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Parents decide to homeschool children because of COVID-19 restrictions

Rockford WIFR-LD logo Rockford WIFR-LD 8/2/2021 Ali Rasper
a close up of a sign: Parents decide to homeschool children due to COVID-19 restrictions © Provided by Rockford WIFR-LD Parents decide to homeschool children due to COVID-19 restrictions

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - To mask or not to mask, that seems to be the big question facing area schools as kids get ready to return to the classroom. One Stateline parents says she switched to homeschooling to protect her children.

Teresa homeschools all of her children, elementary age through high school. She feels since making the switch her kids have flourished in class, learning new skills and advancing in reading levels. With the current mask mandate at many area schools, Teresa says she didn’t want her kids getting distracted with a mask, instead of focusing on their school work.

“Once the district started remote learning options the following year, we really wanted to offer our kids a different experience without having to wear masks so we decided to homeschool,” Teresa said.

Teresa says her kids struggled with e-learning at the start of the pandemic. That’s when she made the switch to homeschooling.

“We decided we didn’t want to live our lives according to a timer,” Teresa said. “We didn’t want our children to be on the computer all day long and we thought that we could do better and we have.”

Now, she feels her kids have advanced being able to work with her one on one.

“They’ve made such tremendous progress learning at home, I mean their reading levels have improved like three grades,” Teresa said.

Stacy Fry owns 3 R’s Learning Materials Center in Winnebago County and has seen an increase in parents deciding to homeschool their children because of the pandemic.

“Putting the children back into the classroom, it makes them a little nervous especially with this variant now, the increase in that,” Fry said. “School is kind of around the corner, I think they’re starting to prepare but they’re still making a lot of decisions.”

Fry explained since opening her new location in Roscoe, she’s seen a mix of parents and teachers looking for educational supplies. Teresa says while it’s not always easy homeschooling her children, it’s rewarding.

“I love it, it’s a joy,” Teresa said. “I’ve reconnected with my children, we’re really really happy. So much in life is going here and going there and we’ve just been able to reconnect and really we just learn fun stuff you know I didn’t realize that I had a love for teaching until I started teaching my own children.”

Area schools are still debating what is best for the upcoming school year. Meanwhile today the Illinois School Board of Education released their COVID-19 guidelines on what they believe is best and safest for students and teachers.

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