LUSK – “Education of choice” and “best fit for my family” are two phrases commonly heard among those looking for an alternative to brick and mortar public schools. With the recent crisis schooling plans that were forced on districts with the COVID-19 restrictions and regulations, many families were left wondering if an alternative educational option would be best for their students.
The WyoBraska homeschool group – made up of 19 families from Niobrara county, Sioux County, Goshen County and Dawes County – held an information and resource gathering opportunity for those exploring options. Held at the Niobrara County Fairgrounds on June 30, this event was only a “glance” at different options available to families in Nebraska and Wyoming. The Homeschool At a Glance event provided students and parents with the opportunity to explore various curriculums and supplemental materials. A roundtable discussion was held on the general types of alternative education available in the area with homeschool families sharing their experiences and ideas.
Crystal Olson, event organizer, said: “I attended something similar to this when I was considering homeschooling, and it was a huge encouragement to me to talk to moms that were actually using the curriculum and answer any other homeschool questions I had.”
Homeschooling is a deep and wide subject and two hours was barely enough time to touch on the surface. But it was a start for those looking for connection and resources. Attendees shared information about their type of homeschooling methodology from Charlotte Mason to Traditional to Unschooling. Also present were parents and children who utilize online public school, Wyoming Virtual Academy.
With many schools facing an uncertain future, Niobrara County is lucky because already small class sizes in comparison to campus space make a return to a new “normal” school year a likely event. But the pandemic measures have left many parents wondering if homeschooling is the best option for their family.
One parent who attended stated, “Thank you all for answering my many questions. I’m so encouraged after tonight.”
The group plans to make this an annual event and expand both the amount of time and the number of individuals in attendance.