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On Your Side: What to know if you’re considering homeschool

Published: Jul. 23, 2020 at 6:49 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 23, 2020 at 7:02 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The school bells will be ringing again soon. Despite safety plans and extra precautions, many parents are considering the homeschool route.

“I never thought I’d homeschool my kids,” said Candace Hayward.

She’ll soon add homeschool teacher to her resume. Their loft area in their Polk County home will become the school area.

“It makes us really nervous. With Aiden being special needs and our youngest having lung issues since birth, for us, we’ve consulted our doctor. For a normal child, they may be asymptomatic, but for one of our kids that’s high risk, it could be potential fatal,” Hayward said.

She hasn’t picked a program yet.

Lindsay Hill used to teach hundreds of kids in public schools. Now, she teaches her four girls at home. She says, a back-to-school shopping budget, will probably cover a homeschool budget.

“It can cost very little. It can be done inexpensively. With the help of a library card and online resources,” Hill said.

There’s a long list of homeschool options. There’s faith-based. Distance learning, that’s like a virtual school. Or what’s called ‘school at home’ which are lessons that build up to tests or mastering subjects. Parents tell On Your Side they don’t stick with one program.

“I usually try to pick things that stick with the learning style of each child. Because I have four of them, it’s not one size fits all,” Hill said.

Homeschool kids in Missouri have to log their school hours. That’s at least one thousand hours each year. The school year is an entire year. They must keep samples of their work. And keep a record of periodic assessments for the state.

Hill says don’t decide to homeschool because of fear.

“If fear is your driving factor, however, that’s going to make it difficult to experience success and sustain that. My hope is that parents make a decision because they feel like this is the best thing for their family,” she said.

Homeschool kids play sports. There homeschool teams. They can do extra curricular activities, like speech and debate. If you’re child goes to public school and you plan to homeschool, you need to notify the school district. There’s a process to avoid truancy issues.

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