Journey to homeschooling: Wichita parents share their experiences

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – With the COVID-19 delta variant on the rise, virtual learning and homeschooling are both options parents and guardians take into consideration+- when sending their children back to school.

Parents Roger and Ronni Johnston started to home-school their son before the pandemic even began and before public school students were sent home to learn.

“I feel like the home-school kids almost suffered a lot less than the public school kids because they were already used to reaching out to each other, finding ways to make it work for them,” said Ronni.

The Johnston’s journey to homeschooling their son was not a fast or simple one.

“We started with a virtual public school because we were starting so much faster than we intended and that felt like the safest bet, and we really liked it,” said Ronni.

Virtual learning for the Johnstons eventually turned into homeschooling with their own curriculum that worked with their schedule.

“Your kid doesn’t have to wake up at seven o’clock in the morning and go to school for seven hours, make it work for you,” said Ronni.

“We eventually figured out that block scheduling works for us, where we do all the topics of a given week in a single day,” said Ronni.

Homeschooling allows the Johnston couple to choose what they teach outside of their core curriculum. “My husband’s a musician, he can spend a lot of time in the music room,” said Ronni.

The biggest myth Ronni says there is about homeschooling is that homeschoolers are not social.

“The first year we didn’t get out as much because we didn’t know as many things, but even then, we still had activities once a week,” said Ronni. “By the second year, if we wanted to do some of these things, we would be somewhere with other kids five days a week three or four hours a day.

Ronni has coached families that were new to homeschooling.

“The first thing I tell them is don’t let people that don’t homeschool tell you anything about it, the truth is they just don’t know,” said Ronni.

“It’s easier than it sounds, it’s harder than it seems sometimes but it’s really bettered a lot of kids and a lot of families, the kids get to control when and how they learn,” said Ronni.

For more information on homeschooling in Kansas, visit the Kansas State Department of Education website.

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