Surge of parents decides to homeschool during the pandemic
ATLANTA (WGCL) — The pandemic continues to impact lives in ways many have never imagined. As the Delta variant infects more and more children, parents are forced to make difficult decisions about their students’ education.
Georgia is averaging 1,300 cases in children ages 17 and under, every day. That’s up by nearly a thousand since August 2, right before school started.
Some families are saying safety precautions in schools just aren’t good enough, and until then they have no choice but to look for another option.
“Sophia is high risk. She has arthritis,” said Lorena Trejo, mother of two in Cobb County.
Sophia is Trejo’s 9-year-old daughter.
“And she takes medication that lowers her immune system,” said Trejo.
The mother of two is fed up with covid-19 invading school districts across the state.
“The first day of classes, there was already a positive case in her class. We didn’t know anything until Wednesday when half of her class wasn’t there,” said Trejo.
Trejo pulled Sofia from Cobb County Schools, choosing to homeschool instead.
“I figured it would be better to keep her home,” said Trejo.
Trejo is not alone. This school year, more than 85,000 students will be homeschooled. That’s about 20,000 more students than an average year, according to the Georgia Department of Education.
“The prospect of homeschooling is very scary,” Judy Sarden, homeschool coach. “I always tell people, just because you pull your kid out right now, doesn’t mean it’s going to be forever.”
Many parents are coming to her, concerned homeschooling with cause their children to fall behind.
“Focus on reading, focus on math, focus on filling gaps… and providing an enrichment opportunity so your child can really pursue an interest. If you can pursue those four things, your child will be okay,” said Sarden.
Amy Winch is another mom. She may pull both her sons out of Cobb County Schools again this year. 3700 students have gotten sick in the district during the first month of school alone.
“How do you live with your decision saying, ‘Well, I sent my children back to school and they got sick. And something horrible happened,’” said Winch.
While some parents are taking an additional burden of work, children are deeply affected too.
“I feel upset, and kind of mad, because it’s not really fair. Because I haven’t been able to go to school and have fun with my friends,” said Sofia Mundaray, is being homeschooled.
The Georgia Department of Education does not believe the drop in enrollment numbers will affect their overall funding; they said it’s likely new students coming into the district will make up for the loss.
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