NORTH TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WKBW) — Christina Monaghan’s two boys have been enrolled in public school in the past.
“I’ve always believed in the public school system, and like that my kids would go and engage with other kids, and their teacher and all of that,” she explained.
But, the Lockport mother is choosing to homes chool in the fall. She said COVID-19 restrictions, like wearing a mask and strict social distancing, were major factors in her decision.
“While I understand it’s for the safety of the students, I don’t feel that is an environment that will benefit them.”
Monaghan’s one of a growing number of parents across western New York making the choice to home school.
But, now what?
Kimberly Henry of North Tonawanda has been homeschooling her children for five years. She said once you make the decision, you’re required to send a “Letter of Intent” or L.O.I. to your school district for any child that will be six by December 1. Typically, those are due by the first day of the school year.
Next, you’ll have to submit an “Individualized Home Instruction Plan,” or I.H.I.P. to the school district.
“That really lays out what you plan on covering for your kids that year,” Henry explained.
Henry said school days can vary based on what works for you.
“Evenings are great. Weekends are great. You can do formal school a few days a week and do less formal instruction on the other days.”
If your child requires special services, you’re still entitled to those, as well.
“We are entitled to speech, PT, OT services year round.”
Finally, you can enroll in public school, or opt to home school at any point.
“It’s not as though you’re held to either decision until June,” said Henry.