Quite a few more families have chosen to homeschool rather than send their kids back to school this year, due to the pandemic.
One such mom, Tanya Friesen, decided to homeschool one of her daughters after she came back from the first day at school.
Friesen says, "My daughter tried going to school the first day it opened and she came home with a headache. We know she has a sensitivity to scents. We figured out the hand sanitizer and cleaning products were affecting her."
The Friesens have four children, three girls in grades five, eight, and ten, as well as a son who's two years old. Friesen is homeschooling their daughter in grade eight.
"We talked it over with our family and decided that having her homeschooled was a much better option."
The Friesen family lives in Maimi, Man.
"So far it's been good. I've found an online [program] that's US-based but it still has the basic stuff. I like how you can pick and choose what you start with."
The program costs their family roughly $30/month right now.
Friesen says, "Basically she just logs in. There's a video teaching the subject and then she does quizzes after to test her knowledge on what she watched. It also gives the parent progress reports which I like."
Another mom, Kenzie Prudhomme from Niverville, Man., made the decision to quit her job as an EA in the school system and switch to homeschooling her youngest two children, in grade 7 and grade 9.
"With all the uncertainties of what school was going to look like, I wanted to take the uncertainty out of it and make a decision for our family that didn't rely on anyone else or anything else."
One day Prudhomme hopes to go back to work herself, but says this option works best for their family at this time.
She says, "It's a learning curve. We are all very institutionalized. We're all trying to get away from the idea that school can only happen between this time and this time and rather nurture the enjoyment of learning."
Not every day has been easy, according to Prudhomme.
"We have good days and bad days. I have a really good curriculum which helps."
Prudhomme and her kids have connected to another group of parents that also homeschools.
"Tomorrow we're going to the zoo with a group of homeschoolers, of course, we'll be socially distanced. We actually have other friends that have decided to homeschool so I'm hoping there'll be opportunities to connect."
Prudhomme shares that the connection with others who homeschool makes the transition easier.
"We're lucky in this digital age of connection as there's so many groups you can find and different people you can connect with online."