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After months at home, some Manitoba parents embrace homeschooling

After months at home, some Manitoba parents embrace homeschooling
Months of at-home learning has allowed many families to test the homeschooling waters. As Global's Marek Tkach reports, some have found it to be a better fit for their kids.

A Manitoba mother who spent years teaching her kids from home says she found it difficult to teach using the remote learning material provided by teachers during the pandemic.

Stacey Lassnig told 680 CJOB she taught her kids at home for several years then sent them back to school this January — but they ended up back at home when schools closed due to COVID-19.
Using the materials her kids’ teachers sent home, she says, was a challenge. “Those assignments weren’t designed for parents to teach.

“The curriculum that I was using was so well laid out for me to be the teacher and so well explained and so easy to teach, that switching to the paperwork the teachers were sending was incredibly difficult and made everybody very frustrated.”

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A week later, Lassnig switched back to teaching the homeschooling material.
“Homeschooling is way easier if you’re using material that’s designed for it.”
Another Manitoba family says they’ve decided to homeschool their daughter going forward, after seeing her progress while learning at home during the pandemic.
Jill and David Robertson, who have five children, said one of their kids, in particular, really took to the home learning.
“They’ve all been home for the duration of the pandemic and they’ve been having different experiences with learning at home,” said David.

Jill said their youngest daughter lives with anxiety, which resulted in some struggles in the classroom.

“We found that almost right away at home, she was to do all these things that she never could have shown anyone at school.

“Almost right away, we knew that this was something that could work for her… it was obvious, I thought, that homeschooling was going to work for her.”

The Robertsons said they weren’t initially sure how their daughter, who is going into Grade 5, would react to the idea of being homeschooled, but she was excited about it in the end.

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“She knows that she’s done well at home, too,” says David.
“She’s really thrived in the environment and we’ve just been able to give her the sort of attention that it’s difficult for a teacher with a lot of kids in the class to be able to give her.”
According to an education professor, the most successful homeschooling happens when parents have a strong plan, rather than trying to let the students take the lead.
If parents follow a curriculum, homeschooled kids often outperform their counterparts in the regular school system, says Concordia University’s Sandra Martin Chang, adding research shows there doesn’t seem to be any negative effects.
“Parents are in a very unique position because they spend a lot of time with their children, they know their interests, they know how to best motivate them. If you can work with the child, I think you’re at a huge advantage.”
Manitoba’s week one of homeschooling in the books
Manitoba’s week one of homeschooling in the books
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