In the initial days of the pandemic closing down schools in March 2020, GSHE responded to support NH students and families displaced from their schools. We compiled resources to support online learning and enrichment opportunities, and created a group specific to them, GSHE Unexpectedly Homeschooling. In the summer, we did two interviews with Commissioner Edelblut about homeschool pods and launched a group specifically to help families connect with educational professionals, called GSHE Homeschool Pod Connections. We hope these groups have been a source of support, community, information, and understanding during this tumultuous time.
Many families responded to school closures by trying out homeschooling for a while. The NH DOE reported that homeschooling more than doubled in NH by October 2020. GSHE welcomed these new “crisis homeschoolers” with open arms, lots of support, and offered tons of resources. With this huge influx of new homeschoolers, GSHE held many online events including a virtual Info Session and Ask Me Anything, post-secondary school counseling events about college planning and trades options, and created over a dozen videos that covers everything from starting a home ed program to high school choices to deschooling to special ed topics.
As we look to the 2021-22 school year, GSHE will continue to help families through the summer as they navigate options and decide what they want for their children. We hope that for those families who experimented with home education only for a short time found it to be a valuable experience and gained a greater understanding of this educational opportunity. We have information about how to close out your home ed program and overviews of educational options available across the state. To help families find the right “fit” educational option for their children as we head into the fall, the GSHE Unexpectedly Homeschooling and GSHE Homeschool Pod Connections groups will encourage people to share Open House events and promotion of other school settings and co-ops each week on Mondays. There are many wonderful options around the state, not just the local public schools that many already know. We hope this helps families explore the range of choices that are available. However, our GSHE Unexpectedly Homeschooling group will have fulfilled its goals of supporting families through the pandemic, and close as of September 4.
For those continuing on their home ed journey, please join our primary support group, Granite State Home Educators, if you haven’t already done so.
We wish all families the best for them and their children’s educational journeys, wherever that may take them.