Back to school: 5 tips for homeschooling the kids as more parents leave the classroom – Fox News | Dauktion

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Some of America’s parents still feel the urge to take their children out of the traditional classroom.

With the COVID-19 pandemic rocking education in America, parents and guardians have felt more inclined to educate their children in the comfort of their own homes.

Homeschool.com editor-in-chief and Georgia mother-of-six Jamie Gaddy described the surge in interest in homeschooling across the country in an interview with Fox News Digital.

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“Homeschooling exploded in 2020,” she said. “Our community has more than doubled. Interest went through the roof.”

Alan Gaddy gives his daughters a history lesson at the kitchen table.
(Jamie Gaddy)

Though the homeschool bubble started “slightly deflating” in 2021, Gaddy said many parents who gave homeschooling a try stuck with it.

There are an estimated 10 million homeschoolers in the US today, down from almost 5 million before the pandemic.

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The Senoia, Georgia mother, who homeschooled all six of her children and successfully graduated from three, is a staunch advocate for home education.

Curricula can be tailored to a child’s specific needs and interests, she said, in contrast to a one-size-fits-all approach to learning in many public and private settings.

Female teacher with a group of preschool children.  A child's specific needs and interests can be addressed in homeschooling, said a Georgia mother.

Female teacher with a group of preschool children. A child’s specific needs and interests can be addressed in homeschooling, said a Georgia mother.
(iStock)

“You can tailor this training,” she said. “It can be absolutely unique.”

“It’s really exciting when you see a child who is absolutely passionate about learning and just loves them because this education suits them.”

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After spending 15 years teaching herself and frustrated with an educational model that no longer “clicked”, Gaddy decided to teach her children alone.

“Once we did that, we didn’t look back,” she said. “It was really a wonderful adventure.”

The second homeschooled graduate in the Gaddy family smiles in a cap and gown as she shares graduation day with her grandparents.

The second homeschooled graduate in the Gaddy family smiles in a cap and gown as she shares graduation day with her grandparents.
(Jamie Gaddy)

After 16 years, Gaddy said homeschooling brought the focus back to “family roots,” which “makes our culture and our country great.”

For parents looking to make the same leap, here are some helpful tips on getting school home.

1. Relax

Gaddy’s #1 message for parents is to breathe.

“It’s not something to be taken lightly,” she said of homeschooling. “I mean, that’s your child’s education.”

“Everyone has a little bit of anxiety, everyone has some worries — but when you let that rule the day, it kind of takes away all the joy.”

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The homeschooling expert advised parents to step back and look to their family, their children and themselves to begin the process gently.

2. Check your state’s legal requirements

Each US state has its own legal requirements for homeschooling.

Two Gaddy kids study independently at home with their dog Beau.

Two Gaddy kids study independently at home with their dog Beau.
(Jamie Gaddy)

Gaddy advised parents to check their state’s guidelines before diving in, as some states may have “additional requirements.”

“None of them are outrageous, but some of them require some planning and preparation and time to accomplish,” she said. “So, make sure you follow these.”

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Gaddy reminded parents that they are also responsible for keeping records of their children’s grades, which can be kept digitally or in a notebook.

3. Use available resources

There is a wide range of homeschooling resources.

According to Gaddy, homeschooling utilities have exploded recently.

This includes companies like Home Science Tools, which offer kits for projects like experiments and dissections.

Two of the Gaddy kids are studying biology while dissecting an earthworm at home.

Two of the Gaddy kids are studying biology while dissecting an earthworm at home.
(Jamie Gaddy)

For parents who are intimidated by higher curriculum, Gaddy says it’s a good idea to check online resources where educators are available to teach students a subject remotely.

“It takes the weight off your shoulders, and yet you can sit there and listen and study right next to them,” she said.

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While parents aim to personalize their child’s education, Gaddy recommended sites like homeschool.com that offer helpful tools to make the job a little easier.

For example, a child interested in technology might need a full online curriculum, she said, while a literacy-based curriculum would be a better fit for a child who enjoys reading.

Elementary school children sit on the floor of a classroom library and enjoy books.  with homeschooling, "starting on the right foot is so important" said Jamie Gaddy, who has homeschooled her six children.

Elementary school children sit on the floor of a classroom library and enjoy books. When it comes to homeschooling, “it’s so important to start on the right foot,” said Jamie Gaddy, who has homeschooled her six children.
(Pathik Oza/O3 books)

“Taking those steps and starting on the right foot is so important,” she said.

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“If you just jump into an old curriculum, it may not be a good fit and can make you unhappy.”

4. Be flexible

It may take some experimentation to determine the right curriculum and educational institutions for your family.

When it comes to bringing school indoors, Gaddy says it can be difficult to separate work and free time — and juggle them.

The schoolroom in the Gaddy house in Georgia.

The schoolroom in the Gaddy house in Georgia.
(Jamie Gaddy)

“We had to learn to flip our schedule — maybe we had to run errands today and study at home later,” she said.

“Flexibility is really the key.”

5. Connect to a community

Parents should network with others in their communities to share thoughts and ideas, Gaddy recommended.

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“We have a wonderful Facebook community where you can ask questions and lots of other parents can jump in and share,” she said.

“I encourage parents to join a local group and ask questions.”

In this undated photo, three young children study while homeschooling in Raleigh, NC

In this undated photo, three young children study while homeschooling in Raleigh, NC
(Courtesy of Dalaine Bradley via AP)

Such connections can offer support when doubts about homeschooling arise.

Gaddy said the public is quick to assume that homeschooled kids aren’t being socialized — but the truth is, “homeschoolers are busy people.”

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“We try to use educational opportunities everywhere,” she said.

Children view a variety of fish in a tank at the Fort Fisher Aquarium, in Kure Beach, NC

Children view a variety of fish in a tank at the Fort Fisher Aquarium, in Kure Beach, NC
(Brownie Harris/Corbis via Getty Images)

“You’ve heard of museums that have educational days and special events—usually you’ll find homeschoolers there.”

Gaddy said most homeschoolers would attest to struggling to “actually stay at home.”

“Our kids are usually involved in sports, extracurricular activities, just like any other kid,” she said.

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While some people view homeschooling as “inferior,” Gaddy mentioned that most homeschoolers score 10% to 20% better on SAT and ACT tests.

“College professors love homeschooling students because they are diligent, pay attention, and participate in class,” she said. “They just love it.”

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