More families leaving traditional schooling amid pandemic; is it forever?

More families leaving traditional schooling amid pandemic; is it forever?

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Whether it’s state-mandated shutdowns or the reversal of in-person classes, more local parents are fleeing the traditional school system and creating one of their own.

“I feel like as a parent I was failing them on their education opportunity,” Kentucky mother of three Stephanie Feger said.

Like millions of other parents, Feger and her husband have juggled work and home-based education throughout the coronavirus pandemic. But as the weeks drew on, they noticed their three children who love to learn were declining fast.

Between online NTI classes and short-lived re-openings, Feger said NTI just wasn’t working for their family.

”My kids also function better with stability and structure, and I started to realize NTI was anything but,” Feger said. “Yes, there’s structure in that there were certain times where you had to get work done. But every week we didn’t know are we going to go back, are we going to go back?”

Rather than gamble on what’s to come, Feger and her husband pulled the plug and became their only teachers. Every morning before she starts work, Feger leads Red Bird Academy.

”We do school on a big carpet where he lays down and rolls around and the progress I’ve seen from him in the beginning to now is he’s reading on his own,” Feger said. “It’s mindboggling and so fulfilling altogether.”

More local parents like Feger are ditching the traditional school system – maybe forever.

From March to December of this year, Greater Clark County Schools in Southern Indiana watched 100 students leave for homeschooling. New Albany Floyd County Consolidated Schools saw 96 students leave.

In Kentucky, with stricter regulations, Oldham County Schools had 382 students leave for homeschooling from August to October. Jefferson County Public Schools, the state’s largest school district, reported 724 students have left for homeschooling.

“It’s a big decision to decide to homeschool,” Kentucky Department of Education Director of Division of School and Program and Improvement Tara Rodriguez said. “There are a lot of considerations that parents need to be aware of. For example, one of the things they’re going to have to be aware of is choosing a curriculum. So they’ll have to make that decision and be responsible for locating the materials and content that they’re going to include in their homeschool.”

Kentucky state law requires homeschooling parents to provide curriculum in certain subjects, like math and science. They also have to take attendance, assign grades and maintain records.

Find Indiana’s guidelines here:

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