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‘I wouldn’t change anything’: Local mom looks back on her time homeschooling son

Originally published by KITV4.

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — New analysis released last month by The Education Trust finds the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated declining enrollment in New York State schools.

This is driving the largest enrollment loss in the nation between the 2019-2020 school year and the 2021-2022 school year.

But the analysis did see enrollment increases in charter schools and homeschooling statewide.

Homeschooling was never part of the plan for Central New Yorker Mia Collins

“There was no time to think it through, talk about it, mine was sort of a more abrupt situation that happened,” Collins said.

She has a 9-year-old son, who Collins decided to pull out of traditional schooling after several different interactions with students and staff, which she says was chipping away at his well-being.

“It was on a day that I just knew that emotionally, he just couldn’t do it one more day and for that we decided to homeschool,” said Collins.

Collins used the homeschooling program, Time4Learning, a complete homeschooling guide that helps students stay on track with core curriculum.

While their programs are for academics, it’s the extracurricular activities that many students may miss out on when being homeschooled.

“So a lot of kids come to school, the reason they come everyday is for those other things. Whether its Science Olympiad, the basketball team, the choir or drama. Those things have a curricular component but the extracurricular component, that for some students, that’s the magic of school right?” said Syracuse University School of Education professor George Theoharis.

In addition to the social aspects schools provide.

“It’s getting along with people, waiting your turn whether that be when you are five or 18. All those things are part of school, its enduring through things that hard, whether you don’t like them or they’re academically hard,” Theoharis said.

But Theoharis said making the decision should really come down to each student’s situation.

Mia Collins, whose son has since returned back to school, believes homeschooling him for a short time was the best decision for them.

“He has transitioned back. We worked through some things to get him back into the school setting but when he returned he’d come home and say ‘mom, today we learned about this, do you remember when we did this and talked about this?’ so it kept him completely on track given the situation we were presented with,” said Collins.

Since talking about her homeschooling journey, Mia says more and more parents reach out to her about their interest in starting the process.

By Multimedia Journalist Chloe Marklay

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