More families choose to look into homeschooling due to coronavirus uncertainties

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – The state continues to mull over its back-to-school plans. Some parents are taking matters into their own hands and have decided to home-school their children.

Parents say their decision is not only due to coronavirus fears, but to better prepare and have a concrete plan heading into the school year.

Growing plants is just one part of 7-year-old Nathan’s homeschooling plans. Nathan has learned to plant brussels sprouts, lettuce, and cabbage.

Nathan’s parents, along with hundreds of other parents, want to get in on homeschooling because of the many COVID-related uncertainties as summer winds down and the new school year approaches.

Marcia Siro is not only homeschools, but also works with ENRICH-RI, a home education community.

Sirois, said, “We have had hundreds of parents reach out to our organization within the past two months really interested in if we homeschool and how do we get started what is the process.”

She says the first step is to write a letter of intent to your school district.  “It goes to the school committee and they usually approve those at the next school committee meeting; really you’re just informing them that you’re going to be home schooling.”

State law requires homeschoolers teach the core subjects, including Math, English, Science, and Social Studies as part of the curriculum. The rest of what the homeschooled student learns is up to the parent or guardian, and the child.

After a few hours of playtime after waking up, Siros’ son Nathan then begins his day of learning.

Sirois says they estimate approximately two to three thousand children in Rhode Island are home schooled. With the coronavirus pandemic still prevalent, they are expecting a big influx this year, especially as the school year inches closer and parents want a plan in place.

“Parents don’t have a lot of time to prepare, they’re kind of grasping.” Sirois said.

ENRICH-RI has been hosting online informational workshops for families interested in learning more about homeschooling, and hundreds have attended those workshops already.

Categories: Back to School, Coronavirus, News, Rhode Island