CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The COVID-19 pandemic has caused this new school year to be very unconventional.
Students will begin the year distance learning, and eventually heading back into the classroom. The details of those plans are still being determined.
The uncertainty of it all has many parents unsure what to do. Many have even looked into using a homeschooling curriculum.
But what does it take to homeschool? Where does a parent even start and begin?
A lot of questions arose, luckily Margaret Bailon-Labednick, mom and founder of Homeschoolers Unlimited Texas, said it's all about finding that right curriculum for your child, and willing to put in the work for them to learn.
She said for any parent looking to go the homeschooling route, they should know the Texas homeschool laws, which can be found on the Texas Homeschool Coalition website.
Labednick said the first step to becoming a homeschool parent, is withdrawing your student properly from school.
From there, there are many resources that can help a parent decide which curriculum they'd like to choose, whether they want to spend a lot of money, or barely any at all.
One parent, Shalena French has homeschooled her two boys since they began school. Jaden and Isaiah have only known a homeschool environment, but excel, and enjoy the class setting their parents have put them in.
She said that choosing a curriculum can be as easy as finding books at a bookstore like Half-Price Books, or just looking for different programs online.
French said if new parents need guidance, there are plenty of parent groups, organizations and resources available for parents to find more information about homeschooling.
"You're not in this alone, you have a community around you," she said. "Corpus Christi has such an amazing homeschool community."
She moved to the Coastal Bend just this year, and already found several groups that get together for trips, and teach each others' children.
Labednick and French said becoming a homeschool parent has a lot of flexibility.
"You don't have to homeschool during the typical school hours," said French. "So, if you have time in the evening, homeschool in the evening. You have time on the weekend, and maybe you can't do a couple days during the week, switch it to the weekends."
They sid that every curriculum is different -- some have different testing and grading systems. French chooses to combine a couple of different programs for different subjects and said she does test her boys on their studies.
"So if we're doing spelling, we'll be working through that book -- we'll have pretests, and then we work on our spelling lessons throughout the week, and then we do a spelling test on Friday," she said. "And once they pass that then we'll move on to the next-week test. And when we're done with those books, we just kind of go to the next book."
Jaden and Isaiah enjoy hands-on learning the most. One of their favorite subjects is STEM -- Science Technology Engineering and Math. French said they enjoy science and building robots, and recently built a cleaning robot out of household items.
Both parents said teaching your child is all about how you make it. You can choose to do field trips at museums or libraries, or just take a trip to some trails and learn about the ecosystem, and that there is so much flexibility that any parent who is willing to put in the work can make it happen for their child.