of family educators is white, isolated, from conservative to cult, then the online community developed during the pandemic constitutes a more diverse modern rebuttal.

A school building in the future

Technology not only helps more kinds of parents start homeschooling-it also provides parents with a blank canvas for lessons, free from the constraints of institutionalized education. “There is absolutely no way for people to teach themselves at home,” Ali-Coleman said. “What parents found is flexibility that doesn’t exist in this traditional school environment.”

The rules for homeschooling vary from state to state. Texas only requires teaching reading, math, spelling and grammar, and “good citizenship.” Parents do not need to keep the children’s learning records. In Massachusetts, the state has stricter regulations on homeschooling. Parents must submit an annual notice of intent, a written plan approved by the school district, and proof of learning progress to the home school, which may include progress reports, dated work samples, or standardized tests .

However, when it comes to really deciding how to allocate each hour of the child’s study day, parents can almost decide. For parents considering homeschooling, this can be an obstacle: building a curriculum from scratch can be daunting, especially when you are working hard for each child. But especially in the extremely online Covid era, curriculum resources are as bottomless as the Internet itself. The way parents describe their local curriculum design may remind people of cocktail recipes: practice worksheets from ABCMouse.com, videos from TED Talks for Kids, and a few minutes of happy learning YouTube channel as decoration.

The extensiveness of online resources, combined with offline and parent-led activities, allows parents to more appropriately adjust their children’s learning time according to their own values. Cheryl Vanderpool is a new homeschooling parent in the Atlanta area. She is using OutSchool.com to help her son learn Tagalog. The private school they attended did not offer Tagalog courses; now, she can use technology and the flexibility of homeschooling to allow her sons to establish a closer connection with their Filipino heritage. “I like the idea of ​​showing materials to my children. This is not necessarily a colonial experience,” Vander Poor said.

If anything, parents may feel the overwhelming abundance of home school resources rather than a lack of them. The online homeschool community is also very helpful here. Although Google can provide countless worksheets, websites, and YouTube videos, other parent-reviewed resources can help families narrow their choices. Vanderpool is a member of the Asian American Family School Facebook group, which shares children’s book resources and organizes collaborative courses to connect families across the country.

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