HOUSTON - Parents are having to make a tough choice as to what the school day will look like for their child in the fall, and many are looking to homeschooling as the safest option.
Melinda Brown's son Camden, 5, and daughter Olivia, 10, were going to go to schools in Katy ISD.
"When we saw the TEA guidelines, that's when we made our decision, and we said you know what, we don't want to subject our kids to this," said Brown.
The masks, the dividers, and other new steps the district is taking to keep learning safely in person at schools has Brown now looking into homeschooling.
"I am more concerned about the emotional effects it could have on the children, having to go to the school and seeing it more institutionalized," said Brown.
It's a common reason parents are turning to homeschool.
In Texas, the homeschool guidelines according to the Texas Homeschool Coalition are in part to:
- unenroll from a traditional school
- use visual aids
- cover reading, spelling, grammar, math, and good citizenship
"I generally say looking on the internet on homeschool can be overwhelming, kind of that information overload. That’s why I say it is really nice if you can talk to a friend or someone who is homeschooling or has homeschooled in the past," said Karen Khan with The Homeschool Store in northwest Harris County.
She is one of eight consultants at the store where they sell all things needed for homeschooling including new and used textbooks and curriculum. The consultants are available to answer questions and give first-hand advice.
"Particularly in the areas of math, spelling, and grammar. Those are the ones where you really want to fit them to size. It is not so much about the grade level on the book cover. If they are going into 5th grade, you want to see if they have mastered fractions for example before you just stick them into a 5th-grade program," said Khan.
The first step, and the most important, she says is doing an assessment of your child to see where they are in each subject. There are several free online assessment diagnostics as a resource. You can then base curriculum off of the results.