(WFXR) — Fall is quickly approaching, which means students are preparing to trade pool days for pencils. However, for the millions of homeschooled students across the U.S., going back to school looks a little different.
According to Yvonne Bunn, the director of home school support and government affairs for the Home Educators Association of Virginia, there are nearly 62,000 homeschooled students in the Commonwealth. That is actually a 40% increase over the last two years as the country experienced the coronavirus pandemic and a rise in mass shootings.
Many students had no choice but to adapt to learning at home during the pandemic, which opened a lot of parents’ eyes to the idea of homeschooling.
However, homeschooling also offers peace of mind for parents when it comes to the safety of their children, especially after the recent surge in gun violence.
“Recent studies are indicating that one of the reasons parents choose to homeschool is that they are very concerned about the safety issues of their children in schools,” said Bunn.
In addition, Virginia parent Jamie Adkins tells WFXR News that homeschooling has allowed her to tailor her children’s education to better fit their needs while still allowing them to be involved in the community.
“They also are involved in sports and pottery lessons and theatre camps and horseback riding and whatever they’re feeling passionate about during different ages and seasons,” said Adkins.
According to the Home Educators Association of Virginia, many homeschooled children are also facing less negative experiences with mental health and self esteem.
Both Adkins and Bunn want parents to know that there are resources available for those who are considering making the switch to homeschooling.