Many Oregon families shift from public school to homeschool during pandemic

Parents concerned about safety and academic uncertainty are exploring a range of options for the fallby Hanna Merzbach | 26 Jul 2020

As Oregon schools scramble to plan a hybrid model for the fall, mixing in-person classes with virtual programming, many parents feel anxious sending their kids back to school and are enrolling them in online schools or homeschooling instead. 

While it’s not yet clear how many children will be withdrawn from public school this fall, homeschooling groups told Street Roots they’re seeing unprecedented surges in interest among Oregon parents…

…Most homeschooling parents are constantly teaching, parent Caren de la Cruz said.

“Learning happens every day in most of the mundane things that we do,” de la Cruz said. “With everyday life experiences, you can talk about a million things and that oftentimes brings up other questions. You can reach so many topics from one simple question.”

De la Cruz is the outreach coordinator and program assistant at Village Home, a resource center for homeschooling families that provides classes and communities. Now almost entirely online, Village Home encourages students to choose classes they are interested in, rather than following a strict curriculum.

“Because the kids are picking and choosing their classes, that maximizes the autonomy they feel, having ownership over what they’re learning,” de la Cruz said. 

While homeschooling families may have had an easier transition with COVID-19 than those in in-person classes, de la Cruz noted that homeschooling life has still changed dramatically.

“We have also lost our extracurriculars and our getting to see people,” she said. “We don’t sit in a basement. We’re out in the world, and we have also lost all of that interaction and that socialization.”

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Categories: In the Press.