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Homeschooling on the rise in Louisiana

Local parents showing more interest in homeschooling
Published: Feb. 10, 2021 at 7:09 PM CST
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - According to data from the state, there are 33,000 homeschooled students in Louisiana as of October 1. That number has been increasing over the years, with a 23% increase in the last 5 years and a 76% increase in the past decade.

The COVID-19 pandemic is a big factor in the increase of homeschooled students. In the past year alone, the state has seen a 4% increase, with homeschooled students making up 5% of the student population in the state.

Brandi Nichols and Jen Sharbono are just two of many parents in the Cenla area who have been homeschooling their children for several years now. Both say that they’ve recently noticed an increase in the number of families showing interest in homeschooling.

“I’ve been contacted, just in the last year, by quite a few parents that want to get information about homeschooling,” said Nichols.

Sharbono serves as the secretary for the Cenla Christian Homeschool Association, along with homeschooling her own children. She says she wasn’t too sure about making the switch to homeschooling at first. But with a lot of advice and encouragement, she pulled her children out of public school and they adjusted to the change together.

“Locally, and even with Facebook and all the different things they have, you are able to connect with homeschool groups around the world, with people who share the same philosophies that you do, your belief systems, and you can draw a lot of encouragement from that,” said Sharbono.

Both parents say that homeschooling seems to have opened more opportunities for their children because they’ve been able to expand their learning with real-world experiences. And, with the pandemic causing a lot of instability in the education system they have more stability at home where they can focus more on learning and a little less on the pandemic.

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