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Homeschoolers make adjustments during the pandemic

Educators at HOPE Christian Academy say they've had to cut back on social activities that is conducive to homeschooling.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Educators at HOPE Christian Academy say they've seen an increase in families turning to them for homeschool. It's a bit different from virtual school or blended learning offered at school districts this fall. 

"People are looking for something different. They're looking for the ability to be really flexible with their curriculum and their time more so than a standard virtual program can provide," says HOPE Christian Academy Director, Constance Gillon.

Gillon says although she's seen an increase in parents signing up for home school, she's still seen changes from the pandemic.

"Our co-ops, also known as a 'cooperative teaching day'; most of them have been cancelled because we just don't have the facilities. We don't have the huge monster classrooms where we can space kids out six feet apart," says Gillon.

Margo Craig has homeschooled all five of her children, including two she's homeschooling now. She says the downside of the pandemic is that her daughter is not able to experience field trips with other students.

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"Her favorite part is the field trips, and Constance will tell you. We like to get together, and kids who are homeschooled are not isolated. They are involved in the community," says Craig.

Gillon says homeschooling is especially important for kids with special needs. This year, Lori Shores, will be a first time homeschooler.

She says her twin daughters have cystic fibrosis and were in public school. Shores believes homeschooling, for now, is a safer option.

"For us we're just going to enjoy the family time and work. We found several curriculum that I've really been pleased with - that I'm looking into that really offer that flexibility," says Shores.

HOPE Christian Academy hosts virtual chats for new homeschoolers on Mondays at 11 a.m. For more information click here.

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