It was inevitable: People are starting to wonder if this latest health scare and the resulting closure of schools isn’t going to lead to an epidemic… of new homeschoolers. Sometimes it takes something major to shake people out their comfort zones and nudge their thinking in a different direction, and for anyone watching TV, listening to the radio, or reading the newspapers, we’ve got a real doozy going on right now!
Some interesting notes from around the Internet:
Just Enough and Nothing More:
Is the Swine Flu Causing Mass Homeschooling?
With all the schools closing across the US, where are all these kids spending their day? And what happens to all those required school hours? And how to the kids keep up with test prep?
If enough schools close for long enough, sounds like the perfect formula for a nationwide homeschooling frenzy!
Hey, it happend in New Orleans on the relatively small scale. Why not nationally?
In case of swine flu school closures talk to homeschoolers
President Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan are issuing advice for schools which may need to close due to the spreading swine flu virus.
YAHOO news reports that the Education Department stated more than 430 schools had closed in 18 states, affecting roughly 245,000 children.
How long can one expect the kids home should your school close?
Homeschooling and the Great Swine Flu Pandemic of 2009
Now the Charter Schools Examiner over at Examiner.com is recommending “In case of swine flu school closures talk to homeschoolers” and I have mixed feelings about the advice. I’m all for talking to homeschoolers. In general, we are a pretty enthusiastic and helpful lot. If you’re stressing about what to do with your kids, a seasoned homeschooler will likely be able to calm you down and keep the situation in perspective while your children exchange germs in the backyard.
But whatever it is a public school family does during a flu-related school closing hardly constitutes homeschooling. I picture 60,000 students (OK, probably less than half that) fumbling awkwardly through a textbook while mom asks what the teacher normally does before she sends them off to read and answer the questions at the end of the chapter with the encouragement to “just do your best.” I picture the majority of these families walking away from the experience a little overwhelmed, relieved it’s over and reinforced in the opinion that “I could never homeschool my children.”
Homeschooling during the Swine Flu Pandemic
…There are probably some of you reading this who now are considering homeschooling, and this outbreak is just the final straw. First there was the bad economy, with the cuts in income and rising prices, including cuts in school programs. Now this! You may be wondering how your child can survive in more crowded and understaffed classrooms. You may be concerned that because of “complusory education” laws, sick kids have to try to make it through the school day, or be charged with truancy. Doesn’t make sense, does it?
When things quit making sense to people, they usually start looking for different approaches, and in the face of a fast-approaching pandemic increasing numbers of people are looking at homeschooling as a potential different approach to educating their children. At a time when people are being advised against gathering together in closed spaces, homeschooling suddenly makes sense even to the most stubborn nay-sayers.
If you’re one of those looking for information about homeschooling in these troubled times, welcome. We have a lot to offer, and plenty of it is free. Start with our Getting Started with Homeschooling section and progress to our HEM Back Issue Archives; after that you should be grounded enough to just poke around and see what might work for your family. Homeschooling isn’t difficult, doesn’t need to be expensive, and can open a whole new way of thinking about your children, your relationships, and your world. I think, in the coming weeks and months, we’re all going to be looking for different ways of looking at the world.