Whether you are stocking your pantry with a year’s worth of disinfectant and toilet paper or you think the Coronavirus issue is a whole lot of hype, the inevitable spread of the virus to the West might yield an interesting side-effect: a homeschooling boom.

According to the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), a “vast unplanned experiment in mass homeschooling” could occur in the United States if our education officials follow the approach of other countries hit by the outbreak.

At this point, The New York Times notes, 22 countries on three continents have announced school closures of varying degrees, leading the United Nations to warn that “the global scale and speed of the current educational disruption is unparalleled.”

Per the Wall Street Journal, Seattle-area schools have already begun shutting down in an effort to contain the spread of the virus. With cases popping up in more and more states, what does this mean for the millions of children worldwide—and the growing number here in the US—who will miss school for who knows how long?

As WND puts it, “homeschooling to the rescue.”

It’s “unfortunate that it takes a viral epidemic to spotlight the many alternatives to conventional K-12 schooling,” FEE’s Kerry McDonald writes.

Homeschooling has already been on a steady uptick amid the crumbling standards and advance of sexual perversion in public schools in America. Should the nation experience an outbreak of a virulent respiratory illness to boot, will we see even higher homeschooling rates?

“Not only is homeschooling widely popular in the U.S., educating approximately two million children nationwide,” McDonald notes, “but other schooling alternatives, such as virtual learning, micro-schooling, and hybrid homeschooling continue to sprout.”

In spite of anti-school choice advocacy from teachers unions and assorted leftists, American students whose parents don’t wish to use a traditional or do-it-yourself homeschool curriculum also have access to myriad online public schools and charter schools.

Micro-schools, McDonald adds, are small, home-based, multi-age facilities that “act like a one-room schoolhouse.”

“Like micro-schools, hybrid homeschooling programs and small, community-based classes for homeschoolers are also gaining popularity and may be swept into the limelight if conventional schools are forced to temporarily close,” McDonald continues. “Operating with small, age-mixed groups of children, these hybrid models and classes offer an alternative to institutional schooling, avoiding large classrooms and crowded buildings.”

“These emerging learning options outside of traditional schooling show not only that ‘mass homeschooling’ is possible but also that it may be highly desirable,” McDonald concludes. “Personalized learning, small group interactions that build community and connection, and education without the coercion inherent in standard schooling are beneficial whether or not a pending epidemic is what exposes families to these education possibilities.”

Whether it’s lice, chickenpox, the flu, or just a head cold, most of us are well aware that sending our children on a school bus and into a classroom packed with other kids will result in them catching something at some point. It’s life, and life happens. But, it will be interesting to see just how many parents give homeschooling a shot amid outbreak-related school closures and ultimately decide to stick with it.

This article was first published on the Activist Mommy website, and is republished with permission. You may not use, copy, distribute, publish, syndicate, sub-license and transmit the whole or any part of such material in any manner and in any format and/or media without the permission of the original publishers.

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