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Nebraska’s homeschool filings jump up 21%

Published: Jul. 20, 2020 at 9:21 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) -In just 23 days, students here in Lincoln will be back in classrooms for the first time since March.

But with COVID-19 still at the front of many people’s minds, some families are looking at other options.

And homeschool filings are up more than 20% across the state.

We spoke with one local parent who will be homeschooling her son this fall.

“Yes, he has not been sick, but I would rather keep him safe than put him in school at this moment,” said Katasha Johnson.

And she’s not the only one. At this time last year, the Nebraska Department of Education had processed 2,800 homeschooling requests. This year, it’s up to 3,400 and they expect the number to grow.

“He refuses to wear a mask...and I don’t want to put him in the school where he is forced to wear a mask and is putting everyone else in danger,” said Johnson.

Another woman 10/11 NOW spoke with has been homeschooling her kids off and on their whole lives and was going to send the youngest back but now says it doesn’t seem like a good idea.

“To have a kiddo that’s not used to the school system anyways and then put her into it with the unknown of what is and isn’t going to happen, that’s not setting her up for success,” said Patty Richert.

After homeschooling three kids she has advice for parents who are going to be new to this.

“When we first started it was pretty intense of, am I screwing up my kids, I don’t know what I’m doing. My biggest advice is to take a breath, it will be OK. If this is what you really want to do and your heart is behind it, it will be okay,” said Richert.

For now, Johnson says she will do whatever it takes to keep her son safe.

“I found out how bad this virus is spreading and it has come down to the decision I do not want to put him in that situation at the moment,” said Johnson.

10/11 NOW recently reached out to Lincoln Public Schools to see how many families they’re seeing switching to homeschooling, they said they’ll release those numbers with other important information on Tuesday.

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