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Pandemic Prodding More Parents to Consider Homeschooling

August 7, 2020


Bay Area parents, concerned about the lack of high quality and engaging on line instruction provided by public schools last Spring and concerned about the safety of their children in a “hybrid” program are increasingly looking into options and one of the more appealing ones is homeschooling. I have long believed that some kind of homeschool hybrid would emerge as a strong if not the best direction for public schools to go. But given the thinking of the parents quoted in this TV news story and the existing laws and regulations on homeschooling, now is not the time to launch such a program. The bottom line lure of homeschooling based on this report is that the government has less control over the curriculum and the lives of children. This is very appealing to parents who struggled to get their children to complete the online school work on time and satisfactorily but could become a means for parents to completely ignore schooling altogether and in some cases could lead to neglect and abuse at home. Finally, and just as concerning, it will clearly widen the opportunity gap as children in homes with books and access to high speed internet connection get opportunities that far exceed those who lack both.

Based on the latest thinking it appears that the COVID 19 virus is going to be with us for an extended time period. We might have to begin now to figure out how we can make schooling more equitable in this New Normal.

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