Schools across the United States started to shut down in Mid-March for what many parents assumed to be on a temporary basis. As the months rolled by, more and more states announced that they planned on closing schools for the remainder of the school year and that distance learning would continue until school was over in June. Now many of those same parents are anxiously waiting until it will be announced whether or not the school will re-open for the fall.
While the majority of parents are hoping that schools will open in the fall, a great number of parents plan on continuing to homeschool regardless of if schools open or not. A survey conducted recently by Real Clear Opinion Research found that among 2,122 families surveyed, just over 40% of them claimed that they would most likely keep their kids at home and will use distance learning until the pandemic ends, no matter what their local and state governments decide about school closures.
Some parents are citing that their decisions are solely being made based on their worries about health and safety for them and their familiesbut not all of the parents who indicated they would probably keep their kids at home had safety as a primary motivator.
Others have found that homeschooling isn't as inconvenient for them as they thought it would be. These parents find the stress of getting ready for the school day, figuring out what to do during school closures or sick days to be more stressful than keeping them at home all of the time. Other parents are realizing and liking that they have more control over their child's education and may have even considered homeschooling from home pre-pandemic but never really had the time to research it.
Choosing to send your child to school is no easy decision to make and many factors have to be considered, including the socialization aspect of school and your child's mental health in addition to their physical health. There is no clear answer and what works for every family will be different.
This survey does make it apparent though that schools and administrators have a lot to think about beyond just how to open schools if they're going to accommodate the different needs of different families.