Hundreds of schools across the United States have shuttered their doors during the outbreak of the coronavirus, and now parents have suddenly been thrust into a new role that their friends and neighbors have been accustomed to for some time: homeschooling.
Approximately 64,000 schools have been closed in 33 states, affecting about 32 million students, Education Week reported in a March 16 story.
Michael Donnelly, a spokesman for the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), tells OneNewsNow that parents who feel overwhelmed should know there are numerous options for teaching their children and numerous resources to help with advice such as family members, neighbors, and members of their church.
Homeschooling families already know that social media, especially Facebook, remains a quick source to find groups and ask questions.
“I mean, we can come together as a community to help each other out,” Donnelly stresses. “And if we have to go for a long period of time without school, the homeschooling community has demonstrated that's okay."
Writing for The Daily Signal, Lindsey Burke of The Heritage Foundation reports that some companies are offering online lessons for free and others, such as Khan Academy, are available to help families who are jumping into homeschooling for the first time.
HSLDA, known for defending parents’ and students’ legal rights, also serves as a source for parents jumping into what can be a daunting task. The non-profit’s website includes:
*A let’s-get-started introduction to homeschooling
*A state-by-state listing of homeschooling laws
*A listing of state and local homeschool groups
"Homeschooling is a very viable option,” Donnelly says, “and HSLDA is working to provide resources and answers to people with questions.”
In an op-ed written for American Thinker, author and homeschooling mom Michelle Thomas encourages parents to “savor” the time spent with their children, a blessing that homeschooling families already enjoy every day.
“This forced respite from the busy-ness of life,” she writes, “just might turn out to include some of the best memories your children will recall later in life.”