Homeschooling advocates see increased interest ahead of virtual school start

Homeschooling advocates see increased interest ahead of virtual school start

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Homeschooling advocates in central Virginia say more parents are opting to keep their kids learning from home for the long haul.

With schools going virtual to start the academic year, more and more parents are turning to homeschooling. Albemarle County Public Schools says that while numbers for homeschool registration typically reach a peak in the week before the August 15 deadline, the district has received double the number of intent forms this year compared to the same time last year. Teela James, a board member at the Charlottesville Homeschooling Enrichment Center CHEC), says that’s not surprising.

“There’s a lot of interest,” James said. “Almost every homeschooler knows several people who decided to homeschool this year and are asking them for ‘how to do this’ and ‘how to do that,’ particularly as soon as the school’s decided that they needed to go to online learning for the first quarter.”

As a cooperative, CHEC offers a mix of resources and instruction for students and parents. Those plans, like the plans of school districts around the country, have been altered by the coronavirus pandemic.

“We have a combination of online classes and currently we have planned, some small outdoor classes,” James explained. She says that those offerings will be smaller, and fewer in number, than previous years.

Still, James says there are a variety of resources available online, and through CHEC, that can help parents and students through what can be a fulfilling opportunity, despite the challenges.

“We do things differently in homeschooling and this is a chance to explore that,” James said. “You can end up with a richer educational experience from sort of exchange here in homeschooling.”

CHEC will open enrollment for their online offerings and in-person offerings on August 8. They also plan to hold several information sessions about homeschooling throughout the month. The deadline to register your child for homeschooling in Virginia is August 15.

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