HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - More parents than ever are trying to get information about home schooling opportunities.
“It's over the past month in particular it’s gone almost crazy in terms of the amount of people that are reaching out for assistance,” said Allen Weston with the National Home School Association.
Weston said parents are calling and emailing interested in trying to figure out how to home school their kids.
“Virginia is a powerhouse for home schoolers, especially in the Hampton Roads area. There's just a myriad of opportunities and resources," said Dr. Wendy Scott, the founder of Tidewater Collegiate Academy. “I tell parents they’re basically sub-contracting us to do the home schooling for them.”
She said there are many different types of home schooling.
“Gone are the days of the traditional mom at the kitchen table,” said Dr. Scott.
She said she, too, has been inundated with parents reaching out and asking questions to learn more.
“It's so up in the air to what September looks like, and so parents want some control now about what's going to happen,” said Dr. Scott. “School systems are doing the best that they can, but parents are ready to just make decisions and know that there's a plan.”
The parents of Elia Featherston made the decision to home school her four years ago when she was being bullied in public school.
Now, the recent graduate is headed to Virginia Commonwealth University. She said at first her mom home schooled her, but she wanted more interaction with others, so she signed up for Tidewater Collegiate Academy. She and her mom told News 3 it was an excellent decision for her learning experience.
“I started coming out of my shell more. I was definitely enjoying myself and enjoying the people I was around,” said Featherson.
Dr. Scott said she wants her staff to think of the new changes as a way of re-engineering how they teach.
“We're still in the storm, you know, and so you don't really know what all the pieces are until the storm is over,” said Dr. Scott.
She said many of the digital changes are here to stay. She said some of the parents reaching out to her want their children in education programs that aren’t as large as public schools; they'd rather have a smaller setting.
She said there were changes that needed to be made before the virus hit, but this pandemic has forced us to rethink how we teach and educate.
Below is a list of home school associations and educational institutions mentioned in this story: