Corey McKeown is the Director of Trinity Homeschool Academy in Tampa, and she’s been homeschooling her own two children for a decade.
“We decided back when my daughter was in 1st grade because she was going to have surgeries on her hand. So we decided to do it for one year and then we fell in love with it and just kept going,” McKeown explained.
Since March, most parents have found themselves doing some type of at-home education with their kids, and the ongoing coronavirus spike is also causing a spike in questions about homeschooling.
McKeown said she’s getting dozens of calls and emails every day from parents wanting to explore their options.
“Some are still doing the eLearning, distance learning, but they want to supplement that with their child coming to a co-op class. And then some are going totally with homeschooling,” she said.
McKeown cautions that while homeschooling and distance learning may seem similar, they’re two very different things.
“If you are homeschooling, you are 100 percent in charge of your child’s education,” she said. “We have our own process and our own laws through the state of Florida that we have to follow, so I suggest, if you are going to totally homeschool, to find somebody that you can connect with and walk you through the steps.”
She said any kind of home learning is a chance for children and their parents to grow in a new way.
McKeown believes it’s important for parents not to stress about trying to re-create the public school environment at home.
“My advice is you’re going to just have to have patience. It’s a new world for everyone.”
She offers these homeschooling tips:
Realize the importance of setting a schedule and keeping a routine
Plan for breaks
Be willing to ask for help, if you need it.
If you are considering homeschooling, McKeown said it’s important to familiarize yourself with Florida’s laws so you know what the legal requirements are.
For more information on homeschooling, you can contact the Florida Parent-Educators Association.
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