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December 7, 2020 9:43 am
This week on Family Policy Matters, host Traci DeVette Griggs welcomes Michael Donnelly from the Homeschool Legal Defense Association to discuss the rapid rise in homeschooling that has occurring during this pandemic.
Family policy matters and engaging and informative weekly radio show and podcast produced by the North Carolina family policy Council hi this is John Ralston, presidency, family, and were grateful to have you with us for this week's program is our prayer that you will be informed, encouraged and inspired by what you hear on family policy matters and that you will fold better equipped to be a voice of persuasion for family values in your community, state and nation, and now here's our house to family policy matters. Tracy David Griggs, thanks for joining us this week for family policy matters. Among the many changes and challenges that come with living through a pandemic. Perhaps one of the most difficult has been cool when students were abruptly sent home last spring, families and schools alike often felt ill-equipped to continue students studies at home, but as weeks turned into months, many families for the first time began looking at homeschooling with new eyes with various reports suggesting that many students are failing to thrive under the changing landscape of distance education hybrid splits between school and home, and other options. It might be helpful for non-homeschooling parents to learn from veteran homeschoolers regarding how they have navigated these challenges for many years now. While Michael Donnelly, senior counsel with the home school legal Defense Association is here to talk about my family. Welcome to family policy matters greatly with you today after finishing last school year at home. Did you hear of families who discovered that they were surprised to find they could actually homeschool absolutely a lot of folks during the early stages of the broader situation decided to try to homeschooling.
And a lot of them found that it worked out really well and they decided to keep on doing it and we saw over the summer was that number actually grew significantly as it became clear that things were not going to be going back to normal for the school year. Parents made the decision in August and even into September, there were to be keeping their children out of the various remote/hybrid/you know whatever they were doing programs in the public schools.
They were to go at homeschool whistle record-breaking growth which has been validated by government surveys. Members of our Association and other organization homeschooling and I think it's safe to say that we will be seen as the regular homeschooling is at least double that in most places and in some cases describe, but even much more than that right because you're talking nationally right that is correct on a national basis, but even and even on a state-by-state basis. There is no state that has not seen a very significant growth in the course, North Carolina had a very large homeschool population disorders all began what you heard from families who have students still enrolled in public schools and how they're dealing with things you know a lot of people to continue with the public school people juggling work schedules and they want their kids to be involved in the public education programs that are available to this a different way than they did and I were saying though is a lot of folks again seeing that things are really not, going back to where they want them to go are saying I can't do this anymore, and the common things with your heart you know their issues relating to kids and these can be health related issues with children experiencing headaches from being on computer screen for too long or boredom. I mean it's difficult for teachers who try to do the best I can.
I know the Cheech through a computer. It's just such a totally different kind of learning and it's not working real well for a lot of kids to family situations or family issues where parents are able to juggle all the multiple things that are being asked of them with multiple children so we just seen an increase in the frustration and were actually seeing an increase in the number folks were joining our Association, anecdotally, were were hearing that homeschooling is continuing to rise pretty significantly here. But even as the school year goes on. So you hearing some days families that have made the switch to homeschooling or is it too early to know how they're doing.
You know were hearing something. There isn't been a lot of data collection on what's happening with the homeschooling families right now, but you were hearing that a lot of folks are experiencing very positive outcomes there enjoying the flexibility that homeschooling allows there enjoying the ability to tailor a curriculum a different curriculum from what the schools have been offering that was working better for their children there enjoying the fact that their kids are not stuck in front of a computer screen.
A lot of folks where there were school that was going on. It was part ends in class, in part, not in class. Some of those kids weren't thriving, and then the parents that I'm knocking to keep sending you back there will read you the homeschooling, so lots of different reasons for people in a lot of different benefits that the folks in expressed that there experiencing from kind of unplugging from the public education system and and trying homeschooling. Thanks to these new homeschooling families are surprised to find how many resources and networking avenues there are among homeschooling families probably little bit surprisingly, folks who've never homeschool before you know just don't know what they're getting into is very doable but you know when you never done something before seemed a little daunting, and the reality is there are so many resources some folks that he reports me that it's overwhelming by me and the availability of curriculum, both online curriculum and physical curriculum that you could buy from various vendors and also there were so many homeschoolers again. Note: a very large population. Many many support groups both through Facebook or other social media sites and also in person, although obviously you know the in person meetings have been somewhat restrained as a result of some of the things going on with this coronavirus and the homeschool community is very welcoming and we've really been encouraged by what we seem with people reporting that they feel very supported when they finally end up connecting with another homeschool and family that are just entering into homeschooling. Though this is not necessarily exactly how homeschooling goes right, having their there are some things you guys as you mentioned are not able to do right now. That's true without good virus constraints.
Homeschoolers are very active and getting together many many co-ops sometimes very large co-ops would get together with all co-ops as parents getting together with families where the parents share the teaching responsibility for certain things and they can be very large. They can be very small but that's more difficult to do under the current conditions, but we found was a lot of families who were homeschooling during the pandemic. They had to come to change used to have in their kids at home and so they kind of not quite without a beat, but I kept on moving with her education and it was really exciting to see so many other folks trying out the homeschooling option in and enjoying it.
So this idea that I think many people have that homeschooling is isolating for the kids. Sounds like that's really not the case is not the case. The homeschoolers are very social world were social people you like to get together and do stuff together and homeschool the same way and they were doing that I'm still doing that and you know what homeschooling allows people is to pick who they want to get together with you know and under the virus circumstances you want to get together with people you know maybe you don't want to be around as many people you don't know because you just don't know what what what they'll situation would be, so this really allows people the freedom of flexibility to integrate education into what they're doing with their life and with families home more family time. Parents and kids are together more and you know some people might fit if not the great but what we found is that parents are really enjoying that in kids to really enjoy the freedom of flexibility in the opportunity to connect with each other that the situation is presented listening to family policy matters weekly radio show and podcast of the North Carolina family policy Council. This is just one of them anyway since he works to educate citizens across North Carolina about policy issues that impact a lot of families. Our vision is to create a state a nation where God is on religious freedom sources families were in life's cherished more information about his family and how you can help us to achieve this incredible vision for our state and nation.
Visit our firstname.lastname@example.org units in C family.org and be sure to sign up to receive our email updates, action alerts, and of course our flagship publication family North Carolina magazine. We also love for you to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and you mentioned that the impact of course were all fully aware that one of the impacts we hearing about is a widening achievement gap due to the pandemic act. Are you hearing that that's the case, the achievement gap is a term that I have heard you use a lot. It's been used a lot for a long time.
It can mean different things. But what I understand to mean is that your business achieve the Gap between cities and schools in poor areas versus schools more wealthier, affluent areas and sometimes people talk about achievement gaps, even within ethnic groups. I have also heard some people talking about the achievement gap where during the pandemic. Some people who have more resources are able to provide for you know their kids versus those who have less resources and are struggling with the public school really don't have any other options, so that is something that I have heard talk about but also community you know parents are all free to help their children achieve to their potential and you not tell you that what's interesting we look at the government surveys that have been done since the pandemic began one of the groups that has grown the fastest or the lower income groups because homeschooling is not expensive. Homeschooling is something you can do in your home. It does not cost a lot of money to purchase curriculum for children, especially elementary grades. But even in the high school grades and folks on the lower income spectrum are not barred from participating homeschooling. It's something you can do.
I think there are plenty of kids are probably doing just fine with the remote learning in the getting the help from the parents at home about whether just able to make it work. You know, there are many that are not, and they do need the option to different things and they should be supported than that from you know, public policy and your society. Society should embrace different ways of education. You look were pluralistic society and we need to embrace differences in all kinds of areas, especially in the area of education should not you know be comfortable or be happy with just a one-size-fits-all approach to education.
Unfortunately, there are many people who just want one-size-fits-all education that's wrong. It's not the right way for a country like ours to do education and I'm hopeful that you're coming through this virus situation. One of the things that people do more comfortable. It is embrace my kind of pluralism in education tips for families who are either new FSR just kinda trying to hang in there as far as I can set realistic expectations for homeschooling are teaching their children at home.
That's a great question and in realistic expectations is a very important thing right to frustration comes in your expectations don't meet with reality. Going into something you never done before might be difficult, and it got even know what to expect or think of something that folks were think about homeschooling should take about homeschooling is not schooling at home. It doesn't take as much time to do the academics up to three hours a day is usually more than enough and you have much more time for children to pursue other interests.
Other areas that they're interested in and we put together a website called you can homeschool.com you can homeschool.com which is a three-step approach where basically you need to understand the legalities and were the homeschool legal defense Association, what were experts in we also have consultants and resources available on the website for people to find curriculum, learn about the children's learning styles of those sorts of things we really want to encourage folks to think differently about education.
We had to get home is a very different approaches. It's not meant to look like school.
He can look very different and also my daughters noted what to say in their pajamas for long time and you know what that's okay there's nothing wrong with that you can do is scoop with your pajamas. Folks are you let your kid sleep in a little bit later if you want to get up at six in the morning to get on the bus, but you know some kids like to get up real early and get through school, work, and have the rest of the day. Thanks so you as a family. You got to figure out what rhythm is gonna work for you to meet different for each person you got different things or juggling work schedules and other think so everything we can be different.
I think you know people or think about doing it just have to be very flexible. Take it one day at a time. C was working and don't be afraid to change something if you feel like you want to make a change and if people are looking at making the changes. This website you would refer them to first.
You can homeschool.com. Absolutely you can homeschool.com as part of our HLB family and you know they can join each affiliate it can get information about how to get started homeschooling their videos. There that are available for them and links to other resources where they can connect with other homeschoolers is a great place to start. Course HS L DAS homeschool legal defense Association and we been speaking with Michael Donnelly, Michael, thank you so much for being with us on family policy matters. Thank you Tracy for the reply to be with you and your audience. You can listing the family policy matters. We hope you enjoyed the program and plenitude in again next week to listen to the show online and to learn more about NC families work to inform, encourage and inspire families across Carlotta go to our website it NC family.award that's NC family.org. Thanks again for listening and may God bless you and your family