Some parents worried about school safety consider homeschooling kids
There have been more than 20 school shootings this year across the country where someone was either hurt or killed.
That frightening statistic has parents worried about their child’s safety.
It also has some parents exploring alternatives like homeschooling.
Apryl Hughes has an 8-year-old daughter in the public school system.
She says she’s considering an alternative approach to her 2nd grader’s education after recent violence in schools like the Parkland, Florida shooting that left 17 people dead.
“I didn't feel like having safety on top of other things be something I wanted to worry about when I took my daughter to school every day,” Hughes told Channel 3. “I just started looking into what the reality is as a working parent if I can even homeschool, is that even an option?”
The Chattanooga-Area Homeschool group, CSTHEA, is seeing an uptick in the number of parents, like Hughes, asking questions.
Janell Bontekoe serves on the board and is part of the private Facebook page. As the school year winds down, Bontekoe says more people are asking to be part of that group.
“We ask them a couple of questions, why do you want to join this group? I’m hearing the answer to that question often is we’re exploring this. We’ve decided maybe homeschooling would be for us. I’m getting that response over and over,” said Bontekoe.
School safety concerns is one of the reasons why. “I do understand the parent saying in that setting, how can they keep them safe? So homeschooling is a viable option to school safety,” Bontekoe told Channel 3.
The Greater Chattanooga Area has a large homeschool population that includes at least 3,000 families, according to Bontekoe.
Not all learning takes place at home. Kids are part of co-ops, tutorials, traditional classroom settings, athletics and homeschool dances. As a mother who homeschooled seven children, Bontekoe has this advice for others considering doing the same. “I'd start by saying, don't try to do school at home. It's just too difficult to try to replicate a traditional school classroom in your home so find what works for your family and take it slow,” advises Bontekoe. Hughes says she knows there are safety risks everywhere, not just at school, but she likes the options, flexibility and control that homeschooling her daughter would have to offer.
“If everything goes the way I want it to I would really love for it to work out,” said Hughes.
If you‘d like to learn more, CSTHEA has a homeschool expo planned in July.
There will be nearly 80 exhibitors, workshops and resources for parents and students.
Visit CSTHEA’s website for more information http://csthea.org/.