Families share their homeschooling experiences
"I really can't imagine not being homeschooled. Just cause that's how it's always been. And even just going to a couple of public school things like drivers ed or even Metro it's very different," Elly Reid said about being homeschooled.
Elly is preparing to graduate high school a year early while also attending classes at Metropolitan Community College.
"And it's also slightly sort of my sophomore year in college," she added.
Elly was taught by her mother, Heather Reid, who created unique lessons for her children. The former Omaha Public School teacher was able to cater the lessons to her children's interests. She said it was fun for everyone involved.
"To see what they're going to do and to see what bend they have and to be able to educate them in the way that they were made," Heather said.
Although she spent a lot of time with her mother, Elly was also able to make a lot of friends while homeschooling.
Before COVID-19 most people were at least out maybe one day a week. They had you know Omaha Learning Center classes or they had a co-opt, and they went on field trips with their friends," Heather explained.
As schools across the Metro come up with ways to re-open safely amid the pandemic, Heather said she has talked with more families who are considering homeschooling.
However, she said they shouldn't make that decision based solely on fear.
"It does cost money. And it does take time and energy. And you have to hold kids accountable," she explained.
Heather said there a lot of resources and other families within the home school community who are willing to help keep students on track.
Arlis Vargas is also a homeschool teacher. She taught all three of her children since they were young. Her youngest son is getting ready to enter high school.
Vargas teaches classes with the Omaha Learning Center and is now considering teaching two high school classes with an online component.
"One will focus on writing and grammar. The other will focus on literature, vocabulary, with a history component," Vargas explained. "I don't think I'd be wanting to do a high school class if I didn't have a freshman coming into high school. He's my last child."
Vargas, and ESL instructor, said there are many homeschool resources and learning plans online. She encourages anyone interested to do their research first.
While many families decide what to do in the fall, Elly and her mother said kids should be included in those conversations. Especially when families are considering homeschooling.
"If you don't know how to manage time on your own and know how much you need to study and when you need to get things in that makes it really hard. And then self-discipline of even if you want to do something else just doing it anyways," Elly added.
"We're not trying to graduate kids. We're trying to make life long learners. And that's really what this is about," Vargas said.