New Hampshire parents drawn toward home schooling as new academic year dawns

By John Suayan | The Center Square

When the COVID-19 pandemic began to rage across the nation earlier this year, New Hampshire joined its fellow states in abruptly ending traditional in-person learning for the 2019-20 school year.

Though students could not attend classes, they continued to learn from the comfort of their homes, with their parents or legal guardians often standing in for or supplementing their regular teachers.

With the upcoming academic year around the corner and school districts pondering whether to reinstate classes at brick and mortar campuses or continue with virtual learning, home schooling has emerged as a popular option in the Granite State.

New Hampshire Homeschooling Coalition and Granite State Home Educators, two of N.H.’s major home schooling groups, told N.H. Public Radio that they’ve experienced a boost in interest.

“At the Home Education Advisory Council meetings, all of the home-school organizations have reported that they are seeing a major increase of inquiries [about] home schooling around the state,” Michelle Levell, director and co-founder of Granite State Home Educators, told NHPR. “It is not isolated to a handful of communities.”

Levell’s organization has hosted information sessions to address the demand, and the traffic to the NHHC’s website doubled since the summer started.

Meanwhile, the N.H. Department of Education does not have a clear answer regarding students’ return to the classroom but is encouraging school districts to plan for in-person learning, virtual learning, or both, NBC Boston reported.

“School districts will need plans to effectively operate using in-person, hybrid and remote instructional models, depending on the circumstances on the ground in a particular community at any given time,” a 54-page document authored by the education department obtained by the station said. “This planning should also consider that those circumstances are likely to be dynamic and the district may find itself throughout the year transitioning, to varying degrees, between the various models.”

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