AUSTIN (KXAN) — As school districts around the country struggle to nail down their plans for the upcoming school year, a new poll suggests many of considering keeping their kids home from school.
The ABC News/Ipsos poll found 45% of parents with school-aged children aren’t comfortable sending their kids back to school.
With that in mind, how to successfully teach kids from home has become a pivotal question.
For homeschooling company Time4Learning, that question has lead to three times more inquiries from parents who are interested in keeping their kids out of a physical school.
KXAN’s Tom Miller talked to Time4Learning President John Edelson about what parents can expect from modern-day homeschooling.
Tom: What kind of questions are you hearing from parents?
John: Parents ask all the same questions we’ve heard from parents considering homeschooling through the years. What will it be like? How do I do it? What is a complete homeschool program? What is my role as a parent?
Tom: Let’s start with what will it be like. What do you tell parents?
John: One of the biggest surprises to parents is it turns out they aren’t signing up to be a teacher. What a homeschool parent really does in the modern world is orchestrate resources for their children, watch their students learn, and then help them pursue their interests. That’s a myth-busting there, where parents really don’t teach, they really orchestrate the resource.
Tom: If it isn’t parents who’re doing the teaching, who is?
John: There are these online interactive programs which do the teaching, and really what they do is they manage the instructional process. Students are provided with information, that might include video or something that they read, then there’s a series of exercises where they learn to apply the knowledge. They deepen their understanding of it. They build critical thinking skills.
Tom: Can a working parent homeschool?
John: It’s not for everybody. For parents that aren’t at home, it becomes much more difficult. But for parents who can work out of the house, there really are all sorts of possibilities. The child can be working in the next room, they have the supervision and the support they need, and the parent has the distance to do their own work.