Considering homeschooling? Here’s what you need to know

Published: Aug. 1, 2020 at 6:00 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 1, 2020 at 7:22 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) -

Parents are seriously looking at homeschooling rather than sending their kids back to school in the middle of a pandemic.

But where do you start and is it a viable option?

Those were some of the questions experts answered Saturday at a “Homeschooling 101” session in downtown Fargo.

“I have been homeschooling for about 12 years, since the beginning with my kids,” West Fargo mom Lisa Olson says.

Homeschooling has its challenges. But with over a decade of practice and six kids at home, the Olson family says it’s what works best for them.

With nationwide school closures and climbing COVID-19 cases, they’re grateful the kids are home and aren’t surprised to see a surge of families also making the jump.

“I’ve thought about it for years. I was dead set against it,” West Fargo mom Tanya Schoessow says. “Slowly as the years have gone on, I’m like, well maybe we’ll do a little here, a little there. Now, this is kind of the time to do it.”

Although coronavirus wasn’t the only factor, it was the final nail in the coffin for Schoessow.

“We’ve already made the decision that we are going to do this at least for one year,” she says. “We will reevaluate at the end and I will leave it up to my girls.”

To home school your kids, you have to have your GED, a high school diploma or be monitored by a certified teacher for the first two years.

It’s 175 days for four hours a day.

“I think parents still didn’t have answers and that gave them a lot of concern,” Theresa Deckert with the North Dakota Homeschooling Associaton says. “My phone has just rung steadily since. I told somebody, I’ve been putting in about 14 hours a day.”

Deckert homeschooled for 33 years. Now, she spends her time sharing North Dakota’s homeschooling laws with others. She says it’s important to keep records of what you do with your kids.

“Rather than let people get in trouble for not following the law, we wanted to get around in communities and make people aware,” she says.

Deckert says families have to decide what’s best for them. If that’s homeschooling, she wants them to be equipped.

The next “Homeschooling 101” is at 7 p.m. Monday at the Jamestown park.

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