Homeschooling: Why families are opting out of public education

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – There are more homeschooled children in North Carolina than those who attend private school.

And now, more than just public schools are gearing up for a new year.

Thousands of kids are filling the halls again for the start of a new school year. They’ll make their way to class and into their seats.

In one Greenville home, it’s a little different.

Ben’s first day of 5th grade doesn’t start in a classroom. It starts at home.

“It’s normal to me,” Ben Barwick said.

The Barwick’s homeschool their child. And they do it for a number of reasons.

“There’s a lot of flexibility in it,” Virginia Barwick commented. “I think Common Core has turned a lot of parents off from the public school.”

Barwick used to teach for various public school systems. What she saw wasn’t what she wanted for her son.

“The majority of the kids I saw did not have a love of learning,” explained Barwick. “And I think part of that is lack of parental involvement, part of it is some teachers who don’t love teaching, and so, if you don’t love what you’re doing, the kids see that and they don’t love being there.”

The Barwick’s aren’t the only family who choose to homeschool as their education option. Hundreds of families across the east do the same thing.

“We are now the second most populated in the school system options,” ECHO home school program director, Karen Kozel, ECHO said.

With more and more families with homeschool children, there are a number of groups to help those students; H.O.M.E., Echo, and Classical Conversations are just a few in the area.

“So we offer a lot of things and what it is is like a support group,” said Kozel.

The students say their education isn’t weird or anti-social, it’s just different because, like any other student, they learn math, history, and even music.

Their lessons are just from home.

Barwick said, “All of us want our kids to be successful happy adults and so this is just the path that we’ve chosen to get there.”

Ben is also involved in a number of after-school activities. A lot of the support groups give students different ways to socialize with their peers.

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