In 2020, after the pandemic started, Victoria Micheli was nervous and overwhelmed about how she would be able to afford to give her children the best educational fit for them. Her three children – Aleck (now in grade 3), Paul (grade 5), and Jazmyn (grade 8), were in their local public school at that point, and they were struggling to learn under the shut-down conditions.
“When they came out with the online Zoom teaching, my gut feeling said this is not going to work for my children,” shared Victoria. After four months of witnessing the distracting and sometimes bullying behaviors of other children and even some teachers, and watching her children sit in front of a screen not being able to hear the lessons being taught, she realized she needed an alternative.
When exploring the option of private school, she heard about the Children’s Scholarship Fund (CSF) and that homeschool families would be eligible for CSF resources. For a number of reasons, including finances, pace of learning, and compromised immune systems, homeschooling was a better option than a traditional public or private school environment for them. Victoria explained, “I have a child who is immune compromised. Covid exposure could have put him in a very bad situation… I don’t have to worry about a symptom he may have and not be notified. Homeschooling also works with our crazy busy schedules.”
Using CSF-administered Education Freedom Accounts as well as scholarships, Aleck, Paul, and Jazmyn are able to access hands-on learning projects, supplies like pencils, erasers, expo markers for whiteboard, art supplies, rulers, calculators, workbooks, computers to do courses, online music classes, and private tutoring as needed. They also do music outside the home and join other homeschoolers for hiking, fishing, and game classes.
Victoria shared, “I just never imagined the education my children now have: homeschooled and excelling in every aspect of life. My children needed an education that suited them individually and they needed to make up the year they lost [to Covid], achieving two years of learning in one year. My children all said, ‘We love how you teach us. You know how we need to be taught.’ Being a parent is one thing. You see the bumps and scrapes with tears. But when your kids have tears in their eyes begging to learn, it’s something you cannot ignore.”
Victoria went on to explain that the resources available through CSF have ultimately given her children the time to learn what they are interested in. Her children have been thriving since being homeschooled. “My children enjoy their homeschooling. They feel safe at home; they don’t miss the bullying. As a parent of three excelling children, I stand by and support as well as thank all of you and the donors for making this happen. It makes a world of difference!”