Many Vermont families again signing up to home-school kids

Published: Aug. 4, 2021 at 6:12 PM EDT
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RUTLAND, Vt. (WCAX) - Vermont families are once again signing up in droves to home-school their children.

Danielle King has three daughters. Her middle child is a rising second-grader who home-schooled last school year. Because she excelled academically and King learned the value of home schooling, they are enrolling again.

“It was mostly her requesting to continue home schooling that led us to home schooling again,” King said.

Her 7-year-old daughter Zoe learned remotely from home in the spring of 2020 and did not really like it. But with so many unknowns last fall, King began home schooling Zoe and she excelled academically.

“Now we feel more safe about the schools. We know more about COVID and we know the masks are helping, but my daughter just really had such a great time home schooling that we decided to continue,” King said.

As of last week, 1,848 students have enrolled in home study for the 2021-2022 school year, including Zoe.

That’s about 300 less than this time last year when the state set a record for home schooling. Thanks to rolling enrollment, by the end of last school year 5,504 kids were being taught by family at home.

“We’re already planning now on how to get these kids together, maybe doing some art outside or science projects together, just so they can be able to still have that group experience, but maybe not in a school setting,” King said.

Home schooling was nothing King ever thought of doing pre-pandemic.

“I kind of assumed you’re just kind of like, well what am I going to teach my kid? But there are so many curriculum out there already that help you. That was pretty empowering for a lot of parents I have spoken with,” King said.

She will be teaching second grade to Zoe this fall.

Her oldest daughter who is 15 chose to attend public school full time in person.

And she is on the fence about sending her 4-year-old to preschool.

But King says if Zoe asks to home school for the rest of her school career, she’ll consider it.

“I don’t know enough about what it would be like as home schooling a middle school or high schooler, I would want to make sure she is prepared for college if she wants to do that and I’m not sure exactly how that would look, but I am definitely open to it,” she said.

King did tell me she was already a stay-at-home mom which made it easier for her to home school. She doesn’t know how someone who has a full-time job would make it work.

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